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2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part V

Week Five of the Study Architecture Student Showcase is here! The compilation of seven student projects we share this week all reimagine the relationship between architecture and community. From Bosnia to Knoxville, TN we take a look at how communities are shaped by architecture. If you’ve missed the past installments, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.

Chinatown Collective by Cecilia Lo, M. Arch, M. La ’22
University of British Columbia | Advisor: Inge Roecker

This project seeks to represent the relationships between culture, heritage and identity.

As a first generation Chinese-Canadian settler immigrant, I look to investigate the forces of the built environment that has shaped my personal identity and the forces that are shaping others perception of my identity. I situate my investigation in the context of North American Chinatowns, one of the most glaring examples of a Chinese-Canadian space. Through storytelling, I explore how heritage can be spatialized and how its representation reframes culture and identity.

Current heritage conservation methods have trapped spaces in time. By regulating the appearance of these naturally changing spaces, they’ve been forced into stagnation because of competing pressures of nationalism and consumerism. Heritage sites become representations of an ideal that is imposed on by designers, politicians, and government. Heritage has become a commodity.

However, I argue that heritage is not an asset to be protected and conserved. Heritage must be sustained and defined by the everyday lived experiences of people in order to result in the creation of resilient cultural spaces. Through storytelling, I speculate on the narratives of these people and ask the question: What do these places become when they are created, designed, and inhabited by the community living there?

Instagram: @ceeclialo, @ubcsala

Re(clay)ming Doyle Lane Center for Ceramic Arts by Sarra Starbird, B. Arch ’22
Cal Poly Ponoma | Advisor: Robert Alexander

The Los Angeles Technical Trade college in South Central LA encourages the growth of Design/Media, Construction Sciences, and Culinary arts to name a few. Los Angeles is home to a largely growing ceramics community, and demand for programs is outweighing LATTC’s current department facilities.

By reclaiming the adjacent AT&T data center building projected to be moved due to expansion, the reuse of this facility will house the education and exploration of emerging ceramicists. Prominent Los Angeles Ceramicist Doyle Lane was known for utilizing tactile glazes within his ceramic murals. In honor of this prominent figure, The Doyle Lane Center for Ceramic Arts is an expansion to the LATTC curriculum, one that is fueling the flame for ceramic exploration. Nestled adjacent to the Metro Blue blue line and the Intersection of the 10 and 110 freeways LATTC campus has strong ties to the Los Angeles community.

I am proposing to adapt the remaining non-campus building on the LATTC Campus block. This will help unify the college in relation to the campus’s main street: West Washington Boulevard. The heat of this project creates a tie between differing backgrounds and crafts, linking passion through a flame. This project aims to engage the Los Angeles ceramics community and create an outlet for the craft of ceramics both sculpturally and architecturally by reshaping an existing form and reimagining it in a language parallel to the department’s pedagogy, one that teaches from the exterior what is reflected within.

Instagram: @starbird.arc, @rbrtalxandr

Sarajevo Art and Activist Center by Shuyu Meng, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Lawrence Chua

The historical background of the region governed by authorities with different cultures and religions creates the multi-ethnic country of Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH); recent war caused by ethnic nationalism further splits the country and segregates ethnically groups geographically. As the capital of BiH, Sarajevo is a typical example of an ethnic exclusive situation happening extremely in the historical center of the city retained by current political constitutional issues.

However, under ethnic violence, various forms of activist activity are held spontaneously by citizens in Sarajevo and from all over the country — both during the war and in the postwar period in today’s Sarajevo — a powerful way to resist ethnic conflicts, increase cross-ethnic communication, and express civil voice to the government and the world.

Therefore, the Sarajevo Art and Activist Center is proposed in the Baščaršija area to provide an inclusive space and open stage for people to gather, produce artwork, exhibit, perform, and any potential public activities. People with different ethnic background are welcomed to participate in everyday activities which promotes cross-ethnic interaction through civic effort.

The architectural form of the project is inspired by and abstracted from traditional local architecture in the context, creating communal space that is reshaped in a modern manner. To accommodate various programs in the Center including temporary gathering and long-term art production, both the interior and exterior space is designed openly with simple shape that can be divided by movable panels for special needs.

Instagram: @syr_arch_nyc

The Belly of South Central by Josue Navarro Lazalde, B.Arch ’22
Cal Poly Ponoma | Advisor: Robert Alexander

Markets were once the basis of town formation, and their role as places where food was sold has been one of the fundamental characteristics of early settlement. Today, South Central’s zoning codes and policies physically separate activities revolving around food.

This project seeks to carve out public space and adds to the built urban fabric that sets the stage for social interaction centered on food. Located at 233 W Washington Blvd sits a paved piece of land similar to the prevailing ground-level parking lots throughout Los Angeles, however, unlike similar sites that persist as tourist attractions, 233 W Washington sits in a culturally rich and diverse neighborhood only visited by its inhabitants; community members, commuters, and students.

The South Los Angeles community, primarily made up of Latino and Black individuals bring forth numerous artisanal cuisines that dominate the area with hole-in-wall restaurants, food trucks, and pushcart vendors. Sporadically, alongside these nested cultural centers lie fast food chain restaurants. The absence of supermarkets alongside the abundance of informal vendors created the necessity for space with qualities resembling the mall/market typology.

The integration of a new below-grade station and street crossing for the LA Metro A line train will not only serve the community by creating a safe traffic-free zone to board trains but also promises a constant flow of users to the project. Through this synthesis of programs, the market and station hope to support the existing cultural context, promote user comfortability, foster continuous vendor economic security, and prolong its viability with sustained user activity.

Instagram: @josuenavarrolazalde, @rbrtalxandr

Line of Action: Unfolding Cycles of Placemaking by Beatriz Morum de Santanna Xavier and Michelle Singer, B.Arch ’22
Pratt Institute School of Architecture | Advisor: Gonzalo Jose Lopez Garrido and Daniela Fabricius

The traditional practices of border drawing and map-making negate the experiential, the three-dimensional, and subjective experience of the human. Therefore stewardship and radical design of boundaries, borders, and waters edge can be something of rebellion and have the potential to disrupt the geometric and oppressive systems implanted by white settler-colonialism.

We ask how can we radically occupy the residual spaces that the grid could not reach, where it disintegrated, and what it left out? Projects have studied the historical segregation of colonial cities, but few look to the regions of in-between generated by centuries of settler-colonialism. The act of paving gridded streets into divided terrain was only possible where the land was flat enough to colonize. What happens to the terrain labeled as “impassable”in Sanborn maps? These landscapes cannot be subdivided and paved over.

