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2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part VII

In part seven of the Study Architecture Student Showcase series we share eight student projects that focus on Wellness and the importance of healthy lifestyles in society. From dreaming to reflection to exercise there are many ways that architecture can help facilitate movement and a healthy community. These projects span globally from Canada to Lebanon to Korea but all have the same focus: wellness.

For a recap on the 2022 Student Showcase series so far, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI.

ECO-SCAPES: From Dreams as Spatial Experiences to Ecological, Social & Economic Alternatives by Hussein Zarour, B.Arch ’22
American University of Beirut | Advisor: Carla Aramouny

Long being a subject of artistic inquiry, dreams are often defined as successions of ideas, emotions, images, and sensations that occur in the mind. Research shows that dreaming serves its own important functions in our well-being, often associated with therapy. It conveys a spectrum of past experiences, recent events, defensive operations, perceptions of self and others, conflicts, problems, and attempts at their resolution. By doing so, dreams represent a certain adventure in a world where our internalized thoughts, feelings, unfulfilled needs, and wants come to life as many theories state and support (Jung, 1974).

This project titled “ECO-SCAPES: From Dreams as Spatial Experiences to Ecological, Social & Economic Alternatives” thus investigates dreams as an entry point to design explorative, therapeutic, and experiential spaces/landscapes which stand as ecological, social but also economic alternatives to an environment defined by destruction, deterioration, and deprivation.

The location of intervention, the capital city Beirut, has been facing continuous challenges, being ecological, social, and economic, favored by unhealthy spaces and unethical political systems. Most of the citizens, mentally and physically affected, find themselves deprived of most of their basic needs, thus naturally seeking a spatial alternative in response to this destructive environment.

Instagram: @zarour_hussein, @ard_aub

Architecture and the Oneiric: An Imaginative Translation of the Intersubjective Dream Experience by Amanda Scott, M.Arch ’22
North Dakota State University | Advisor: Stephen Wischer

“One has never seen the world well if he has not dreamed what he was seeing” (Gaston Bachelard). How can architecture be reimagined through oneiric thought? Could this evoke an architectural representation akin to dreams?

This thesis explores such questions by examining the phenomenon of dreaming from an embodied architectural perspective in response to an increasingly objective architectural framework. Drawing from psychological, philosophical, artistic, and mythical sources, we can examine aspects of dreaming not as something to escape into, but rather a primary form of reality, which is often overlooked in our rational, modern way of interpreting the world. Through the piecing together of historical and fictional fragments, architecture is reconstructed into a dreamlike re-description of reality that breaks down the distinction between real and imaginary, inside and outside, conscious and unconscious, acknowledging that we may actually see in the same way that we dream.

Walking along Freedom Tunnel in New York City, existing structures are transformed into transitional elements blurring realms of verity and obscurity, providing movement through a journey of dreamlike encounters. Drawing from six influential plotlines, with the hidden infrastructure of the tunnel as its setting; surrealist spaces are reimagined through a living translation of oneiric experience.

Instagram: @amandaa_scottt, @ndsu_sodaa

The Forever Home: Redefining Aging-In-Place by Laura Deacon, M.Arch ’22
University of British Columbia | Advisor: Inge Roecker

How do we house our aging population? This question – often overlooked, is one that requires an immediate solution. The population of individuals over 65 in Canada is projected to nearly double from 2020 to 2046, reaching 22% of the overall population. With this in mind, it is essential that architectural solutions are able to meet the dynamic needs of this aging demographic. The existing housing stock consist of reactive solutions, whereby individuals sequentially progress from one typology to another in accordance with their needs. This causes strain, confusion, and requires extensive support from the community as individuals orient and adapt to a new environment.

The primary objective of this thesis is to create an engaging environment that eliminates the burden of aging by allowing individuals to age-in-place throughout ones entire lifespan, in a vibrant community that facilitates architectural flexibility while simultaneously building resilience for future generations.

