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Intersight 15 is dedicated in loving memory of Miss Sydney Gross A wildly vibrant young lady, whose laughter echoed into the late hours of studio, making each day a bit brighter. With a contagious smile, and a heart that was infinitely bigger than the body she was given, she left a smile on all of the 2012 graduates’ faces. She lives within each of us everyday as we smile, remembering her beautiful life.


INTERSIGHT Editor’s Acknowledgments Intersight 15 is an annual publication embodying work completed by the students in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. The publication seeks to represent the current trends of academia portrayed through the pedagogy of the university in the year of 2012. Intersight 15 is made possible through the Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellowship, an endowment created by Kathryn Brunkow Sample and Steven B. Sample, former president of the University at Buffalo, and the continued generosity of Cannon Design. It is with my sincere gratitude that I thank them for their commitment to the professions, the education of architects and planners, and continued support which makes the publication possible. The publication of Intersight 15 is the realization of a vision to transform the school’s journal to both printed work and published work on the web. The principal goal of this vision is to widely dissipate the current work of our architecture and planning students to our printed audience, as well as our global web audience. With this new presence it seemed only fitting to find in Intersight 15 a similar vision of our students’ work, both centered locally in the communities of Buffalo, New York, but also their incredible involvement in the world at large. UB Architecture and Planning students can be found globally, pursuing their individual ideas, designs, and initiatives. It is a very exciting time in our school and in our students’ lives to be pursuing work of great consequence. Many thanks to Dean Robert Shibley, Chair Omar Khan, Doug McCallum, Bill McDonnell, Subbiah Mantharam, Barb Carlson and Rachel Teaman for their continuous managerial support. Without all of your input and hard work none of this would have been possible. A special thank you, as well, to the board who inspired the very roots of both the publication and the generation of content for the web. Beth Tauke, Martha Bohm, Joyce Hwang, and John Brennan: thank you for your careful and guiding vision! It has been my honor to have been a part of Intersight 15. The work of the students, faculty, and welcomed visitors around me is endlessly inspiring, and I hope you get a taste of that in this volume of Intersight 15.

-Alyssa Phelps Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellow, 2012-2013


INTERSIGHT Undergraduate Architecture

Niagara Falls, New York Niagara Falls, New York

Global Design Initiative

UB in Buffalo & The World American South Estonia Tokyo, Japan Aarhus, Denmark Monteverde, Costa Rica Barcelona, Spain

Urban & Regional Planning + Environmental Design Niagara Falls, New York


Graduate Architecture Dharavi, Mumbai Global Design Initiative

Global Design Initiative Global Design Initiative Songdo, Korea Global Design Initiative Toledo, Ohio

Global Design Initiative

Global Design Initiative Global Design Initiative


United States



INTERSIGHT Letter from the Dean Students of the School of Architecture and Planning engage Buffalo and the world as their laboratory for testing, building and advancing knowledge in architecture and planning. Our journal of student work, Intersight, presents the products of their research enquiry over the past year. From neighborhood planning in Buffalo to global studios in Barcelona, our students directly engage with the planning problems and design opportunities of our time. As you’ll see in the pages ahead, ideas that start in the classroom and studio come to life in the places and spaces of our local and global communities. Reflective of our learn-by-doing approach to architecture and planning, our enterprising students are constantly “making” or “doing” through built works, creative activity and research. Our students take full advantage of our location in Buffalo, an ideal site of investigation for global issues in architecture and planning. An international city with rich architectural and urban design legacies, the Buffalo region also offers a built and social landscape ripe for experimentation and intervention. The results of their work are internationally significant and directly contribute to the renaissance and rebirth of our city and region. Consider “Elevator B,” a 22-foot steel tower housing a colony of bees that was built by five of our students at Silo City, a dense cluster of grain elevators along Buffalo’s waterfront. The result of a student design competition organized by our architecture faculty, Elevator B is a distinctive landmark and a key part of Silo City’s growing reputation as a cultural and architectural destination. The project is also the Jury Award winner in the Student Design/Build Project category of the 2013 Architizer A+ Awards, a highly regarded international architecture award. The global community equally serves as a design laboratory for the Buffalo School. Through our study abroad program, the largest at UB, students take their scholarship around the world, whether through immersive studios in Barcelona and Tokyo, the exploration of post-Socialist development in Estonia, or hands on experiments in wind energy and landscape architecture along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Students return from these experiences inspired and with broadened perspectives as future architects and planners. Through joint studios and collaborative research endeavors, our students actively work across the fields of architecture and planning and with related disciplines across the university. Their scholarly endeavors, from the spring 2012 Bridge Studio to envision a bridge to connect Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors, to the innovative application of GIS, a common planning tool, in architectural design, our students embody the Buffalo School mission of “architecture + planning on purpose.” Indeed, Intersight is a clear reflection of the talent, creativity and collaborative spirit that defines our Buffalo School community. This compilation could not have been possible without the leadership and creative energy of its editorial team, led by Alyssa Phelps. The Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellowship, generously endowed by Kathryn Brunkow Sample and Steven B. Sample, continues to guide this publication as a celebration of student excellence. Intersight is further made possible by the ongoing support of Cannon Design. As the Buffalo School heads down an exciting path of growth, with new academic programs, an expanding research enterprise and new efforts to engage our alumni and friends around the world, Intersight provides the inspiration to forge ahead. I hope your reading of Intersight leaves you as inspired and energized as I am.

Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, AICP Dean, School of Architecture and Planning



United States


Student : First Last Project Title


Hive City Competition

ELEVATOR B Students: Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Dan Nead, Scott Selin, and Lisa Stern Elevator B is a 22-foot tall urban habitat for a colony of honey bees which originally occupied an abandoned office building in Buffalo, NY. The tower is an iconic gesture of the regeneration of Silo City, both environmentally and economically. Silo City is a group of largely abandoned grain elevators and silos on the Buffalo River. The tower is a honeycombed steel structure which was designed and built utilizing standard steel angle and tube section. The structure is sheathed in perforated stainless steel panels that were designed to protect the hive and its visitors from the wind, and allow for both solar gain and shading.


United States




The Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS Arch) is a pre-professional baccalaureate degree. Students in their freshmen year develop skills in drawing, modeling and full-scale prototyping. The sophomore year introduces historical precedence and building typology. In the junior year, students investigate the integration of building systems and how that influences program and responsiveness to environmental factors. In the final year, students are tasked with developing a multi-housing scheme from concept to construction details. The BS Arch is designed to instill concepts and skills, and complete all prerequisites for entry into a two-year accredited professional master of architecture (MArch) degree program.