Engaging these in-between spaces as means of action and placemaking can address unseen histories of the ancient past while acknowledging the prevailing struggles of the current moment. Through methods of folding, our project establishes a framework for collective use, inhabitation, and eventual co-stewardship of spaces, through folding the urban grid for the reclamation of communal land. We propose legislation that allows for collective action to undermine biased authorities that approve land use. We take from the concept of adverse possession – squatter’s rights – and create a direct pathway to collective stewardship, providing a suggestive framework for communities to reclaim abandoned lots and parceled land without a seal of approval.

Our research unfolds in liminal cities of ancestry, Kansas City, Missouri and Recife, Brazil. These sites become case studies that reflect one another in two parallel worlds of colonization where we have familial ties. Designing connections and stitching together geometric interventions, we introduce a suggestive framework adaptive to cities across the americas.

Instagram: @bia_mxavier, @m_ch_ll_, @gjlg, @knitknot_architecture

Microcosme in the West by Jenny Leclerc, Olivia Lessard, B.Arch ’22
Université du Québec à Montréal | Advisor: Borkur Bergman

A microcosm in the West is a project where the community is key. The exchanges, the encounters, and the participation of everyone forms the spatial organization. It offers a great density through a path between a various amount of indoors and outdoors spaces. It plays with the public and the private borders to generate a sense of community and openness. There is a residential, a work and a commercial area in every building without neglecting the communal areas.

The preservation of the Seagram Distillery patrimonial complex was part of our main concerns. Since the site had an industrial vocation, the project keeps that essence. The intentions are to provide the community with mixed purposes and proximity working places. Meanwhile affordable housing for people in need is crucial. In addition to improving density, we linked the social housing development in the vicinity to the Seagram pole where jobs, schools and different services will be available.

The urban form responds to the Nordic climax. It changes the lifestyle of the occupants to make the most of every season. The form of the buildings generates a mild climate that allows comfortable circulations for the users.

The Lost Path is a trail where the biodiversity leads and allows pedestrians to cross over the whole site. It is also possible for cyclists, skiers, ice skaters to wander between the different points of interest. The access to active transportation is, therefore, made easier. The relation to the territory is an important consideration that guided our reflexions.

Instagram: @jennyleclerc, @livlessard

Community in Context by Ariani Harrison, M.Arch ’22
University of Tennessee | Advisor: Jennifer Akerman

What is community growth?

As a first-hand witness of the campaigns communities in Houston and Phoenix brought forward during city transformation, I believe that ground up community growth is important. Taking back the urban form from developers and government that have no stakes in the communities they build in gives power back to residents. Moving to Knoxville, I have seen developments which remind me of the obscene growth of Phoenix. Where sky scrapers are built along a man-made lake claiming the over-priced retail at the street level will give the city enough taxes for more public investments. Yet, senior citizens are becoming homeless in the same area because rent has inflated so much. I can only predict the same of South Knoxville as the waterfront is developed.

I am for making architecture more accessible, for the agency of mapping, and for using oral stories as tools to create a system towards a collective urbanism, one where the community has access to agency to change their space. South Knoxville has organically grown along the Tennessee River and perpendicular roads; however, growth in the area has not been valued until recently, resulting in ‘luxury housing’ and other general development moving in. Cities across the country have similar sentiments, where parts of the city slip through the cracks until superficial planning ideas, like mixed-use podium structures or creating high density within low density areas, are plopped into place to “revitalize” the area. Unfortunately, those implementations do not always work as there is no
relationship to the community, it can cause more chain brands to come in, and push locals out. What if the community had a say in their growth?

Connecting them to local organizations and leaders and giving three different scales of possible interventions based on context of the community could inspire these left behind communities. This prototype uses South Knoxville to show the insights one can find through mapping meaningful places, roadblocks to connectivity, and collecting the story of place with resulting possibilities for urban life. By mapping local and unused spaces along a central corridor, the community can take back spaces through temporary and semi-permanent projects.

Instagram: @arianiharrison, @j_akerman

Stay tuned for Part VI of the Study Architecture Student Showcase!

2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part IV

We are back with week four of the 2022 Student Architecture Student Showcase featuring five more projects from schools around the world. This week’s projects focus on improving the quality of life for marginalized communities ranging from Puerto Rico to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Each project showcases the unique context within the country of the project’s location.

For more student work, please explore Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Hanapbuhay: Remaking Manila by Romilie Calotes, M. Arch, B. EnvD. ’22
University of Manitoba | Advisor: Lisa Landrum

This thesis investigation probes at the matters of identity, dignity, and stability within spaces that the city and surrounding community traditionally perceive as “informal,” this often refers to “non-legal” settlers. Manila City’s collective memory vis a vis identity is being examined with a focus narrowed on a reclaimed land in the coast of its bay; currently known as “BASECO Compound”. Entangled within colonial, political, and religious presence, the site has gradually become the home to Manila’s largest urban poor “barangay” community. The design of pragmatic and incremental, community-inspired eco-hub will line the entire neighborhood, which may be successfully achieved by the barangay themselves, for themselves.

I have always wondered why and how “slums” formed near where I had lived as a child. I would go to school with people who live in homes where their roofs were made of scrap corrugated metals (yiero), thin light-penetrated wood flooring that would screech with every footstep, and walls made of patched thin wood sheets and metal panels showing multi-colored gradation caused mainly by weathering. Yet when we came to school, we all wore the same uniforms, and we as I perceived, were all equals.

Hanapbuhay is a tagalog word, rooting from “hanap” meaning to search and “buhay” meaning life. The two words together, hanapbuhay, means livelihood. Many informal settlers come to the city in search of livelihood, but in exchange they live in unimaginable (to the western society) living conditions, often near creeks, garbage dumps, and dangerous sites.

In hopes of revealing latent memories prompting revelation of the BASECO’s identity, thus creating a space of sanctuary amidst a past that is founded in impermanence. The thesis addresses the rapid densification of cities in Metro Manila, The Philippines’ capital region which was accelerated by a phenomenon exacerbated by the martial law induced by a dictator president: Ferdinand Marcos from 1968-1987 in the Philippines¹. He ruled with an authoritative regime, removing the democratic rights of the Filipinos, and implementing curfews to restrict unwanted movement of people. The “squatter” population grew since the president prioritized economic growth to “improve” the global image of the country—thus meant constant relocation and displacement for people living without land titles, and deep disregard for social and ecologic wealth.

Once Marcos’ rule came to an end, the informal settlements referred to as “slums” began to expand at an unparalleled rate². This has arguably resulted in cruel living conditions, with people remaining in the margins of society and the city, as is typical of many “informal settlements”.