The Forever Home is a seven-story development situated in the heart of Yaletown, Downtown Vancouver, within close proximity to surrounding amenities and services. The proposed development features 196 adaptable modular units that allow for families to expand, contract, and divide at various stages of life, supplemented with a palliative care unit and guest suite located on each floor. Units are configured in a single-loaded corridor typology shaped around a central courtyard, which ensures adequate natural daylighting and cross ventilation is achieved. Residences are dichotomized into blocks consisting of eight units clustered around shared residential green space. Units also feature a semi-private buffer space between the public corridors and private units, which promotes socialization and neighborly connections amongst residents. Reverse community integration is achieved using a public grocery store, child care and adult daycare facility, restaurant, and smaller scale shops dispersed vertically throughout the building. In addition, residential amenities are also located on each floor. A clear wayfinding strategy assists residents to circumnavigate the building using a bright red bulkhead and a highly contrasting change in floor material, colour, and texture.

Instagram: @laurdeacon @ubcsala

Changing Place: A Persuasive Multipurpose Park for Healthy Lifestyles by Cesar Tran, M.Arch ’22
NewSchool of Architecture and Design | Advisor: Michael Stepner, Kurt Hunker and Rebekka Morrison

Sedentary lifestyles are becoming a standard that may lead to adverse health impacts over time. Surmounting these impacts include daily non-exercise physical activity (NEPA) to support mental, social, and physical health. In many scenarios, providing the space for NEPA may not be enough to encourage participation. Built environment designers can combat this by incorporating persuasive psychological techniques for physical activity. These methods are typically found to stimulate consumerism and addiction, therefore, this thesis reclaims these methods to promote wellness through the suggestion of healthy lifestyles.

A literature review was conducted to better understand the components of a healthy life, the types of psychology employed for increased engagement, and the different architectural environments that encourage NEPA with or without intention. The review culminated with the creation of a framework consisting of nine strategies that can be considered in architectural design for habitual NEPA. Case studies were then analyzed to better understand the usage of the strategies in today’s built environment. The results were then utilized and demonstrated in a theoretical project to encourage NEPA in National City, CA which is known to have high rates of coronary heart disease and stroke.

A multipurpose park with flexible food markets and co-working spaces was designed to attract community members to participate in NEPA. The primary reason to journey here is to satisfy a person’s basic needs, sustenance. Pairing this program with multiple incentives associated with stress relief and play creates convenience for users which can lead to a routine over time. This example supports the thesis through framework application and exhibits one of the ways the built environment can encourage healthy routines through the power of persuasion.

[A]WAITING TO DIFFUSE by Joseph Chalhoub, B.Arch ’22
American University of Beirut | Advisor: Carla Aramouny

When starting any design project, we, as architects, always start by analyzing the site, mapping out conditions and studying human behavior in order to better understand how we can intervene. However, while we look at walking patterns, climatic conditions and many other aspects, we are always neglecting one very important factor: WAITING.

During the most recent economic and infrastructural collapse Lebanon has been going through, the project zoomed into ‘waiting’ as a research topic. At the time, waiting was something happening on various scales, from existential waiting to waiting in line for gas.

With a blend of anthropological research, design experiments, and research in the arts, architecture, and placemaking, the project tackles how the notion of waiting can be repurposed, reused and activated to make the most out of this urban condition. In fact, the project presents a set of functions tailored to the needs of the neighborhood and encourages users to participate and help out in the different activities. Here lies the notion of interconnected functions. By taking the waiting out of certain functions, we can repurpose them towards others and so on and so forth.

This type of adaptive reuse can feed back into the architectural intervention in more than one way. Waiting would be recycled by giving the individual multiple outlets for their time. The project presents a new kind of “Waiting Typology” that can possibly be adapted and integrated into different neighborhoods in order to answer the need of the person waiting and change depending on the site specifications. Waiting then becomes something that we can use within our research, something that is regenerative, something that is awaiting to be diffused.

