2×8 is an annual non-profit program that functions as a student exhibition and scholarship fund design competition. It was formed with the intention of introducing student work to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry. In order to celebrate the pedagogical diversity of schools across California, 2×8 invites multiple schools across the state to participate, and gives student projects an opportunity to receive scholarships at the opening event.
In 2020, the 2×8:Domum exhibit was reconfigured into a fully virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it forced us to restructure the event, this new type of exhibit gave access to a larger audience, and helped us expand on our intention of introducing the work of future architects to the rest of the world. In 2021, the exhibition will be a hybrid of virtual and physical space to showcase the student work. Projects will be distributed into nodes throughout Los Angeles, in a safe and thoughtful manner, so that they can be encountered by the general public. Additionally, projects will be accessible online and through an app. By presenting the work in different ways, and in several locations, competing projects will be viewed by many people across the world and visibility of the overall program will be increased.
Every year, 2×8 encourages an exploration of emergent technologies and how they impact methods of representation within an academic environment. Apart from maintaining the virtual platform, 2×8 will also incorporate an augmented reality component to the exhibit. Our developing app will allow viewers to access AR visualizations of competing projects, giving the audience an opportunity to immerse into the project and get a broader understanding of the work.
Last year, 2×8 awarded $30,000 in scholarships, and we expect to award even more this year through our self-sufficient scholarship program. As in past years, a respected jury will evaluate the submitted student projects, and award prizes based on merit. The final prize values will result directly from the total of our fundraising efforts.
Each year the exhibition is given a unique name and theme, we encourage the schools to choose work that represents that theme. The curatorial theme of 2×8 this year reflects on the discourse of community. The name, 2×8: Assemblies, refers to a group or community of people, and is also related to the process of building. Participating schools are free to interpret the theme and name as they wish, and are also free to select projects from previous studios if they more accurately illustrate the strengths and goals of their program.