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Noa Mori

Hi, I’m Noa (she/they). I’m an artist, writer, designer, researcher, synthetic biologist, and organizer. I’m fascinated by urban political ecologies, socio-technical-ecological systems, and futurist animisms. I dream of expansive futures not flattened by a colonial conception of the future as a fixed destination to be controlled.

I am a lo-fi bedroom-synth pop producer and a bioplastic designer/engineer/environmental strategist.

You can reach me by email, and find me on instagram and are.na.

About ︎


Mosia looks inward to create intimacy within the sprawling city. Traversing a combined corner lot, Mosia skews the traditional LA
grid to foster diverse communal conditions. Many families in Los Angeles do not fit the nuclear model that single-family homes
were originally built for. These are families with adult children, elders living alongside, and large, extended families. In Mosia, multigenerational families are uplifted, allowing people to share caregiving, knowledge, and celebration.

Mosia is an integrative response to the pressing need for sustainable and equitable development in Los Angeles. By shielding low-income communities from market-driven displacement, residents will be stakeholders, invested in improving their homes and community. Mosia will be enjoyed by generations far into the future.

February 2021

Submission for Low Rise LA Ideas Competition

By the Lucky Us Collective:
Noa Machover
Cameron Kucera
Vuthy Lay
Natasha Bynum

Gradients of intimacy between smaller apartments and larger clusters meet the changing needs of biological and chosen families. Reconfigurable partitions allow flexible floorplan arrangements with a central core of ADA-accessible bathrooms and kitchens. The two-story buildings have two permutations: one with a larger and smaller unit side-by-side, and one as a combined floor.

Mosia’s apartments are homes. Within each unit, generous kitchen space is the hearth of the family. Inside and out, niche spaces within the architecture are hold beloved altars and decorations – the objects that create a sense of home. Thickened walls provide ample storage while deep windows shade and cool. Terraces create spaces for outdoor relaxation and socializing.

Mosia is not a transient community. Through flexible architecture,
affordability, and shared ownership, Mosia enables people to live and age in place. Building upon community-driven efforts within Los Angeles, we propose a partnership of Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Land Trusts (CLTs) to secure properties in single-family neighborhoods. Through revisions to LA zoning code, Mosia will introduce two-story apartment complexes of multi-family housing and retail to these neighborhoods.

The partnering CLT would be responsible for long-term stewardship of community assets, including land, housing and commercial spaces. In cooperation with the City’s affordable housing agency, the CLT will secure partial funding for long-term property maintenance and improvement. The California tax code was recently amended, making the property exempt from taxation. This will make the development stage more affordable.

The CDC handles construction of the homes, funded by California HCD grants. Upon completion, building ownership would be passed to a limited-equity housing cooperative, while land ownership will be retained by the CLT. With assistance from the CLT, tenant-owners will be trained on budgeting, finance, and property management. Residents of the units will be members of a multi-family housing co-op board that will meet in the corner store once a month.

This co-op model provides an equal opportunity entry platform, employing a ‘lease to own’ model similar to the purchase of an automobile, with no required lump sum mortgage at the outset. Unlike an auto lease, where failure of payment results in repo (or eviction in the case of housing), tenants would have the option to leverage their accumulated payments as a safety net.

When a resident completes payment of their full share, their monthly rent is greatly reduced to a simple carrying fee. Upon full co-op membership, the share becomes a concrete asset that can be used to secure a reverse mortgage, be
transferred to descendants, or sold back to the co-op for incremental payments over a fixed period. This model of cooperative living rewards long-term commitment to the community and organization, providing low-income families the opportunity for intergenerational wealth accumulation and community continuity that has been devastated by speculative real estate practices.

Commercial opportunities for community-owned businesses service the neighborhood. A natural place to commune, the corner is a social hub, jutting out to the sidewalk to welcome pedestrians. The skewed building configuration creates gradients of intimacy while creating sightlines around shared infrastructure for communality. Public-facing gathering space in the front invites neighbors for celebrations and more private areas in the back facilitate more intimate community gatherings. Outdoor lighting of common spaces, as well as consistent sightlines, create security and safety for residents. Outdoor gardens, terraces, and separate entryways allow communities to socially distance in pandemic conditions.

Our holistic sustainability strategy focuses on reducing vulnerability to environmental risks and stressors. The overall site and landscape strategies prioritize cooling and shading, mindful of the increasing threats of extreme heat and drought. A deployable central shading structure, reflective roof paint, thickened walls, and tree canopies protect residents from sweltering heat.

Cool, permeable pavers throughout the site reduce radiant heat. Landscaping incorporates drought-resistant plants and saplings. By electrifying utilities through shared solar energy generation, induction stovetops, and EV charging stations, Mosia contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of low-rise housing in Los Angeles and brings down utilities costs for low-income residents.