United States


Student Group Catenary Shell

INTERSIGHT G. Rafailidis, C. Romano, M. Hume TA: R. Garlow Generative Spatial Processes ARC 102 | Undergraduate Studio

CATENARY SHELL Nicholas Alteri, Russell Perry, Caroline Niederpruem, Lauren Josselyn, Deirdre Ryan, Nicholas Traverse, Matt Benjamin


The manipulation of a flexible material, like burlap, with the addition of hydrocal allowed for a unique type of hardness and yet flexibility. The contrast between the two materials resulted in something both visually and structurally intriguing. The floorplan of the studio became the basis of design. Two sheets of burlap spanned the floor, while vertical suspension points from existing beams provided points for pleats, as well as support structure. The burlap was dipped in hydrocal, and suspended with a pulley system. Pleats were formed, and additional hydrocal was layered. Once hardened, it was rotated to create the intended enclosed space.




Fort Niagara Visitor Center Student : Hoang Vy N Bui

D. Maher, G. Delaney, J. Oakley, M. Rogers, K. Tashjian, M. Williams The Bundle ARC 201 | Undergraduate Studio


My bundle was made from a selection of found artifacts. It contains hard materials such as plastics and softer materials like rubber and paper. Binding the bundle, tape acts as a medium that sets an end to the spaces. Conceptually, the experience of tightness is contrasted with the experience of openness within the bundle. The proposal for the visitor center of Fort Niagara modifies the occupants’ views of the Fort using structural elements, the vertical fins. The vertical fins not only function as structural elements, but also control sight: creating openness and tightness, a concept from the bundle. The fins are at certain angles, leading the viewers to focus on certain parts of the existing site in Fort Niagara.


Niagara Falls, New York

Student : Micaela Barker Found Architecture

INTERSIGHT D. Maher, G. Delaney, J. Oakley, M. Rogers, M. Zinski The Bundle ARC 202 | Undergraduate Studio


The bundle was assembled from a selection of found artifacts. The bundle contained “hard material” in the form of small objects and “soft material” such as cloth, mesh, or paper products. A section through the bundle revealed its spatial qualities, which was represented through different modeling materials such as wood, foam, cork and paper. The bundle was then placed on a specific point of the thick brick retaining wall on the east side of the Fort Niagara. This location allows the theatre to have a rotation point, solid earth works, thick retaining walls and exterior voids to work with in order to create an inhabitable architecture. The sections exemplify how the earth works of the site cover the structure and the roof area becomes inhabitable lookout space. The columns protruding from the roof are light wells that allow the architecture to be lit with natural light.

Niagara Falls, New York


Two-Tier Transformation Student : Ilana Simhon

INTERSIGHT J. Hwang, M. Bohm, N. Bruscia, G. Serweta, S. Vito Gated Community ARC 301 | Undergraduate Studio


Two-Tier Reformation is a two-tier prison system that strives to simultaneously remedy the prisoner reform issue in the United States while tackling the decaying conditions of the City of Buffalo, especially the depressed downtown community. A hierarchical system of security levels will instill motivation in the prisoners on their journey from level one to post-prison, low-income housing located in the currently vacant homes of East Buffalo. An electronic assembly plant in conjunction with education will allow the prisoners to develop a work ethic and a sense of responsibility that will initiate their transition back into society. Companies will be provided with tax incentives and the factory will stimulate peripheral business that can revitalize the economy. The traditional prison barriers will be broken to invite the public inside to provide a new source for community interaction.

Visitor Entry

Incarcerated Persons

Level 1 Security Cells Common Space Factory

Level 2 Security


Post Prison Housing


Outsourced Labor Shipping Costs



Prisoner Entry Delivery Entry Inmate Entry

Student : Vincent Ribeiro Selective Branching

INTERSIGHT J. Geiger, B. Carter, N. Feliz, C. Gambetta, B. Wales Life Cycles ARC 302 | Undergraduate Studio


The structure of the cereus stenogonus cactus plant is constantly evolving according to the purpose each limb serves. How can we design a space that can evolve by expanding and contracting in a similar way? First, one needs to be completely in tune with the natural surroundings. We must not build structures that simply enclose nature and do not allow for growth and movement, but, instead, consider a living, breathing organism that, by mimicking nature, can change, adapt and evolve. This gives visitors a completely new experience every time they enter this ‘living’ community. The project, commissioned for the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, succeeds in creating an environment that can adapt in the same way the plants it houses adapt to their surroundings.



Together Home Student : Joseph Swerdlin

INTERSIGHT A. LeCuyer, N. Feliz, S. López-Piñeiro, K. MacKay, B. Wales, H. Warren Comprehensive Studio ARC 403 | Undergraduate Studio

TOGETHER HOME Joseph Swerdlin

An innovative approach to helping people climb out of poverty has been established by Family Independence Initiative founded by Maurice Lim Miller. This approach to achieving economic and social stability is based on group support, pooled resources, and following examples of those who have succeeded. All of these activities suggest a communal lifestyle to create accountability among small groups of people who wish to add a sense of security to their lives. This is the basis for the organization of the housing pods: clusters of families who live and work together to achieve individual and common goals. Together Homes discovers an architecture that materializes a communal, anti-poverty model and helps families create new positive lives through valuing education, pooling resources, and collaborating to create accountability.

ELEV - 68’ - 3” ROOF

2’ – 0”

16’ – 11”

ELEV - 48’ - 3” 2’ – 0”

9’ – 1”


11’ – 1”

ELEV - 37’ - 4” 2’ – 0”


11’ – 1” 9’ – 1”

ELEV - 26’ - 1” 2’ – 0”


11’ – 1” 9’ – 1”

ELEV - 15’ - 2” 2’ – 0”


14’ – 6”

ELEV - 0’ - 6” 2’ – 8”


20’ – 6” 18’ – 1”




Student : Andrew Delle Bovi Density Unification

INTERSIGHT A. LeCuyer, N. Feliz, S. L贸pez-Pi帽eiro, K. MacKay, B. Wales, H. Warren Comprehensive Studio ARC 403 | Undergraduate Studio


The site is located in Buffalo, New York, on the corner of Elmwood and Bryant Streets. During initial observations of the Elmwood strip, I noted various types of housing situations in the vicinity: family homes, row houses, as well as apartment buildings. This led me to the decision to accommodate all of these housing conditions by incorporating them into a single superstructure. This superstructure allows for each housing type to plug in on different floors of the building. The entire compilation of housing was treated like a vertical street with exterior circulation acting as sidewalks and public stairways to move up and down. Additionally, by creating parks on alternating floors, social interactions are encouraged between different housing types and the general public.