The study focuses on the local scale of Metro Manila, bringing a deeper understanding of the informal-incremental housing strategy, as well as a method of working with existing ecosystems, within a focused site. As Manila is surrounded by the Manila and Laguna Bays, this suggests the inescapable reality of working with water, as a river, ocean, and source of ‘hanapbuhay’.

Augmented by retrospect and latent memories of Manila, the investigation will conclude with addressing a deep-rooted personal curiosity to learn about my home country, inscribing stability through architecture. Learning from these settlements to help regenerate a more resilient future for Manila’s struggling communities. And offering a thought-provoking and careful proposal that will evoke transformation in the unchanging environment of Philippines’ socio-political and environmental landscape.

Instagram: @romiliecalotes, @faumanitoba, @lisalandrum.arch

Mercado Salado by Claudia Crespo, M.Arch ’22
University of Puerto Rico | Advisor: Regner Ramos

“Mercado Salado” by my student Claudia Crespo, is part of her M.Arch dissertation: “Villas Pesqueras: Documenting the Coastal Culture of Puerto Rico Through Architectural Discourse”. Claudia’s committee heralded her work as the best dissertation they’d ever seen, a story-teller that gives voice to a marginalized community, and highlighted how she was able to navigate complex issues with such elegance, maturity, and poise.

“Mercado Salado” inserts traditional Puerto Rican fishing villages in direct confrontation with public policies that exclude locals from access to our coasts, while granting access to the tourism industry. In this way it challenges issues of community displacement, legislation, and the right to our land. The imminent rise of sea levels is here used as the framework to destabilize existing zoning codes to further her agenda: of safeguarding the existence of a local fishing community, while recognizing that eventually Mercado Salado and its site will be lost to the waters.

Instagram: @uprarchitecture, @claudiacrespo6

Embodied Morphologies by Grace Ann Altenbern, B.Arch ’22
University of Tennessee | Advisor: Jennifer Akerman

As our society is a product of the patriarchy, architecture anticipates and produces a scale figure that adheres to the “mythical norm.” This institutes a rigid and unyielding architectural framework, constructing a hostile environment for everyone who lies outside of the presumed scale figure. Therefore, we must deconstruct architectural thought and design prosthetic interventions that defy the residual hardness of the built environment as we know it and expand to create a revolutionary future.

I am exploring the intersection of architecture and fashion through the lens of critical theory to challenge design practices within our patriarchal capitalist system. Through a perspective rooted in gender studies, I have identified architecture as being designed by and for Audre Lorde’s “mythical norm”: a white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, financially secure patriarchal product. Instead, I aim to study bodies in motion and find diverse scale figures for designing architecture.

Beginning with these revolutionary scale figures, I ask myself: what apparatuses could assist the modern scale figure in dwelling among marginalized spaces? In exploring this question, I have identified the prerequisites that define my prosthetics as tools to redistribute power to those that architecture has otherized. Utilizing this as a new framework to begin designing, I have created body architecture that aims to defy the rigidity of spatial practice. With these prosthetics drafted, I have represented them in environments that traditionally disregard anyone considered other.

Throughout these studies, I have found that design solutions must exist on a spectrum, utilizing bodies outside of the designer’s own privilege in order to create a more inclusive future: an embodied utopia.

Instagram: @graceannaltenbern, @j_akerman

“روح جدة” – Jeddah’s Soul by Baraa Al Ali, B.Arch ’22
American University of Beirut | Advisor: Carla Aramouny

The city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has witnessed, since the mid-20th century, urban changes and shifts at a rapid rate with the complete neglect of the city’s historical core. The proposed development strategies, that are part of an unclear plan, claim to seek the development of the area in a manner that enables it to perform its strategic role as a major center for business and housing, with an emphasis on the need to preserve historical, cultural, and architectural value. Yet, the ongoing works in the heritage site present the area as a fragment of the past for tourists to consume, completely disregarding those who are behind the city’s survival over the past decades: the foreign workers.

The research examines the current situation in Al Balad, Jeddah, looks at case studies that have tackled restorations of heritage sites as well as attempts to create a national identity for the locals. The aim is to determine the medium and the methodology through which the soul of the city could be potentially retrieved.

The project is an attempt to follow an alternative unconventional approach that is focused on space rather than buildings, on the soul of the area and the neighborhood; so instead of mummifying the bodies, it opts for the “reincarnation” of the collective soul of the neighborhood.

This can only be done by working on the spaces and the public programs and the human factor who are the residents.

The design stresses on the concept of tissue and fabric because it is problematic to stress the sculptural, free-standing, autonomous entities, at the expense of the fabric & the tissue. Therefore, the method consists of working on the external spaces, stressing the public over the private, the exterior, the open and the leftover, consequently the soul rather than the bodies.

This approach is appropriate because it allows to work with something not traditional or bound to existing buildings, without compromising any of the existing structures or their identity and historical value. The outcome is a social hub that consists of indoor and outdoor functions which serve mainly the current community.

Instagram: @baraaalali, @ard_aub

Architecture As Actant for Protest: Solidarity with Amiskwaciwâskahikan’s (Edmonton) Unhoused Community by Robert Maggay, M.Arch ’22
Laurentian University | Advisor: Aliki Economides

Conditioned by neoliberal imperatives and settler colonial impositions of ‘property’, architecture is complicit in upholding spatial and social inequities. The neologism ‘houselessness’ foregrounds housing as a human right, which must be addressed through the provision of accessible housing, yet this process is slow. Moreover, unhoused individuals are disproportionately affected by pandemics. Their aggravated health risks owe to crowded shelters, comorbidities, and pandemic-related restrictions of supportive services. While COVID-19 has worsened the pre-existing houselessness crisis, some immediate effects may be addressed locally through mutual aid: a form of rapid response and community care that demonstrates both the need for bottom-up solutions and interim approaches to houselessness. This thesis explores how architecture might challenge existing frameworks of power to act in solidarity with houseless neighbours. The series of design interventions proposed for Edmonton, Alberta, focus on socio-spatial relationships – related to water, sanitation, and hygiene – that act in solidarity with houseless people.

This thesis draws from various interviews with local mutual aid volunteers who work to address the immediate needs of houseless neighbours. Based on these interviews, a series of architectural program pairings were established to satisfy two functions: to improve upon existing site uses, and to embed programs and functions that address limited access to water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for houseless people. The political forces in public space and architecture limit the ways in which houseless neighbours engage with the built environment, such as the enforcement of property, displacement, security and police, and people who are less sympathetic to the experience of houselessness. An understanding of an ontological violence facing houseless neighbours is the primary driver for this research. This thesis explores the design of a public amenity building that co-locates café, bike repair shop and laundromat programming while embedding functions that mitigate harm among houseless neighbours and their limited access to water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. Through this proposal, access to washrooms, bathing facilities, laundry machines, day use lockers, public phone rooms and places of respite from extreme weather conditions are explored.

