TIME: Research - 15 weeks
Design - 15 Weeks
“Tribes which have in the past been “relocated” have without exception suffered, culturally and physically, as a result. Many have been driven to extinction.”
Patrick Cunningham, Tribes Alive
The construction of the Belo Monte Dam along the Xingu River in Brazil is leaving the indigenous communities and the environment without the one resource needed the most: water. This will have lasting impacts upon the local communities, the surrounding territory within the Amazon Rainforest, and ultimately the globe due to the Amazon Rainforest’s regulatory mediation of the global hydrological and climate cycle. To combat the effects of this infrastructure, Perpetuate: Sustaining the water cycle will bring together an international research center with one tribe of the Araweté indigenous people to share a common system of resources to perpetuate the cycle of water. Together, these two groups of people will maintain a way of life so influenced by water while understanding the environmental consequences of the dam and ensuring cultural preservation.
El Naranjo, Nicaragua
TIME: One Week
ORGANIZATION: Global Brigades - Architecture Brigade
Global Brigades’ mission is to empower communities through sustainable community development. Over one week, a group of seven PSU students paired with a team of 24 Notre Dame students on a hybrid architecture and public health brigade in Nicaragua. Over the course of four days, the students were able to build an entire house from concrete masonry blocks, wood, and corrugated aluminum and two washing stations each with a sink, latrine, and shower. Through the process of working with local masons, students learn the skills to construct the house and washing stations while working with the community members that these projects will benefit.
New York, NY
TIME: Twelve Weeks
LARCH 497A is a course designed to teach about contemporary urban landscapes in New York City through diagrammatic analysis of parks and site visitations to parks. The course was broken into three segments: History, Analyze, and Curate/Publish. The history segment analyzed the park's urban context, location within NYC, and historical significance and changes. The second portion of the course focused on understanding the park's program, plantings, uses, and design through a drawing and diagrammatic analysis. Lastly, the work of the entire class was put together in a publication for the university.
For this class, I studied the Hudson River Park Segment 5 Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) in 2010.
New York City, NY
TIME: Six Weeks
AWARDS: National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) Design Competition, First Prize
This live/work academy for visiting scholars is a part of the Parsons New School Academy in New York. This residence is designed to foster community within the school and the city as a whole by serving as an extension of the High Line Park. The mixed-use educational program combines temporary residences and studios with public exhibition spaces to promote the exchange of ideas between scholars and the community. The surrounding architectural language influences the building’s glazing and custom masonry block design
The Ale Way combines a performative landscape with an adaptive reuse brewery. The pathway connects the programmatic pieces of the brewery, housed in an industrial warehouse, and creates a destination to unify the surrounding towns. The forms of the path are inspired by the act of pouring beer and the patterns generated in the foam and carbonation.
TIME: Twelve Weeks
Awards: Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) Student Design Award
“Open Stage,” the University of the Arts’ new student hub, fosters collaboration between students of various disciplines while creating a relationship with the surrounding city. With a glass façade allowing students to derive artistic inspiration from the city of Philadelphia, the role reverses at night with the illumination of the interior exposing the city to the creativity and artistry of the students. An open plan with interspersed mezzanines creates an environment to provide visual connectivity between the disciplines. The hub functions as a venue to showcase performances, exhibitions, and social interactions between the students and the city.
Through the integration of light and abandoned buildings, the relationship digital artist Ed Purver shared with his work in digital light projections manifested itself into his residence designed at the industrial Corning Glass Factory in State College, PA. The form of the residence was derived from the shadows cast by the existing buildings at the site. These forms created the light boxes for Purver to experiment with light and shadow in his own residence. Lastly, by developing a terrace at the edge of the site, Purver could use the surrounding buildings of the factory to showcase more of his own projections.