The Family

The Flexible

The Commuter

The Student




Formicis Student Group

M. Rogers Organizationally Emergent Architecture ARC 499 | Independent Study

FORMICIS Peter Foti, Vincent Ribeiro, Daniel Vrana

Our intent was to explore organizationally emergent architectural networks by building a 4,000-piece component wall that stands 8’x8’x2.5’. Our core question is: Can complex emergent structures be documented and built using standard 2D documentation techniques? Our position is that a major limitation of building complex architectural form is in interfacing with the manual assembly process of the construction industry, and that this is foremost an issue of communicating variation with precision. By designing a complex structure, documenting it and building it, we hope to push the limits of standard 2D documentation, invent novel indexing systems of description, and delineate a prefabrication/pre-assembly process that brings efficiency and order into the construction of formally complex architecture.


Global Design Initiative

Student Group The Wrap

INTERSIGHT B. Wales Cycles ARC 448 | Design Build Seminar

THE WRAP David Heaton, Hannah Ihrke, Ryan Sidor

Cycles is an environmentally responsive three-channel outdoor video installation with surround sound created by videographer/filmmaker Brian Milbrand and architect/videographer Brad Wales with the UB Department of Architecture Small Built Works Program. The initial concept for Cycles was inspired by Charles Burchfield’s interest in the cycles of the seasons. The intent of Cycles is to engage all aspects of the site and situation on the Elmwood Avenue side of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. The installation will act simultaneously as a backdrop, focal point and theatrical space, as both an information monitor and situationist device. Cycles of daily human activity and micro-climate environmental cycles will energize and morph the installation. The Wrap consists of three different materials that twist around a central core, and vanish at the peak. Each material is representative of a different anthropomorphic element; the concrete is symbolic of the base of the body, the steel acts as the strong structure, and the glass as the visual clarity and means of projection.




Traveling can enhance architecture students’ awareness of the world and bring them closer to understanding global diversity and appreciating what is universal and unique to a culture. The School of Architecture and Planning offers exchange programs, study abroad programs, trips within the United States, and global summer studios each year at local and international locations. Exchange programs, US travel programs, and summer study abroad programs are offered on a regular basis. Global studios are offered each summer at differing locations from year to year, in order to provide the most diverse studio opportunities for students.


United States


Student Groups Exploring the American South | Estonia

INTERSIGHT G. Delaney, C. Romano B/a+p Goes South! Architecture + Planning Travel Study

EXPLORING THE AMERICAN SOUTH Dillon Ballinger, Timothy Boll, Andrew Connorton, Colleen Creighton, Daniel Fiore, Peter Foti, Germania Garzon, Brianne Gertin, Phil Gusmano, Robert Handler, Andrew Koudlai, James Kubiniec, Angela Loffa, Matthew Long, Lance Lowell, John Mellas, Teresa Morinello, Alexandra Nicosias-Kopp, Angela Pellet, Regina Phalange, William Pople, Jesse Pringle, Moath Rababah, Ariel Resnick, Aaron Salva, Ilana Simhon, Joseph Tuberdyck, Daniel Vrana

The program’s home base: a bus, where time between sites is used to revisit them in the form of student presentations and critical discussions. When the bus de-boards, the classroom follows, as students deepen their understanding of space and design through the acts of sketching, analytical note taking, diagramming, and spatial experience. While both exhilarating and exhausting, Exploring the American South presents students with an incredible opportunity to further knowledge of history, expand architectural vocabulary, build an immense catalog of references and enhance abilities to make arguments in a public forum, all amongst a diverse mix of undergraduate and graduate students. D. Hess Estonia Architecture + Planning Study Abroad

ESTONIA Lewis Bondor, Cory Davies, Deanna Moran, Brian Ravinsky, Michael Sakalauskas, Greg Shermeto, Saira Siddidqui, Christopher Snyder, Lucas Strittmatter, Tim Weber, Chenhong Zhu

The course is centered in Estonia, recognized for its high standard of living, wholesome way of life, up-and-coming economy, and export of technology. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Republic of Estonia has experienced sweeping social changes and fundamental shifts in its government and economy. Government policy and local infrastructure—formerly developed and controlled under centralized policy constraints— have undergone significant geo-political changes in recent years, which are reflected in metropolitan spatial structure and the design, construction, and use of the built environment. This summer abroad helps prepare students to live in, and lead, our globally interdependent society.


American South



Tokyo Student Group

J. Geiger, N. Bruscia Tokyo, Japan Architecture Study Abroad

TOKYO Cassidy Huls, Chelsea Davis, Cheng Yang Lee, Daniel Vrana, Danielle Krug, Jon King, Nathaniel Gange, Nathaniel Heckman, Phil Gusmano, Shawn Lewis, Timothy Ung, Whitney Van Houten “In Tokyo there is no language of urban form or binding by geometry. Events (and non-events) occur with such randomness and frequency that patterns and hierarchies cease to be discernable. Order is not visual, although it is present as a complex code programmed by the media and tradition. Objects and buildings float in the ‘field’ - lifeboats and pleasure yachts, sinking, drifting, always at peril in the urban storm.” - Peter Wilson, Western Objects, Eastern Fields

Anthropologists, when conducting fieldwork, will often spend hundreds of hours observing and recording the behaviors of their subjects. Later, these recordings are coded into complex data sets so as to allow for statistical analysis. While our purpose will have a different scope and set of goals, our process of observing the events, non-events, flows, and fluxes of Tokyo will be similar. The city is at once our laboratory and case study from which we will attempt to cull emergent behaviors and relationships between the physicality and use of urban public space. Through observation mappings we will encode our experiences into drawings and models using mixed media formats to both represent as well as analzye the various urban conditions at play.


