Part of the Solution: YES to ADU stems from the Department of Arts and Culture's Civic Art Program’s work in partnership with the Homeless Initiative on the Second Dwelling Units Pilot Program to support the development of granny flats, also called Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as one of the solutions for affordable housing.
The project, which was also supported by the LA County Department of Regional Planning, the Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, and the LA County Department of Public Works, catalyzed the County’s architects, designers, planners, and creative strategists to reimagine the potential of Accessory Dwelling Units as one of the strategies to help alleviate LA County’s housing pressure by means of an architectural design competition called Part of the Solution: YES to ADU. Concurrently, undergraduate studios at East Los Angeles College, USC, and Woodbury University integrated the competition into their curriculum.
A jury of architects, policy makers, educators, and arts professionals reviewed the submitted design competition boards for site strategy, livability, innovation, buildability, adaptability, and concept communication. The nine jurors included UCLA cityLab Director Dana Cuff, USC School of Architecture Dean Milton Curry, Hodgetts + Fung Principal Hsinming Fung, Arts Commissioner and Managing Director of Frieze LA Bettina Korek, and other leaders of design and civic life. The competition yielded a tangible index of possibilities and concepts from experienced practitioners to students, a selection of which were exhibited in a year of community events and workshops with diverse partnering organizations including East Los Angeles College; the Institute for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design; Open Engagement, Queens Museum, NY; and the Utah Housing Coalition.
The resource publication called Part of the Solution: YES to ADU, features concepts for ADUs presented by emerging and established leaders in design and architecture. This publication, which can also be found in all County libraries, is designed to raise awareness about ADUs, stimulate constructive dialogue, and serve as a resource for planners, policy-makers, homeowners, advocates, and communities.
Part of the Solution: YES to ADU is a powerful example of cross-sector collaboration in confronting our pressing County challenge of homelessness. The arts and design community bring new perspectives on what is possible and achievable when we harness our collective, creative vision to become a part of the solution.—LA County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell.
The Resource Publication was designed by Place & Page. Writer and architecture critic Mimi Zeiger provided didactic essays which explore some of themes brought forth in the design competition submissions. And award-winning graphic designer Louise Sandhaus created a graphic identity for the project that represents the Department of Artsa nd Culture's collaboration with the Homeless Initiative.
Design submissions were received from respondents ranging from established architectural firms to college students, with at least one key member of the team required to reside, work, study, or teach in LA County. The jury selected one First Prize awardee ($12,000), two Second Prize awardees ($6,000), and two Honorable Mentions.
This unique collaboration of the Department of Arts and Culture with the Homeless Initiative has provided a new model for the design community to think outside-the-box and look at these issues from a broader perspective. The jury and I were inspired by all of the submissions, and I continue to be excited by the potential outlined in 'YES to ADUM' and what it means for future design and planning efforts nationwide.—Dana Cuff Director of cityLAB-UCLA, and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design.
Design Competition Awardees
The Design Competition Jury was made up of a diverse group of architects, educators, and housing experts.
- Director, City Lab, UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design
- Dean, USC School of Architecture
Renee Dake Wilson
- Principal, Dake Wilson Architects; VP, City of Los Angeles Planning Commission
- Principal, Hodgetts + Fung: Director of International Programs, SCI-Arc
- Founder, ForYourArt; Arts Commissioner
- Cofounder GRAFT; Chair Interior Architecture, Woodbury University
- Principal, Levin & Associates Architects
- Deputy Director, LA County Department of Regional Planning
- Assistant Director, LA County Community Development Commission
Graphic Identity for
Yes to ADUby Louise Sandhaus
Want to Build your Own ADU?
To learn more about ADU requirements in the unincorporated areas of LA County, please visit Planning.lacounty.gov/adu. To learn about specific ADU requirements in your city, please contact your local planning or building department.
The LA County Department of Arts and Culture would like to thank our community partner, Bustler for supporting the ADU project.