Rob Ley

Adjunct Associate Professor

University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1993-1996, B Arch University of California, Los Angeles, 1997-2000, M Arch

Rob Ley is the founding principal of Urbana, an architecture and design studio based in Los Angeles. Mr. Ley’s studio engages current material and formal technologies to develop environments that respond to human inhabitation and experience. Urbana’s history of experimental work includes installations at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, The Taubman Museum of Art, Materials & Applications in Los Angeles, and Florida State University. Ley has been awarded several notable grants including a Graham Foundation grant, multiple AIA research grants, and an IDEC Special Projects grant. In 2010, Urbana was presented with the Best Storefront Design award by the Municipal Art Society of New York for Reef at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Other recipients that year included Morphosis’ 41 Cooper Square and Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s High Line park project. Rob Ley currently teaches graduate and undergraduate design studios and seminars at the University of Southern California (USC) and at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Ley has lectured and exhibited extensively on the topics of architecture, technology and innovation for the public sphere at institutions including the Cooper Union (New York), the American Institute Vienna (Vienna, Austria), Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design (Los Angeles), Virginia Tech School of Architecture (Blacksburg, VA), and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (Milwaukee, WI). Prior to founding Urbana, Ley worked as Project Manager for Randall Stout Architects, Senior Designer for Cliff Garten Studio, and Designer for Dmac Architecture. He holds a Master of Architecture from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Currently Teaching
  • 599
    Digital Fabrication – Materials and Methods of Production
    Digital Fabrication – Materials and Methods of Production

    This course is a broad overview of multiple fabrication and construction techniques used in the production of architecture, furniture, and industrial design.

    This course will be a combination of lecture and lab. Lectures will cover three primary categories of industrial process (Additive, Subtractive, and Transformative) along with materials research (Plastics, Composites, Wood, and Metals). We will engage a series of discovery based, hands on workshops where students will begin small scale material and fabrication prototypes, utilizing various digital fabrication technologies (CNC milling, 3D printing, Laser Cutting, etc). In the second half of the course, students will further develop their initial material-based discoveries into refined, small scale projects that exhibit a high degree of material awareness and craft.

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