Instagram: @robertmyguy, @aliki.economides

Check back next week for Part V of the Study Architecture Student Showcase.

2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part III

Welcome back to Part III of the 2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase. This week, we feature students from across the United States, specifically highlighting award-winning work. Each project represents a unique relationship between the built environment and the context within which the project is located. For more projects, please explore Part I and Part II.

TEMPLE SCIENCE (Bio-Geometry and Sustainable Architecture) by Omar Ayache, B.Arch ’22
American University of Beirut | Advisor: Carla Aramouny

First Prize in Areen Projects Award for Excellence in Architecture & Dean’s Award for creative Achievement

In the context of ambient threats such as environmental and electromagnetic pollution and global warming, this thesis explores the relationship between the human system’s geometric blueprint and the energetic structure of ancient temples. The purpose is to create responsible design with healing properties while addressing a pertinent Lebanese site in need of waste management and urban transformation. As such, a dual approach was applied with environmentally responsive design in addition to energetically aligned architecture.

This exploration aligns the geometric blueprints with those of the energetic planetary system as well as the physical correlates that emerge from them. After establishing the correlational relationship between geophysical anomalies (Sacred power spots) and their impact on the studied environments, I explore ancient design principles and their application in current contexts through the lens of a Geometrical Alchemy, Bio-geometry, at the individual, architectural, and urban scales, while illuminating the forgotten dimensions of environmentally responsive design. I initiated this thesis as a researcher taking foundation and advanced level courses in Biogeometry and a course at the Resonance Science Foundation on the sacred science of ancient temples. On the other hand, developed by Dr.Ibrahim Karim, Bio-Geometry is the science of detecting, amplifying, and reproducing the centering energy qualities found in sacred power spots and in the energetic centers of the human body, referred to as the BG3 energy quality, by using a design language, of shape, angles, colors, and proportions, that can be implemented in designs at any scale.

The variables generating habitable and functional architecture will be aligned with Biogeometrical science to integrate favorable energetic qualities while considering programmatic thermal zoning, climate-responsive geometry and naturally performative materials and building techniques at the architectural scale. At the urban scale, variables such as density, sustainable growth, resource management, and urban geometric infrastructure will be assessed taking the hazardous Naameh Landfill in Lebanon as a site of analysis and intervention through enhanced Landfill mining. An excavation process that would transform the landfill’s hazardous waste into Raw materials activating the local economy and revealing a Biogeometric climate responsive power-city in the process.

This project is a work in progress and would not have been possible without the guidance of Professor Rana Haddad, Professor Carla Aramouny, and Dr. Ibrahim Karim.

Instagram: @omaralayash01, @caramouny, @200grs, @ard_aub

Invisible Realities of Future-Past by Cierra Francillon and Caleb-Joshua Spring, B.Arch ’22
Pratt Institute School of Architecture | Advisor: Gonzalo Jose Lopez Garrido and  Daniela Fabricius

Degree Project Award ’22 Social Justice Prize

The neighboring communities of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, located in Detroit, were once social and cultural meccas and symbolic centers of Black life. This place was one of the major destinations of the Great Migration of the twentieth century, the mass exodus of Black people fleeing the intense racism in the South in search of better opportunities. Black Bottom and Paradise Valley were razed by the city of Detroit and state of Michigan for urban renewal and the construction of the Chrysler Freeway (I- 375), displacing large numbers of Black people and creating “root shock”¹ in the Black community that has present day ramifications.

This project is rooted in exploring the dispossession and subsequent root shock caused by the American highway system and urban renewal. This project seeks to rectify the effects of root shock by imagining a parallel present where Paradise Valley and Black Bottom re-emerge and are allowed to grow without disruption from the effects of white supremacist policies. The goal is to speculate on a new way of black urban life, or a new Black Commons, by dissolving the highway system to return the commons to Black people, and accessing this parallel reality that is rooted in the legacies of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley. The domestic commons, the commons of sustenance, the commons of cultural production and leisure, and the space of the collective, are new typologies that lean on music, ritual, care, and agriculture to restore Paradise Valley and Black Bottom as cultural and social meccas in Detroit. We used an Afrosurrealist approach to encourage, support, and allow for a rhizome of personal relationships spanning across Africa and North America in order to reimagine and reform a Black Detroit in the crux of the interstate highway system and urban renewal. As the highway system crumbles into disrepair and is abandoned, a new Black Commons will emerge from the ruins of late stage capitalism and its anti-Black policies.

¹ Mindy T. Fullilove, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It (New York: One World/Ballantine Books, 2004).

Instagram: @cierra.png, @blkbencarson, @gjlg, @knitknot_architecture

Reparatory Craft by Mary Margaret Williams, B.Arch ’22
University of Tennessee | Advisor: Jennifer Akerman

Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal, Distinguished Design Award, Third Place

Reparatory Craft speculates and investigates the methods in which craft and aesthetic strategies can hold space for trauma processing and releasing exercises through participatory practices. Specifically, the bodily effects of trauma under the lens of neurology, interpersonal biology, and psychopathology illuminate the idea that bodies can engage in space as a coping and healing practice. Reparatory Craft engages the community through the episodic series of model making and storytelling. There is a place for both whimsy and trauma coping, and this thesis exhibits that notion.

The early stages of this thesis began with material studies, where three models and diagrams investigated how sensory input can engage the body. I explored how these ideas may generate domestic experiences through a series of ten photomontages. A sister model accompanies each photomontage. The final stage in this process continued the participatory nature of the model making through three wall assemblies with the engagement of twelve participants.

KEY QUESTIONS
-How can a multidisciplinary approach towards addressing trauma begin to shift the methodologies and conversations around design?
-What is architecture’s role in addressing trauma?
-What assembly strategies are productive in prompting dialogue?
-What sensory details are successful in engaging the body?

CLAIMS
-Strategic assembly logics and aesthetic approaches can engage the body to hold space for trauma processing and releasing exercises.
-Model making can act as an accessible framework in which a wide audience can participate.
-Craft is a vehicle for more accessible design.

“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”
-Gaston Bachelard

Instagram: @marymargaretwilliams, @j_akerman

Ensanguined: Architecture, Militarism, and Slave Labor in the Nazi Monumental Building Program by Parker Klebahn, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Chua

Dean’s Citations for Excellence in Thesis Design, Bernice Hogan Prize by the Department of History in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

This project examines the monumental building practices and program of the Third Reich. By looking at the way monumental building was imbedded within the regimes policies of displacement, horrific and extractive labor, and genocide, this thesis establishes a critique of architecture and architects direct complicity and willing engagement with authoritarian regimes and atrocity. This project relies almost exclusively on original archival research and hopes to open a new line of discourse on the relationship between monumental architecture and labor practices in the Third Reich.