Tokyo, Japan

Student : John Brennan ECO Tower

INTERSIGHT Aarhus Arkitektskolen Aarhus, Denmark Architecture Semester Abroad

ECO TOWER John Brennan

Aarhus, Denmark, as a location for both living and learning has lots to offer. The country has roots in medieval and Viking architecture, as well as a newer reputation for clean design. The city also offers a vibrant cycling and mass transit system. Further travel opportunities exist in the many neighboring European countries. The semester focused of the idea of an Eco Tower. The goals were to take the vibrant life found in the streets of Germany, and orient it upwards into the tower. The towers are situated in Munich, Germany, on the site of the 1972 Olympic Games. These towers analyze the idea of neighborhoods in the sky and permit a resident to identify their home from across the city. The towers are broken into units, and each one is linked to the next, thus creating a vertical neighborhood. The spaces between these units allow for extensive gardening, acting as common neighborhood space. Completed with Marius Slawik (Dusseldorf, Germany)

Aarhus, Denmark



Sustainable Futures Student Group

C. Romano, M. Bohm Monteverde, Costa Rica Architecture + Planning Study Abroad o

SUSTAINABLE FUTURES Matthew Geiger, Alex Neubauer, Ariel Resnick, Christa Trautman, Alexander Wise, Brittany Cohen , Thomas DeGra, Jennifer Dow, Nicole Nguyen, Maya Shermer



Bosque Natural


The 2012 Sustainable Futures team was approached by the Monteverde Sports Committee to help in research and design development for a regional sports facility. We were honored that the committee came to us with a project of such magnitude, both in terms of development and community impact. This project would be the first major sports facility to accommodate an entire region since the construction of La Sabana in the capital city of San Jose. During our work, we focused on ideas of environmental and community sustainability. The sports committee currently has a site in mind that is about three hectares. Once the land is acquired, the committee can put in a bid to the National Sports Ministry to host the National Games that take place each year. Once this is complete, Monteverde could win their bid which would bring them funding from the National Sports Ministry to build required facilities.




Monteverde, Costa Rica


Student Group Vertical Rambla

INTERSIGHT D. Maher, N. Feliz, S. Bragulat Barcelona, Spain Architecture Study Abroad

VERTICAL RAMBLA Michael Lempert, Andrew Delle Bovi, Katie Heritage, Justina Zifchock, Alex Nowak, Kathryn Hobert, Lauren Colley, Sandra Huezo, Ashley Rubino, Kim Dai, Stacy Brisbane, Dustin Welch

ƻÌŸǼŸ¶NjƼÌǣ Photographs



ǢÌŸƼrɮsNjOÞǣs Shop Exercise

Students undertook the project in a workshop space provided by Beth Gali Architects in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. Over a period of two months, the twelve program participants considered Barcelona’s Rambla as a catalyst for producing a new collective interpretation of the city. Their work was realized through a large-scale drawing that measures approximately 20’ x 5’, in addition to various three-dimensional models and films that they produced. The students’ confrontations with the city gave rise to newly emergent forms and orders, dynamic boundaries, and suggestive spatial possibilities. Over time, the representation began to construct a new reality of the city. By bringing the less visible realities of the city to the surface, the drawing allowed the students to understand those realities in a new way. The students considered the drawing as the beginning of a new utopian urban condition. They translated the spatial and social aspects of the drawing into a vertical tower construction, proposing a new Vertical Rambla at the southern end of the Rambla.

Exploded Spatial Distribution

Based on the seperated layers of the drawing ^ɴˠ˚ˢ

ǢsOǼÞŸŘ^NjɠÞض Section Drawings

ōɴĶNj Mylar

Dǣs^NjɠÞŘǣ Base Drawings

Barcelona, Spain



The Environmental Design BA provides students with the skills to understand, analyze, and solve problems associated with urban development and the design of sustainable environments. Environmental design applies knowledge of social science and design to plan and develop community environments that affect and are affected by human behavior. While concerned about humanity’s use, misuse, and abuse of the natural environment, environmental design also is concerned with the planned environment which humans build – the “artificial” or designed physical environment – and its ability to meet community needs. The Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program at the University at Buffalo intends to prepare students to become versatile and ethical professionals. We provide such capabilities through instruction in theories and methods of planning, planning practicums, and exposure to specialized fields within urban planning, including urban design, community development, international and economic development, environmental planning, and geographic information systems. We are committed to growing excellence in conveying such capabilities, doing so in ways that engage students in issues of diversity, and extending our teaching to students of diverse backgrounds. Along with the dual MArch/MUP with the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning inaugurated a JD/MUP program in conjunction with the Law School during academic 2006-2007.


United States


Student Group Energizing Niagara Street

INTERSIGHT H. Hata Theories of Urban Settlements PD 566/ARC 566 | Seminar

ENERGIZING NIAGARA STREET Stacy Brisbane, Andrew Connorton, Angela Pellett, Dustin Welch Utilizing an existing brownfield site on Niagara Street and Lafayette, we proposed a park space that also provides waterfront access. Instead of removing the existing contaminated land, we propose a natural remediation strategy. Through the use of a sloped site, with plantings, contaminates are removed. We created a raised, tiered park above the existing site, which allows views to the remediation of the site below as well as a pathway system to bring visitors to the waterfront.



Heritage Discovery Center Student Group

INTERSIGHT H. Hata, H. Warren Heritage Discovery Center PD 450 | Environmental Design Workshop

HERITAGE DISCOVERY CENTER Student Group (see below)

The class engages the Western New York Railway Historical Society (RHS) to assist them in further developing a vision for the “Heritage Discovery Center” located in Buffalo, NY. As currently envisioned, it reuses the existing industrial site on the north bank of the Buffalo River and includes multi-use venues such as indoor and outdoor museums, public spaces, classrooms and archives, restaurants, a new train station for excursion trips and a streetcar connection to downtown. Together, it is a “new urban campus” for Western New York/Buffalo’s train and industrial museums.

Solar & Wind Energy

Green Roof

Grey Water System

Student Group: Samantha Axberg, Michael Battipaglia, Lewis Bondor, Richard Burdish, Stephanie Burse, Alan Chan, Ashlie Clement, Jacob Clyde, Cory Davies, Eric Ennis, Bradley Everdyke, Nicholas Falanga, William Frantz, Juliana Gadanyi, Brianne Gertin, Curtiss Gorman, Carlos Guadalupe, Lauren Hall, Robert Hayes, Claire Achtyl, Jeffrey Hollern, David Jacobi, Nahshon Jagroop, Steven Janovic, William Kaicher, Kevin Lang, Jade Lewis, Angela Loffa, Timothy Masters, Nicole McMahon, Killian Miles, Deanna Moran, Ryan OʼDoherty, Jake Palant, William Pople III, Brian Ravinsky Jr, Shawn Saddleson, Douglas Sangster, Greg Shermeto, Saira Siddiqui, Christopher Snyder, Adam Van Hise, Timothy Weber, Sean Wheeler, Josh Whitener, Christopher Whittaker, Leah Wightman, Rebecca Yanus, Douglas Yormick Jr, Andre Young, Tingting Zhang, Chenhong Zhu


