Instagram: @joeych99, @ard_aub

Wellness in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Connecting with Culture and the Environment by Briana Pereira, B.Arch ’22
New York Institute of Technology | Advisor: Dongsei Kim

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea is one of the most militarized areas in the world. Protected from urbanization for the last 69 years, the DMZ has become an involuntary park for flourishing flora and fauna with minimal human intervention.

This project takes advantage of this unique condition and nature’s healing ability to house a new mental health wellness center within the DMZ open to both Koreans and foreigners. Located on the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) within the DMZ, the project is integrated into the cascading landscape in the heavily forested eastern region of the DMZ. Immersed in nature, visitors engage the natural environment through the project’s landscape and architectural spaces to recuperate and improve their mental health.

In addition, visitors engage in traditional Korean cooking and pottery, tea ceremonies, meditation, yoga, reading, walking, and other reflective programs and activities to improve their mental health. Here architecture becomes a container for shared Korean cultures. Further, the project benefits visitors’ mental wellness through how the architecture frames the immediate mountain ranges’ beauty and how it captures the Korean peninsula’s four distinct seasons.

Instagram: @briana_pereira_, @dongsei.kim

Wood is Good: Informing Wood Architecture Through the Investigation of Craft in Furniture by Daniel Rodrigues, M.Arch ’22
Laurentian University | Advisor: Randall Kober

The act of craftsmanship, specifically woodworking, gives a sense of accomplishment that is therapeutic. Improving the well being of someone who is part of this maker culture yields positive benefits to the state of their mental health from making as a form of therapy in a nonclinical manner.

The final project will be a community oriented woodshop, located in the downtown of Sudbury, Ontario. This is a methodology driven thesis, where the primary method is learning through making; specifically, the design and construction of an intricate workbench as the most important experiment.

The focus of the research is to investigate how the design and craft of furniture can inspire and inform contemporary wood architecture at varying scales. This architecture will be didactic in nature, exemplifying craft through the tectonic connections of complex wood joints that embody the inherit potential of wood as a building material.

Instagram: @danielrodrigues343, @randallkober

I WENT FOR A WALK Observations, Reflections, and Imaginings upon Montréal’s Everyday Thresholds by Shane Villeneuve, M.Arch ’22
Carleton University | Advisor: Piper Bernbaum

I went for a walk.

Borrowing from the methods of The Situationist Movement and setting out to explore “the in-betweenness” of the city of Montréal, this thesis engages in a series of personal “drifts.” The moments explored in the work are liminal spaces – most commonly defined in architectural practice as thresholds. A threshold is a space of anticipation existing at the convergence between different spatial conditions. It possesses such depth that it may elicit a profound stimulation of the senses in the human body. Perception is personal and tied to our own needs, desires, and experiences; a wanderer may perceive a threshold in the public sphere of the city as monumental or banal depending on their subjective and personal relationship with it.

Therefore, this thesis attempts to explore and question the most mundane experiences of the everyday thresholds encountered in the drifts and consider what extraordinary value is found in some of the most overlooked spaces. How do we slow down? How do we feel safe? How do we learn from the way space is used and appropriated, and the complexity of how it serves the city through its everydayness instead of only considering it for how it was originally designed? Thresholds become places of crossing over, of repose, of exchange and of transition, and become a space where the public can engage in the architecture of the city in the in-betweenness. Through “drifting”, this thesis eventually becomes a space to imagine new threshold conditions revealing and amplifying the potential that these moments offer to everyday citizens.

Instagram: @villeneuves @piperb @carleton_architecture

Stay tuned for Part VIII of the Student Showcase!

2022 Study Architecture Student Showcase - Part VI

Welcome back to installment Six of the Study Architecture Student Showcase series! This week we share six student projects that take a look at the role of architecture in conflict. From Korea to Russia to Afghanistan, these projects show how conflict effects the identities of communities and how architecture fits into that balance.

For a recap on the 2022 Student Showcase series so far, check out Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.

Angle Masses: Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul, Korea by Joo Young Lim, B.Arch ’22
Auburn University | Advisor: Il Kim

History of Korean War
At the end of World War II, Joseon (archaic name of Korea) was freed from Japanese occupation. Soon, the victorious countries drew the border line on the Korean Peninsula based on 38th degrees north latitude. The north side of this border, the 38th Parallel, was occupied by the Soviet Union’s socialist force, and the United States’ capitalist force took the south. As Kim Il-Sung (North Korea) invaded the south across the 38th Parallel, the peninsula became a field of proxy war of ideological forces.

Design
A history timeline is set as X-axis, and a territorial shift between the north and the south as Y-axis. The representation of the 38th Parallel is parallel to the X-axis. Various historical events, including conflicts, were expressed as slits on the passage of the 38th Parallel.

The triangular masses are designed to pierce across the representation of the 38th Parallel. These triangular masses symbolize the military forces in the Korean War, and they vary in size depending on the strength of the forces. Interlocking with the axis of time, each of four triangular masses represents Kim Il-Sung’s invasion of the South Korea, U.S. and U.N.’s military supporting the South, the Chinese People’s Army supporting the North, and lastly, months of long siege.

Each of reversed-pyramid triangular masses elucidates war’s grave consequences. They are seemingly unstably connected to each other, and their dark metal exterior panels represent the gloomy war. Inside, the viewer, walking on the ramp between RC concrete columns, thinks she/he is passing through the ruins of war. The floating tips of the reversed pyramids are visible in the underground gallery. This sense of floatation was achieved by extending the RC concrete columns in the middle of the structures. The shards of glass-like tips represent the agony of the victims and refugees. These tips visually connect the upper gallery and the lower, underground gallery. The upper gallery illustrates the power game of the war written by the political forces who started the war, while the underground gallery displays the relics of the victims who were anonymous citizens.

Instagram: @limarch94

The Two Sides of Otherness: A Cross-Cultural Regeneration of Reality by Daniel Porwoll, M.Arch ’22
North Dakota State University | Advisor: Stephen Wischer

In our current context, “identity” often stands as an edge where one being ends and the next begins; simultaneously separating and unifying. Yet, this inherent overlapping between self and other continues to be threatened by ideological and homogenizing narratives; either as a force of assimilation or division.

Among the many affected areas around the world is the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the Russo-Ukrainian Border, and the Carlisle Pennsylvania Indian Cemetery, in which hostile situations pose a unique yet difficult edge condition that might be mediated by empathetic imagination instigated by architecture. Responding to each situation, we examine how architecture might act as an archive for deeper understanding and exchange in an attempt to mediate new realities.

Philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty confirms this method through his concept of “flesh”, which examines the relationship between oneself and the Other as “reversible,” wherein edges become folds in order to gain a deeper interpersonal, intercultural and intersubjective understanding of the Other ourselves.

Instagram: @dkp.arch

[IN]visible by Ying Xuan Tan and Xi Xiang, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Lawrence Chua

This thesis is a conservative proposal seeking an eclectic solution to provide a stable environment for Afghanistan’s people and the preservation of human history. The project [IN]visible seeks to create a point of balance between the turbulent environment and its rich historic heritage meanwhile following a preliminary, iconoclasm.

Bamiyan valley was marked as an important trans-cultural portal for Afghanistan and Central Asia. Statues, stupas, viharas, shrines, and grottos here have all witnessed the cultural creolization of this land. The government today had promised to engage in international diplomacy and make compromises. Preserving artifacts at Bamiyan is a humanitarian act and brings the government financial income.

The project seeks to find ways to preserve precious artifacts in the age of the Taliban’s regime, respecting the Taliban’s ideology on the surface while showing the real deal on the inside. Using various materials, water, and light as a tool to hide the artifacts from the surface. The design process discovers methods of visual illusion. Water, an essential element in Middle East architecture, would orient throughout the project. The stream would lead the locals and visitors to enter the project to see the actual side of these cultural artifacts.

This thesis is a pioneer experimental practice toward religious conflict that does not follow mainstream standards. It is also a conservation proposal seeking an eclectic solution to ensure a stable environment for Afghanistan’s people. In the end, no matter how the government change, it is the people’s life happiness that matters the most.

Instagram: @tototan_yx, @xxixixiwest

Guerilla Museology: By All Means Necessary by Brendan Wallace, B.Arch ’22
University of Tennessee | Advisor: Jennifer Akerman

For many, it is believable that colonialism has met its end. The latter half of the 20th century witnessed a global spirit of liberation, specifically within African and Asian continents. New annexations of land allowed nations to declare sovereignty in watershed spirit. Yet, the residual effects of the colonialist era has effectively perverted contemporary spaces, especially those typologies which have a legacy deeply rooted in the violence of looting, stealing, raping, and pillaging- namely, the museum.

While direct subjugation under colonialism may have met its end, the 21st century has challenged this premise, understanding that colonized structures remain to inhibit this “autonomy”. The likes of the Louvre, The Met, The British Museum, and the Saint Hermitage Museum, are all national treasures which lie of the heart of an imperial memoryscape. Their educational commentaries have transitioned from the national to the global scale as they are catapulted into the role of a universalist museum with artifacts from all parts of the globe. Their objects represent a past which has been bastardized, deceptively rewritten, and Westernized. Their place in the arena of global memory has prevailed on top and contribute to modern day racism, xenophobia, necropolitics, and various forms of othering.

The museum is unyielding, working as a contemporary agent for cultural genocide.

This thesis works to acknowledge these power structures and subvert them as a way of envisioning a new, equitable museumscape. I am interested in all scales of museum work to invite democratized curatorial practice. The steps are as follows:

1. creating a new museum infrastructural system to ensure curation is achieved as a global practice
2. engaging the city as a system of participatory intelligence
3. decolonizing the museum aesthetic whose expression implies subordination
4. proposing curatorial machines as curatorial agents
5. ensuring the appropriate and holistic contextualization of all objects

These steps are meant to ensure the redevelopment of public trust and redefine the everyday museumgoer as a worthy contributor to curation and exhibition practice. Guerilla Museology inspires an aggressive reclamation of curation by acknowledging the possibility of a post-museum world where the globe itself is a museum site.

Instagram: @brendan.com_, @j_akerman

Stored Labor by Kristabel Chung, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Lawrence Chua

This project examines the relationship between domestic labor laws and the “spatial practices” of migrant domestic worker (MDW) spaces in Hong Kong. The project asks, how do the designed and spatial practices of domestic worker accommodation inform us about the hierarchy and future of domestic space in Hong Kong?

In 2003, Hong Kong issued a law requiring domestic workers to live with their employers. For apartments without a designed servant space, makeshift accommodations have been created within those apartments to comply with the law. The research studies these modifications within the home and creates spatial abstractions through differently scaled models.

The spatial practice of employers and the designs of residential developers of migrant domestic worker accommodations in Hong Kong creates a hierarchy between the servant and the served through varying means, ranging from porousness to confinement. We see this in examples such as sharing spaces with other household members, living in the living room or kitchen, and in objects such as fabric partitions, unlockable doors, or security cameras.

The research is based on a survey that was carried out in collaboration with the Mission for Migrant Workers, an NGO in Hong Kong. Additionally, in-person interviews revealed that employers renovated servant spaces antithetically to the developer’s designs. The survey asked questions about privacy and had the workers draw a floor plan of their accommodations, while the interviews allowed for an intimate understanding of spaces and casts that preserve the material damage due to their labor. This project proposes shifting furniture and structural changes to the participants’ apartments to expose the absurdity of the condition.

Since many employees struggle to voice their opinions about space, the passive-aggressive act of rethinking the functions of these household objects as weapons to ensure privacy also critiques power dynamics in the household. Furniture alterations allow for the employee to play more games of resistance during the hours when the employer is at home. It utilizes what is of importance to the employer as leverage for the employee to get privacy, respect, and dignity.

Instagram: @kristabelchung

Living with Ghosts by Ximeng Luo and Shihui Zhu, B.Arch ’22
Syracuse University | Advisor: Lawrence Chua

“Maps! Living with Ghosts” is a thesis project on representation based off from our research of the border region between China and Russia, in which we translate the data collected from official statistics, policies, documents, and more private travel logs, interviews, diaries, memoirs, and literature, into a composite drawing, to explore the possibilities of images and representation techniques.

In the contemporary context, the same piece of natural land often displays a superimposition of various truths. The collapse of overlapping spacetime can be found in marks created by human construction activities, compressed into the concept of contemporaneity.

Indigenous knowledge and local understandings get lost in the supersession of the old understanding of space by the new that is observably dictated by modern maps. Hence, memory itself becomes a representation of the space being understood and remembered, and it continues to influence people’s perception of reality, like a ghost that haunts the living. While the nation state can easily encroach upon ungoverned spaces and wipe out their past, the people who lived on the land carried their ghosts with them as they proceeded in life.

In the project, individual memories are collected and translated into certain forms of representation and overlaid on top of the scientific map, showing transparency as well as complexity, a new composite representation of spatial relationships and identities.

The scene is set along the Heilongjiang. A fluid water body that feeds populations in the Russian Far East and Northeastern China, simultaneously delineates the long and winding national border between contemporary Russia and China.

The project traces the river downstream, investigating five specific sites. From man-made landscapes in the forms of nomad camp, temporary settlement, village and town, and cities in this borderland far from the state’s central power, we are looking into both the natural landscape and environment, presence of the authority, and the resulting forms of living.

Instagram: @sximengl, @sunnyynnuss

Part VII of the Student Showcase coming soon!

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.

 

What Is the Best School of Architecture?

This is a common question that people ask about all colleges and universities. You’re bound to find rankings of architecture schools and the universities that house them. There is no objective way to say which are the best schools. Best for what? For what you can afford? For the location you desire? For the size of institution you wish to attend? For the special interest on which you wish to focus?

Best should mean best for you. Understand that architecture schools are very diverse. You can find them in large public universities, in independent art schools, in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and in many other varied settings.

At the undergraduate level, prospective students and their family should discuss the student’s educational aims. An undergraduate degree can be the basis for more advanced study at the graduate level, or it can end with a direct path to a career in a firm or other setting. Each architecture program will present its strengths and provide a picture of what students can get from the program, its campus setting, and the various opportunities that the school and its faculty provide for students.

At the graduate level, students tend to understand clearly why they wish to enroll. Students have more ability to match their interests and strengths to various graduate degree options. Schools that are worthy of your focus can explain to you why graduate education will advance your career opportunities, whether this means advancement in your firm, a career change, or a path into teaching or research.

Whether you are looking at an undergraduate or graduate degree, do not hesitate to contact the admissions staff to get a better understanding of a potential school. Schools want students to succeed and should be willing to provide ample information about what makes them unique and a good choice.

At Study Architecture, we avoid ranking programs and do not recommend making decisions solely based on what a particular ranking says. The journey into an architecture program should involve reflection on where you’re going. This path should be exciting and empowering, because opportunities to thrive abound in architecture school.

American University of Cairo Students Develop Glow-In-the-Dark Concrete

Four undergraduate construction engineering students at the American University of Cairo (AUC) have created a  self-luminous concrete, which can absorb sunlight and emit light after dark. Students Fatma Elnefaly, Mayar Khairy, Zainab Mahmoud, and Menna Soliman had sustainability in the forefront as they began their thesis graduation project. Their goal was to find a way to save energy and bypass traditional energy consumption while improving the country’s infrastructure.

“Sustainability is a main theme in this project. This new concrete possesses better appearance and helps reduce the massive amount of energy used in lighting highways or providing illuminated street signals or signs needed for safe rides,” Mohamed Nagib AbouZeid said, professor of construction engineering at AUC, and supervisor of the students’ graduation project. Beyond the sustainability measures, AbouZeid added the glow-in-the-dark concrete would also enhance safety on long stretches of roads and highways in the country.