Architecture was an integral part of socio-cultural worldbuilding in Nazi Germany, the core of the Nazi’s architectural vision for Germany was Welthauptstadt Germania, a new masterplan for Berlin designed by Hitler, in conjunction with Albert Speer. At the center of Hitler’s new city was a massive domed hall that the Fuhrer had sketched years earlier while in prison writing Mein Kampf, it was to be called the Volkshalle, the hall of the people. Planning documents for The Volkshalle called for the largest slave labor force ever assembled, for 10 years of construction along with millions of tons of building materials. The Volkshalle, and all other Berlin reconstruction projects were to be built utilizing the massive systems of brutal oppression and slave labor that the Third Reich had created, often parts of it being purpose built for the monumental buildings themselves. This massive network of slave labor facilities, deportation centers, and extermination camps were the horrific reality of Hitler’s sketches and lofty architectural aspirations. Architects and Politicians in Nazi Germany had used monumental architecture directly in the pursuit of genocide.

This project takes shape in the form of a large model. At the center of the model sits the Volkshalle, but the Volkshalle has been Ensanguined, dirtied and is shown in a state of gross imperfection, the pieces of the model do not fit together properly. In the cutting of the mode, four primary building materials are shown. Adjacent to the Volkshalle are four of the real slave labor facilities that produced materials for the project, they are shown accurately, I offer no comment on their representation.

Community Crucible by Xander Parker and Austin Wahl, BSD Architecture
University of Nebraska | Advisor: Ashley Byars and Ryan Hier

SGH Concepts + Dri-Design Competition

To provide a voice to the people, our project embraces the concept of Community Crucible. A place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause or influence change or development. To enact that change our proposal identifies three strategies to facilitate development; adapt, sustain, and engage.

Adapt refers to the flexible and loosely fitted program that sits within the project that is ever changing with community needs. Sustain invokes support through the physical preservation of the environment, while encouraging growth of the community. Likewise, engage refers to the intimate interactions that happen within transactional spaces. The community crucible having these strategies existing together allows a community to both grow and take authorship to preserve its culture.

Instagram: @austin_wahl15, @xanpar1, @ashley.k.byars, @ryanhier

Objects & Affection by Andrew Tot Bui, M.Arch ’22
Morgan State University | Advisor: Coleman A. Jordan

Award for Best Thesis

Space is the accumulation of objects and artifacts of our daily lives. This project is a tactile exploration of form as a predetermination of virtual and real space.

We use our hands to navigate our real space and virtual space with limited feedback. This project is about the desk as personal space, the hand as the site, and object as architecture. Ergonomic designs are fractions of gestures and these derived forms are indeterminate fractals of gestures. Straight lines are logic tools and curves are corporal expressions starting from fingers and into the body.

The end result is a catalogue of forms, materials, and process that speak about void and figure as an object of personal reflection. These objects implore a user to navigate with their hands and arrange compositions to create space with grid and form by exploring the simplicity of shapes and wholeness.

Instagram: @andrew.bui.562, @studiocaje

Grading Light by James Clark-Hicks and Isabel Ochoa, M.Arch ’22
University of Waterloo | Advisor: David Correa

Ron Sims Purchase Prize, Nominees for Canadian Architect Student Award of Excellence, Commended Theses

When interacting with light, surface geometries and clay bodies can work together to heighten the perception of depth and alter illumination. This thesis investigates how clay 3D printing can generate materially responsive engagements between ceramics and light.

A computational methodology is developed to produce texture and sculptural relief in ceramic surfaces. Liquid Deposition Modeling is used to study the plastic deformation of clay during wet-processing. Most 3D printing technologies are currently conceived as end-stage production processes characterized by high-fidelity between digital models and physical outputs. Stoneware and porcelain have a wide variety of working properties and ceramic traits that demand new approaches to digital tooling. By making the study of material behaviour essential to the design process, clay 3D printing enables non-linear design-to-production systems. The research outputs are a series of stoneware and porcelain screens that vary in brightness and illumination based on how light may be obstructed, reflected or transmitted across their surfaces. Prototypes are developed at full scale to understand the relationship between sensory engagement and material properties.

The scope, context and research methods are divided into three parts: Light and Ceramic Material Performance– Explains stoneware and porcelain’s performance capabilities in the context of Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing. Ceramics and Digital Fabrication– Explains the tools by which the research methods are produced in the context of how tool path design is being leveraged in the practice of digitally crafted ceramics. Methodology– Outlines the methods involved in making qualitative changes to alter light-scattering behaviour in 3D printed clay screens. The research is structured around a series of four light screen typologies. Each typology utilizes unique digital and physical tooling methods, harnesses plastic deformation, structural capabilities, and light scattering behaviour in porcelain and stoneware structures.

Instagram: @is_oc, @ochceramics, @materialsyntax

Check back next week for Part IV of the Study Architecture Student Showcase.

 

2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part II

We are back with week two of the 2022 Student Thesis Showcase featuring six more projects from schools across the US and Canada! This week’s projects explore the intersection of architecture and feminism as well as gender. If you missed it, make sure to check out Part I of this series.

We will be sharing these projects on Instagram at @studyarchitecture and @imadethat_ so let us know what you think there.

WINDS OF CHANGE by Leila Ghasemi, M.Arch ’22
Southern California Institute of Architecture | Advisor: Elena Manferdini

Do we have the capacity as architects to influence politics and bring social changes?
Does architecture still have a utopian agency to shape our future societies?

This thesis addresses Iran’s current situation, particularly the social injustice against women, by using architecture’s tools and analytical strategies through space, objects, videos, sounds, lights, materials, projection mapping, and the medium of dance to explore the role of new spaces of protests in social activism. Since Iran’s 1979 Revolution, Women have long faced legal, political, economic, and social challenges in Iran. Women are not allowed to work specific jobs, polygamy has become legal, and women have lost the right to divorce. For 43 years, Iranian women have not been allowed to express themselves through their bodies. The Islamic Republic mandated wearing a head covering, or hijab, in public. All females are required to cover their hair and dress modestly from puberty. Women cannot take off their compulsory hijab, cannot sing solo, cannot ride a bike, cannot dance.