11,250 SF









Niagara Falls, New York


Student Group Bridge Studio

INTERSIGHT H. Hata, H. Warren A Vision for Buffalo Harbor Bridge and the Outer Harbor PD 581/ARC 608.1 | Seminar

BRIDGE STUDIO Brendan Anderson, Daniel Nead, Jessica Hall, Tine He, Kyle Mastalinski The development of the outer harbor and its waterfront – the potential to be Buffalo’s prime public space -- has been in large part hampered by the lack of direct access from downtown. The Canal Side, though at its early stage of the development, and the First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres, are located at the foot of Main Street and contribute to bringing large numbers of people downtown. A new bridge linking the foot of Main Street and the outer harbor will remain as an important public task for Buffalo. The intent of the studio is two-fold: one is to develop a preliminary design of Buffalo Harbor Bridge, a proposed new bridge over the Buffalo River linking the foot of Main Street to the outer harbor; and the second is to propose a vision for the redevelopment of the northern portion of the Outer Harbor. Envisioning the potential shaping of the area will result in an alternative master plan.

ondept: Ship’s Hull v. Bridge



Seamless Transitions Student Group

INTERSIGHT K. Traynor Deaconess Site within the Kingsley Neighborhood PD 585 | Seminar

SEAMLESS TRANSITIONS Student Group (see below)

“Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” - Jane Jacobs The Kingsley neighborhood contains a fair housing stock; however, many houses require rehabilitation due to abandonment and neglect. Homes in this neighborhood feature front porches, back yards and represent a number of American styles. The demolition of the German Deaconess Hospital is an opportunity to improve the current housing stock and incorporate infill housing that aligns with the character and history of the neighborhood. All new development should maintain the sense of place and be street facing/front gables. The streets should continue to accommodate two-way traffic as well as on-street parking. Streets also should be constructed to encourage walkability and bicycling, and should create a sense of “eyes on the street” by maintaining porches that open onto the street. Spaces for community gardens should be incorporated into the neighborhood design. Raised beds should be provided for this purpose. Gardens should be accessible to residents of all abilities but not be an open public space for residents outside the development. Porches are recommended on the first floor and must not be enclosed. Porches must be at-grade but maintain the look and feel of a raised front porch. A pediment defining the entry stairs is encouraged. New structures must maintain the porch entrance to the left or right or center.

Student Group: Cristina Delgado, Christina Farrell, Patrick Gooch, Zhengting He, Kimika Hudson, Vigneshwar Kailasam, Christine Krolewicz, Joonsung Lee, Francisca Licona, Kiersten Minnick, Silky Misra, Byron Nicholas, Paria Negahdarikia, Subhashni Raj, Emery Rizzo, Joseph Sievert, Jia Xie, Yuxiang Zhai



Student : Daniel Nead Post Conflict Re-Use of Military Systems Rolling Construction Response

INTERSIGHT Committee: B. Tauke, E. Sternberg

Temporary School Facility Prior to and During Construction

MArch + MUP Thesis

Advances to Next Site



Daniel Nead The ultimate goal of the thesis was to bring attention to the potential mobile reuse of surplus military systems in a civil-aid role; the aim was that the exploration would generate future interest and research into the practice. The reuse of military surplus for civil infrastructure is an under-explored topic. Furthermore, the new education system in Afghanistan is under a great deal of strain.

3 1

Deployment During Construction

School without a Building


Mobility was the primary concept investigated in this study; the conex container was the most promising system to carry out the practice. An exploration of mobile applications for educational program use was conducted through a review of historical and contemporary precedents and practices.

Deployment of Mobile Facility


Mobile Vocational and Skill Training

Temporary Training Courses - Community Based Approach

Rolling Construction- A fully mobile system would complement a rolling construction strategy. If a school was without buildings, a fully mobile school could be deployed. When funding and operations begin with the construction of a standard, permanent facility, the mobile school could be sent to the next location awaiting facilities. In this manner, the mobile facility would not lose its value upon completion of its service in one location.

Agrictultural Sciences TVET School

Veterinary Sciences TVET School

Mobile TVET Facility

City/Village Poppy Dependence

Technical + Vocational Education Training (TVET)


Mobile Vocational & Skill Training - (Instead of Centralized Regional Hub): Due to widespread need for tradeskills, technical training could also operate locally for a limited period of time before moving on to the next rural center. In some ways this is more logical than a centralized hub as each village only needs a certain quantity of individuals skilled in a specific trade. Working on a rotation, each rural center could be exposed to a variety of training centers over a several-year basis. This form also would support efforts of micro-banking and community development.


Economic Dependence on Opium Reduced over Time




The 3.5-year track offers students with a degree in a field other than architecture an opportunity to obtain an accredited Master of Architecture degree. The initial four semesters of a core studio sequence introduce students to the values, issues, and methods of architectural design. Projects address spatial, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic problems related to decision making in design. In the final three semesters of the 3.5-year track and all four semesters of the two-year track, students take courses under the guidance of Graduate Research Groups (GRGs) and visiting faculty/researchers that expose them to multi-disciplinary modes of working on design projects. Our current areas of concentrations are Ecological Practices, Inclusive Design, Material Culture and Situated Technologies. The upper-level studios develop positions and skills as they relate to design process, collaboration, and research. Each advanced studio is organized around the study of applied research to buildings, environment, and/or design culture. Students are encouraged to do an independent thesis where they can develop their positions on pressing issue in architectural design.


United States


Student : Kristen Gabriele [re] Densifying Dharavi

INTERSIGHT K. Smith Informal Cities ARC 605 | Inclusive Design Graduate Research Group

[re] DENSIFYING DHARAVI Kristen Gabriele

Often referred to as one of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi is the home for almost one million squatter residents. Threatened by recent redevelopment plans for the City of Mumbai, the residents of Dharavi seek a design strategy that is both appropriate for their industrial nature, as well as conducive to the government’s plans. [re]Densifiying Dharavi is a proposal that aims to compromise all of the parties’ needs through multi-story/multi-family cooperative housing buildings and community-based design principles. The three components of this design include a government-provided structure and circulatory core, both constructed out of reinforced site-cast concrete, and a resident-designed interior plan. The combination of these elements, developed incrementally, will create a neighborhood-wide transition to a healthier and safer community.