AUC-glowinthedark-Concrete

Photo credit: The American University in Cairo

Zainab Mahmoud, explained one of the many uses for the self-luminous concrete includes lighting roadways and bike paths and foregoing the use of electricity in those spaces, an opportunity that is in congruence with Egypt’s sustainability goals. “The utilization of this material in Egypt in such a context will reduce heavy reliance on electricity and accordingly be an active step towards fighting climate change and saving the environment, which is one of the main goals of COP 27 that Egypt will be hosting this year.”

“The idea of our research originated from wanting to make such an integral construction material like concrete more sustainable and environmentally friendly in both its creation and function,” Mahmoud said. The team understood the harsh environmental impacts associated with concrete and decided to look into new ways to make use of the common building material.

Fatma Elnefaly described the most challenging part of their development process was selecting, obtaining and testing locally used materials in order to ensure they were best meeting the goal of their project. “We needed to test the luminous effect of the selected materials and its effect on the mechanical properties of concrete,” she said.

“This research requires more experiments to provide reliable conclusions to plenty of crucial queries that remain to be answered,” Mayar Khairy said, in regards to the relatively novel research subject.

Earlier this year, the students showcased their work at the Transportation Research Board 101st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Menna Soliman explained that attending the conference allowed them to engage with industry experts and receive valuable advice and recommendations on how to turn their project into a product that can be commercially available in the future.

Professor AbouZeid, who attended the conference with the students in D.C., is optimistic about the direction of this research project and the importance improving and enhancing the production process from the first stage. “Future steps include producing larger quantities as pilot trials to be evaluated on actual field conditions such as a small stretch of a highway,” he said.

Since the thesis project ‘s completion, the four students were awarded the ministry shield by Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar.

 

AUC Students Receive Ministry Shield for Innovative Work

Photo credit: The American University in Cairo

All images courtesy of The American University in Cairo

Tips for Securing an Architecture Internship

Let’s talk about applying to your first internship. This can be a challenging endeavor for a variety of reasons but like any new experience, there is always an upside. Whether it is the summer before your freshman year or your junior year of college, internships are one of the best ways to gain firsthand experience in your area of interest. Often the people we meet early in our careers are a valuable resource for years to come. Here are a few tips as you put together your summer and fall plans.

Let your personality shine through your resume. 

Play with the layout and design of the document. A memorable resume is a great first impression. Don’t be afraid to play with nontraditional elements. Include an “Interests” section if you have unique hobbies.

Passion.

ACSA’s research shows firm principals hire people who are passionate about their work. Be prepared to share why you are passionate about architecture and design.

Follow your favorite companies on social media.

Companies realize that social media is often the first location for brand interaction. Many companies share their hiring goals on social media for that exact reason. You can learn about the HR department, hear from current employees about their experiences at the firm, get to know the type of projects the firm takes on, and decide if that is the right environment for you.

Google the person who will be interviewing you.

Take a little time and research a few people at the firm. You can start with the people who will be interviewing you or the partners at the firm.

Job-Person Fit

Be ready to ask hard questions. What is their stance on racial and gender inequity? How do they ensure employees get paid equitably? Interviews are just as much for you as they are for them.

Spellcheck. 

Always run spellcheck however if you can send it to a family member or friend, a second set of eyes is always best practice. Architecture is a detail-oriented profession so don’t forget to focus on the details.

Send only 2-3 of your best work examples.

Respect the hiring manager’s time by selecting only the work you are most proud of that showcases a variety of your skills and strengths. Less is more. Files that are too large may be blocked from their server.

Send a thank-you email the following day.

After interviewing with your first-choice company, leave a lasting impression by reaching out and expressing your gratitude.

Resources 

Interested in 2022 summer internships? Click here.

Please verify with the company as availability may have changed since the posting of this article.


Contact us at info@acsa-arch.org to add your Scholarship, Organization, or Resource to a future post.