Women have no place to protest and defend their human rights and make their voices heard against this cruelty. This thesis tries to create an opportunity to express dissent away from government surveillance or the immediate threat of police action. This thesis establishes a platform for activism and self-expression through the human body and tests the capacity of utopia (Hypothetical utopias) and activism in space. The platform for activism is an installation that includes an open inner space as a raised stage surrounded by an outer corridor, which together portrays and enacts women’s activism and government. The outer corridor is dark and narrow enough that people must enter it one at a time. There is a path with live google earth mapping of Azadi street in Iran where projected on the ground and pictures and videos of the 1979 Iran revolution on the wall that show we should move beyond this history. The inner space includes black fabrics offset from walls to create a dark area with a black box in the center where dancers perform. A camera hangs above the box to film dancers performing as live broadcasts are projected on the three black screens, and simultaneously, their expression through the camera is broadcast live to the whole world.

Iran’s government forbids all forms of activism (social, political, environmental). This multidisciplinary approach uses tools from architecture and dance to do more than each can do in isolation; it connects spatial strategies of architecture and the critical capacities of dance. This project will enact and empower the Iranian women protesting the mandatory hijab. The thesis creates a utopia, a fantasy reality, a truth that is not true, an act of optimism that shows something does not exist yet but could exist if we wanted it. This project will enact a piece of good news in this impossible situation in Iran through women’s choreographers to present the reality of the current situation in Iran and create a desire for the change we need to build. This is a revolution, through architecture and women’s body expression, to create a platform to protest for Iranian women’s activists, which could be developed everywhere, and people worldwide could see and hear them.

Watch Leila’s thesis presentation

Instagram: @leilaghasemi.la, @sciarc_manferdini

Architectural Design Strategies in Reentry Facilities: Post-Incarceration by Carly Chavez, M.Arch ’22
University of Florida | Advisor: Lisa Huang

The U.S. has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world. The population of women in prisons is rapidly increasing and thus creating gender-specific problems. Addressing these problems is often difficult because attention is focused on male inmates representing the majority prison population. All individuals, post-incarceration require housing, education, and work opportunity; however, research shows that women have a higher need for reintegration with the community and regaining custody of their children. Research also shows that the application of gender-informed policies is effective in reducing the recidivism rate. This acknowledges that men and women have different needs, and policy should address and respond to those differences. This project examines the conditions for women before, during, and after incarceration. The objective is to understand the gender-specific needs of women, what problems are being addressed, and how. Then, develop design strategies for women’s reentry facilities after incarceration. Ultimately, the research intends to contribute to the effort of reducing the number of women returning to prison, and to define the prominent external forces impacting women released from prison. This project focused on understanding these forces and the problems created to identify which issues can be translated into a solution in the built environment. This research proposes a multi-faceted women’s transitional facility as a building typology to support the effort to reduce recidivism.

There is an abrupt transition for incarcerated women as they finish their prison sentence, ultimately contributing to a higher likelihood to repeat offenses. Generally, this is the result of a lack of support for helping women transition into “normal” life. This project establishes that the architecture of transitional programs should reflect the specific needs of women to create an environment conducive to successful reentry into society. How does the architecture of transitional facilities change when children, community, and skill development are incorporated as part of the solution? This research advocates for a gradual reuniting of women with their children that parallels other efforts necessary to reintegrate women into the community. The architecture to support this program must establish the facility as a connection to the community with a focus on developing relationships between women, their children, and the community.

Architecture in Drag by Michael Evola, M.Arch ’22
Toronto Metropolitan University | Advisor: Marco Polo

Through imitation and parody, Architecture in Drag challenges architecture’s identity. “/” is an imitation of a building, a ballroom and a home. Situated in New York City, the birthplace of modern drag culture, / begins by separating and interconnecting two rowhouses through a horizontal structural grid. From the grid, all of its characters (program and circulation), are hung and interconnected through fluid architectonics. By hanging its characters, / removes the ground on which architecture rests upon. In its place, a series of fluid spaces affect the other. In this manner, space is boundless, inviting and encompassing. Similarly, / invites its audiences to customize it. Although its characters are organized within a grid, this, like the power of the grid within architecture is a false truth. Thanks to its semi-fixed industrial characters, all of /’s characters are free to be moved and be re-arranged Thereby, / has exactly half a plan. The industrial connections enabling this feature are appropriated from their intended use, like the appropriated fixtures drag performers utilize to re-arrange their identities. No material should be off-limit in the construction of architectural ideas. Moreover, no idea should be considered non-architectural. Architecture in Drag challenges the ground defining truths within abstractions such as architecture and gender. / is the byproduct of this challenge, it is a performance of architectural ‘truths’ parodied as fluid.

Instagram: @mikeevola

A Gender-Based Violence Architecture: Protection and Empowerment of Women by Isamar Collazo, B.Arch ’22
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico | Advisor: Pedro A. Rosario

Currently, there is a lack of places to protect female victims of domestic violence, focusing on self-help programs to assist them in becoming independent and reintegrating into society. The existing shelters isolate women from their environment, which makes the transition process difficult during reintegration into their context. Therefore, this project aims to protect female victims by promoting their independence through therapies, workshops, housing, and recreational activities so that they may have the necessary tools to return to the outside world. Also, most of the women that report the most cases are mothers of two or more children.

This project will allow the mother to be with her children by providing safe spaces for education and play areas for the kids. Creating a space close to their context will enable them to reduce the sense of isolation they experience while receiving the help they may need. Some of the site selection criteria were: to locate the project in densely populated areas, locate where there are more reported cases and where there is a lack of nearby shelters. The project is located in El Salvador due to the fact that it has the highest number of femicides (female-focused homicides) per capita among Latin American countries. Research shows 6.8 per 100,000 women, which represents 435 femicides per year. Most of these incidents have been reported in the capital city, Santa Tecla, San Salvador.

Dismantling the Architecture of Othering: Queer Reclamations of Space by Minette Murphy, M.Arch ’22
Carleton University | Advisor: Piper Bernbaum

This thesis positions itself around the opposing forces of architectural normativity and queer spatial production. It investigates heteronormativity and its spatial manifestations, in order to engage in the practice of queering space as an act of resistance. By researching the heteronormative order, and typologies such as the public toilet and the private home, it seeks to demonstrate architecture’s complicity in the process of othering queer bodies. Applying a norm-critical perspective to spatial phenomena, it encourages architects to divest from contributing to this form of spatial violence.