Dharavi, Mumbai


WEAR Student Group

INTERSIGHT S. O’Neil WEAR ARC 605 | Graduate Studio


WEAR Kyle Mastalinski, Michael Moch, Richard Mrugala



This project seeks to examine wear within a context that considers its potential for object enhancement. While the effects of wear are often resisted, the group’s position was established at the onset of the investigation to consider the possibilities for wear to enrich an object and in turn, allow for a deeper appreciation of the object within a greater public setting. This investigation began at various churches throughout the city and settled at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, NY. The church pew presented the richest example of wear and became the focus of this inquiry.



The final phase was a material construction optimizing use or wear in practice. Its articulation as a one-to-one scale artifact is a further speculation of the diagram stage in threedimensions and shall be situated in a setting of social consequence.


bout ed the ortions ZHUH e f wear ed during ur analysis. s between hat could cture for


Figure 31: Study Model of Total Assembly

ment + Contact Intensity Drawing


Global Design Initiative

Student : Moath Rababah Street Life

INTERSIGHT A. LeCuyer, N. Feliz, S. López-Piñeiro, K. MacKay, B. Wales, H. Warren Urban Housing ARC 504 | 3.5-year MArch Comprehensive Studio

STREET LIFE Moath Rababah

This project looked to define new public spaces for the occupants of Elmwood Avenue. A link between Elmwood Avenue and the nearby residential areas is created by ending the pedestrian ways with a welcoming urban space. The building hosts apartments, studios, plazas, shops, a theater, a gym, and a café.



Paper Lever Student Group

INTERSIGHT J. La Marche Horizontal Constructions ARC 605 | Material Culture Graduate Research Group

PAPER LEVER Troy Barnes, Stephen Olson, Scott Selin, Adrian Solecki Inspired by the site of the dock between the Perot and American Grain Elevators, we acknowledged the significance of the elevators and marine legs to Buffalo’s history. These amazing inventions were a link between the silos on land and the ships that carried the grain. The original drawings of the elevators were found and consulted. It was our intention to investigate a material new to us. Paper and cardboard, usually associated with packaging, were explored for their structural properties. We finally decided on paper tubes and studied ways of joining them together. They were strong in compression but had to be detailed well in order to keep water out. We visited a local manufacturer, and learned that paper tubes easily could be made to our specifications. Structural calculations were made and the design responded. All construction took place on-site in one week. A shop was built in the Peavey office building to lay out, cut, drill and otherwise fabricate the tubes. The deck of vertical tubes, somewhat reminiscent of the plan drawing of the silos, was put into place. The ropes and raft were removed. The cantilever stood. The first steps were tentative, but we soon trusted what we had faith in all along. A twenty-six foot cardboard cantilever over the Buffalo River was possible. The unique perspective it afforded was enjoyed for ten days before it was brought back to rest across the rails.




Urban Lighting as a Veiled Presence Student : Maryam Sadeghi

D. Hannah SPATIAL ACTS: Architectural Performativity, Deterritorialization & Social Scenographies ARC 607 | McHale Fellow Studio


The concept began with the most noticeable urban element in the dark, the lamp post and its everlasting play of shadow and light. With a careful study of women’s presence in the urban streets and the reflections through history the idea of veiling the lamp post was created. The presence of women was veiled throughout history in different cultures, either physically or verbally (remember the expression “street woman”). The lamp post was a symbol of both the ambiguous, and the strong presence of women and at the same time their presence as guardians. Different materials with different variety of colors, transparency and patterns were used to create a wide range of shadow and sound play. The issue in this project is how to transform the night-time experience of a city (for example Buffalo) from one of fear and isolation to shared communal delight? The idea is not to make the city “safer” through high lighting levels and security systems, but to bring people together in the dark to enjoy a play of shadows, light and sound.


Global Design Initiative

Student Group Barn Seminary

INTERSIGHT G. Rafailidis Immortal ARC 605 | Material Culture Graduate Research Group

BARN SEMINARY Edward Schelleng, Braedy Chapman

Wooden barns in Western New York were examined because they are known to have long lifespans. Despite being constructed from a single material, wood, with no weatherproofing, the barns of Western New York have lasted for over 200 years. Their long lifespan is due to a gradient of structure and the complexity of its members. The most durable, largest, and most complex members are in the center of the barn and the least structural, smallest, and easiest to replace members are on the outside of the barn. The knowledge gained from the precedents was then applied to modern construction methods. After looking at contemporary construction methods and their materials’ lifespan, it was concluded that construction assemblies with all of their structure in the exterior wall last a very short amount of time compared to when the structure is spread throughout the building. The average lifespan of a balloon frame house is 32 years. By rearranging the contemporary materials, a system was developed that will have a lifespan of 535 years. After the building was designed and fitted to a site, a program was selected, and the building was outfitted to accommodate the new program: a Catholic seminary. This perchance encounter with a program causes the building to change to fit the programmatic needs. The difference in lifespan of materials creates a difference in occupiable spaces. Occupiable space may be surrounded with decaying space, creating a romantic aura.

Global Design Initiative



Continuous Connections Student : Robert Texiera

O. Khan, N. Bruscia Black Box Architecture ARC 605 | Situated Technologies Graduate Research Group


In Songdo, Korea, an international “sudden city,� levels of connectivity in telecommunications are to be as seamless as possible. Similarly, the infrastructure of the city can function in the same way. The Continuous Connections project seeks to address moments in the city that lend themselves to physical connections. Building to building and public transportation links are examples where connections can be made. By analyzing the map of Songdo and establishing links between important populated areas and their proximity to infrastructure, points and connections are made. Through a system of continuous minimal surfaces implemented at different scales, moments of organic pathways connecting buildings, sidewalks, etc. can insert themselves into the infrastructure of Songdo providing connections. The result is an inherently strong, highly efficient, and versatile system that parametrically responds to its location. Minimal surface architecture in this application provides for continuous parasitic moments of connection throughout the city. Their presence is known more in the denser populated areas and less in the unpopulated ones helping to create an original identity for this sudden city.


Songdo, Korea

Student : Jose Pesantez-Rojas Tetrahedron Cloud

INTERSIGHT J. Geiger FELT ARC 605 | Situated Technologies Graduate Research Group


The Tetrahedron Cloud is a link between the scale of the human body and the notion of big data. The form of the tetrahedron was chosen due to its maximum enclosure with minimum surface area; this was essential for the tetrahedron cloud to float when filled with helium. The materiality of the tetrahedron cloud is reflective Mylar, the same as used in commercial party balloons. The tetrahedron configuration was designed through a grasshopper script which allowed for multipleordered configurations with three varying sizes of tetrahedron. The script also allowed for the cloud to be reconfigured at different scales, where each tetrahedron could be the size of an average balloon, a person, or a house. The relationship to the human body in this project is strictly a visual one, where data visualizations are projected onto the tetrahedron cloud. The data visualization was obtained from a live feed of satellite monitoring. While orbiting earth, a satellite’s height oscillates between a minima and a maxima.