Mang'ula A&B, Near Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania
TIME: Six Weeks
TEAM: Amy Foster
STUDY ABROAD: People and Places: Biodiversity Conservation in Tanzania
The eastern portion of Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania, receives approximately two meters of rainfall each year concentrated into five months. This rainfall places a heavy burden on the infrastructure within rural villages and results in widespread flooding and erosion. In addition to erosion of roadways and pathways, a lack of sanitary infrastructure allows storm water to carry waste and debris throughout villages. This and a lack of drainage can lead to health-related problems generated by standing water and pollution of ground, surface, and open water resources - especially where water comes into contact with human and animal wastes. These problems are exacerbated by the growing population which results in rural expansion and in informal settlements with a lack of utility infrastructure (Sakijege, 2013).
This projects aims to identify and illustrate design and planning strategies that address the water related issues associated with the construction and planning of individual household units within expanding rural Tanzanian villages with varying economic circumstances. This project will generate design schemes for the rural Tanzanian households surrounding the Eastern boundary of the Udzungwa Mountains National Park with environmentally sustainable designs incorporating water management, human and household waste disposal, and programmatic relationships of buildings and landscape.
At the end of the project, we gave presentations to community members to spread the information about the ideas generated during the course of the project, and made posters to distribute throughout the villages that translators would translate into Swahili or the local dialects. The use of many graphics will ensure that the concepts are expressed regardless of the audience's literacy proficiency.
State College, PA
TIME: 7 Weeks | Construction 3 Weeks
TEAM: Section 2 Studio
For this design build project, we worked with the Penn State University recycling center to design a space at the recycling center for outdoor presentations and functions. Our architecture class of fifty students divided into four sections, each taking on a different part of the project: Master planning + designing the paving patterns; concrete wall; concrete table + chairs for forty people; and a projection screen. My section, with twelve members, was in charge of master planning for the entire recycling center as well as creating the paving patterns for the terrace.
To highlight the act of recycling, each section utilized reclaimed and recycled
materials. The terrace design incorporates a lotus flower with petals pointing in the cardinal directions constructed from two types of brick and slate left over from prior university projects.
The construction process lasted on site for two weeks. It began with leveling the site using three grades and layers of rock and tampered to create a level foundation capable for water to permeate into the ground. Geotextiles, fabricated from weaving plastic strips from broken recycling bins, were added for further stabilization and reinforcement. To ensure the terrace surface would be perfectly level, we used a process with a screed board over two metal pipes to move the gravel evenly across. This was then tampered and repeated twice across the whole terrace.
Using mathematical calculations, we constructed a grid of posts to define the center points for our circle-based patterns. Using string and spray paint, we outlined the pattern of the circle and began to lay the bricks inside the patterns. For intricate pieces, we used both hand-cutting and electrical means to cut the unique bricks. Once all the bricks were laid, a gravel layer was swept over top to fill in the voids between each brick.
Our next task was to fill the petals with pieces of broken slate. This posed a challenge because the slate had a multitude of different thicknesses. This meant we needed to add more or less gravel underneath each and every piece in order to achieve a level surface. Once we finished the slate, we added a recycled metal bowl in the center filled with tumbled glass. The colors of glass represented the earth as well as drawing a connection to the glass used as aggregate in the concrete table. Lastly we added an edger around the brick to prevent the bricks
from shifting. We used recycled Trex decking and metal steaks. After that was finished, we raked mulch around the terrace and into the planters where future plants will take root.
Villa Bourghese, Rome, Italy
The Eventarium began with a group master plan for the Galoppatoio in Villa Borghese located just beyond the ancient city walls of Rome. This space would enhance the existing park located atop a parking garage structure with the addition of a museum, shopping mall, and equestrian arena. The master plan was generated utilizing a series of axes following the entrances to the park and optimizing the circulation through the site. The buildings were designed with the same language but individually. I designed the museum utilizing offset axes and integrating a circular light well relating to the circular vents protruding from the parking garage into the site.
TIME: Two Weeks
This assignment was to create a bookcase from a module. The added challenge was that it had to be flat pack furniture and be able to completely collapse. This bookcase took on the form of a wave which, through replication of the module, allowed the project to be recreated in a multitude of ways. The project was crafted with plywood milled on a CNC Router.