Next, it explores the act of queering as a contestation of the normative order through design. Continuing to dismantle various facets of heteronormative spatial production, six design explorations consider the body through a multi-scalar approach. As the site where queerness is initially produced, the body is where all contestations must begin. The first question ‘what is the body?’ deconstructs the normative body which forms the basis of all architectural standards in order to explore the concept of a fluid and relational body. The second ‘what is the layered body?’ analyzes the heteronormative imposition of meaning on clothing and the spatial implications of layer, while subverting both through costume. The third ‘what is the shared body?’ questions the privatization of the body and its various functions, and proposes opening private spaces up to new experiences. The fourth ‘what is the protected body?’ investigates spatial conditions that limit the safety of queer people, and mobilizes mechanisms innovated by the heteronormative order against itself. The fifth ‘what is the worshipped body?’ reflects on the abjection of queerness and implants queer rituals of joy into places that prohibited them. Finally, the sixth ‘what is the transcendent body?’ recounts moment of queer world building, and engages in open-ended experimentations of queer futurity. Throughout the whole document, this thesis seeks to question, reveal, subvert, and transform. Ultimately it will conclude that there is no one way to ‘queer.’ In all its forms, ‘queering’ is a practice of resisting normativity that should be embedded in the architectural practice of all.

Instagram: @minetteyo, @piperb

Offerings and Inheritances: Reconstructing Altars for Queer Vietnamese Kin by Thompson Cong Nguyen, M.Arch ’22
Carleton University | Advisor: Piper Bernbaum

How do we offer our selves – as diasporic, queer, Vietnamese families in settler-colonial Canada – to honour our ancestral kinship ties while creating space for new, authentic rituals and traditions? ‘Offerings and Inheritances for Queer Vietnamese Kin’, my architectural thesis at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University, Ottawa, investigates how practices of ancestral worship are performed in everyday sites scaled to the body, the street and the nightclub. This involved multi-modal and multi-scalar artistic explorations of offerings and identities which prompted the design of three new altars fitted to a suitcase, an urban storefront and a queer clubbing event. Each altar offers new fields of inquiry that embrace the mess of queer diasporic identities and affect how space is conventionally created through architectural design. This process invites designers, scholars, and queer, diasporic kinfolk to collectively reconstruct new practices of belonging for our ancestors, kin and our multi-adjectival selves.

Instagram: @thompydraws, @piperb

Check back next week for Part III of the Study Architecture Student Showcase.

 

2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part I

Welcome to the first installment of the 2022 Study Architecture Fall Student Showcase series! To give you an insight into what it is like to study architecture, we are taking a closer look at student thesis and capstone work from 2022. Throughout this series, we will feature work from recent graduates of ACSA member schools across the globe, highlighting a wide array of unique architectural explorations. For the next couple of months we will feature weekly installments of design student’s final projects covering a range of topics. This week we take a look at the intersection of architecture and climate change, specifically as it relates to sea level rise.

We will be sharing these projects on Instagram at @studyarchitecture and @imadethat_ so let us know your favorite there.

Floating Omnitopia by Jessica Smith, M.Arch ’22
University of Virginia | Advisor: Mona El Khafif 

Norfolk, Virginia, is staring climate change in its full force as many residential areas are experiencing flooding throughout the year. These residential areas range in value of social vulnerability. The risk of flooding is not considered when determining “vulnerability.” It is observed that many areas of high vulnerability are also areas prone to flooding and are not protected by flood resilience projects. Other areas of low vulnerability are also affected by the flooding, but these residents have the resources to relocate out of Norfolk if needed. If they move, this will have a negative effect on the local economy. As more of Norfolk is taken by rising sea levels, where will these residents go?

FEMA has identified areas of recurring flooding, which will be called blue-fields. The homes within these blue fields are eligible for the FEMA Home Buyout program where a home-owner may sell their home to FEMA for that lot to be cleared. This project proposes another relief effort beyond this, in which this buyout funding from FEMA is used within a partnership to form a common.

This is the current prompt, and the urgent response should be an alternative to retreating, reject-ing both the utopian and dystopian models commonly associated with efforts to combat climate change. All the people in this area have a shared goal of protecting their homes, which creates a common ground. This is the basis needed for a new common of Norfolk of both shared assets and stewardship, existing on the water. It is a place for all, or the omnitopian common.

Inspired by projects carried out in the Netherlands, the omnitopia typology of housing is being implemented in Norfolk to create a collective partnership between residents and rising water conditions. It comes in the form of a common, a water-based community within which land(/water) and certain assets ownership is redefined as shared at the block-scale. Shared stewardship allows for growth / development / maintenance at a more concentrated (therefore, more effective) scale.

Forming the common of their choosing, the residents and various professionals are presented with a card game. The game is used to sculpt the form, congregate the residents, metabolize the system, compensate those involved, and restore ecological relationships. The players of the game hold various roles, from FEMA funding to the architect and residents. Select cards of the system are chosen to piece together the policies and creation of the common, making it adaptable to various people groups and sites. A sample common is formed to present an example of the omnitopia, using cards such as the medium density option in a cluster typology.

Instagram: @jessc.smith

Beyond the Barrier: The Resilience of Connecting People to Place by Eric Resnick, M.Arch ’22
University of Maryland | Advisor: Michael Ezban

Atlantic City, New Jersey is globally cited as one of the most vulnerable cities to the effects of climate change and sea level rise, representing the socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological threats that all coastal communities will face within the next half-century. 2060 projections indicate that Atlantic City will experience up to 155+ flood events per year and 50% of the city could be uninhabitable.

In leveraging the city’s coastal location, current institutions, and historic tourism-based infrastructure, the Resilient Transect becomes a framework for adaptation and growth, engaging the public and attracting an international cohort of researchers, designers, and policymakers to test and implement globally applicable and revolutionary strategies for coastal resilience. The iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk is abstracted as a beach-to-bay datum to catalyze adaptation, support, research, and participation along the transect, adaptable to environmental change and socioeconomic needs within and beyond Atlantic City.

Rising Seas: Cataloging Architectural Response in the Conch Republic by Christine Sima, M.Arch ’22
University of Cincinnati | Advisor: Edward Mitchell

Thesis research focused on architectural and environmental responses to sea level rise. Following this research, a catalog of architectural responses was created as a design framework for future architects.

The selected site of Key West Florida helps show the utilization of the four major response categories from the catalog; Evacuation, Protection, Adaptation, and Adoption. All included images show theoretical implementation of the catalog across different zones of the island.

Instagram @christinesima.arch

Demo-Polis for Athens, Greece by Maria Lazaridis, B.Arch ’22
NY Institute of Technology | Advisor: Jonathan Friedman

Athens, Greece occupies a significant role in the history of architecture as the birthplace of classical order. Its associated role in history however, developed a sprawling city ignorant of its ancient architecture and organizational urban plan order . This congested metropolis is filled with brutal concrete apartment blocks and lack of green space, overall contributing to larger issues of congestion and heat island effect due to climate change.