Global Design Initiative



Water [IN]flux Student : Marek Patrosz

L. Garofalo-Khan Entangling the Grid ARC 605 | Ecological Practices Graduate Research Group

WATER [IN]FLUX Marek Patrosz

Water INflux is a design for an ecological community that is able to meet the daily human needs of food, water, shelter, electricity, and social interaction without having to leave the vicinity. This goal could only be achieved by altering the domestic way of life in two ways. First, the community occupants’ consumption of water and electricity needs to be reduced by fifty percent from today’s consumer-driven ways by using energyefficient appliances and low-flow fixtures. Second, the home is required to reverse its role as being a consumer of resources to become a gatherer and creator, sustaining human life. The household unit is the key to creating a closed-loop system that is able to harvest earth’s natural cycles and resources in order to provide for its occupants in a sustainable way. The main component of the unit is the introduction of a flexible water wall and flexible roof membrane that serve as the catalyst of the home. The water wall and roof membrane have the primary function of water storage, and a secondary function of radiant heating and cooling based on the seasons. The flexibility of the walls makes the occupant aware of the resources that are being used. When water is abundant the roof membrane sags into the living space, but as the water is used the roof retracts to free up the space and makes the occupants aware that their water source is finite.



Toledo, Ohio


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30 0

Student : Anne Auestad River Machine

INTERSIGHT M. Bohm Infrastructural Palimpsests: Human & Ecological Infrastructures ARC 606 | Ecological Practices Graduate Research Group


The project is focused around the industrial waterways as infrastructure in Buffalo. As an exchange student from Denmark, and therefore new to Buffalo, I am intrigued by the rich history of the city and Erie Canal. Sadly, today the only testimony to this great era are vacant lots and polluted water, causing severe damage to the wildlife native to the Buffalo River. By mapping contaminants like PAHs, lead and mercury, plus the many CSO hot spots along the river, the design is implemented in three interventions in different scales. The first and smallest one is a series of stepping stones, which are wooden piles or stone columns inserted into the riverbed at different depths along the edge. These columns are covered in freshwater mussels that attach themselves and clean the water, while inviting both human and animal interaction. The slightly larger intervention is the canoe landscape, which consists of floating flowerbeds anchored to the riverbed with a deadweight load, making them follow the tide and creating scenic and “adventurous” elements for Buffalo canoers. The floating flowerbeds are, in essence, large frames holding plants whose roots clean the water and provide surfaces for microorganisms to grow. The last and largest intervention is the barge, which combines water remediation with recreational and educational spaces. The deck is to be occupied by people, and parties. The barge is framed by planting beds. There is one continuous lining, with plants cutting the barge diagonally, playing with the idea of being on each side of a river, connected only by two crossing points in the shape of small bridges. On the lower deck one can look to the other side of “the river” as well as the roots that are cleaning the water.



Building Matters Student : Allison Adderley

INTERSIGHT Chair: J. La Marche Committee: C. Romano



MArch Thesis







Formwork has often been defined as a temporary building element, typically neglected and rarely interpreted by architects as anything more than a byproduct of construction. However, by reconceptualizing its role as a permanent building component, its construction performance now can be evaluated in parallel with its architectural function. This research reinterprets standard casting conventions as a means of rethinking design parameters, one that considers form and formwork, both during and after construction, as equals in terms of architectural significance. The aim is to explore architectural boundaries through the act of making.





8 7 6 5




The fabric is suspended from the site and hung like a pillow creating an inner cavity. As the concrete is cast and begins to cure, the fabric is absorbed into the concrete and becomes rigid as a result of the heat. The formwork now becomes an additional layer of reinforcement in conjunction with the suspended cables, which also double as reinforcement. The fabric allows excess water to be released, resulting in a lower water to cement ratio, increasing the strength of the concrete.



The latest phase was a full-scale installation, located at the historic Buffalo Grain Elevators. The formwork in this investigation is a fusible fabric which is suspended via cables from the existing site. The process is parasitic in nature, using an existing context as a casting machine, and in this case utilizing existing openings as anchoring points. The initial form is developed by taking the previous conveyer belt path (a direct line down the middle of the space) and pulling it towards each horizontal opening, creating a contour-esque mapping of space.




The final form is a result of the effects of gravity in relation to time, weather, function, and material reactions. The choreography of casting dictated by the presence of all of these forces. Each unique bulge, and each shift of formwork captures a specific architectural moment in time. 3,200 lbs. of concrete with an organic and flowing form remain suspended within the constraints of a very rigid, static concrete container, paying homage and contradicting it with its very presence as a building system and space generator.


Invisible Architectures Student : Daniel Barry

Chair: J. Geiger, T. Rueb Committee: O. Khan, E. Conrad MArch + MFA Thesis

PROSTHETIC PERCEPTIONS & INVISIBLE ARCHITECTURES Daniel Barry This thesis develops an analytical investigation into mobile communication technologies and their defining nature within our cities and society. The work revolves around two primary contingencies: the exploration of wireless networks as ephemeral architectures which have come to invisibly occupy and refine spatial relationships and the emergence of mobile communications devices as prosthetic sensory apparatuses, which allow for the perception of these invisible landscapes. The embedded sensors in mobile devices are used within the project to translate information about encompassing wireless networks into experiential phenomena, extending their roles not only as tools for the consumption of information, but also for inscribing a level of tangibility to the biologically imperceptible landscapes of wireless networks. Mobile devices are utilized throughout the project to develop mappings of wireless networks of several varieties including responsive audio outputs to index the materiality of wireless networks; generative audio compilations, which index the embedded protocol for information exchange within the network; live aerial mappings as a part of an installation indexing the ephemeral nature of geolocation processes; and video compilations, which simulate this relationship between location and locating and the emergence of a doppelganger effect.


Global Design Initiative

Student : Courtney Creenan Suburban Acupuncture

INTERSIGHT Chair: B. Tauke Committee: A. Price, K. Cupers









Courtney Creenan



Primary User Guests Other Static Use User Motion Object Motion

Primary User Guests Other Static Use User Motion Object Motion

bunnies live in s h r u b s squirrels

D O G S sea gulls

bunnies live in s h r u b s squirrels chipmunks mice



MOWING L A W N weeding

planting f lowe r p o t s vegetable garden

Winter Animal Use

Summer Animal Use

Winter Yard Work: 1970-90

Summer Yard Work: 1970-90

Primary User Guests Other

Primary User Guests Other

Primary User Guests Other

Primary User Guests Other

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

PA P E R B O Y M A I L M A N deliveries SENIORS


Residual spaces between buildings are often overlooked as a design opportunity, and are seen rather as a by-product of regulatory actions, which perpetuate the status quo of planning and design rather than challenge or enable design. Often, these codes are understood as givens, rather than guiding principles, leading architects and planners to not stray from status quos. These regulations often only set minimum requirements, which begin to dictate building setbacks and declare non-conforming uses in those setbacks to ensure life safety. Varying greatly by allowable uses, these residual spaces should be taken into greater consideration when being constructed either formally by architects and planners or informally by users. The use and appropriation of residual spaces often is better understood by the user and not by designers. Understanding social constructions, perception, and ownership, in addition to legal land rights of these residual spaces, is vital to bridging the fields of architecture and urban planning. By understanding these intricacies, architects can begin to answer the question of how existing regulatory frameworks can be subverted to challenge common design practice norms.

trimming shurbs

DOGS sea gulls

d o g wa l k i n g

MArch + MUP Thesis

d o g walking SENIORS







planting f lowe r p o t s

The Fat Fence is an instigator developed to spur interest in the neighborhood about this body of work and to inspire residents to reconsider how they think about codes. The fence is constructed to the maximum height allowed in front yards (three feet). The loopholes investigated in this design are the depth of the fence and other performative functions.

trimming shurbs












Winter Pedestrians Primary User Guests Other Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Summer Pedestrians

Winter Yard Work: Present

Summer Yard Work: Present

Primary User Guests Other

Primary User Guests Other

Primary User Guests Other

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion

Static Use Motion Use Overhead Motion




Rhythmsynthesis Student : Adam Laskowitz

Chair: J. Geiger Committee: T. Rueb, E. Conrad MArch + MFA Thesis


In a time so distracted and involved with the latest computing technologies, the relevance of designed space as having a significant role in the ways in which we conduct our day-to-day lives is diminishing. Architecture is losing its power to ground us in a particular place, at a particular time, surrounded by specific materials. Rhythmsynthesis attempts to engage the body, stimulate interaction, and encourage new ways of touching, listening to, and looking at space. Rhythmsynthesis responds to Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis. Where Lefebvre coined his term for an act, a means for learning and discovering spatial, social, and political rhythms through analysis and writing, Rhythmsynthesis has an approach of exposing, synthesizing, and playing with similar rhythms through an interactive intervention looking towards practices of the Situationists and sound artists such as Max Neuhaus and David Byrne. In earlier stages of the thesis, a question often was posed: “How do shared auditory and tactile experiences affect new forms of participation and embodied interaction?” Throughout research, auditory and tactile experiences were defined by sounds, materials, and types of spaces which we encounter in our daily lives and the ways in which these two sensory systems can be fused.


Global Design Initiative

Student : Mark Nowaczyk Photogenic Architecture

INTERSIGHT Chair: G. Rafailidis Committee: J. Hwang MArch Thesis


The experience of space is increasingly generated by viewing databases such as Flickr and Google Earth, creating a spatial dilemma in the dilution of first-hand experience. However, there also is an opportunity to gain new readings of space from the absorption of many different perspectives and glimpses of time within an increasingly comprehensive photographic record. Embracing this, I seek to investigate ways to spatialize this absorption and new readings of space, in order to bring about a heightened sensitivity of aspects of space that are transient, fragile, or in constant change. Because of this, photogenic architecture will only emerge from the original spatial structure in which photographic information was extracted at the particular time. The hope is to enable a greater human imprint on space and ease our anxiety of the passage of time. The aspiration of photogenic architecture is to produce space that anticipates and eventually accepts its own representation as a couple to the physical environment to facilitate a greater human imprint on space.

Global Design Initiative


Dwelling on Waste Student Group

INTERSIGHT Chair: J. Hwang Committee: D. Maher, C. Romano, B. Wales MArch Thesis

DWELLING ON WASTE Matthieu Bain, Andrew Perkins

Buffalo, NY. This is a city which was thriving just 50 years ago. But our post-industrial city has outgrown itself. Remnants from outdated infrastructures and a dwindling population are left behind; abandoned buildings line entire blocks. It’s a city whose residents and enterprises are struggling financially. It is a city that is facing a great deal of scarcity. To us, two architects who have dedicated themselves to a year of voluntary poverty, it’s not blight or desolation that lines the streets. It’s opportunity. It’s a wealth of materials, increasingly diverse in their histories, applications, and constitutions. It’s a way, not only to survive without prescribing to typical consumerism, but to realize new breeds of architecture. For $800, the architects-turned-vagrants saved one of Buffalo’s derelict properties from demolition. We moved in without heat, without electricity, without running water – to recreate ourselves not as the detached designer, but the deprived occupant. We sought to give “waste” some purpose, to revive a house that hadn’t seen life in over a decade, to understand the needs of the billions that architects regularly overlook, and to reconsider architectural discourse not as a puppet of consumerist agendas, but as a field capable of rebuilding local economies, ecological relationships, and cultural values.



The house becomes an architectural laboratory where our interventions are grounded by necessity. We need a dry roof, a place to keep things, a source of heat before Buffalo’s harsh winter kicks in. The old steel barrel wood stove we find is made as a central hearth. To comply with NYS building code, we can either use insulated chimney pipe to run through the floor or create a clearance to combustibles of 18” from the chimney. Since insulated pipe is $100 per 2’ section, the floor is cut back to accommodate the given clearance. The use of more un-insulated pipe saves money, keeps less heat from escaping up the chimney, opens the space which becomes the new center of activity, and ultimately challenges typical responses to building codes. We quickly find that the materials we come upon aren’t just plentiful and diverse, but highly suggestive. It’s the waterlogged firewood that begs to be by our sides: warm and dry a safe distance from the stove…the rubber tires in their complete refusal to deteriorate which provide the most resilient foundation for the house to rest… the rotting floor joists and southern wall which volunteer themselves to be removed so that the house can bask in open space and natural light. It’s these compromised materials that actually create really exciting spaces in the house… their very deficiencies fostering creative solutions.



An annual publication embodying work completed by the students in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. The...


An annual publication embodying work completed by the students in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. The...