This thesis explores a development of a resilient Athens, equipped for its density whilst promoting sustainability. This thesis explores the design of an efficient city plan that no longer ignores un-excavated archaeological sites to create a poetic relationship of old city to new city, while overall improving quality of life.

Pale Blue Dot: Adaptation in the Flux of Chaos by Jasmin (Minji) Kim, Taylor Marshall, Jeannette Wehbeh, M.Arch ’22
Toronto Metropolitan University | Advisor: Marco Polo

The impact of climate change will not spare a single aspect of life as we know it and adaptation is our only option at this point in the trajectory of the world’s demise. Although we will be experiencing similar climate catastrophes around the globe, each region will have its own adaptation method dependent on location and culture. Synthesizing our research resulted in a new map of adaptability conceived of Goldilocks Zones deemed habitable lands. These Goldilocks Zones will be the most vulnerable to the elements of chaos and the most significant regions affected by the year 2100. Fez, Morocco was selected as the geographical area of study due to its numerous elements of chaos, including natural disasters, high land surface temperatures, wildfires, air pollution, rising air temperatures, and an influx of migrants.

Flux is chaos-seeking balance through adaptive processes. Our research towards the year 2100 and the layers of the climate chaos we will face, combined with conceptual theories on adaptation, shows no ‘single’ solution for adaptability. To adapt to our current and future evolving environment, a series of fluctuating initiatives that tackle issues at various scales is instrumental for present and future change. Nine strategies, applied to Fez, Morocco, can be applied to any other city within the Goldilocks Zone. It is a framework to guide the evolution of architecture through climate change while maintaining tradition, meaning, and comfort.

Instagram: @jasminkimm, @taylormade.arch

LIVE CORAL: Science & Living District by Wilmaliz Santiago, B.Arch ’22
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico | Advisor: Pedro A. Rosario

At the global level, climate change has brought with it several transformations, among them the rise in sea level. There are two main reasons why this happens, thermal expansion and glacial melting, both caused by global warming. Scientific research points out two important dates for this situation, in 2030 changes in sea level will begin to be felt and/or noticed significantly in all parts of the world, leaving a few years on the way to 2100 where we will have sea level at its peak. For that year it is estimated that hundreds of cities will be under flooded areas and many of them will disappear. All this has great consequences for all forms of life on the planet. And it is that not only humanity would be suffering the ravages, but also the flora and fauna, especially marine life. Sedimentation, the offset of nesting waves, high temperatures, the bleaching of coral reefs and endless situations that leave us with great consequences.

The project located in Rincón, Puerto Rico, is one based on scientific theories and predictions. The LIVE CORAL proposal seeks to provide a safe place for both humanity and marine life. A building is created where marine life can be researched and protected through this process of adaptation to sea level rise. In the same way, human life will have a safe place to live without limiting its quality of life, in addition to creating awareness and educating humanity about these changes and the effects it will have on other species and how this ends up affecting us.

The future in some way will always be uncertain and difficult to predict. However, thanks to the technological advances of our time there are many things that can help us foresee it. For this reason, this proposal seeks a complete adaptation over the years from the present to the imaginable 2100. Maintaining its efficiency, quality and use in its best state.

Instagram: @wilmaliz_santiago

A Residential Guide for Redesigning Coastal Homes in Hawai’i for Future Sea Level Rise: Punalu’u, O’ahu by Josephine Briones, D.Arch ’22
University of of Hawaii at Manoa | Advisor: Wendy Meguro

The ongoing consequences of climate change, due to human activity, have created a need for a shift in the ways we live, think, and build (Oppenheimer, 2019). For sea level rise, its effects like beach erosion, flooding, and inundation continue to persist; impacting coastal communities, especially those that lie on the shorelines, that will remain at risk if adaptive measures are not used (Oppenheimer, 2019).

On Oahu, Hawai’i, there has been a shift to increase resilient communities, however, small-private landowners, such as single-family homes along the shorelines have been left with limited guidance, education, and resources compared to large public/private landowners (City and County of Honolulu, 2020). As O’ahu’s efforts cater to large-scale development, like high-rises and/or mixed-use commercial structures for sea level rise adaptations, there is a demand for localized adaptation for communities not described by current guidelines and local land use ordinances. 72% of potential economic loss with 3.2 feet of sea level rise will be residential structures and land (Hawaiʻi Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, 2021). As coastal communities prepare to adapt for sea level rise, new design thinking is necessary to exceed the requirements and recommendations that are currently practiced.

In alignment with the 2017 Hawai’i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report that states, “More research is needed to improve understanding and projections of localized vulnerability of beach and coastal environments to combined impacts of poorly sited beachfront development and erosion and flooding with sea level rise” (PacIOOS, 2021). This research uses a case study home along the shoreline of Punalu’u/Hau’ula to envision a new coastal typology in Hawai’i with adaptation solutions that are phase-able for living with increased sea levels. By providing shoreline homeowners of Hawai’i, especially those who own detached single-family homes that are at risk to the effects of sea level rise, with building adaptation guidance, practical design solutions, and accessible knowledge gives individuals the insights needed to protect their property, increase communities’ resilience to sea level rise impacts and, globally, provide solutions as incremental change that can be used to inform future shoreline homes on a large-scale.

Instagram: @jojo_briones

Shifting Sediments: Inhabiting the Land, the Sea, and the Space In-Between by Natasha Zubricki, M.Arch ’22
Dalhousie University | Advisor: Catherine Venart

The coastline is a dynamic edge between land and sea ruled by natural forces and illustrated through material processes of erosion, accretion, and deposition. As our climate warms with an increase in storm conditions and sea levels, the natural forces at work accelerate. Cycles of growth and destruction are an inevitable aspect of our environment that can be analyzed through hydrological impact, geological structures, and ecological networks, all forming ruins off fragments of the earth.

This thesis examines Prince Edward Island as a case study of how to shift our perspective and embrace the ocean as an instigator of opportunity. Three locations along an edge are investigated exploring various material and programmatic relationships that can be utilized as a layered strategy to become a catalyst for new life. A temporal architecture that works as both measure and armature is implemented as an infrastructural approach aimed to adapt to inevitable uncertainty.

The thesis focuses on the relationships between humans and oysters as main actors for adaptation while engaging with the natural forces at play. The project moves through time adapting to rising seas and the changing environment, allowing new possibilities to be formed off a ruin of the past. Through engaging with natural forces instead of fighting against, we can create new edges, establish home for both humans and oysters, as well as use inevitable decay to provoke new life.

Instagram: @tash_zubri

Check back next week for Part II of the 2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase.