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The School of Architecture and Planning University at Buffalo The State University of New York 125 Hayes Hall Buffalo, NY 14214-8030

Intersight is an annual publication that highlights the work of the students at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo. The intent of this journal is to record and discuss current academic and cultural activities of the school. This issue includes coursework completed throughout the academic year of 2017. This issue also includes outside competition and independent work from students that is not bound by the year of 2017. All photographs and drawings are courtesy of the editor, Visual Resources Center, contributors, and students unless otherwise noted. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent volumes. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher, except for copying permitted by section 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press. Every effort has been made to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions, or statements appear in this journal. The data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the responsibility of the contributor concerned. Editor: Randy Fernando Editorial Committee: Gregory Delaney, Miguel Guitart, Beth Tauke Production Assistance: Evan Glickman, Kalyn Faller, Michael Gac, Ashwini Karve, Frank Kraemer, Brendan Seney, Martin Vargas Editorial Assistance: Barbara Carlson, Holly Cook, Rachel Teaman Printed by: Chakra Communications , Inc. Typeset in Jubliat and Arial Š 2018 School of Architecture and Planning University at Buffalo, The State University of New York All rights reserved 20 | First Edition Cataloging-in-Publication Data Intersight Volume 20



20 intersight 2018


6 photograph by visual resources center

“...students find surprising synergies across their modes of thinking and working.” LETTER FROM THE DEAN Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, FAICP

Intersight – a reflective journal on our disciplines produced by and for the student – is a window into the life and work of the School of Architecture and Planning. It serves as both a record and critique of our pedagogy across architecture, urban planning and real estate development, touching upon research directions, intellectual leanings, creative modalities, and collaborative engagements. This latest volume, Intersight 20, continues the rich tradition of a publication that dates back to 1990 when Steven Sample and Kathryn A. Brunkow endowed an annual initiative to chronicle the pedagogy and life of the school. Our 2017-18 Brunkow Fellow Randy Fernando (MArch ’18, Architecture BS ’16) takes us into the intimate spaces of the student’s creative and intellectual development. Drawing from conversations that spanned the digital realm of our new Intersight blog, to late-night discussions in a neighborhood café, to the desks and workspaces of individual students, Intersight 20 celebrates the messiness and raw energy of knowledge-making – the testing and failing of ideas, the discovery of new connections, the incompleteness of the outputs. The book also reveals connections across diverse lines of intellectual thought. Through conversations across “project pairings,” students find surprising synergies across their modes of thinking and working. Take for instance a conversation between architecture students on the intersections of digital and material engagements with design and the act of making. Or the overlapping perspectives that an undergraduate architecture studio and graduate planning studio bring to proposals for mixed-use urban developments in Buffalo and Cleveland. In its interrogation of our pedagogy, Intersight 20 also celebrates the School of Architecture and Planning’s culture of collaboration. There is a courageousness to our


photograph by maryanne schultz, visual resources center

students as they open themselves to provocations, and embrace critique from both self and other. I invite you to find your own inspiration and energy as you view the School of Architecture and Planning community through the lens of Intersight 20. Robert G. Shibley, Professor and Dean

interrelations of process Randy Fernando, MArch, Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellow, 2017-2018

8 photomanipulation by randy fernando


The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning student journal, Intersight, is an annual publication that celebrates the interconnectedness of architecture, planning, and design as it works to serve as stimulant for discussion. The product evaluates the current intellectual concentration of our pedagogy and culture within the varying discourses of the program. The collaborative spirit of the academic environment is further enhanced by capturing the considerations of both the faculty and staff regarding their contemplations of the creative process. The publication seeks to generate new opportunities in connecting projects with conversation that extends between programs and academic years.

intersight 20: process As an evolution of Intersight 19, this year’s volume expands on the notion of moving students to the forefront of discussion in evaluating the pedagogy of the school. In order to further enhance the active participation of the student body, Intersight 20 provides a platform to generate conversations between projects and students as a means to reflect on the work of the academic year. This emphasis on reflection and dialogue allows the book to become a tool used to assess notions of idea generation while critiquing our own methodologies of proposing design interventions. The projects featured in the book focus on evaluating specific moments in the creative process that allow the audience to reflect on their own techniques in tackling academic objectives. These moments include identifying the media in which one can assess and represent the rigor of intellectual thought. These modes of representation and reflection can be visual, physical, or verbal, and include: [1] Visual: Sketches, collages, photos, diagrams, and renderings [2] Physical: Artifacts, material tests, details, and model-making [3] Verbal: Text, discussions, interviews, desk critiques, and reviews Projects are interrogated not just as final products so that an understanding of process becomes the focus. Intersight 20 offers a detailed look into the culture of the school, and how smaller

interactions shape the overall impact of our learning environment. The digital blog serves as a preamble to the physical publication -- providing a means to share student work throughout the academic year. This new digital interface opens up a dialogue on creative process. Students are able to witness the work of their peers evolve from concepts and ideas to innovative design proposals. Utilizing the blog as its own creative space and forum, the work featured moves between all programs, at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Each post features a bold image of the given project, along with a student-composed text regarding the processes at work.

intellectual pairings As a means to understand and present the culture of the school’s pedagogy and its impact in preparing students for the profession, the publication assesses and exposes design development and the process that leads to a final product. The method of breaking down the creative process gives students a resource to evaluate their own work and possibly inspire them to consider new lenses of approach. This notion continues to allow the publication to live and breathe in a realm of conversation, reflection, and education. A focus on process allows Intersight 20 to capture the raw and intimate moments of intellectual thought being manifested into sketches, diagrams, models, text, and discussions. The projects curated invite a showcase of the creative process that occurs throughout the academic year and not just at its culmination.


The publication exposes different ways of thinking to serve as a stepping stone for future discussions, as it questions the effectiveness of various research methods and media regarding particular pedagogical objectives. The project pairings generated were assessed through these various means of thought: [1] Divergent Thinking Through production stemming from the divergent process, divergent thinking involves generating multiple solutions to a single problem in a short period of time. The ability to simultaneously propose varying approaches to a topic allows for flexibility in the results. This method involves a cognition of what pieces of a solution are more effective in reaching the end objective. [2] Vertical Thinking Using conventional methods of sequential step-by-step evaluation, vertical thinking tends to find resolve in being selective about information. This methods investigates a topic with thoroughness rather than expanding outside of its realm of study. [3] Representational Thinking This can include studies of form, color, composition, and other aspects that can alter one’s notion of beauty. Designers tend to be fascinated with properties of pattern-making, ratios, and proportions that can be used to govern a proposal and develop various visual relationships. [4] Systems Thinking Systemic practices tend to identify ideas of interrelated parts to generate a larger whole. The method of interrogation involves identifying the interdependence of parts, emergent properties through a holistic approach, and hierarchies occurring within the complexities of the system. Examining the projects through these four categories allows the publication to interrelate research between projects that use similar ways of thinking as they begin to provide thematic relationships moving forward. In doing this, we are able to identify the effectiveness of the exposed creative process in a specific project as it is joined in conversation with other approaches. blog: visualizing the collective environment

forum Navigating conversations between the digital blog and physical publication meant also encouraging students to engage in intellectual thought outside of the traditional classroom or studio. A series of events were hosted on and off campus to amplify student dialogue regarding the juxtaposition of certain projects to consider intersections of methodology, form, and content. The forum pieces in the publication, document these events in order to incite reflection and conversation as projects are compared and contrasted as a means to interrogate the design process. Each piece has certain thematic qualities that vary throughout the book, but highlight the various modes of thought taking place within the school. coffee talks event hosted at grateful grind coffee


hybrid exhibition between intersight and new normal(s)

exhibition in process... The Intersight 20 committee partnered with the 2017-2018 Banham Fellow, Sarah Gunawan, to display an exhibition in the name of process. The April 23-27 installation served as a visual display of transition, as the week began with content from the Intersight publiction and ended with an exhibition of the work completed in the Multiplying Perspectives and New Normal(s) seminar courses. Each day, the group orchestrated a slight change in the exhibition that allowed it to move through a series of phases -- giving its daily viewers an opportunity to immerse themselves in understanding the set-up of such an event. This temporal exhibition utlimately served as a device to generate curiousity for the publication’s release at the end of the semester, and to move the blog’s content from the website to the digital projections showcased on the walls of Hayes Hall’s gallery.

Using a flexible display system designed by architecture faculty members, Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, the exhibition was able to offer both the display of content and seating for its viewers -- both of which changed daily. The dynamic features of the system accented the intents of the temporality of the exhibition in process. It generated an interplay between the physical environment and the digital representation of the projections -- similar to the interaction of the Intersight publication and its online counterpart,


After embarking on a trajectory towards interrogating the modes of thought that define the various pedagogies reflected in the derpartments of architecture and planning, Intersight continues to evolve as a medium that provides students with not only the opportunity for their work to be showcased, but an opportunity to reflect on their own processes of design. This reflection becomes a tool for the students and faculty to generate opportunities in enhancing the skills we use to tackle larger problems. Identifying an invidiual’s means to generate ideas allows us to demonstrate the uniquness of the creative process. The energy and intensity of the work is revealed through working images and casual discussion -- capturing a raw state of process rather than a collective of final documentation.


Intersight 20 is a reference for understanding the steps taken in the design process as a way of thinking, generating new thoughts on tackling future problems inspired by collaboration and conversation. Our methods of thinking must be indentified through its process, in order to move it towards a platform for challenge and engagement, experimentation and innovation. Intersight captures this energy and use it to amplify the cultural and intellectual capacity of our students and faculty.

temporal exhibition shifting between phases


contents 16 18 20 32 34 36 46 48 50 60 62 64 76 78 80 94 96 98 108 110 112 122 124 126 136 138 140 150 152 154 164

deep borders | Elizabeth Gilman blurred boundaries | Rachel Mordaunt forum | Kimberly Taracena king urban life neighborhood | Joy Resor. James Quin, Juweria Dahir, David Riley urban corridor | Arisha Shahid forum | Frank Kraemer, Brendan Seney booze, brews, & bakeries | Ali Elhaddad, Kailey McDermott, Krisha Priya bodega | Emily Minkowitz, Samendy Brice forum | Brendan Seney reflection spaces | Peter Vidulich, Griffin Perry sunken forest | Holly Raesly forum | Martin Vargas evolving landscape | Morgan Mansfield relocation and utopia | Sadichchha Dhakhwa forum | Randy Fernando sugar shell | Blake Kane, Evan Glickman culled geometries | Karim Mahmoud, Pinelopi Papadimitraki forum | Kalyn Faller transit oriented development | Devanshi Shastri, Dennis Playman refugee housing | Nicole Little, Sara Svisco forum | Michael Gac playgrounds | Marco DaSilva play artifacts | Alexandra Sheehan forum | Michael Gac performing theater | Michael Paraszczak piano room | Jelani Lowe forum | Frank Kraemer assisted living: hemiparesis | Emma McAneny streetscapes | Nabil Farhat forum | Randy Fernando 2018 faculty + staff


“...ideally this could be a situation where it begins to define the edge of a full installation...�




model set: concept to final

deep borders

Elizabeth Gilman 17

From the borders of our school to the borders of another, Deep Borders is a study abroad studio project that reinvisions present conditions of the Madrid campus in Spain. Gilman, the designer of the proposal, investigates the relationship of vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns around the boundaries of the site to dictate the best-suited locations of public and private spaces. The combination of heavier traffic (of both foot and vehicular) and the close proximity to public transportation systems along the north and eastern edges makes the northeastern portion of the site the best suited for public space. This relationship of public and private is further organized to the system generated by hatching as a principle of design. Utilizing sketching as a medium of design interrogation, Gilman explores the use of density and superimposition to correlate notions of varying levels of privacy. The denser the field condition, the more privacy is embedded into the system. The hatches represent vegetation building upon each other as a technique to obstruct vision in the spatial environment. The varying levels of privacy explored through hatching generated zoned

conditions that were grouped into different programs dependent on their need for visibility. Faculty: Miguel Guitart Term: Summer 2017 Course: Madrid Study Abroad Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


installation modules

blurred boundaries

Rachel Mordaunt 19

Blurring Boundaries attempts to instill empathy in viewers by raising awareness of human impact on the environment. The installation creates a dynamic representation of the effects of human pollution on habitats and wildlife. It uses birds as a medium to represent the dispersal of pollutants via their taking of nesting materials from the installation and using them to build their nests. Birds often take human litter as nesting materials; so this installation attempts to provide birds with safer, natural materials that will eventually biodegrade in the environment, creating a closed-loop resource flow instead of the typical open-loop systems present in our culture. The nesting materials provided are colored so that they may be more visibly seen in nests by those visiting Artpark. The installation, by Mordaunt, aims to raise awareness of our waste cycles and impact on the environment. The project will team up with local organizations including the Buffalo Audubon Society, Times Beach Nature Preserve, Tift, the Knitting Guild of Greater Buffalo, and Lew-Port School District to collect materials, construct the project, and create a program/programs to educate the community

through involvement with the installation. Faculty: Joyce Hwang, Laura Garรณfalo Term: Fall 2017 Course: Directed Research Degree Program: Master of Architecture


interior model photo: filtering views


Moderator: Kimberly Taracena Discussion Members: Elizabeth Gilman, Rachel Mordaunt 21

Kimberly Taracena: Why don’t you give us a little context for the Deep Borders projects?

moved out. I think that was one of my main goals in this project, was not to eliminate them but to allow them to fade out.

Elizabeth Gilman: This is from my study abroad trip to Spain. We had to design a UB cultural campus and my goal was to explore all the borders and boundaries along each property that are so frequent in Madrid. There are fences and we saw vegetation on the walls and trees. Before you got to the actual building there were a lot of rows obstructing the view or the progression through it. My objective was to dissolve those but not entirely eliminate them. A lot of the more private spaces have the most barriers without enclosing everything, thus welcoming people to the campus but still preserving its privacy.

KT: I’m just curious about how she was sketching and the way her idea originated through these lines. She was talking about these different borders and barriers. What type of control were you trying to fence in? How did you determine when to stop the overlapping? When did you decide you should stop hatching the density? I know you were saying that you had to fade them out, and that was your intention.

KT: I understand that you based the gradient off the way that you produce these boundaries. They come out when you do the straight lines as opposed to the other ones, where I can read organically the way you applied lineweights. In these I feel like the spacings you did were also more fluid even though they are reading as rigid lines; so I wonder, what were you subconsciously thinking about as you were expanding them? EG: Yes, I was trying to convey that these borders were supposed to dissolve as they

In this sketch the lines actually get lighter as they radiate out. I was telling her that I was interpreting them as these radial noise signals; and I wonder if that was intentional or not, but it wasn’t. I find that even more fascinating because that means that it was more subconscious. EG: I was trying to condense the private spaces while not allowing the entire space to be fully enclosed. In these different variations, I was trying to figure out how big those private spaces should be. This one is very small and this one is very, very dense. I did generate multiple variations of it. So this one is one that I ended up preferring because it was more even…

KT: More gradual?

you worked on?

EG: Yes, because it wasn’t an ambiguous mass. It had more of an even distribution of the lines.

EG: Yes.

KT: You basically studied the different types of densities you could make with the hatching? I love that you reinterpretted the harsh lines into these fluid motions. You’re essentially bubble diagramming the space, but you took it out of these fluid lines. Rachel Mordaunt: How did you determine where the most dense areas are?


EG: On the site, this street was more busy throughout the day, whereas, their street was more quiet. There are a few other campuses around. so I wanted this back corner to be the most private. That was where I designated the dorms to be because there weren’t as many people looking in, and it wasn’t as noisy because there was a lot less traffic. That was one of the main ideas of where to place everything. RM: Is there anything in elevation that happens based on densities? KT: I think I see it from her model. It seems like there is. The denser areas seem to rise more. Are they designating that as well in elevation? EG: Yes, the dorms which were also the most dense going in were also the tallest. Here was the highest part and then it faded out, so it dissipated in elevation, too. KT: This last space that you sketch, I feel like this is very loose and expressive. When you’re trying to figure out how to make the different densities, and then here it’s -- it’s funny because it’s done with a curved blue line, but you’re actually starting to regulate it and make it more systematic. Did you actually start with this outside one which I’m assuming is the site hatching explorations of varying densities

KT: You’re marking out the site? Then make the sub-conditions within? EG: I think for this main one I worked in and then I went back and forth. For some of these I started with the center and let the other ones react around it. The others, I started with the site boundary to make the outline and then worked inside and out. KT: What drove the project to make those decisions? What techniques did you use to start figuring it out? What type of privacy and program happens there? For Lizzy’s it was sketching and it was little bit more free, but I’m interested in what you were talking about with noise or the relationship to the street. I’m interested in the process of control. You are both discussing borders and boundaries and how your process has led you to almost similar conclusions. I think you’re both taking different approaches. Maybe you should explain your project now, Rachel? RM: Blurred Boundaries is my thesis project. It is an installation that I’m proposing to build in Artpark to raise awareness of human impact on the environment. I focus specifically in the way that humans pollute and how there is a barrier that makes humans ignore these effects. The installation uses birds as a medium of dispersing pollutants, so I used nesting materials as the dispersing pollutant because birds often take human litter that they find to build their nest with, which can often be very harmful. A lot of birds often ingest things that are full of yarns and microplastics in the environment, which leads to a whole slew of effects that we don’t even realize. I started the project with the map of Artpark. These kind of main areas that are carved out


concepts of density driving notions of spatial organization


site diagram: relationship of nesting sites to toxic waste sites

here are locations where there were toxic waste buried in the park. I started mapping out these toxic waste sites and I started thinking about key ways that waste disperses through the environment. One of those ways is through species, so I looked into different migrating birds because they can spread pollutants all the way down the continent. I looked into the bonapartes in particular and then I began mapping out potential bonaparte nesting sites. All of the darker circles are within the first trees of the park. Then I began to connect the two so that you can see the relationship between toxic waste sites and their spreading out to the environment. In terms of production, I’m building one installation for the park; but ideally this could be a situation where it begins to define the edge of a full installation that could create that boundary. This way it actually calls attention to these toxic waste sites, but the community doesn’t really know about. My site is actually right over here; it’s along one of the major pathways in the park that goes until the Niagara Gorge Trail. There’s a lot of foot traffic nearby, and then these installations weave in and out of the first trees because they protect the installation so that birds will actually come to it. KT: Are you imagining that this boundary is between non-humans and humans? Are those actually tied together? RM: The actual toxic waste and the trees? Yes, there is a direct link because nothing can grow on these waste caps besides a few grasses, so anything with deep roots cannot grow on these waste sites. This condition has carved out all of these habitats in the area. It’s not really acting to its full potential. Another benefit of the installation is that by providing the nesting materials and bird seed -- I’m going to include bird seed as an attractor to it -- it can also allow the installation to be used year round, not just in the spring time during nesting season. It attempts to make the habitat materials: bird seed, nesting, stones

a little better, not necessarily increasing it, just providing more opportunity for food and nesting material where there really isn’t a lot right now because nothing can grow there. Ironically, this whole patch up here extends really far out and its actually called a nature preserve and that’s where the most toxic waste is buried. Nothing can grow there. Not a lot of wildlife can live there because it’s this barren field. KT: Just looking at the two projects right now. The end result seems like it originated from something really fluid. Lizzy, the way you came up with your ideas and it came with a regimented rule set in putting it together. Whereas this one seems almost more chaotic. How did you end up coming up with this proposal? RM: There are a few things. Looking back to last year, I liked this idea of this wall as a single human boundary because that’s a major way that humans create boundaries in the environment. It is through architecture as a wall condition. I chose to use wire mesh. These cages are going to be made of garden fencing which is another sort of barrier that separates their possessions from wildlife. I’m using rabbit fencing that’s used to keep animals out of things, but instead of doing that I’m trying to allow animals to come to these spaces to blur these boundaries. I started taking on this sort of fluid approach for a lot of different reasons, and the structure ended up being a major one because I needed it to weave in order to create these cantilevered elements that are supported underneath. KT: Did you start sketching or did you start making to find it? RM: I started making to find it. I did do a few sketches in the beginning as I was starting to think about how wire mesh can start to blur things, but it was easier to model because there are so many elements and overlapping grids.


EG: Was it based off of a module or was each piece different?


RM: It’s based off of one module that repeats over and over again, but there are different instances inside one module based on what is located where. This is actually not what it exactly looks like right now because I started playing with a varied grid. There’s a gradient to the garden fencing that I’m using, so it’s a super tight grid that opens up and that allows for a bunch of different actions to happen with each mesh brick. This is because a human hand needs to fit into the larger grid space to load the cage and also for the birds to get inside there. There’s a tighter grid at the ends to hold the nesting materials and bird seed in place to prevent them from falling out. What I’m playing with right now is how I flipped these. Basically, the mesh does this sort of module detail with material infill thing where it’s super tight then loose. Now I’m playing around with changing the orientation of these as I flip them back and forth so that see how it plays out -- to see how long it takes you can reach into them and restock. It’s a for it to be completely emptied. lot easier to do that through modeling than sketching. KT: Your method of form finding is literally KT: Is the goal for the birds to live in there? Or through making? There’s a certain number of things that are controlled. Linearly the just take material out? relationship between the pieces has less control because of the material, but the RM: Just to take material out. The nesting material is colored and they are all natural and relationships just happen. You could actually organic materials like cottons and dry grasses. grid this out as a diagram. You both worked They’re colored so that they may be seen in a with linear elements to find gradients over bird’s nest around the park so that the visitors time, but it’s almost like you’re the maker and you’re the drawer. That’s how these seemed can start to see the impact of the installation to have happened. You both came up with a on the surroundings. method of creating boundaries and because Rachel’s design is so linear, if you were using KT: You would have to be there over time to any other material it probably wouldn’t have see it occur over and over again. been as likely to overlap with the other project. EG: Is it deteriorating over time? Is that just all I’m almost imagining -- you both worked through linear gradients to define borders of the material being taken out? and boundaries and you can almost see that in here? It starts to get heavy in certain RM: That is another thing that I am areas where you put materials in it. I find that questioning is if it is something that should be fascinating that the two proposals came from restocked every year or do I just let it go and

two different approaches. I’m looking at these in elevation and in plan, but in axonometric form they are more tied together. RM: It’s actually what makes it hard to work in model, too, because I think it’s so confusing when you’re looking at it from all these angles. KT: Yes, in these views I actually don’t understand the overall form. RM: I think that is kind of my point. I’m trying to blur that condition. KT: I’m actually interested in why you said that you made a wall as a symbolic boundary condition but what makes it such? Are you trying to make a more prominent boundary or are you trying to get rid of one? You talked about blurring it. RM: I would say that I’m trying to get rid of a boundary by shifting, blurring, and overlapping. The whole interaction with it, where birds


blurring installation with tree line


time lapse of deterioration through usage

will be in and out of it as they use it. I’m planning on hosting community events that bring people to the installation so that they can learn about it and interact with it, maybe even fill it. I want to blur the boundary between human and wildlife through a physical condition. KT: It’s almost like a boundary for the humans?

gridded campus model

RM: It’s tough because boundaries aren’t necessarily always a bad thing in the environment. Sometimes you need those boundaries in terms of protection. All sorts of living creatures create boundaries for themselves, so it almost acts again as a boundary between song birds and predators because they can come in here and eat and still be protected from larger birds that can’t get in there. KT: I think this one is harder to understand. RM: It is. It has a lot of different layers. KT: I’m wondering if you went back and looked into hand sketching, do you think it would have changed the way your model would have looked afterwards? Would you have wanted to have more control of the intersection of the weaves? RM: I think it would be totally different because the first sketches that I did that played with wire mesh and gradient as a medium were just so simple, and this model just got more layered. KT: What I find interesting is that your relationship is with the birds and the wild, so you don’t really have control. As human beings, we try to regulate everything that we do. I wonder if that drove the kind of relationships you implemented here. RM: I like that comment, now that I’m thinking about it.

KT: You would need to have some kind of grid system. Where would you even go after you started? EG: The models were a lot simpler than the actual plans and sections. The grid is only really the structure of it and the occupied spaces that are more subdivided. The more private spaces acted almost like a screen -- a three-inch by three-inch grid, six-inch by six-inch, and one-foot by one-foot grid that made all these layers. Even within these smaller spaces there were always rings around it. Sketching allowed more freedom than the models especially because you’re limited by material, size, and scale. It was definitely easier to start out sketching. I feel like the models looked more rigidized than the sketches, which is fine because that’s how the end product would have looked. It definitely wouldn’t have been as complicated if I just started out with these models. KT: If you were to think about different methods of work and you were to do your projects again, how would that have affected the end results? What happens when you’re in a mode of builders versus drawers? That process is very different. Even sketching is limited by your ability to sketch but form finding is easier. When you’re building, what’s the conventional method of using this material so that’s what you stick to. RM: I feel like it tends to be the other way around, too. Where I start with sketching and then move into modeling, but with what I was trying to do, it just didn’t make sense to do.


“ could we propose something that would benefit the community and spark interest while also solving a problem with the area.”


“ could we propose something that would benefit the community and spark interest while also solving a problem with the area.”



community driven development

king urban life neighborhood

David Riley, Jim Cielencki, Juweria Dahir, Kathleen da Silva, Jacques Garcia, Tim Hurysz, Emma Phillips, James Quinn, Joy Resor, David Riley, Darnell Rivera 33

King Urban Life Neighborhood (KULN) Transformation Plan is a place-based strategy, which focuses on the transformation of an underdeveloped “Rust Belt� neighborhood anchored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. The Plan aims to turn this underdeveloped neighborhood into a vibrant, energetic, and prosperous community of choice for existing residents, as well as future residents. The Plan rejects the common narrative that nothing can be done to redevelop this and other struggling communities on Buffalo’s East Side. It also rejects the notion that the transformation of underdeveloped neighborhood must be driven by market forces. The public policy framework outlines new initiatives and legislation required to implement the Plan. Most critical is the formation of a community land trust to acquire, own, and manage land on behalf of the community. The land trust would enable the KULN to control market dynamics and promote forms of collective ownership; it also would serve as a vehicle for maintaining housing affordability. The Plan also recommends the formation of a community brigade of high school students trained in the building trades

to assist homeowners with basic maintenance. The Plan provides options for neighborhood improvement or tax increment financing districts to capture and reinvest revenue in neighborhood programs. To facilitate implementation, the Plan recommends dividing the neighborhood into three zones and three phases corresponding to activities within each zone, with catalytic projects attached to each phase. This multistep approach is designed to build momentum and support for the Plan, while also providing opportunities to identify successes and obstacles. Overall, the Plan envisions a 10year implementation period. Faculty: Henry Taylor Term: Fall 2017 Course: Planning Studio Degree Program: Master of Urban Planning


public corridor to allow for active streetscape

urban corridor

Arisha Shahid, Anthony Garfalo 35

The University Plaza lies in the gateway condition as it sits on the city border of both the town of Amherst and the city of Buffalo. This plaza has a place in local retail history as the area’ first suburban shopping plaza. The objective was to generate public spaces that would be accessible to everyone by building vibrant communities through the concept of “complete streets.” This notion requires that streets become accessible, safe, and people oriented. This is further reinforced by creating multi-use plaza spaces to host cultural fairs and festivals. Greening the public spaces would further reduce environmental impact and contribute to the local ecosystem. The project has buildings ranging from between three- to six-story, mixed-use designs that rise with the adjacent topography and escarpment condition in UB’s South Campus. The large parcel of land was subdivided into blocks by introducing newer streets, that would reengage the public with pedestrian traffic.

Faculty: Erkin Özay + Gregory Delaney Term: Spring 2017 Course: Urban Design Graduate Research Group Degree Program: Master of Architecture


articulating the edge full site exhibition

forum Moderator: Frank Kraemer, Brendan Seney Discussion Members: Joy Resor, James Quinn, Juweria Dahir, Arisha Shahid, David Riley 37

Frank Kraemer: What was the premise of the King Urban Life Transformation Plan? James Quinn: Essentially we were dealing with an east side neighborhood that suffered immense population loss in the 20th century. The current community is challenged with underinvestment in the neighborhoods. Our initial goal for the studios was to both create a plan to reverse these systems and create community empowerment so that residents could ultimately have a say over the future of their own neighborhood development. We wanted to establish affordable housing, a neighborhood land trust, and new design initiatives such as community gardens and neighborhoods to reuse vacant land. We also addressed homes that needed rehabilitation. We developed an overarching strategy and framework to establish the land trust and community control. FK: Did you do this in order to provide agency for the people? JQ: Correct, and we wanted to provide representation… Joy Resor: Through working with a local partner. We weren’t just coming in there trying to tell residents what to do.

JQ: Speaking of process, we first needed to do an initial needs assessment looking not only at the demographics, but also the local institutions and assets already in the community. JR: We met with the clients, too. Juweria Dahir: The King Urban Life Neighborhood is predominately black and mixed income, although its mixed income is dominated by a low-income population. The continued disinvestment of infrastructure and population loss is what lead to the horrible infrastructure. When we first took part in this initiative, Dr. Henry Taylor asked us to go into the neighborhood to see what the visual impact infrastructure looked like. We spoke to the residents and asked them about what the neighborhood was like years ago and what the future of the neighborhood meant to them. For me, talking with residents created conditions where it was not our group coming in with planning expertise saying that were going to fix this neighborhood. JQ: It wasn’t our vision. It was the neighborhood’s vision. JD: It was the neighborhood’s vision, and the Transformation Plan was their plan. It was intended to create a vibrant, walkable, and

prosperous community. We wanted to make sure we were leaving with a plan that ensured a neighborhood of choice, one where residents can participate in the discussion. It’s not to say that this neighborhood was neglected. I mean there are a lot of things that are exciting like Martin Luther King Park, the Buffalo Science Museum, and East High School. JD: It’s a historic site. It’s not that we’re rejecting the idea of this as a poor and dilapidated neighborhood where there is no hope. It has over 70% vacancy.


re-establishing vacant lot use

JQ: Another key part of the project was not operating within the market’s rules. We had to reject that. Waiting for the market was the only way to uplift the neighborhood, the only way to revitalize the neighborhood. We believed that we could establish a different way of approaching housing. We thought of housing as more of a community building tool or a kind of agency that could consolidate community representation through home ownership. David Riley: You have done a great job summarizing the project. I just wanted to underscore a few things that you mentioned. First, when Juweria talked about resident engagement, it’s important to mention that we were building on a lot of previous work that other students have done in the neighborhood. Dr. Taylor’s Race, Class, and Gender class spent much of their semester doing work in this neighborhood and engaging residents. We also were building on Camden Miller’s thesis work where she conducted focus groups and surveys. The Center for Urban Studies has done a lot of engagement work there as well, so we certainly were not starting this project from scratch. We were building on some previous work to get a sense of what is important to the residents. Second, adding to what James discussed about the market, a big part of what we were trying to do was to make this a great neighborhood for people who had already lived there, and then secondarily, to ensure an attractive neighborhood for

newcomers without displacing people who lived there. We thought about ways to control the impact of property prices. If there is redevelopment, how do we maintain affordable housing in the neighborhood? How do we make sure that people who live there don’t get priced out? FK: It’s mitigating the negative effects of gentrification. DR: Exactly. Lastly, a big part of it was looking at the amount of vacant land and unbuilt parcels in the neighborhood. We recognized that the prospect of immediately having a lot of infill development on those parcels is unlikely, and that it would be a gradual process. We needed to look at ways to try and bring that unbuilt property back online and make it a more active part of the neighborhood. We looked at ways we can use low cost, creative, low maintenance landscaping to make these properties more visually attractive and interactive spaces in the near term rather than waiting and hoping to put a home there some day. JR: We also worked with the Partnership for the Public Good, which is helping the Fruit Belt establishament land trust. That again is a precedent that has already been established that we were just building out. They were a really great resource. FK: That’s solid. I think that is enough for that so let’s shift over… JR: …to architecture! I’m excited to hear. Arisha Shahid: So, let’s talk about Articulating the Edge. Erkin Ozay was our instructor, and this studio was in parallel with the town-and-edge conditions that we were studying with Greg Delaney. This studio set out to understand how the university plays a role in the city and how the university doesn’t or does have a particular edge. We took different precedents from different universities like the


assessment of current university plaza complex

University of Cincinnati and the University of Illinois, and even visited some of them during spring break. We questioned where the university stops and the city begins, and considered if it is a merger or blur between the two. We studied our town and its edge conditions, and started by exploring how we grew from just a medical campus, to the south campus, to downtown to the idea of growing all over Buffalo. How does the connectivity matter? Where do students go? Do they go to all three campuses? How do they understand things like that? We narrowed down our studio projects to six different sites: six chunks across

UB South Campus. Five of them were across Main Street. In many other cities Main Street is a very important street; it’s a spine that runs across and defines different things. For us in Buffalo, Main Street’s east is low income and its west is high income. In our project, some of us developed on UB South Campus, amd some of us developed outside of UB South Campus. We also played with the transit-oriented NFTA systems. Kailey worked with it. I looked into the University Plaza. There have been many developer changes there, and it looks like a parking garage when you enter it. There is an important theater there, and because people

have emotional attachment to it, they want to keep it. We started by incorporating or seeing who could be the different stakeholders when there is a university-oriented project. How can we grab the attention of the community? How can we entice students to go there? How can we ask the SUNY system to help us with the development? We came up with mixeduse projects that were start-ups for students who graduate and want to start a business. It could also be residential space for graduate students because we saw that they don’t have housing options on UB South. We also looked at different radial options. Even though there is a Tops grocery store in the University Plaza, perhaps more anchor stores could


pedestrian friendly environment mediated with vehicular traffic

provide stability. How can we build a good, healthy community? We didn’t talk to people, but, instead, conducted an online survey and talked to people from facilities, the planning department, and UB North Campus. One thing that we noticed was the drop in terrain. The drop from Main Street to the Tops Plaza was about 60 feet. We walked around the site to see how we could connect different parts. We changed our project towards a more transit-oriented piece. I worked on how cars could be inclusive for us. Cars are a necessary evil, and we cannot ban cars from the site. At the junction of Main Street and University Plaza, you see so many students crossing the road and the traffic system is poor. Pedestrians do not have adequate time to cross, and there are cars moving all of the time. These key points lead into our project. We developed a system using ramps and promenades eliminating car/pedestrian timing issues. People would be above on the promenade system, and cars would be below.

JR: I didn’t know that architects dealt with transit-oriented developments. It never occurred to me that you would be thinking about walkability.

All of the groups introduced new programs that tied with place identity, and, in fact, we looked for things that could complement existing structures.

AS: We needed one thing to drive our project, so we chose this. Students who worked on the NFTA site, they questioned how we might change the HUB entirely. Is there a possibility to change the metro line? Is there a possibility to connect UB South Campus to the North Campus? There are proposals from the NFTA to extend the metro line. Will it affect us? Will it be good for us? If the NFTA is part of the university area, then how can it help the university? The students proposed art galleries like we have on the North Campus because there is a big architecture and planning school, but we don’t have a studentoriented gallery.

JD: We paralled a lot of our towns to that. Accessibility and walkability are also issues that we looked at. I think it’s interesting that we used different lenses and perspectives. You’re a lot more design-oriented and we are a lot more development-oriented. There’s a lot of overlap. Maybe we could be having more of these types of conversations.

One of the studio groups worked with St. Joseph’s parish, and they introduced many mixed-used museum programs to complement the church.

FK: I think the projects are almost at two different stages. It’s the same kind of mission, the same goal with different approaches. You said you didn’t talk to the people from the area, but instead, you picked up on the issue of walkability by visiting the site. That’s as far as you can go within a 14-week semester to accomplish what you are doing at that level. You are thinking about the grand scheme, and you are thinking of how to implement and make change as soon as possible. I think

that’s an interesting connection between the two projects. AS: I think you would end up deciding that the place of change would be the University District, and we would jump in by doing further studies. It’s interlinked. JQ: Without the policy side for development, architecture probably wouldn’t be able to thrive, and, likewise, without good design strategies, the policies wouldn’t be as effective. They both depended on each other. AS: Even though we didn’t have any planning students involved, we looked into who could be possible stakeholders. Nobody told us that we could have a mixed-use development on our site at UB; but if we could, how can we attract people from different fields to propose how we could do it? JR: We didn’t do a written survey; we just asked students at the Goodyear bus stop waiting for the shuttles because those are the students who go to Tops. They were our customers or the people who could propose a few things. Maybe we could have another type of Tops -- maybe more residential units. They told us that when they try to cross the road on Main Street they usually are honked at by cars because they don’t really have the time to cross even if it is pedestrian crossing.

was with other parts of the city and their connectivity? If you did do that, how did it dictate your approach moving forward? JQ: What do you think? JC: About contributing to the city? JQ: There are many relationships not only within the institutions and the neighborhood, but also, with the neighborhood’s relationship to the city as a whole in terms of economics and the real estate markets. The east side was left behind, and underserved, which leads to the gentrification of today. JC: It was amazing how vacant, how empty it was. If you look at a lot of the neighborhoods, you don’t see this amount of emptiness. There were places where there was one house and fifteen empty lots and then another house and fifteen empty lots; it was repeated over and over. There are long-extended blocks that add to the emptiness. The grid patterns make it difficult to go south. You have to go north to go south. JQ: When talking to neighbors, we found out that they knew each other only within short confines. Neighbors knew each other, but they didn’t know people down the street or the next block over. They weren’t able to see the broader community that they were living in.

JD: The light goes so fast and there are even seniors crossing. That’s the problem.

FK: Would you agree that connectivity is something you are trying to accomplish?

AS: Yes. They can’t. That was one of the driving objectives for our project. We introduced crossing in a way that you don’t have to wait for cars to pass and cars don’t have to wait for you.

DR: Yes, absolutely. In every sense of the word.

Brendan Seney: In Articulating the Edge, you’re looking at relationships between two different distinct areas of the city. In the King Urban Life Neighborhood, did you investigate what the relationship of the neighborhood

BS: Did you want to add something, David? DR: Joy mentioned that we talked with the Partnership for Public Good. The Fruit Belt Coalition was part of that conversation, and part of what we were trying to understand is how a community land trust should be structured. Does it make sense for it to

41 low income housing proposals


community engagement with newly proposed changes


facilitating discussions for KULN development

be focused at a neighborhood level, and understand that we all have slightly different goals? Do we have enough commonality to have a cross-neighborhood or city-wide community land trust that can work at a greater scale so that we have access to resources that smaller neighborhood level land trusts might not? We also reached out to some organizations like Push Buffalo to get a sense whether or not they would be interested in doing more work on the East Side. Could they see themselves helping King Urban Life Center with as a land trust; would they see it as a model that makes sense? We tried to take our information to figure out what opportunities there might be for collaboration. JD: ‘Prosperity’ is a buzzword nowadays in Buffalo. In our neighborhood, in our institutes, when we walked around and spoke to the residents, a lot of them eluded to the idea that prosperity was passing them. They see the medical campus around the corner and

the transit line being extended, but the local residents didn’t even have the means to go to the local grocery store or go to schools. At some point, there were structures on those vacant lots. Residents who have lived there for over fifty years are thinking about what their neighborhood looked like growing up as a child. Now the vacant lots are a safety concern because a crime could take place in one particular area and easily expand to the next block. We wanted to make sure that when we’re embedding policy framework, we look into what the city has done and what complaints are they aware of. Looking at 311 calls is a way to track that. This is a calling resolution center that is part of the division of citizen services, and we were able to meet the director. It was surprising to see that 311 was not being utilized. The idea here is that residents call 311 for issues of concern -- reporting a dangerous pothole, fixing a broken street light, reporting illegal activity, or a housing violation. The director told us

that one year, there were only six complaints in the entire neighborhood -- literally, only six. In contrast, more flourishing neighborhoods such as Delaware report thousands of calls. People complain about everything from housing violations to street noise. Residents not calling means that there might be a trust issue there, or maybe they are just not aware of the opportunities made available to them. Now that we have this plan, the next phase would be educating communities and informing the neighborhoods about the opportunities available to them. We need to work together to transform this neighborhood. FK: That’s awesome. Although your project is much larger, you are trying to deal with something local, something small scale.The University Plaza is the same thing; you are looking at edges, but, specifically, you are thinking how people enter your site.

“ could we propose something that would benefit the community and spark interest while also solving a problem with the area.�


“...we had to have this community that builds off of each other -- living and industry...�



re-use infrastructure development

booze, brews, & bakeries

Kailey McDermott, Ali Elhaddad, Krishna Priya 47

The project looks to provide a supportive infrastructure that includes on-site waste water treatment facilities, biogas treatment centers, and a steam production facility. The students realized that incentives such as these would make the transition to the area easier for light industries such as breweries, bakeries, and distilleries, all of which, produce large amounts of waste and biomass that could be used to serve each other with the infrastructure provided. With various focuses on sustainable thinking, the design seeks to reintroduce clean water through the reuse and recycle of wasted material that would end up in the sewer systems. Pursuing the development of a Living Waste Water Remediation Center, located at the heart of the Scranton peninsula, there is potential for waste water to be continuously processed for daily use. The site location at the Scranton peninsula is 65 acres and is situated in a manner that provides a view of the city’s skyline with a clear visual to its surroundings. The proposals on the site stem from a key concept -connections through public spaces. Through programmatic and public spatial connections

with the river front, there is a suggested bridging of the flats to the city and downtown. With clear access routes to both sites of the valley, there is a attention and activity drawn to the water’s edge where amenities will be provided for social gathering. Faculty: Erkin Özay + Nicholas Rajkovich Term: Fall 2017 Course: Urban Design Graduate Research Group + Ecological Practices Graduate Research Group Degree Program: Master of Architecture


food process from sourcing to retail


Emily Minkowtiz, Samendy Brice 49

The Bodega – a small 24/7 food shop that also serves as a social center for the neighborhood – is an essential part of urban life. In this scheme, the bodega is both literal and conceptual, taking on many forms to enable food entrepreneurs and startups to build their businesses... A plinth at ground level is composed of a skylit cooking school (Mon-Weds) and restaurant (Thurs–Sun) entered from Virginia Place. This is flanked on the south by parking for food trucks and street frontages on Delaware Avenue and Allen Street which feature bodegas, which use the cooking school kitchen and cater to the growing 24/7 population of the nearby medical campus. The roof of this plinth is a market garden accessed by public stairs from Allen Street, which provides fresh produce for these food-related enterprises. To maximize the area and solar exposure of the garden, residential units are arrayed along the north edge of the site. Three entrance lobbies and vertical circulation cores on Allen Street provide point access to pairs of two-story units that step to the north as they ascend. Each single staircase building maximizes its height and complies with code

requirements by having just four entrance levels above grade with mezzanines on intermediate floors. Instead of living rooms, all units have generous kitchens and dining spaces complete with open fires for cooking and balcony herb gardens. Vertical service chases, including chimneys, flank the circulation cores. In these units, entrepreneurs can run catering businesses from home... using UberEats for deliveries. The slender vertical towers are emphasized by gaps between buildings, which align with the garden stairs, and by the transparency of the vertical circulation cores. Together with the void created by lifting the residential units above the garden, these slots provide daylight and views for Allen Street and residents in existing buildings to the north. Faculty: Annette LeCuyer Term: Fall 2017 Course: Senior Studio Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


waterfront intergration of public spaces


Moderator: Brendan Seney Discussion Members: Kailey McDermott, Ali Elhaddad, Emily Minkowtiz, Samendy Brice 51

Brendan Seney: What were some of the objectives of your project? Kailey McDermott: I would say our goal for the project was to integrate a source of infrastructure with a closed-loop system by recycling waste water and producing energy through waste. We started researching what kind of waste certain products produce and what kind of products reuse that waste, identifying these by-products and how we could recycle them into one loop so that each one is using the by-product of another. Ali Elhaddad: The reason for this focus is that Cleveland right now is a city on a similar standing to Buffalo. We started to look at the type of programs that would work on the site. We noticed that an industry that’s working is breweries. KM: The site right now is currently located in a valley on the water edge of Kayoga River in Cleveland. There’s a large topographic disconnect -- a perceptiontional disconnect -because it’s viewed as old abandoned factory space. It’s still a functioning industrial city, but it’s been seen as abandoned since many of the flats remain vacant. AE: We went to the site and thought it was post-industrial similar to Buffalo, as Kailey was

saying. Although, the fact that down the river there were still oil companies, construction management companies, and huge industries meant calling it post-industrial was incorrect. We had to deal with the fact that as architects a lot of our projects, especially in Buffalo, deal with post-industrial. Industry is not coming back to Buffalo as it used to be. Cleveland, on the other hand, still has existing industry. KM: How do you design industry that’s welcoming, that people to want to live near, and is breaking the conventional perception of industry? AE: That’s why we decided to make everything about water remediation and waste removal: things that we believed would make industry more lively. KM: We also had to understand what process would make you want to buy into this idea. BS: Let’s talk about what the vision for your project was, the parameters of the project, and then discuss how that affected your process. You were talking about how Buffalo is a postindustrial city and how you work around here; but in Cleveland there’s a perception that it’s supposed to be post-industrial, but it really isn’t.


Allen or Delaware. Originally, what we wanted to have was a building that would cater to business on the ground floor. There would be shops or just space where residents would be able to set up their own businesses. Buffalo is considered one of the best cities to start up business for the younger generation or.. AE: Startups. EM: Yes. We wanted to just keep it open to the residents and decided to call it Bodega because Bodega is based on people coming to an independent country and starting up. We ended up changing it to all food, catering to people who wanted to start up locations like bakeries. In order to maximize that usage, we had the bodegas around the exterior of the store that shared a commercial kitchen in the center. This would be accessible to each of the bodegas. We also incorporated parking in the back for food trucks and planned to rent those out to the residents. What was different about our residential units was that we didn’t have any living rooms. We had large kitchens with commercial equipment and large countertops where they could potentially run businesses from their homes if they wanted to pursue a work-live situation.

AE: It’s a perception for us because we don’t live there. For people there, they know it’s not post-industrial. BS: From my experience in Buffalo, there still is industry. If you go down to the Buffalo River, it looked..

companies in Buffalo come a certain time of year, and these come once a day. KM: Every morning. In Cleveland, not only do the ships come more frequently, but there’s also a train on site. A freight train that comes every morning at 7:30 am. It’s a functioning industry, both by water and by train.

KM: very similar. BS: You still have large Great Lakes liners that come in to bring grain to the active silos. AGM is still there. AE: The big difference is that those

BS: Why don’t you talk a little bit about the basic end goals of your project? Emily Minkowitz: We had two sites from which to choose; one of them was near the medical campus, and the second one was on

BS: It seems like you took the idea of mixed use and moved it up further into integrated-use spaces. EM: We wanted to make it as easy for them as possible. If they didn’t have enough money to reserve one of the shops downstairs, they were able to work from their homes. That was the purpose of the large kitchens, so they could start a catering business or something similar. When their business became successful, they could expand it and rent a bodega downstairs. The public commercial kitchen also served as a cooking school for the residents and the public, as well as a restaurant. They would put the schedule out for the week: for half the week it would be a cooking school, and for the other half it would


become a restaurant. BS: Coming from an urban planning perspective, we talk about structures a lot in terms of the governance of the community -- the organizations in the area. What kind of constraints and parameters did you have to work within for your projects? What were they, and how do you think they affected meeting your goals for the project? AE: Well with us, constraints was that we couldn’t have the site be all residential. Looking at past projects, past proposals for the site -- this site is a 65 acre abandoned peninsula in the middle of Cleveland -- it’s adjacent to downtown. When we found out that past proposals by the city were 95% residential, it didn’t work because it was being proposed next to these industrial sites. In order to make the proposal marketable to any sort of manufacturer or company that would benefit from building down here, we had to have this community that builds off of each other, living and industry, small shops that could plug into a system that benefits them. That’s where the whole water treatment facility, sewage reduction facility, and waste management facility lends itself to becoming a closed-loop system.


KM: I would say another constraint was that we were working along the river, so whatever we do, we have to maintain the river sides. We had to make sure that if we were going to have any sort of connection to it, it had to be some sort of infrastructure that could be altered so that large, shipping boats and cargo boats could move through them. Topographically, we were super constrained because we have this disconnect to the site, to the downtown area and to the residential units on the other side.. Developers weren’t really acknowledging the history and functioning areas around it. The reason for proposing Booze, Brews, and Bakeries was because the rail line there currently brings in grain. We were trying to bodega massing shifts allowing for adaptable program

harness the idea of grain and bring it into a different kind of industry. We have breweries that produce carbon dioxide and biomass as their byproducts.These byproducts filter into the next product. The biomass went to bakeries because they used that as a product to bake while the carbon dioxide would go to plants. All the product waste water would then go to research facilities which would eventually feed back into the system to create fresh water for everybody. BS: I feel like thematically both projects have the freedom to integrate different types of pieces. Booze, Brews, and Bakeries is highly industrial, but closes the loops of inputs and outputs. Bodega integrates living spaces with working spaces and is trying to make less of a distinction between both. AE: We had a section showing people’s days through the site, and how it feeds the industry. BS: Sort of creating and designing a space that’s symbiotic. Let’s talk about where you started. KM: Our first priority was the remediation and the ecology of the area. AE: We wanted to develop a proposal that was low impact and so that meant less development and more natural remediation. KM: The past proposals seemed very aggressive towards the area. Did you get into any situations where you designed something and it completely changed later? EM: There was a height restriction because everything is really low and comfy. We really wanted to go through with the two-story unit so there was enough space for the kitchen as well as living. The code says that you can’t have more than four entrances at ground level without a second means of egress. We had retreated each of the three units with their own tower. Each was double height, but the second


replacing living room space with commercial kitchen for in-house business start-ups

floor was a mezzanine, so it didn’t count as a second floor. We had three levels above including the roof garden. Samendy Brice: We also struggled with light because of the existing buildings. AE: What building was next to yours, Samendy? SB: Across from Allen, we believe they were little shops. EM: Little shops, and there were two levels of residence.

SB: We introduced the voids in our building so we could allow the light to pass through. AE: It seems like they would all be in competition with each other. BS: What happens if you wanted to borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor? AE: They won’t give it to you, because if you make money, then they can’t live there. EM: We were encouraging different types of businesses. We didn’t want ten bodegas in competition. They were all encouraged to be different, so that’s where the food trucks come

in because that’s different from the bodegas. The bodegas are different from the cooking school, and the cooking school is not the restaurant. They’re trying to help each other. AE: Did you have a reason why you wanted a bodega? SB: I’m from Queens, so bodegas are a really big thing in the area. They create a culture in the community, so we took into consideration all the residential areas near it. EM: We realized early on that there weren’t really any close local places to get fresh food. We knew we wanted food, but we wanted to


water management facilities


co-existing with communities and industries

cater to the public as well. AE: Downtown needs groceries. KM: Good architects, in my personal opinion, hear the opinion of the community. They see what’s not working, and then propose something to spark interest enough to make everyone want to invest in it, proposing something that’s integrated into what people want and what solves the problem. How could we propose something that would benefit the community and spark interest while also solving a problem with the area? BS: I think designing, whether you’re talking about architecture or urban design, in a midsized American city like Buffalo or Cleveland sounds difficult because they become such car-centered cities. There’s development around transit. AE: What I see now is that a lot of buildings are raised to get parking underneath, and that fixes the issue but it destroys the street. I think the project in Cleveland really opened my eyes about rustbelt cities. It’s not just a Buffalo problem.

KM: I would say, a lot of riverfront cities have turned their back on the rivers and then started focusing more, inward? It’s a common problem within cities along the river.



“The building explores the potential of recovering lost timber and incorporating it into a structure that houses a station for research and wood crafting.�


interior oculus aligned with the sky

reflection spaces

Griffin Perry, Peter Vidulich 61

The freshman pedagogy utlized intensive exploration of wood and joinery conditions to create expressive structures for reflection. The intial interlock phase investigated material, structure, and movement relationships in order to help develop skills in model construction and visual representation. The project entailed generating a joinery condition out of three elements: the board, the sheet, and the dowel. The design of these pieces were up to interpretation as they defined a specific role in the joinery. The following project, the body support, interjected the human body as an element of reaction to the proposed joinery condition. The students were required to scale up the element in a manner that could support weight, and thus identify a language of translating the piece to a full-scale build. Student teams, in the spring semester, then evolved the initial concepts into a more resolved proposal by working through constructability, material efficiency, construction efficiency, and site integration. Silo City currently houses the freshman fullscale builds, each of which propose a more

profound and poetic relationship of material systems to body and site. Faculty: Beth Tauke, Matthew Hume, Karen Tashjian Teaching Assistants: Salwa Alawneh, Justina Dziama, Randy Fernando, Kelsey Habla, David Heaton, Quincy Koczka, Natalie Lis, Kenzie McNamara, Rachel Mordaunt, Andres Santandreu, Brandon Stone, Kimberly Taracena, John Wightman Term: Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 Course: Freshman Studios Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


structural framwork for lightweight timberframe

sunken forest

Holly Raesly 63

This project is an investigation of North Tonawanda’s industrial waterfront and the current practice of underwater logging in the Great Lakes. The building explores the potential of recovering lost timber and incorporating it into a structure that houses a station for research and wood crafting. The station would provide the community a space to revitalize and commemorate their rich connection with lumber. North Tonawanda is referred to as Lumber City because it was a place where lumber came from around the Great Lakes to be transformed into something new. The timber was transported in some cases by chainboomed rafts, and it is estimated twenty to thirty percent of it became waterlogged. There is now an effort across the Great Lakes to recover this lost timber. As North Tonawanda has such a rich history in lumber, it is a prime location for studying and engaging with the sunken logs of the 19th century. Craftsmen and researchers would have access to a facility where they could conduct research and woodworking to explore the nature of this discovered material. The building itself would incorporate the recovered logs on

the cross axis of an ultra-light, double-lattice wood construction that uses principles of tension and compression to develop form and define space. Faculty: Joyce Hwang Term: Fall 2017 Course: Junior Studio Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


juniors test their boats during the regalia | Stephanie Cramer’s Studio


Moderator: Martin Vargus Discussion Members: Holly Raesly, Peter Vidulich, Griffin Perry 65

Martin Vargas: I would like you to just walk me through what we started out with: the system at the small scale and generally what the whole semester was about.

that semester: finding different ways to expand that system and vary it. You could vary the angles of the interlock, but essentially creating volume through movement.

Griffin Perry: Freshman year was about messing with how things interact with the interlock and getting us to think about how we develop connections with materials and how we can change that in scale. The fall semester was the interlock, body support, and warming hut series. We had to take three elements -- they defined it as a board, a sheet, and a dowel -- and we had to combine them into an interlocking system with no glue, no nails, and no adhesives: something that connected all three elements interdependently. They had to hold each other together without any external assistance.

MV: Was there a site situated with the project?

After we developed that, we had to expand it in some way, and basically it became a system. The interlock became a joint in a body support for our person. We were given a client that we had to develop a body support for, to their specifications, and support the person based out of our interlock. For me, that involved extending members in order to support the person. I had to expand sizes of joints which then was upscaled to the reflection spaces. This was sort of a pavilion space for a few people. It was a broader project for the end of

GP: There was site at the end, but it was mainly about our concepts for that semester, the concepts of the interlock at multiple scales. With the warming hut set, it was hard to make a detailed model to design for a large scale. It was really about those transitions in scale and getting architects to think about the small details to the large details and how someone interacts with it at each stage. Maybe you can hold the interlock in your hands, maybe you can sit on it, and maybe you can envision the person inside of it and being enveloped by it. MV: That pretty easily translates into the freshman spring semester. So, Peter, if you would like to give us a general overview of what that second semester was what was taken from the first semester and brought into the spring? Peter Vidulich: We had to expand on the warming huts that they selected from what we produced at the end of the first semester. Then we were divided into groups by studios,


site alignment with railroad tracks at Silo City

and I think something that was a big learning curve for me and for everyone in my studio -- I’m sure throughout the entire freshman studio -- was learning how to work in groups because that was something we never really did in the beginning of the year. Everything was individual, and now we had to work in a group of ten people, which was kind of difficult at times. Before we even started, different people had different skill sets. which can get complicated at various stages of the project. Certain people focus more on building things, and I think you just have to find that balance and learn how to work with each other and communicate what you’re good at -- essentially, what your strengths are and how you can contribute to the project. I know there were people in my studio that said it was difficult to get their ideas across to ten people because we would have studio meetings where there are ten to eleven people and everyone has all of these different ideas of how they want to expand. It was great though; it was good to have all of the different ideas. It was just difficult to combine the ideas at times, but it was definitely a great learning experience and process. Taking it step-bystep from starting with an initial design that you’re given to picking it apart and looking at the details to create something that relates to

it but in the end looks nothing like the original design. It was an interesting process.

MV: Holly, would you like to explain or give an overview of junior year, fall semester, for you?

MV: You guys took the warming huts from the freshman fall semester and picked them apart, looked at those connections, and brought them out into new projects?

Holly Raesly: In a similar sense, we actually started with a group project, which our year has never done before. We had not worked in those large-scale builds together, and that’s how the semester started. It started fast and furious: three or four weeks of building a boat that would float, perform well, and have a good design to it. In groups of ten to twelve we had to deal with those same issues. We started with two separate designs and had to combine the designs. I think it was a great experience for our class to have. From there, it was little bit of a jump and they brought us to the Erie Canal, which became our site where we worked with water.

PV: Yes, I found that something that we were focused on was the joinery of how things came together, and we wanted to stay true to the original interlock of using no assistance from glue, nails, and fasteners. We ended up going back to the original interlock, before we even knew about the warming hut or anything like that, just to explore the joinery of what it actually was and how things were put together so that we could expand that. We began doing that the first semester, but by the second semester we realized that this needs to actually work. It wasn’t just one detail joint that we did in the beginning, but at the end… MV: It was full-scale construction. PV: Hundreds of joints. Obviously dependent on the project. I found that were going back to the original interlock, which was interesting because at the time the original joinery was designed, we had no idea where it was going to go.

The semester’s called the Tectonics of Buoyancy, so a lot of it was about structure and engaging with the waterfront for which Buffalo has great potential for. We were a post-industrial kind of place, and now there are all of these old factories and pollution issues with the water.How we can now engage with the waterfront in a positive way? The next kind of challenge was the boat, which led you to the performance of structure with buoyancy, and then they had us switch gears a little bit. We had to do research on the area, and my


model iterations of oculus development


full scale detail of interlocking connection

studio in particular got really into driving a concept of the building. We looked at what is engaging with the water front. People took it in many different directions and then we went with environmental issues, social and cultural issues. After that research, we did more development of three tectonic systems in relationship to our boat. We looked at heavy timber wood structures, light framing, and ultra-light framing. Through those we took a section of our boat to develop space.

bottom of the canal. In some places where the water doesn’t have super-high oxygen content, they are all preserved and are these beautiful pieces of wood because they are from forever ago when they would allow the trees to expand and grow. My project became about how North Tonawanda has this rich history, and how this site could be a place where people could find those logs, recover them, study them, and bring back the craftsmanship that was present in that area.

After those three models, we chose which one type of we were most interested in, which structural system you wanted to pursue; but some people also combined them. We had to connect it back to the research that we were doing in some way. On our site, in North Tonawanda, we observed how this building could engage with the water and what issues you wanted to tackle. Also, how it could perform structurally. This is the first time for us that a wall wasn’t just a pochéd element. It had pieces. Some projects just addressed structural issues, and made a really cool structure on site. Some went a little bit further and engaged with the site and issues, there were so many things you could have tackled. It was a really neat area.

They would build carousels, and are famous for all of this woodworking. My project was about dredging these logs and bringing them into the building, and I studied rotation angles for how wall could swing through space and that would define form and the structure around it. I chose the ultra light frame, I don’t know if you’ve seen it in Hayes, but there’s this crazy curve that works through tension and compression. There’s a lot of cable structures and I tried to incorporate the recovered wood into sections of the structure, so it became super integrated. Everything was integrated into the structure, and was also able to give a real purpose for why that crazy structure is there on the site. What is it doing for them? That’s kind of how my semester was: balancing the structure and balancing the ideas.

MV: Let’s talk about your project specifically. Not in comparison to the other projects but how you were able to systematically work through your semester with your studio group. HR: For me, I think the biggest development was when we were doing the research. I found something that I became super interested in and it was about this underwater logging industry that is happening in the Great Lakes; maybe not Erie yet but it’s probably going to. In Superior, they have been finding these recovered pieces of timber from this industrial time, which is why North Tonawanda, I should say, is called “Lumber City.” There was a huge industrial log processing. They would float logs on the river and stand on them. Twenty percent became waterlogged and sat at the

MV: Generally, I guess this is a question that any of you can hop right into: What has working through systems done for you; and do you feel as though that is the way one person should think in order to expand their projects? GP: I feel like you’re going to get a range from us because you’re thought process from junior year is probably a lot different from my thought process from freshman year. PV: Yeah, that’s something I learned freshman year. It goes into why you need to simplify. For me, and many of the projects, when you work through it, you’re working on how to simplify it.

to show that in terms of its development is helpful. I feel like, as we worked with more complicated systems and set of rules, having a guide for yourself in thinking and understanding the process will help make a stronger project. What do you think was more successful? PV: I don’t think it was a matter of what was more successful. It kind of goes back to what I was talking about before when we had to go back to the original interlock and see what that joinery could potentially do. It could have been the same type of joint, family of joinery, but respond in different ways. When we had to turn the corner, there was a very specific order to how things would slide together. There were certain boards, where the entire piece would have to slide through, and at the same time, another one would have to come through. That helped it become much stronger. GP: What guided that process for you?

understanding scale of sourcing timber

HR: ...or rationalize what you’re doing. In my studio there would be people that would make this crazy awesome structure that was there, but why is it there? That was a really defining thing. I think it was the same with your projects. I heard there was some engagement with the site. One of the projects dealt with wind direction and sound.

so we had to deal with that. GP: There was this gorgeous shot of the site when it rained just a little bit, and the railroad tracks just filled up. There was a picture of the Oculus reflected in the water, perfectly aligned along the railroad tracks. It was a good photo.

GP: Peter, yours was spontaneous on site?

MV: Do you find value when looking back being able to simplify these things?

PV: I think it definitely did respond to site -- the different forms and orientations -- plus it interacted with the ground in an interesting way. We were set on top of old railroad tracks

GP: I’ve definitely come a long way since freshman year. I noticed how continuity in design, showing step-by-step process to understand for yourself but also being able

PV: I don’t know. I guess referencing the original interlock, and then once we started moving into full-scale models of the details. Once we realized that this was going to work, we had to go all the way and push it to its limit for it to come together. Even up until we were building the final structure, we spent the final five or six weeks finalizing the structure. Even after we built it, we had to add pieces so we had to still relate it back to the original joint but figure out different ways of connecting it. MV: Essentially, this entire architecture school, or just UB in general, is such a research-based school, that within the program that we are in now,s there is not only quite literal research of site, analysis, and joints but there’s even research in process work and going back to the beginning. What’s valuable in research for you? PV: With respect to process work? MV: Yes, with respect to process work


lot of sketching to get your ideas across. For me, it was just going to the shop and just modeling. A lot of the initial models were really rough and it was just to get the ideas across, they were sketch models. That was definitely something that affected my project because it was something that I was more interested in, woodworking. I did research on joinery and things come together or attach. MV: Griffin, a lot of your process work is through sketching and especially first semester freshman year. GP: First semester freshman year, I just filled sketchbooks. I had so many ideas, and I just had to sort through them to find out what worked and what didn’t. As the projects got more complicated. I needed to move into models. I feel like freshman year was strongly material based, so models and sketches were fine. When ideas become more abstracted, you need to find other means of representation.


MV: That pretty nicely brings us into how you would go into iterations, Holly. From freshman year they focused hard on sketching and modeling anything and everything you could think of, but then it translated into something that you are as a creative thinker. My question to you would be how has your methods of working through iterations grown?

lightweight spatial construction

throughout the semester. HR: I can think of a specific example. UB always gives you something to start with, like the interlock and the boat. So they give you this artifact that you work on, and it’s the initial idea and how to develop it either as a group or an individual. The most successful semesters are when I’m passionate about what I’m researching. I think that goes for anyone. Even the teachers that research here -- when they are interested in a topic and you can explain and critique what you’ve learned so that they can learn, it becomes an interesting learning experience -- sharing new knowledge of what

your interested in is when you get the most success. GP: I agree with you. The way it works is that they might give you an end goal either for a smaller project or the whole one. HR: If you’re really excited about what you’re doing, other people will be, too. PV: For me, what was most enjoyable or what we focused on was the joinery because I enjoyed going to the shop and experimenting with models. I remember you said in the beginning of freshman year, thats you did a

HR: I was thinking of final review, freshman year, first semester I don’t know who it was but he gave me the best advice. I would make anything and everything, but there was very little connection. I would just produce stuff. He said, “Ok good job; but look there’s two kinds of people that design. Someone that runs around and explores everything and someone who has a really specific train of thought and makes iterations of one idea to improve that. You know you’re the one doing everything right now, but try the other approach next semester. Try it out. Try to keep a consistent idea.” I did that, and I now enjoy working that way so


interlocking condition of three elements: board, sheet, & dowel


exploration of filtering light

much more. Not all your initial thoughts are your best ones; but when you find something, I really try to not get diverted. I try to keep a consistent train of thought and push what I’m really interested in. That really showed last semester. I’m a big diagrammer, I love diagrams. This semester was a great balance of making tectonic models and then making research boards to have them collide. It was a good back and forth, no matter what your skills were. It was a nice way of processing your ideas. MV: As you grow through the undergraduate process of creative thinking, means of representation start to change. It’s not strictly just sketching and model making but you need to start thinking spatially.

still express yourself. You have those tools available to you, and it’s like this fundamental skill that you get. Freshman year they did that for us too, but not as heavily as others. GP: I think part of the reason we spent so much time drawing over the first year. Having the ability to take that time to reflect while you’re working is one of the best ideas. MV: Can you elaborate on the strengths of systematic thinking and why that made the projects successful for you? HR: I don’t think any of the projects here started with an idea that was just forgotten about. I think they all have a strong process and none of us forgot where we started from.

Why do you think they get you to work through these different means of representation? Freshman year, there is a lot of physical representation. You’re working through a lot of models. What’s the value of starting with these fundamentals?

PV: I also think that, for me, I didn’t really try to worry about where the process was going. I trusted the system and the ideas and tried to push what they wanted to be.

HR: We started with hand-drafting. No one is going to hand draft in an office anymore, really. That connection that they start to establish with hand-crafting and hand-drafting -- I think they like to give you those tools in the beginning so that when you do have an idea you can

MV: I feel like that’s where a lot of people tend to hit a wall. They already have this final hoorah image in their head, but you can’t get there yet with what you have going on now.

HR: It’s never just the end result in your mind.

PV: I definitely found myself doing that too.

MV: There will be times where we are forced to do things to simply just have content, and then in the end we did that but we need to ask why. How can I take what I have now and relate it to what’s been going on already. What my underlying interests have been all semester… GP: I feel like another important thing is interdependence. In the freshman year the ideas are physically interdependent with all of the elements; but then by the third year it’s the ideas that need to be interdependent. All of the ideas need to be developed off of each other and a strong project is not one that is self-referential but has an interconnectedness to its history, site, and its purpose. I feel like that’s what we’re trying to work our way towards -- is from interconnectedness from materials to interconnectedness of ideas.


axonometric view: connecting elements


“ was about aiming for the atmosphere. Aiming for that feeling, and maybe bringing some of that color and texture that would take a more static drawing and kind of would...add some more movement to it.� 75


expanding landscape into structural elements

evolving landscape

Morgan Mansfield 77

Mansfield used a combination of paint, ink, charcoal, chalk, and colored pencil as a way to express the two “characters� that were consistent through the story -- humans (and by extension, the impact we have) and the land itself. The idea of using analog materials continued to be a major part of her entire semester and was often a driving force in the design process. She used the unpredictability of ink and water to explore ideas of chance occurrences as a metaphor for the way that land shifts and changes over time, and an iterative modeling process to explore spatial connections inspired by systems of infrastructure at varying scales. Many of her drawings were created through combining model photos, site photos, sketches, and computer-generated linework. The continually changing process of the drawings and models helped her to explore the main questions of her project – How would a network of infrastructure-like construction change in response to natural elements over time? How would a landscape react to a web of structure built and left for it to overtake? What experiences does a landscape that blurs the distinct spaces of land, air, and water have to offer to people? The back-and-forth nature

of the drawings and models for this project were meant to be a way to explore a kind of conversation between infrastructure, which is always striving to be permanent, and the land, which is constantly evolving -- two opposing forces that are intended to exist in the same space. Faculty: Adil Mansure Term: Spring 2017 Course: Sophomore Studio Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


structural model of airport proposal

relocation and utopia

Sadichchha Dhakhwa 79

The design intially began through exploration of collage and narrative. Through reviewing poems, books, and essays the students were required to associate a graphic production with the story embedded in their selection. The collage focused heavily on the balance of positive and negative energies. This notion of energies was transferred to the overall concept for the airport design, as the systems embedded were meant to dictate a relationship between user and environment. High global carbon emissions are a contributing factor to climate change. The popularity of air travel contributes to a large amount of a person’s carbon footprint. Travelers are asked to compensate for the footprint they use for travel. Planting biomass allows the airport to generate a cleaner source of energy near the site to power the regular activities. Wind and solar energy will also be harvested and utilized at the airport. The area around the airport is converted into fields to grow various plants, biofuel to sustain the energy needs for the airport. Travelers using this facility will be asked to perform certain tasks and, hence, clear their conscience by reducing the carbon footprint

they are to leave behind. Using technological advances, they can help to power parts of the facilities, using the repentance gym before boarding a flight, work in the fields to regrow the waning trees to combat the greenhouse emissions, or use the farming economy to produce biofuels. Faculty: CJ Lim, Eva Aagaard, Simon Dickens Term: Summer 2017 Course: Aarhus Study Abroad Degree Program: Master of Architecture


water and ink finding form


Moderator: Randy Fernando Discussion Members: Morgan Mansfield, Sadichchha Dhakhwa 81

Randy Fernando: What was the exchange program? Sadichchha Dhakhwa: This is from the Aarhus exchange program, a one-semester studio. Since it’s a semester-long program, instead of doing a semester here at University at Buffalo, you could be doing it there. Aarhus University is one of the design architecture universities in Denmark. The program itself has two different fields you can go into. Within those two fields you have other studios, two or three, you can choose from. In my particular studio, the group tackled sustainability in its vaguest form. The project itself was based -- the title of the project was Relocation and Utopia. The whole idea was to look at a site that was unwanted or in disuse and was starting to be emptied out. Technically the studio I went into was a yearlong studio, but I came in the second semester of it. I had to do a little bit of catching up, and in that time I wasn’t able to pick my own site. The site was already decided. For me that was the largest difference that I had to deal with. I didn’t have the intense research on site, but the site was always an airport. The airport itself was -- less and less people started using it because everyone goes to Copenhagen, so there are maybe five or six flights leaving the airport. The program starts out with a narrative,

so you pick your own narrative. RF: You have to start out with a narrative? SD: You have to look for a narrative. It could be a book, a story, or a poem. The first thing was that we needed to search for something more descriptive. The first project was essentially just collaging, and so the narrative I picked is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. That whole book is divided into this duality of good versus evil and where is the middleground? The collage that I ended up using for the rest of the project is this one where the idea is that there is a moon as the fake fictional piece and half the side is always in sunlight. It was happy and jolly. The other side is dark, depressed and in eternal darkness. It’s the basic duality of the two. For the collage, half of it is in eternal sunshine and half of it is in eternal darkness. Moving forward looking at the Aarhus airport -- I proposed an entirely new airport that dealt with carbon emissions and air travel being the highest form of pollutant. We began creating this new landscape that uses biomass and asks certain people to repent by generating their own electricity. Instead of waiting, you are participating in an activity that generates electricity using that to bring out a new space, an educative space -- a space that creates a

better environment for everyone. Your carbon emissions -- I calculated them. RF: You’ve mentioned before that your professor has a certain style of graphics? What was that influence on some of these productions? SD: These were actually the last two to three weeks of the whole semester. A lot of the semester was dedicated to us producing what would technically be a comprehensive studio. We had a lot of construction drawings accounting for structure and elements similar to that. Coming to the end we called them design development drawings. This isn’t actually what the whole airport looks like. The whole idea is that there are multiple, different viewpoints that are mashed up into one to create a composite drawing. I chose to do black and white because to start out it was a combination of physical modeling, Rhinocerous, V-ray, Illustrator, and then the whole drawing was assembled in Photoshop. Generally, it was lot of playing around with what elements fit together and adapting them in the model. I think it was really cool that it ended up something like this than more technical. I had to do a whole structural diagram to figure that out, and it ended up in this artistic medium.


MM: Basically, we were given the site of Unity Island. A little early on in the semester we went on a trip down to the site and were told to create our own history for it just based on what we found looking around. Plus, anything that we wanted to bring back for ourselves. We brought back twigs, rocks, and other objects that were directly from the site. What can you make out of that? It started off with the landscape on its own and it just existing as it is. We would come in and leave traces as we moved through the site, and then it moved to more an evasive infrastructure. The landscape reacting back against that. That’s where the collages came into play. From that I got this idea about thinking of infrastructure and how balance of good versus evil

people can transform the landscape around them. I was thinking of them as competing forces. The whole idea of this was very conceptually based, and it was questioning how would you make a landscape -- a humanmade landscape just as that. RF: Collaging was a big aspect for you in your project, Morgan, for design development, not just as representation but as understanding connections between things. What’s kind of interesting is that what Sadi mentioned is more program based in collaging like Illustrator, Rhinoceros, and Photoshop -- if I’m not wrong yours is more analog, right?


SD: Right. The first ones we did were more analog, but in the end it moved into a very digital world. I guess the only analog or human factor was all the hatching that you can’t really see here in this small of a scale, but they were all done by hand and were photoshopped into the collage. I had a sheet of hatches that I would edit into the pieces. Apart from that I would say that the rest were done very digitally. MM: I believe mine was definitely a contrast to that. It was mainly through drawing; and I did these ink and water studies, too. I was looking at how a landscape has this randomness in it. It changes all the time and it continuously evolves. I tried understanding what a graphic representation for that would be. I was looking for what does randomness look like? I would take watercolor paper, cover it in water and drip paint on it or use string or ink. That’s how I got this whole background image. It was a composite of a lot of different ink work, using different materials and moving the water and ink around in different ways. That was influenced by this model that I made based off of the collages. It was a back-and-forth process between 2D versus 3D and drawing versus model. The model came from cases of the collage when my professor was saying that I should try to make the collages 3D. Build

integrating evolving landscape as entension of site context

the infrastructure that is represented in the collage, so that it influenced the ink drawings which then influenced the next generations of the model. It was this back and forth that would form the landscape of the infrastructure.

was a matter of having these little nodes of activity and finding connections between them -- that was the string and the wire pieces. It was finding the connections between all of them.

SD: That’s really cool. How did you bring your model into drawing and then back into model? How did you adapt it in a different way?

SD: I can definitely see that coming into the straight-line work here. It was like a weird mix of this hand-made line and nature.

MM: A lot of the focus on a couple of the collages were pictures of details of this huge bridge structure across the site. That’s where a lot of the geometry of the pieces were coming from. I would build up the pieces and then it

MM: I don’t know if I got into the whole theme of the project because I got a little side tracked. I was looking at how people implement infrastructure in an insensitive way into the landscape. The whole concept


interpreting collages into physical constructions

of this was, basically, if you were to create a landscape out of this human-made infrastructure what would it look like? What experiences could it offer? This interconnected web of man-made stuff as a landscape. SD: The whole building of it is a lot more organic than mine is. MM: It’s more orthogonal. SD: I ended up developing a very linear grid to it. I know that this one follows the same lines, the same rhythm with the floor plates. The only place that didn’t have it, that broke it off, were the runway areas. Apart from that, it fits into this format. There’s no breaking it. RF: Even from your technical drawings, for instance, it was very interesting because there is so much precision involved with it, including the details. Yours is kind of the opposite as it is more abstracted in a sense because it’s

conceptual. SD: I did enjoy that in the whole making of this process it was becoming so technical. That’s also how the studio is designed, and was the particular semester that was doing their comprehensive studio. RF: Do you think that limited you in how to tackle the problem, when you got back into collaging? The narrative that happened in the beginning was more artistic, right? SD: Yeah. RF: You had to then move into a more comprehensive mode of thinking. Do you think that it changed your design moving forward? SD: It did. It went through multiple iterations of going through being technical to being artistic. None of this was even figured out. I didn’t have structure. What was really cool,

though, was that we had workshops where one was specifically for the environmental side of it and one for the structure part of it. Then we had guest lecturers come in -- one that was from Transolar -- to help figure out all of the environmental elements. They came and would tell you how to get the technical pieces into the building. In that same way we had the structural engineer come in and talk to us and go through everyone’s project. It was definitely one thing that drove the project, was being able to get their input. The whole project itself was a theoretical one. You may one day end up asking someone to generate their own electricity. These plans here were research for biomass. These are the ones that produce the most biomass and these are wind harvesters. RF: That’s what is interesting about the collaging medium is that it’s finding out different ideas and putting them together as a representational tool even though it’s not a typical convention in architectural sets.


sectional elevation of active airport

What I’m curious about is if you were to do your studies in a technical fashion, how do you think it would have affected your project moving forward? MM: It would have been very different. This was really based on internal connections. It was making a self-contained landscape in a way. I think that if I had brought in more analysis of the conditions of the site as I believe they were, that would have affected where I placed certain moments. RF: Ink and water as a medium. Why is that the medium you chose moving forward or was it a spontaneous decision? Did you use it before and decide to use it again? MM: No, no. It was more -- I was a little stuck there so the model -- a piece of this model came first, so my professor asked me to build an apparatus that would show how things changed on site. I didn’t really know how to

move forward with that. I thought using that literally to influence where I dropped the ink on to the water would show that randomness that would be slightly influenced by the infrastructure. I was searching for randomness. SD: That’s really interesting. I’m not really sure that I would have been able to do that. RF: Even the contrast in colors for instance where it’s black and white versus color. You’re both using the same medium, for instance, which is collaging; but it was taken into two completely different realms of study. When both of you were talking about people versus landscape, that interaction spatially is very different for instance. So yours is building and then landscape around and then yours is that building is landscape. For both of you I would ask, is this something that you have done before and is your strength in this medium of representation? Is it

something new that you were challenged to do in this particular project? SD: I was definitely challenged. MM: It was the same for me. This collage medium was a little bit familiar but not really bringing it into a project and having it be the driving force behind a design. That was completely new. Having to pull out of this from the collages which was based around a story that we created -- it was on a very conceptual level. RF: Very whimsical? MM: Yes, yes. SD: Even when we started the semester, we had a meeting before school started; and we had two professors, one was from Denmark and one was from the Bartlett. He technically teaches the Bartlett but he does a studio there.

This was a parallel studio with that one, and so the mode of working is what he is known for. His projects are based on delivery and he does commentary on events. His influence partly came down to us with how we had to pick a piece of literature and produce a collage. RF: You had to put yourselves in his shoes, in terms of how he interprets process. SD: It was a part of the process of how he works, but I think at the same time we had the ability to choose our own path. Our decisions came into how we picked the book and the story. There was a huge difference in types. Initially when we started, he was saying we should get into more SciFi stories because…


RF: They’re more “out there”? SD: Yes. I ended up picking a children’s book, which was pretty fun to work with. RF: I guess there are really unconventional ways to take on a project; so also coming from an art background, how do you think that has influenced your process with this? Whether it was about composition, color selection, or calling out relationships, for instance. How have those kinds of pieces affected how you moved forward? MM: I think it definitely made an impact with this project. Since this was based on looking for a certain atmosphere or environment. I looked at a lot of artists throughout the semester. This background is a part of a Turner painting, so that’s where I drew a lot of inspiration for this sort of -- quality of the space around it. In terms of thinking colors and composition, I’m actually not really sure where it started. I sort of had a certain color scheme throughout the project. I think it started with the collages. It came from natural photos of the site. That was where the colors came from. I narrowed it down to some blues and browns where that was when it seemed to fit with the airport as program benefitting local agriculture


water and ink explorations to find organic forms

atmosphere I was trying to create. RF: Is there an atmospheric quality that you were trying to create with the black and white? SD: No, I think the black and white was more of a choice that I made. This was also my first time doing this large scale of work and this style that black and white was easier to understand. RF: Right, because you would have had to experiment more with color? You just played towards your strengths with this piece. SD: Yes, it took a while to get to this phase. It was a slow-learning process; and for that time I tried color, but it took too much time to figure out. RF: Could you see yourselves implementing this kind of graphic work into the profession moving forward? Is that a reality or do you think it doesn’t work in the profession as of now?

SD: I think it could. I would really enjoy it if it did. I don’t believe all drawings need to be clean cut. MM: I think it’s nice to see that human-like touch to it. I really enjoyed the textural qualities in a lot of my drawings and that’s something I can see bringing forward even if it’s a more refined version of that. It’s nice to show textures and bringing that materiality to the forefront. SD: I know a lot of them here are construction drawings and renderings, but what if you could explore that a little bit further where you could bring this to a firm as your contribution. RF: Right, like your own personalized style. What is your biggest critique of current conventions for architectural representation outside of academia? Of course, we’re in our own little bubble of research essentially. In the profession right now, do you think the visualizations are working? Aren’t working?

What are they capturing? What are the differences in doing this for instance? It’s a loaded question, but just to speculate on some of these points. MM: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m trying to think of it now, but I don’t remember that last time I saw any final representations that have had some sort of analog media in them. RF: What do you think that incorporating this media into the profession would do for the representation? MM: Well, I guess in this one it was about aiming for the atmosphere. Aiming for that feeling, and maybe bringing some of that color, texture would take a more static drawing and would... RF: Add some more movement to it or dynamics. MM: Yes, some more movement and emotion to it. Give it another layer of what the architects

are trying to convey in the drawings. SD: I think that’s partly an extra step in what the profession can take but is something that people have a hard time taking because not everyone relates in the same way. I’m not really sure how you would bring this into the profession. There are new drawings that people do, but they are not just all images of a project but are more diagrammatic and analytical. There are firms that do show it that way.


RF: One of the comments that you made is that some people can’t really understand it as much because it is really abstracted, right? I’m actually disagreeing because maybe architects wouldn’t really understand because we’re in the convention of technical plans, sections, and elevations; but I think others can relate to it. These kinds of graphics are something they feel more attachment to because there is a lot more emotion embedded into these kinds of drawings. SD: I think there are different levels. There are plans and drawings and then there are the renders. The renderings are the most conventional way to mass produce for everyone to see. Not everyone gets to see plans and sections. What if you were able to produce a different rendering? It would definitely attract certain people, but is the message that you’re conveying clear enough to understand? RF: That’s a good question. You have conventional rendering and then you have the more tactile graphics, which is what you both are talking about. I think rendering in the current architectural practice is very precise and at some points not obtainable. It’s this idea of something being very… MM: Shiny and perfect. RF: Exactly, which most buildings don’t end up looking like at the end. I suppose

to comment off that, maybe there’s a more honest representation here of what the design is meant to feel like or project, opposed to the renders that are currently happening, which are above where the design is going to get to because it’s so post-processed to a moment of perfection. SD: There are certain ways of doing artistic work. There are architects that do art on the side and bring that into a project. I think that needs to be portrayed more, the actual process of getting there. MM: It’s about the whole idea generation. Where do people get these ideas? How do they develop it to get to the final shiny rendering? What went into that? RF: I’m glad you both mentioned that because that was kind of the point of doing these conversations. I’m less curious about the polished product than I am about the really raw, messy moments that lead up to it because that’s where a lot of time is spent. The last week is that polished product; but those four months are the messy sketching, diagramming and you going crazy in studio. That is never shown. That’s the entire culture of architecture school. You were probably frustrated making all these ink patterns and asking how is this -MM: The whole time I was wondering where this was going and what I am doing with this. At some point it clicks, and you figure it out at the end when you can start trying to do the development. All of the idea generation stuff is really important. SD: For me, the structural model is what set the whole atmosphere for the project. This is probably the fourth model that ended up developing it into a hanging structure. I ended up cutting off all of the pieces, but it worked. We never -- these are not finished drawings. We’re stopping the project here but there’s a lot ahead moving forward. It was actually fun doing these collages. You did this in

sophomore year? MM: Yes, this was sophomore year. SD: It’s funny because we didn’t do collages. RF: Right, it is funny because Sadi is a graduate student doing this now and Morgan is a sophomore. We haven’t used collages as a medium as much. How did you feel getting into this? SD: The first one I did was absolutely horrible. It was trying to, again, find the right scale and figure those kinds of problems out. I started having a sketch, thinking this sort of looks good here. It was fun. This was actually the third collage I did, and I did two or three more after that. Working with collages, I spent a lot of time cutting these pieces out. There was a thesis student in the studio that would say, “Hey, I’m going to be your mentor for the week.” She would help me figure some issues out. RF: You did a physical collage? You cut everything out, merged it together, and then scanned it in? SD: Everything was on a white sheet of stonehenge. I started out with a cut out of the moon, and they were two different pieces put together. Everything else I played around with was just throwing different pieces down and taking photos to see if it looked good. RF: How long did it take you to do these? SD: This one took about four hours. RF: What about you, Morgan? For one of yours. What was the time frame for making one of those? MM: This model took a ridiculous amount of time. I had to actually sew all of these little pieces of mesh onto the wire. If I needed to change something, I needed to cut it off and

reposition it; and everything was soldered, so I would have to break the solder. There was a lot of that so that this was developed up until the very end. The week before -- not even -- days before the final review. I was still working on this model, and that was a little terrifying because a lot of the final renders came from the photos of the final model. It was a lot of pressure to get this done; and it was never done because it was always moving and changing, which was the point of it so it fit with my concept. It was quite the process. SD: How much time did you end up spending on one drawing when you were doing your collages? Going from collage to drawing? Did you spend more time on your models?


MM: I think the models took the most time just because of how I was making them. I had to figure out soldering, and I had never done that before. It was pretty much starting from nothing and building up all these tiny little connections. SD: Soldering is terrible when you’re doing it by yourself. MM: Yes. The models were more time consuming just because of how they were made, but the drawings were fun because I did them in a lot of layers. It was back and forth between digital, photoshop, collaging; and for this one I actually printed it on stonehenge and painted over a lot of areas in the background. Down here in the bottom I drew in all of these sectional details with a white pen. These -- the drawings took less time than the models, but it was really based on how I was making them. SD: It was different for us. We did the models when we were trying to figure out the structure of the design and then we never went back. We didn’t do a model at all afterwards. MM: This semester’s models, I had pieces from the original model in the final model which is kind of cool. Pieces from this original model-collage hybrid


site and model as organic landscape

apparatus from the beginning of the semester ended up in the final model with more pieces and connections added. SD: That’s unique. Tthese drawings in the end -- we did three of them in three weeks, so I spent an equal amount on each one of them. I think I spent two weeks drawing this particular one from start to finish, so I think the drawings for me were the most time consuming. The models were just fine being done in a day. It’s really just two different modes of working. MM: It was definitely weird for this project because a lot of my drawings were coming from the actual model, so all of my efforts were going into that to even start the drawings. SD: Did you end up doing a digital model at all? MM: I did pieces of it to test out how I was going to represent this, so I thought I was going to always make a Rhino model of it. Then I realized it was changing so much that it’s going to be a lot of work, so I based it mostly off of model photos. I would go in with linework -- Rhino linework -- to make the drawings. SD: For me, I had parts of the Rhino model. I don’t think it was ever really completed because I had so much detail in it. For the final one, it’s kind of funny, because I added specific things like the tower to the model just where you would render it out. RF: That makes sense. Cheating the system a little bit. SD: Just a little bit. It was really fun because all of these had to change so many times. You can see really weird details. I did the structure drawings out of Rhino and brought them into AutoCAD to work on the linework. A lot of what the structure really is was in the model, and I had to draw all of that because it wouldn’t render. I even modeled the plane. You can see

little people exercising and various other crazy details. RF: The fantastical parts of the projects are nice. I think that’s the overarching theme here -- is that it’s a serious project but it has so much atmospheric qualities, creativity, and artistry to it that I hope the profession integrates these styles more moving forward.



“The difference between form optimization and form finding is generally that form finding is based on experimentation.�



sugar shell interior

sugar shell

Blake Kane, Evan Glickman 95

Sugarcane, or sugar cane, are several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia and Melanesia, and used for sugar production. It has stout, jointed, brous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. Crystallization is the process just after evaporation. During evaporation the clarified sugar cane juice is boiled in evaporators which remove most of the water leaving a thick syrup. The final model combined the technique and knowledge we gained from our previous scaled studies. Casting a sheet around 10’ x 20’ allowed for a true observation of how the material would behave at a full scale. Drying time was the most challenging problem. Plastic tarps and spray bottles were used to continually hydrate the cast in order to prevent the pulp from over drying into its solid final form. During the lift, a major tear occurred, leaving the front half of the model with a larger gap. Overall the material lifted into final form, and continued to maintain the form throughout the entirety of the drying process.

Being a cellulose-based, paper-pulp material, the life expectancy of the created object was expected to be very short. Decay models were tested to study the final outcome and environmental impact the material would have upon returning to the earth. Faculty: Georg Rafailidis Term: Fall 2017 Course: Material Cultures Graduate Research Group Degree Program: Master of Architecture


nterior view of cullings filtering light

culled geometries

Karim Mahmoud, Pinelopi Papadimitraki 97

When a void is subtracted from a material and the edges of said subtraction is forced to connect, the force exhausted in forming the material (kinetic energy) is transformed to potential energy, giving rise to a form in respect to specific geometrical cullings. What follows is a key, representing reactions of wood to specific geometries later on combined to produce a form resultant of their interactions. Identical geometries were culled from each side of square mesh. A magnetic pull is then applied between respective points, raising the structure and generating an equal distribution of forces on each side, manifesting, in this case, as a dome-like geometry with notable spatial potential. “Trusses� form between the apexes of tear-drops; however it’s worth noting that the configuration does not make use of their added rigidity for much more than form generation. The ground meeting points could thus (in this case) be subject to failure, structurally. In light of the array of simple experiments and the discoveries of truss triangulations and respective form generations delineated in the catalog, a composite assembly was designed combining a number of variable cullings to

produce a form in respect to the trajectories of forces traveling through the medium. Faculty: Nicholas Bruscia Term: Spring 2017 Course: Conditional Form Seminar Degree Program: Master of Architecture


hanging sugar dome test


Moderator: Kalyn Faller Discussion Members: Blake Kane, Karim Mahmoud 99

Kalyn Faller: I’ll just read the brief that he provided. “When a geometry is subtracted from a material, and the edges of said subtraction are forced to connect, the force exhausted in forming the material, or kinetic energy, is transformed to potential energy, giving rise to a form in respect to a specific geometrical culling. What follows is a key representation of reactions of wood to specific geometries later combined to produce a formed resultant of their interactions.” Do you want to speak on how the studio was being run? Karim Mahmoud: Nick’s conditional form studio is based on active form finding. The difference between form optimization and form finding is, generally, that form finding is based on experimentation. The whole idea is that we were trying to create a bank of energy within the material itself, so some people resorted to creating slits; quite literally, cutting a line and taking two pieces of wood and joining them across. What Pinelopi and I decided to do was to cut out whole geometries and connect their edges. What starts to happen when you have a flat piece of wood is that it has a set amount of potential energy stored; and once you put in a set amount of energy to form it in a different way and clip it, you contain that energy. All we were doing was looking at how different geometries generated different paths of energy, and those paths were what gave rise

to certain forms. If you look at these, which are not in color, unfortunately, the lighter parts are where the forces are more direct; so you’ll see we actually drew dotted lines on our models to see where the forces are traveling. What’s in between here is, generally, a dip or a bulge because it’s being constricted by the edge. KF: You said it was a series of experiments. You didn’t know that these were the geometries that were going to be cut out? KM: Yes, not really. KF: How did you get to this type of geometry of subtractions? KM: The first thing we did was start with a strip of wood. Then we cut out tear drops and we joined the edges together. Then we started to see that the piece started to warp and started expanding it. Blake Kane: Were you trying to do that with the grain of the material? KM: The grain would have been the next step in the experiments, but all we got to do was test different combinations of cull geometries. When we came to the physical model, it took us a couple of trials first. Initially, when we were pulling forward, against the grain, it split.

KF: It would snap? KM: It would snap, right. We taped it over because it was just an experiment so we didn’t really mind. An ideal material for this kind of forming, if you will, would be something that would be an equilateral mesh, something that we modeled digitally and something that doesn’t have a set direction of movement. It has to have more of a hexagonal kind of grain that can actual bend equally in all directions. In the physical model the grain gave rise to variations of what we had designed on Kangaroo. This was the ideal form. 100

KF: Have you used this material before? KM: No. It was 1/16-inch wood veneer. We used maple. KF: Right, maple veneer and you haven’t used it before? KM: Yes, right. We started playing with paper first. When we started to scale up, the paper started to get floppy so we needed something that acted like paper but had more structure to it. We used chipboard and it started to crack and fold. We decided to use wood, and the wood would snap past a certain point. So, instead of the fold you would get with the chipboard, the wood would completely snap. The energy was too much strain for that curvature. You can see that there is a difference between the models. One of them looks like a clover and one of them looks like a normal “X.” What we were doing here was playing with that ratio. We found that the more extreme the ratio is -- the closer the sizes are together to a ratio of three to one -- you end up with more extreme fluctuation of the form because it doesn’t spread. It’s hard to explain. Let’s say you are subtracting 10 kilojoules and these 10 kilojoules are being spread across the radius here of 10 mm. Each one of these 10 mm is going to take 10 kilojoules and bend accordingly.

BK: You determined these forms first through Grasshopper or Kangaroo, and then you would bring them to a physical test? KM: It was actually physical tests first. At the beginning it was two weeks of making paper models that didn’t actually look like these. A lot of them just tested subtracting materials. They didn’t have set geometries. Once we established a set amount of study models, we decided to go with the variety of cuts we selected. BK: These cuts came from experimenting the physical models for the first two weeks and then taking that further? KM: Once we established Kangaroo, it became much more of a background task. We produce forms in Kangaroo. There were some things that we could test but it was much more of a hypothetical experiment as opposed to the physical ones. What Kangaroo provides you is the ability to circumnavigate the limitations of materiality or access to materiality. There was this thing that we designed called the almost mobius strip. We put two holes in the piece and subtracted it and then connected them. We couldn’t do this in real life because it would have required a scale that was out of the scope of laser cutting with veneer. We couldn’t CNC it; we actually tried that and the wood veneer ripped apart. We resorted to simulating it, and it gave us the result that we wanted. In that sense we knew that something similar to that was possible, but it was about finding the right material. KF: We’ll stop there with yours so we can talk about Blake and Evan’s project a little and then go into some of the similarities as far as how form and process go. So the brief says, “By crystallization of sugar molecules bonding to the fibers of the bagasse, this pulp mixture, when lifted in the air, creates a solidified thinshell structure -- a spatial condition in which light penetrates through the thin paper shell, thus creating a harmonious lighting effect that identifying cull geometries

is only experienced from the interior.” BK: We were experimenting with paper pulp as a material. One of the things that we as a studio had decided at the beginning of the semester was the combination of thin shell structures as precedent, so we specifically looked at the form finding work of Heinz Isler. He would take a fabric, drape it and spray it with ice. It would stay there in that form, and these folds would happen naturally where the water would cure on it. One of the things we had immediately started with was swatch testing. After experimenting with precedents of thin-shell structures and form finding, we came to a realization of the potentials of sugar just because we coated fabrics once with sugar and realized that it was hardening and sustaining form. Then it became really about just diving into sugar as our potential material in application for architecture. For our research that’s where we discovered the bagasse material, which is the unavoidable by-product in the sugar-milling process. You mill the sugar cane and you get two products from that. You get the actual cane sugar, which is used in coffee and so one; and you get bagasse which are fibers. You’ll normally see that in biodegradable plates. If you go to chipotle and see the plates there -- that’s bagasse. BK: We found that when we take the sugar cane and the bagasse fibers and recombine them back into a pulp mixture, we could apply that to architecture. The swatch testing was where our discoveries took place of the materials, and we started with a one to two ratio of sugar to bagasse. What we found was that the more sugar we added to the mixture the harder it would get. Then we experimented with a heat gun and sped up the process so that the chemical reactions could do one of two things. You could either mix it more and that would speed up the reaction time or you could get heat. We experimented with both of those paths, and what we ended up with was dropping the heat aspect because we realized it was overpowering the reaction. We

used blenders to mix the sugar and bagasse together and then applied it to a paper-making method. We would take a silk screen and sponge out the excess water from the mixture and place it on top of a mold which was actually just… KM: A wire mesh? BK: Well it actually wasn’t even a wire mesh. It was screening used in houses and then we would cast it as a flat sheet. At the point of the semester we got a process for making the material, so then it became about how do we…


Ashley DelliPaoli: Start giving it form? BK: Right, start giving it form. How did we make spatial qualities from this material? One of the immediate tests we had was just lifting it. This was the test of using human formwork, so we just took our hands and lifted it. We thought maybe we could just get under this flat sheet, and when the drying happened it hardened -- that didn’t work. There was tearing. This was where we fell back to some of our precedent studies. Heinz Isler had a study -- he wrote a book called New Shapes for Shells and in that book he listed out the unlimited potential for thin-shell structures. There was this one moment in the book called “39 moments for thin-shell structures.” He just went crazy with sketching out thin-shell structures and their potentials. What we ended up doing was something similar to Isler’s thin-shell tests, where we started taking this material and lifted it. We started with one point, then two or three points. We finally came to this method of attaching all these points where there would be three main locations that we lifted from. KF: To the ceiling? BK: To the ceiling. What was amazing about that was -- well, Evan was more about the lack of control, giving the material the final voice of how it came down. How these pulls happened sugar sheet form finding experiments


geometries associated with paths of energy transfer

is really how the material wanted to bend to form structure on its own. My kind of rebuttal to that was the symmetry aspect, making sure that we were lifting the point even on all sides and trying to bring about a sense of control to the material. There’s a balance between what the material could do and what we could do in the design process. What came out was pretty amazing. You get this very abstract form, but we don’t really have any final shots of it where you can see the moments of symmetry or where the folding was symmetrical on both sides. Even though it was very controlled, and if you took a plan view of the top of it, we did 3D scans of it using a scanning program…


KF: Did you use a kinect? BK: Yeah a kinect. We scanned the whole thing and then all of the sudden, it opened up a new world because we were reanalyzing this through the digital realm. At our final review one of the points of criticism was we took a flat sheet, which is atypical in making a thinshell… KM: You preconstruct the form. BK: Yes, and that was one of the points of criticism but also the point of ingenuity because we were taking something that was natural and brought it up in the most natural way possible so that it could form itself. Essentially, that is how we got to this form, and obviously, there was some more observing qualities -- this kind of relationship to thin shell and the paper. All of a sudden you had all of these translucent qualities on the inside verus something that seems very solid on the outside. KM: What drove you towards sugar at first? I’m just curious. BK: When we were looking at the Isler tests, the ice tests specifically, one of the things that we were taken back by were the ephemeral qualities that the water held. This idea that you could go outside, drape a fabric over a tree

simulating form through Kangaroo + Grasshopper

trunk, spray it with water to freeze it, the sun comes out, and all of the sudden it melts and you have fabric again. It’s this really short-lived architecture and we wanted to replicate that. AD: You never came across any research that mixed sugar and water? BK: After doing that we explored more, but we had this instantaneous success and then we started dissolving it. We actually saw this different world that exists after the structure happens; so there’s this idea that it takes two days to build the structure, two days to use the structure, a rainstorm comes, and it takes two days to dissolve the structure. It’s this kind of proportional balance of architecture as well. The ephemeral qualities is what drew us to the sugar and that it could decay still -- something similar to what Isler had but maybe not his intention. KF: I think it’s really interesting that both of

these projects started as this really flat plane and became this way of finding the form through experimentation -- different types of experimentation. Just looking at it, it seemed like Karim’s project had so much control; and I think it’s probably because of the drawings pulled out from Kangaroo and Grasshopper. The analytical drawings make it seem as if there was a lot of control. I’m coming in here thinking that Karim’s probably used this material before, and he probably knows exactly where this process is going to take him. For the Sugar Shell, it was just trying to see where it ends up. It’s really interesting that you said you wanted to have the control of the symmetry. BK: Yes, if Evan was here, you would have a totally different conversation. We were like fire and ice the entire semester. KF: I guess that’s something that I wanted to talk about. How did having a partner help, hurt,

increase speed, or slow down the process of it? Did it make you question things because you had differing opinions, or did it make you immediately go into decisions?


KM: For us it worked out. The reason we actually became partners was because we came into the first session with the same study models. We had different geometries but had similar ideas. We were subtracting materials, and we were trying to compensate for that subtraction by bringing edges together. Nick walked in and said we have a massive class, so it would be easier to group up. In that sense we had a mutual understanding of where we were going with this. We worked independently but sent files to each other to talk about. We each tried different things and then brought it all to the table to see what we learned. The decisions came out of more radical experimentations. KF: Knowing that it would be a smaller scale, did it help working independently? I think at a larger scale, there might be more -- I don’t want to say responsibility -- collaboration knowing that it had to scale up. KM: To a certain extent -- it’s funny that you mentioned that. Once we got to the wood, it started getting harder to model physically, alone. This model is the size of my knees to my head. BK: You and Pinelopi had similar responses to tackling the project, but Evan and I had previously worked together. We were so opposite from the start. There were moments where we would come together and then break back apart. There was a pulling and resistance of ideas that I believe lead to the final form. Evan was tied to the notion of losing control and designing for the material. I was leaning more towards bringing in a sense of control into the project. That dynamic was interesting. Going to full scale you develop processes in the material cultures group where you know how to get to that after a certain point. This

specifically, was very difficult because you were not only dealing with the challenge of going one to one, but you had this material you never had seen before. You would set benchmarks to keep going. One day this worked and it was a foot high. The next week we got to three feet. The final one took us forty hours of straight casting with letter-size sheets. You had to take into account the drying time before the lift, which lead to new challenges of how to delay that time. We took plastic and tried to increase humidity while spraying water on it. AD: Your form shows signs of that. It’s kind of chaotic, but at the same time you got it to form to something particular. KF: Something that you both talked about, as well, was the digital realm of architecture having constraints but helping you discover certain aspects. Another constraint that you were working with was the time of the semester. Going from physical to digital… BK: You actually did start in physical? My misinterpretation was that you started in digital and then went to physical. For a while, though, you were in the digital realm and then this form was generated. KM: Yes, this was a designed form for sure. This was after all of those experiments. BK: That’s what is interesting because we started very physical, but to get to represent this, we had to move into something very digital. KM: I think something that is very paramount is cross checking between the physical and the digital. Like you mentioned, the digital reveals different possibilities but the materials reveal limitations and practicality. It’s a constant dialogue between both of them that reveal a relationship of the materials we use to construct the spaces around us. People view digital tools as representational ones and not

as thinking ones. That’s throwing away a lot of the potential of that. BK: From a material standpoint, I get a little off-put sometimes because you see a lot of people tag the material or highlight but never really understand it. Looking at that brick column, for instance, and its aesthetic. Sometimes we take it for granted without realizing what goes into it. There’s a loss in the field of architecture if we’re not willing to get our hands dirty and explore in a tactile way to get that second level of understanding for materials. For me it’s been unique because my experience my entire life has been through my father being a mason. I’ve worked with my father all through architecture. I’ve had this balance of being a part of the labor force and seeing what goes on in the construction end. I’ve also seen how we apply to space in the corporate office. One of things I love about the material culture research group is the exploration at full scale of the physical build. It’s always amazing when you get to that point in the semester. When you start with the full-scale section and it’s terrible. You have little study models on your desk but don’t really think about the implications at a bigger scale. KF: What was the name of your studio again? BK: Pulp. KF: One was Pulp and the other was Conditional Form. You, Karim, had this idea of a form that you knew it was going to end in and you knew you had control of, whereas for Sugar Shell, you, Blake, were playing around with pulling the limitations. KM: After the first couple of models it became very important to delineate what was possible. What are the parameters of control here? We started noticing that we were almost thinking like computers. We had to go back and forth in the process. The first question was that we would make something, but then we had to understand what was actually happening in


paper fibers

the simulation in terms of physics. You can’t build a Kangaroo model without identifying what’s acting on it. You’re building a model that’s based on interaction with physics. After that we had a formula, and it was just about shifting it. Blake’s was different because the material isn’t acting like anything that you can predict. There’s no guidance to this form other than gravity. If he picked this form up with different momentum you would get a different form every time. That’s very different from the controlled experiments that we were doing with the wood because we knew the properties of the materials. Blake and Evan were experimenting with something new for them. AD: The mix was probably different every time. KF: It was based on the mixture, the humidity. BK: We celebrated in studio when something went wrong. The first study of this, we took the

material and it was malleable, working great. Then it would unfold in our hand to a flat sheet. When we came in the next day it turned into concrete, it was that hard. It wasn’t the same material we saw two days ago. I believe our final model was roughly under a sixteenth of an inch, but it was incredibly strong. It went from one idea of folding, bending, and warping to a strong thin shell. Those unexpected deficiencies were what we were looking for, bringing this to a field of experimentation. We were in a totally different world. How do I explain it to someone coming in from Arizona State University or something? KF: How much sugar do you think… BK: We were buying it in bulk with twentypound bags, and it took twelve to make it. That’s about two-hundred-and-forty pounds of sugar, but that’s excluding the fact that we were filtering it and sponging it. There was a material loss once that process occurred, so

we were down to something very light. KM: I think there’s so much to learn from material culture for situated technologies students because a lot of them haven’t been exposed to materials. KF: I think vice versa, too. If something like Kangaroo could take paper pulp and manipulate it and its limitations, it would probably have changed your take on it as well. KM: A lot of people in our research group aren’t aware of the material properties. I view everything that way now, though. I’m trying to script these movements as I try to figure out how it’s working. It would be interesting to see if there were four courses that were developed for interdisciplinary research.


“Our designs became very interdisciplinary. We had to understand cultures, lifestyles, and how people are going to be living in terms of their daily routine.� 107


establishing pedestrian friendly design

transit-oriented development

Eamon Riley, Yimo Liu, Wenzhuo Shao, Devanshi Shastri, Chris Tringali, Bill Dolan, Dan Theobald, Dennis Playfair, Euychan Jeong, Mun Sung Koh, Unnati Patel 109

The interdisiciplinary studio, proposed four optional master plans for the Univeresity Station transit-oriented development for the NFTA-GBNRTC. The two projects featured currently are “Hayes Hhill” and “The Corridor.” Hayes Hill: This proposal seeks to create a residential node that promotes healthy lifestyles and sustainable living through the integration of year round green space, community programming, and experiential retail. The Corridor: The vision is to generate a multifunctional corridor that connects the university to surrounding neighborhoods and the city of Buffalo. The project seeks to incorporate diverse groups of people, multiple modes of transportation, and functionalities. Leveraging an expanding transit line, both projects emphasize a development of a vibrant retail corridor while preserving and expanding the Hayes Hall Hill greenspace to integrate town and gown. Hoping to create a lively midpoint between the north towns and downtown Buffalo by reinvigorating life on South Campus.

Faculty: Mark Foerster + Hiroaki Hata Term: Fall 2017 Course: Development Capstone Workshop Degree Program: Master of Urban Planning + Master of Architecture + Real Estate Development


wall system proposal by Nicole Little

refugee housing

Nicole Little, Sara Svisco, Hadi Al-Jabi Lopez 111

With increased numbers of refugees entering Uganda, the studio tackled design proposals and research methodology to develop more settlements for housing. The influx in numbers has strained refugee collection, transit, and reception centers. The various design proposals featured attempt to utilize locally sourced materials to provide places of shelter and gathering. Students were constrained with challenges of incorporating cultural preferences, tight timelines, and low budgets for the projects as they needed to be mass produced. Nicole Little’s proposition utilizes high prevelance agricultural by-products as a source for construction materials. More specifically, using straw bales as a means for spatial development. The material on a global scale emits lower traces of carbon dioxide, is natural and compostable, and is renewable. At a regional scale, the proposal reduces the load of agricultural waste, supports regional farmers, and reduces pressure on depleting forests. Sara Svisco and Hadi Al-Jabi-Lopez tackle inspired geometries through biomimicry. The various structure typologies are inspired from

armadillo shells to the nesting functions of a kangaroo. These various interventions led to spatial constructions that were produced of prefabricated elements as well as earthen materials. Faculty: Korydon Smith Term: Spring 2017 Course: Seminar Degree Program: Master of Architecture


public gathering terraces


Moderator: Michael Gac Discussion Members: Nicole Little, Sara Svisco, Devanshi Shastri, Dennis Playfair 113

Michael Gac: This is actually a really good group because of how eclectic it is. The two studios are Global Equity and TOD Station. TOD stands for Transit-Oriented Development, correct? Dennis Playfair: Yes. That is right. MG: Do you want to begin to explain what TOD Station was about? DP: Transit-Oriented Development is a big concept now in spurring cities such as Denver or Atlanta. What it does is that it usually incorporates aspects of housing with aspects of commerce along with a transit option being readily available there. Sara Svisco: In suburban areas? DP: More high-density areas. You’ll see a lot of retail shops on the bottom floors, a couple of offices, and then apartment complexes, but it varies from region to region. It’s almost like a living mall in the city so you can do everything in one location. The way the capstone worked was that you would pick a site and incorporate everything you learned from an architectural, urban planning, and real estate development perspective. The site they had picked was a parking lot. They were supposed to extend the last stop from South Campus to North

Campus, so that was part of the inspiration for picking the site. It’s also viewed as really underdeveloped with the amount of parking lots there buffering South Campus from Main Street. They wanted us to pitch an idea that would coincide with the train-line extension and also lending some economic boost to the area. Some of it is under utilized or in poor economic conditions. MG: From a development standpoint what was your involvement with the project? DP: Real estate development is a broad term, you could say; but a lot of it is encompassing what the market is demanding, so there’s a lot of research -- what kind of people are there, what the income levels are, and what is already existing where it ties into other disciplines like urban planning for environmental aspects. We looked into demographic concerns. What can we build here that would make us and investors money that would also be long term and spring further development that they could benefit from? MG: How about from an architectural side? Devanshi Shastri: The project was divided into three phases. We were supposed to create a magnet for attracting people into the space, increase the economic value, and


shared street spaces

generate more life and activity. When we saw the site it looked vacant. MG: You mean the parking lots? DS: A majority of the area. University Heights as well. It stays quiet. To make it more alive and active, we were supposed to also think about the security and safety of being outside at night. All of these dimensions had to be thought about from each perspective. We needed to go through case studies and assess the neighboring sites to see what was lacking and what would make a more impactful area. MG: You said case studies. Are these the same case studies that you… DS: Everyone had different case studies.

have a brilliant design because the university is camouflaged with the cityscape. When you are walking through the streets you see the university, but you can walk through it as it’s integrated together with the public. They generated certain areas in the university that were public in nature, so they acted as temporary programs. You were able to have food trucks, festivals, and different activities like performances as well. Those kinds of spaces collaborated well in that area. What we learned from that case study is that Howard University does not have a setback from the city. Our university has a distinct setback which is the parking lots on South Campus. When you see it and pass by it, it is not a wall but it is a visual one that is created between the university and the city.

MG: What were the ones that you looked at?

MG: When you two were working on the project did you cross paths in sharing info?

DS: We looked at Howard University. They

DP: There was a lot of shared information.

It was divided up, as we mentioned earlier, where week one was doing just market research. In real estate, it’s considering four different sectors. They are office, retail, multifamily residential, and the other one is… DS: Mixed-use? DP: Hotel. There were four groups of us and my group studied office and yours was… DS: Retail. DP: That’s how the first two weeks went. All of that information was uploaded. Then the next couple of weeks we were looking at precedents like environmental conditions. We studied groundwater relevant to building the masses. What were you going to do with drainage and stormwater in terms of directing it where it needs to go. We looked further into crime rates and general demographic information. All of that was shared, and it got to

a point where each group had enough tools to go on their own. DS: Eventually, each group has a similar conclusion of what kind of intervention we wanted on the site. MG: How did that work? Was it individual design or did you work as a team? DS: We worked in teams. MG: How many people? DS: There were five. MG: Were they all architecture students? DS: No. I was the architecture student, but in my group there were three urban planners and one real estate student. We concluded in the end that residential areas would be more beneficial paired with mixed-use. Also, we started thinking about not just developing the site we were given but other areas to make it workable in the future, especially near Kenmore Avenue and Main Street. We also developed that node along with developing the area near Goodyear Hall into green space. DP: A lot of us ended up going in a similar direction, and it was a constant battle. For the real estate portion, all of our courses leading up to that were bits and pieces of market studies and things like that. Our group had two architecture students, two urban planners, and two real estate students. We only wanted to build what we thought the market would take right away. They had given us a defined site area from Hayes Hall to the intersection of Main Street and Bailey Avenue. The project continued to grow, maybe too big. We went with designing a newer and more modern train station for the metro. It was a corridor concept where we had offices and retail at the start leading away from the train station towards Main and Bailey. Along that path was retail on the lower floor and residential up top. The UB

2020 Plan anticipates a lot of students moving on to the campus, so we incorporated 300-600 student rooms between three or four buildings. A lot of it was trying to make it as real as possible, so that when we designed it for the school they would more likely accept it. MG: Let’s switch over now. Introduce me to the Global Equity project. Was it a studio? Independent study? Nicole Little: It was a refugee housing studio. SS: This wasn’t a typical architecture studio. This particular class was focused around critical thinking. We spent a lot of sessions coming out with different ways on how to design the projects. A lot of that involved thinking about different ways that different disciplines would approach the situation. The initial project was to design refugee housing. NL: It was 7,000 houses a week for $500 or less. SS: They had to be constructable. MG: This was in Uganda? SS: Yes, this was in Uganda. NL: The largest refugee crisis in the world is actually refugees moving from South Sudan to Uganda. It’s just not represented as much in the media. This was the challenge that we were tackling. MG: How much research happened on Uganda upfront? NL: We had three weeks worth of research which isn’t really typical in architecture school. We started off brainingstorming -- what did we know and what didn’t we know about Uganda and South Sudan. SS: Even just really basic pieces of


hay bale construction

information, such as their location. NL: With identifying a list of questions to research, we were able to group them. Then we would pick a group that we wanted to study further. Each week we would go more in depth with the topic. By the end of the three weeks we continuously printed out posters and wrote out essays. We had about ten people in the class. Since it was a refugee camp we were forced to think in terms of environmental designers and as urban planners. MG: How do you get in the mindset of an urban planner?


SS: It kind of stemmed from the questions that we had to keep asking. All of the questions we had posted, we had a mandatory 15-20 questions that we had to ask each class. Some of that influence came from urban planning initiatives. How would we want to layout a community of refugee units? Looking at the houses as a unit versus a system of where they are being built. We looked into if there needed to be a central area. NL: A refugee camp, is typically built where there is nothing there. We also had to start thinking about economic development and providing jobs. Is there a way that the architecture can provide a lifestyle that leads to economic gain.

biomimicry inspired geometries: fanned, nested, and rammed earth structures (top to bottom)

MG: You designed these huts that needed to be built, right? I saw something about utilizing local resources to create a sustainable hut. NL: After the research phase, we had seven weeks to develop an idea. We took seven different ideation logics, so that could be anything from analytical thinking to wild thinking to analogical thinking. We went through all of these different forms of ideation and then came up with different proposals. At the end of the semester, we took one or two that we would combine together and then we generated a design proposal from there. We

were also working with the Danish Refugee Council, and so we didn’t come up with one final design, we submitted all of these design options to them. MG: At any point did you ever consult with other disciplines? SS: It became pretty independent. A lot of it was focused around brainstorming, ideation, and critical thinking. MG: It sounds like there was direct collaboration versus the mindset of collaboration. At the end of the project, do you think you have benefitted from having planners working with you, being able to pitch ideas off of them? SS: I think that the collaboration would have been more helpful -- not just urban planners but even with social workers or farmers, for instance. Our designs became very interdisciplinary. We had to understand cultures, lifestyles, and how people are going to be living in terms of their daily routine. NL: I also think the challenge was too complex. We had so many considerations at the beginning that we had to work through those first. At the end of the semester, we were ready for that collaboration, but throughout it I don’t think we would have been ready for that. There was just too much to consider first. MG: Do you think it helped you become a better designer when you had to take all of these different pathways? You had to play a new role each time, so you had to know how to navigate that. Do you think that benefited the process? NL: It was definitely beneficial; but I think if the project was stretched out into two semesters and went through the collaborative process the second semester, it would have been great. Since this project wasn’t based in Buffalo, like a lot of the projects we typically work on, we

had to come to understand a different model to work with, especially since it was a different culture across the planet. MG: You can’t just walk out of Hayes Hall and study your site. You’re doing this remotely for thousands of miles away. What do you think about that approach to design? DS: I feel that it should be initially the way they approached it, and then later it would have been good to collaborate. As an individual person, if I was studying this, I would have wanted to go through the phases to understand what they would be going through. That makes you learn more. Eventually, everyone sort of did their own thing. DP: I found it really helpful to work with the different disciplines because there is a completely different mentality of thought for how an architect thinks. We had to keep going back and forth. It was as close to real life situations as you could get without real money. It was beneficial because there were plenty of things that I wouldn’t think about, like sun angles and where to place windows. There were a lot of different notions that everyone contributed, but at the same time we came to a conclusion that everyone liked and had their touch on it. One of the downfalls, though, was for the first while, it was real estate based. You don’t have anything yet at that point. You do your market research, and in the real world it could take anywhere between a month to 60 days. For a little while the architecture and planning students were waiting on us until we finished, but didn’t really understand our language. Once it got to the other side, it was kind of a similar thing. We mixed for a bit and then ended up running a little parallel. MG: There was a little bit of a passing of the torch idea. DP: Exactly, but that’s what made it easier to delegate roles. I wasn’t about to start drawing any of these buildings. That was where the


land use indentification map

biggest thing came when we had them up on the smart boards presenting to people -- having these dynamic drawings where you could see what it could actually look like as a proposal. Having that piece was incredible. SS: I think that is really understandable in the sense that everyone has a certain way do approaching projects, and even just perspectives. Finding a way to communicate about the same idea from different views is probably one of the more difficult things to do when you are working with different disciplines. MG: Have you ever been in any courses similar to that? NL: I actually, over the winter, was abroad in India; and I worked with civil engineering students. I was the only architecture student and there were three civil engineering students. We were working to create affordable and sustainable housing as well in

that studio. Something that I found was that I learned a lot but at the same time felt slowed down a little because we had to talk each other through every step of the process. We were designing rammed earth, and so I needed to understand how to make it load bearing. It helped me build an empathy for understanding that process, but at the end of the day I needed the numbers. DP: I think that is spot on, though. You’re not going to know how everyone else does their jobs, but knowing the process of what they have to do is what eventually makes real world projects easier. You know how long it’s going to take the architect to do this, and how long it would take the structural engineer to figure this out. You can relate to them easier, that allows for a lot more cohesion. MG: Did you feel like you needed to learn the language of the other group? How do you learn the language of someone thinking


public market

differently? SS: I think if you genuinely are conscious of what they are saying as they speak, you can start to understand their thought process and how to integrate that with your own. Expressing your concerns when you don’t understand also helps. MG: How do you think integrating collaborative work in an academic setting was helpful to getting in the real world? DP: After establishing that platform or base of your knowledge, so when you do work with other groups, you’re able to contribute. You need individual learning with the coursework first with your respective discipline, then there should be consistent group work where you are doing one or two projects for the entire semester. NL: There’s a few ways we can look at this.

Interdisciplinary work is what gets a project completed, since there’s never actually one field working on it from start to finish. It’s crucial to start working with these other fields, but also I think I really grew in character and built a lot of skills through transdisciplinary thought. Putting myself through the shoes of another field, and trying to think through how a social worker would look at this or how would an environmental engineer look at it. We were forced to think as a different professional. I grew a lot through that because I typically look at things as an architect or a planner. Overall, being able to work in both of these ways generated a lot more ideas that would lead to more innovation. MG: It would be interesting that when you are doing a collaborative project you would have to swap roles. Where you would be the planner for the day and you would get into real estate development. How would you get into a headspace like that when you are

collaborating? SS: We touched on this on one of our lectures, where the field of architecture is becoming increasingly disciplinary. We started hinting, at what point does our job stop being specialized or starts being interdisciplinary. DP: I think it’s more productive to master one thing and know a little bit about everything else. NL: I think that’s interesting because there’s two different ways you can approach that where you are the master of one or the master of none. When you go in the latter direction, you become the orchestrator between the different fields. NL: I wanted to hear more about the statement that you made. You said that you all came up with ideas and at the end sampled from the collective. We did a similar thing in

our studio. How did that process work for you? DP: It was more about show and tell and sharing ideas where we could incorporate it into different groups. NL: You said you had groups at final design?

multi-modal station

DP: No, it was since week one. It was cool how they did that. They gave us a piece of property by Niagara Street and broke us up based on what we came up with. You could see how people were thinking. You could demolish the buildings if you wanted to, renovate them, or build on the vacant lot. You could see the architecture students making these beautiful designs and then the real estate students had these practical designs that were poorly drawn, but you could afford them. DS: Being an architecture student, when we went to the site we had to understand the context really well. Understanding what that neighborhood had, what it lacked, and what it needed more of. I concluded that they needed a community center because it was something they were missing. They needed that desperately because there were so many young students dropping out from that community. They needed a certain kind of empowerment. MG: How about for you, Sara? SS: It was a bit different. Our collaboration was through critique. Everyone could see what others were working, on and then they could decide whether they wanted to incorporate it into their own projects or continue to pursue what they were looking into. For example, some people were looking into the feasibility of shelters utilizing rammed earth which was very common in that part of Uganda. A different group was looking into the viability of a shelter using recycled plastic. If that seemed more effective as a material, you could work into your project in a different phase of it.

NL: You were saying that the ideas generated across the studio were similar? DP: Different concept and uses, but you could see similar concepts stemming from each of the projects.



“ then we took these models and we created them into spaces for the different user groups we had.�



playground aerial proposal

playground UMD: Max Berger, Devan Hare, Ben Hartman, Beverly R. Hernandez, Sean Quinn, Simone Vitale UB: Joenette Cobb, Marco DaSilva, Leanna Femia, Rebecca Gamarra, Mandeep Kaur, Drew Marshall, Emily Minkowitz, Carl Reeves, Shannon Riley, Amanda Schoene, Nicole Tsai, Qiong Wu 123

Sustainable Futures is an interdisciplinary service learning program in architecture, landscape architecture and planning. It is hosted by the Monteverde Institute [MI] in collaboration with the University at Buffalo [UB] and the University of Maryland [UMD]. In recent years, in addition to ‘paper projects’ to be built by others, students have increasingly taken on small built projects. This desire to offer our students another dimension of practical experience has had great success as an educational model. It also offers the opportunity to enact physical change at a scale achievable during our short stay. This opportunity to directly engage with the municipal government, neighbors, and craftsmen of the community brings a new dimension to the program that enriches and is enriched by the integrated coursework. The studio projects for the 2017 cohort are as follows: 1 MVI CAMPUS EXPANSION: a proposal for a new classroom to meet the current and future needs of the institute. 2 CENTRO COMMERCIAL: a proposal for a new ‘Central Park’ in the town of Santa Elena.

3 LOS LLANOS: a design/build playground for the community of La Colina. 4 SANTA ELENA RESERVE: two alternative proposals to solve the programmatic and entry sequence challenges of the reserve. Running in parallel to these design projects are two seminars, a Sustainability Seminar and a Research Seminar. Both courses are closely tied to the topics and goals of the studio. Faculty: Martha Bohm [UB], Stephanie Cramer [UB], Bryan Hadley [UMD], Saba Hamidi [UMD], Tracee Johnson [UMD], Gabriela McAdam [MI] Term: Summer 2017 Course: Costa Rica Study Abroad Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture + Master of Architeceture


play artifacts

children’s museum

Alexandra Sheehan 125

Students explored spatial construction and design principles through a generation of artifact models. With various material properties to explore the models served as prototypes to larger architectural ideas moving forward. Sheehan’s idea focused on a particular demographic to integrate with some of the elements generated at the beginning of the course. Her intentions were to create relationships in the playspaces that would allow older parents to simultaneously interact with energetic children. These conditions created a duality of program for the architectural elements she designed for the children’s museum. Through shared work the models were passed along between students in the group to be assessed for their own iterative speculations.

Faculty: Julia Jamrozik Term: Spring 2017 Course: Inclusive Design Graduate Research Group Degree Program: Master of Architecture


jason katz’s integration of library into the artifact model


Moderator: Michael Gac Discussion Members: Alexandra Sheehan, Marco DaSilva 127

Michael Gac: With the children’s museum, you started from the beginning through models to develop your end product. Would you be able to elaborate on that? Alexandra Sheehan: Each student made ten models using an additive process and ten models using subtraction -- ten and ten. Once we had these models, then we could choose from any of the models to create the drawings. I could have chosen Jason’s model to do my drawings. This just happens to be my model and my drawing. MG: Now was the string model additive or subtractive? AS: That one was additive. MG: For the material did you switch out between your ten models or did you have to use ten materials for all of the models? AS: Each model was limited to two materials. I stuck with the same principles for additive against subtractive. We had to do three models that were a result of casting methods. Some people cast ice cubes or used wax -- a few different options. I tried to keep the principles the same. Here I had a frame, and I added to the frame to create a space. In my subtractive version of this model, I

had a frame, added the string, glued it so it hardened, and then removed the frame. I subtracted the frame and left only the string to create the space. Same materials but different thought process to it. MG: In Costa Rica you had to create a park. With the park development, you were given the plot to work on and had to dictate its contents? Marco DaSilva: Yes, I was on the park for the government. It was a central park for the region. Four different fields, playgrounds, skateparks, bathrooms, picnic areas. We were given both sites. For the park that we actually built, the site and its constraints were already determined. More of Emily’s project was there. For my project, we were given a rough estimate of the site, and then we had to choose where to go with it and how much we were going to design. MG: Then, what were the parameters of your design? How did you start your process of design for the park? MD: We did a lot of community service to see what they needed in that area, so we met with the elders group, a local high school, and with the professors of the school. We got a range of ages of the communities. From

there we compiled lists of what most people wanted, how far people lived from it, and how far people wanted to travel, choosing to call it central park because it was an essential part of Monteverde, central to the whole region. MG: Alex, you made the models, and then were you given four different types of people who were going to use the space? AS: Since we were in the inclusive design studio, we were worried about the users. We were given multiple users whom we had to accommodate in the models. For one of the models, I had younger children. Then I also included adults to show how the two could interact. We took these models and we created them into spaces for the different user groups we had.


MG: How did you pick the people, the users? AS: We created a list of users for the studio. Anything from grandparents to children to blind people to those with mobile disabilities. We created a massive list and then we chose from that list, so everyone had something different. Everyone had a different project because of that. MG: Alex, your people were in a theoretical realm and you got to choose. Whereas, Marco, you came from the other side and had real people to work with. They are the demographic for that area. What did you find that people wanted, or what was the largest user base? MD: They wanted an open field but not one that was dedicated to soccer. That’s what they already have at the schools. Another big concern was walking space on the hills. Monteverde is a very hilly place, so they wanted space for elders to be able to walk without struggling so much. The last big concern was skateboarders. There’s a big skateboarding community and there’s not material testing

much space for them to practice because there aren’t many flat areas. That was one of the biggest programmed spaces they wanted. MG: Marco, you developed a skatepark. How did you tackle the design for that? Did you make models, did you make drawings, did you look at other skateparks? MD: We broke up into a group of five, comprised of two architects and three landscape architects. We then broke up the parks into different segments and everyone took a part in what they designed. The skatepark was designed by a landscape student, Sean. He looked at a lot of skateparks in Baltimore and from a certain architecture group. There was a lot of different iterations of drawings because of the lack of materials we had available to us for drawings. MG: What part of the park did you have your hands on mostly? MD: I was in charge of the entry pavillion and the entry space around it. Ken and I programmed the park to be different types of spaces and navigated the paths around them. MG: Very different than you, Alex. You didn’t have siting initially. AS: These were really just to start us thinking about how we can create spaces in which all different people can play in. We shifted and we brought back principles of all the different models, but not necessarily the physical model designs. MG: In this picture, can you describe the users and how they interact? AS: Something we were worried about is that people consider children’s museums places for the children to play but not one where they can necessarily interact with their families. What we did here was make an exhibit in which the children could play in, and of which the parents

could readily be a part of and intertwine with their children. The idea was that we scaled it up so that it could serve almost as a hammock-like situation. You sit on it, you could crawl on it, and you could also crawl through it. There are different sized gaps between the strings so small children can fit, but older adults could also fit. It accommodates a wide variety of users, and it allows the younger children to interact with their parents as opposed to separate entities. You usually see parents talking in the corner while the kids play. Here they can use the exhibit together. MG: That was just the one final project, though. You all had other designs? AS: Yes, some of the other students, not me in particular, had a pregnant woman as a user. What she did was find a model that had niches in it that could accommodate the pregnant female body, in a scenario where they could rest or be comfortable. We used these kinds of attributes and scaled them to the condition needed that would work. She treated it as more of a comfort space for that specific user. Something else that I did was fold up paper to overlap it so that it became a climbing system. There were different increments that were small blocks scaled to about the size of an adult step. An adult could use them as stairs and climb on them, but those smaller climbing elements would be perfect for children. To reiterate, the system accommodates two different user groups together as opposed to making it only for children. A different model had several strings through straws and then the children could climb through them and jump off of them. That was similar to a jungle gym aesthetic. MG: There was also a board of nails that stepped up? AS: Oh yes, I did that one. MG: You did that one? Could you explain


conceptual proposal for playground elements

that one more because that one caught my attention. AS: I think the interesting part about it was that we had no idea what we would be doing with them afterwards. We started and it was perfectly okay to make a model with a bunch of nails because we didn’t think we would eventually have kids climbing on it. I think we envisioned that one, in particular, becoming more of a tactile surface as opposed to climbing on literal nails. We had to abstract the models into something different but maintain similar principles for design. MG: How many iterations of models did you have to make? AS: There were a lot of tries in between, and I ended up doing more than ten. I experimented with the same materials but different types. For instance, I used elastic string to make a similar model that inherently had different

properties. That stretched so that when you pulled it around each other, it would create indentations in the string and would begin to react when force was applied. MG: I don’t know if the Costa Rica studio works in a similar manner where every time you’re working on a project there’s always that “big reveal” -- that moment when you’ve been working on something where you don’t know what direction it’s going in and then all of a sudden there’s a realization. Then you flush out more ideas. Costa Rica is pretty straightforward. MD: Central Park was originally going to be used just as publicity. We were initially focused on producing designs that looked nice to get the attention of the people. Then towards the end, we had a final review and we had a couple of big government firms come to the review.

MG: How was that? MD: It was great! They ended up saying that no matter what, they would actually get this park built because a lot of the community was there, too. We had a huge mudslide, and we lost most of the mountainside. They were focusing mostly on that first. The goal for the future Costa Rica trips will be working on building the park that was designed. demographic inclusion: kimberly taracena

MG: Did you actually have to present in front of the government? How was that? MD: I think the whole culture there is very different; it’s very relaxed. They didn’t ask many questions but made statements like ‘the community is going to love this.’ It wasn’t nerve wracking; we already felt welcome. They were very receptive and excited to see what we had. We wanted to take what they knew, which was how to construct with concrete, reusable materials, and wood to use in a design.


family oriented interactions

AS: We ended up designing an entire museum, so these artifacts were just to get our ideas going about how you can interact with different things. It was more of learning through the process as opposed to the physical outcomes of these projects. My design essentially became a design for the children’s museum in Buffalo, so it’s downtown right by Canalside. My concept was that I wanted it to be an exhibit in and of itself, as opposed to a building that housed exhibits -essentially this model could go in any building. The process of creating spaces that kids could play through gave me the idea to push that forward and create an exhibit where the whole city was interacting with it. The building that was designed evolved into having interactive panels where the children could be inside altering them so that the façade would always be changing with participation. It activated a larger group because the building was put on display for the rest of the public.

MG: Conceptually that’s fantastic. The exterior walls are constantly rotated with the kids playing in them? AS: Yes, essentially I came up with this whole façade system where the panels would be white on one side and green on the other -- right in between green and blue. The color choice was a link to Lake Erie as a way to tie it back to the larger history of Buffalo since the canal was so important to the transshipment of resources. MG: Did that emerge out of a specific model? AS: It didn’t really come from a specific model. It was more of the process of making the models that it came from. There was more inspiration from the notitions of addition, subtraction, and these kinds of processes that gave me direction with the design. Kim actually produced a design that looked similar to this model. It had this climbing system on the exterior, so she was inspired in a totally different way. Although, I don’t think any of the projects were directly scaled from the artifacts. MD: I think our inspiration and our final product came from being more culturally immersed in Costa Rica. It’s a third-world country; but when you’re in Monteverde, it doesn’t feel like it because of how lively everything is. Family is really important there. Families either live together or are there for each other -- generations from their grandparents to their kids to grandkids and everything in between. That was a big inspiration for the park. The visual connections and having spaces for each other. Everyone could use it while maintaining site lines to the rest of the areas. A lot of the individual elements came from what we saw used around the location. A lot of wood, a lot of tarps -- having spaces that were multifunctional. Costa Ricans would have an open space and it could be a dining room, it could be a living room, it could be similar to a playground, or it could be a party room. We wanted to make


landscape development of play spaces

sure that everything was able to be used by any age group and that they could transform it. Spaces could connect with each other to make larger spaces, or we could seclude spaces to make them more intimate. AS: I think it’s really interesting that you had to focus on these different users and how they can interact, where that’s basically what we were doing. Yours wasn’t specifically inclusive design, but you had inclusive elements in it. MD: I think the inclusive design is really important. It’s important to understand how design does affect a blind person, someone with autism, or someone with a wheelchair? A lot of spaces are designed to look aesthetically pleasing, but we never fully realize how it affects someone. Inclusive design is an interesting studio to look at because museums are never designed for kids with special needs. There’s no reason to exclude someone just because they aren’t fully able bodied. I don’t

know if this is the right terminology. AS: The terminology can be a little difficult. I think that’s something culturally we’re working towards to figure out the right thing to say. It’s funny that you’re talking about inclusive design since you’ve been talking about designing for a specific culture. This is another type of inclusive design because you couldn’t have just gone there and made something hat you would make for Americans because they would not have reacted to it in the way they clearly did. You actually had to design for that culture -- designing for a certain group of people, which is just what inclusive design is. Again, there’s a ton of overlap there. MD: I think this project would have been more impactful if the school immersed you with children. Do you feel as if you needed that? AS: Yes. I’ve taken a lot of inclusive design classes, so I’ve actually done more research

beyond this specific project. One of the things we talked about was if they had a night that was perfect for autistic kids, but the whole point of inclusive design is that the autistic kids should be able to go to whatever. They should be able to go everyday and not have it be a problem. MG: Both approaches are very different. You start designing at the beginning and then were given people, and then you had to rethink how your designs could incorporate these people. As opposed to Marco, where he had the context to work within. What are your thoughts on that? MD: I think both are really interesting. When you know from the beginning and then you have challenges thrown in, so you have to change what you want your design to be. I think having it thrown at you after is interesting. You think your design is so perfect, but you’re just completely thrown off, and you


duality of programmatic relationships

have to think about how you can incorporate everyone. I think that’s better. I kind of like having it thrown in after because then it makes you think harder and makes you realize that your design is different. MG: How was it going door to door in Costa Rica? You said you went around to survey the residents, right? MD: I know a little bit of Spanish, so it was a little bit easier. We started with our host families, and the people at the school. Some of the host families spoke English -- mine didn’t. We printed surveys in Spanish so we could talk them through it if they had questions and they would be able to respond. When we went to the communities, we had someone who spoke Spanish, or someone that would be able to further explain the question. We tried as much as we could to make the questions clear and concise so that anyone in the age group could understand and really know what we were asking of them. You could see that moment, even if you couldn’t understand, you could see them light up and be like, oh oh! And start scribbling things down and you would get excited about that. It was hard, relying on other people to be able to communicate our part -- to have it translated to Spanish, and then to have them translate back to English. The hard thing is that the translator doesn’t know everything in English, they don’t know every word. They don’t know how to translate certain things in Spanish from English. I don’t think we ran into those steps too often but there were times when the translators would try to draw it out, sketch it out, or hand play it out. We were designing parks, so it made it fun to have to not only speak the language but to have people draw things out or use hand motions to communicate. They would point at objects to reference, which is something I don’t feel like we usually do at school because it is very easy to have a conversation since everyone speaks English. Everyone has an architectural

vocabulary. We had to switch to the mindset of understanding how do we speak to people who aren’t architects and how do we speak to people who don’t have the same education that we do. We can’t just assume that they know everything that we do. How do we make things clearer for all age groups? A lot of the older population didn’t know how to read, could only just speak verbally, or speak slang. How do we make it so that everyone understands our objectives?

have a constraint like that in design. They had localized material to limit them but you had total reign to pick anything you wanted.

That was a big thing in our design. We never thought old people, or elderly people, would want a skatepark. They were so concerned about needing skateparks for these kids. The actual park that we built was fun because we built it by this lady who owned a hair salon and she was so excited for it. While we were working she would bring us coffee, cut fruit for us, and bring us baked goods. It was fulfilling to be able to make a park for the kids and make a park for the community.

MD: Focusing specifically on children with different needs is something that we actually experienced but it was more through a cultural lens than a physical exploration.

MG: How was it working with the constraints of just using localized materials? MD: I think it was really easy because we were working with people that have been doing this their entire lives. We worked with sandbags to make forms and covered it with concrete. At the institute, we all made playground equipment. Our max budget was $25 per group so we had to figure out what we had around and how to make playground equipment. For instance, my group made a slide out of metal roofing material. MG: How did the material selection process work in your project, Alex? AS: What I tried to do was always contrast the two materials. For example, where I had the naturalness of the wood, I would try to contrast it with something synthetic. MG: That can get very difficult, too, when you have to bind yourself to just two things or if you

MD: I think these projects worked very well next to each other. MG: That was the intention. AS: I think they do. I think they had more overlap than originally expected.



“These study models were the basis for how I developed the final model.�



adaptable program use of amphitheatre space

performing theater

Michael Paraszczak 137

Can a theater alter a performance so much as if to steal the show? Theaters can do more than just host performances -- they can be performances themselves. Through kinetic architectural elements, this Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, Ohio, provides highly adaptable theaters that can not only be changed to host different performance conditions and alter the experience of a show, but they become the show. From the street, only the kinetic theater elements are revealed to an observer. A black box theater stage elevates and drops between multiple floors, providing quick set changes and different lighting conditions. An amphitheater/cinema hybrid theater activates the immediate context of the site as a performance venue and boasts moving walls to alter which side hosts a stage or projection wall, blurring the interior/exterior boundary. A central lobby and atrium creates a platform for viewing these spectacular theaters in action before a scheduled show, while visible back of house spaces expose the theater’s function as something to be observed rather than hidden. When people come to this building, they are

treated to a show before they even step into a theater. Faculty: Stephanie Cramer Term: Spring 2017 Course: Junior Studio Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture


sweeping roof structure that enables a crescendo of the space and its acoustic properties

piano room

Jelani Lowe 139

The proposal of a new school of music is predicated on reconceptualization of the technical definition of Aperture. Defined as a space through which light passes, Aperture is an investigation of the juncture between architecture and music. The inherent connection between these disciplines seem to be intuitive yet inexplicable. The development of Aperture explores this connection through the realization that each discipline has the inherent ability to evoke emotion and essentially engulf even those who have no knowledge into the logistics involved, entrusting a certain responsibility to those who practice to do so for the greater good. That tenant is at the heart of this design as the new gateway into the campus, essentially slicing open institutional barriers that hinder the integration of the student body and the surrounding community, through an architecture of performance. Ultimately the simple geometric composition of two monolithic masses which concentrate both entities inward and through the performance space personifies the reformative ambition of Aperture. The architecture works as the instrument for new bonds to be formed.

Faculty: Brian Carter Term: Fall 2017 Course: 3.5 Year Studio Degree Program: Master of Architecture


audience navigating site as sound


Moderator: Frank Kraemer Discussion Members: Michael Paraszczak , Jelani Lowe 141

Frank Kraemer: Why don’t you explain what the premise for the Performing Theater proposal was? Michael Paraszczak: The Performing Theater was completed in the context of junior year. The first assignment was to perform theater case studies, then to design a few versions of a black box theater and a projection theater. We explored different iterations of each. These are some of my earlier process models. Instead of making standard theaters, I had an interest -- from the very beginning -- in the elements that moved inside those spaces. I had an early concept where the theater was located in the middle and the workshop, or back of house was below or above it. There were three separate stages, and featured an elevator shaft where you could move between each. If you had a performance going on and stage setup on one of the levels, you just move the stage instead of the set. This idea of using kinetic architectural elements to enhance the theater experience was where the project started. Trying to figure out how to define the relationship between audience and performance was a bit more interesting. These study models were the basis for how I developed the final model -- consolidating the different theaters into one building. That was the hardest part because I had all of these different ideas in

the preliminary models that had to be pulled together in one cohesive design. I’ve learned you can find a way to incorporate a concept into various elements -- whether it’s the HVAC drawings or the structure. The way I went about structure was informed by all the theater elements as mechanical architectural pieces that moved. I used open-webbed joists to allow the structure to become visual. The lobby spaces or bathrooms, for instance, were spaces that I didn’t want to draw attention towards, so they became enclosed by concrete walls. The way you experienced the different spaces on the inside is what was interesting. The exterior wasn’t meant to be the attention-grabbing element. It was meant to be a blank slate, mitigating between exterior and interior experience and drawing your eyes to the moving elements in orange. FK: Jelani, why don’t we switch over to you. Aperture is also a project that is proposing an architectural performative space. MP: You were doing that theatre project, right. FK: Yes, this was that year. Jelani Lowe: We started with a single room for the piano. We didn’t begin with the larger technical aspects of theaters.


unobstructed central performative view

143 roof gesture for central performance space

MP: This is that piano room? JL: Yes, I was looking at how people moving through the space could experience music. I began by considering enclosures for the piano and pianist. Exploring conical shells, I identified that the form could protect the instrument, so the space could be opened to the outdoors. Outside of that would be a wrapping shell. MP: How did you produce the drawings? Did you trace over physical models or did you make them in Rhino? JL: I made a lot of those in Rhino. I was trying to gain an understanding of how to work digitally to simulate bent wood in these forms. MP: Did you play around with points in Rhino to loft the surfaces? JL: Yes, I used a central axis and then produced a lot of different curves to sweep around that axis. MP: I’ve seen this approach but with physical models, too. I remember in my sophomore year, a student strictly did physical models with paper because she couldn’t achieve the

same curves in Rhino. To make sections for her drawings she took photos of her models and then traced the outlines. That’s what this reminds me of because it’s really close to what a physical model would be. JL: I wanted people to interact with the shell so that when sound reverberates from the enclosure, people would be able to get that same immersive experience as the pianist playing the piano. We went to North Campus to observe a pianist play; and when we were watching, he was very immersed in the performance. That kind of intensity was something that I wanted to share with people. MP: The site for the project is next to the Center for the Arts, right? JL: Yes, our site was right behind the CFA. FK: The whole concept of the first exercise was to design one room for one musician. When we placed it on North Campus, we had three general sites; but it was up to us to identify its exact position. In front of the CFA, one thing I noticed that was interesting was the reverberation you get from the material of the façade. I’m assuming it’s just steel or aluminum panels. The door is right there,

and then between the panels the concrete stairs make an intense acoustic environment. I think that inspired your project as well. The reverberation you get from outside of that space and inside were two different types of experiences. Passers-by that cross the area from the student union to the parking lot experience a shift in sound that’s captured in one space. JL: I took the interior part of that area to study how the acoustics were working and then tried to reverse the condition. When sound waves enter the ear they roll around the crevasses and all of the folds. I wanted to invert that condition so the pianist was inside the enclosure and the sound would trickle out from there. People would then move as sound does in the ear. FK: The next phase of the project was to create a music school on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus. The site was more narrowly defined by the project statement. We were still given some flexibility because it was along the entire length of the lawn from Wende Hall to Kapoor Hall. We both decided to locate our projects on the central axis between Kapoor and Parker.

JL: We had to base it off of the UB 2020 Master Plan. They are planning on bringing the loop road around the front of Kapoor, so we situated our buildings along it to act as a new gateway to the central campus. This concept drove the basic diagram for the project, where I split the site into four pieces. I decided to use slicing as the main formal gesture which drove my first model. I wanted to maintain the tension occurring through that space as a result. I draped a catenary roof over the open center, so when people walk through they feel the roof expanding outwards but simultaneously compressing downward. 144

MP: I remember you 3D printing these. JL: Yes. As I mentioned before, I wanted to direct people into that central space between the two wood masses. This space would act as the performative area where the action was occurring. All of the practice rooms were then positioned along the faces of the two opposed masses. When the performance space isn’t being used by the performers, the people walking through become the performance. FK: That’s really interesting. It relates back to the idea of the music room that you created -- how the people become the sound bouncing around the ear in which they then arrive at the central focal point. It’s similar in the sense that the people existing in the space as individuals are now part of a performance. I remember you were struggling with enclosure at first. Instead of enclosing it, you looked back to the ear or the conch shell and extended the entrances and canopy to draw people in. As a school, how did you move from the conceptual design to programming? JL: I used the top spaces of the two masses for practice and social spaces where students and faculty could gather. I then pulled most of the program to the two façades overlooking the central space, which allowed for circulation along the exterior sides. Another idea was to reconfiguration of theater space

create operable chairs that submerged into the floor of the central space, since it was designed for both performance and circulation. MP: There’s actually an auditorium that you probably looked at on Cornell’s campus… JL: OMA’s Milstein Hall. MP: Yes, with chairs that rise out of the floor and are then able to pivot. It was actually on my precedent list, too. FK: Mike, I have a question for you. I know that you’re interested in the kinetic architecture of the space; but when you were looking into precedents, what did you find that was most interesting? MP: It didn’t really start with motion. I translated it into motion when I looked into the precedents with greater depth. It was more about flexibility and how a theater can adapt to performance. My route was through kinetic objects. A firm called REX -- I actually visited their office on a networking trip with Greg Delaney -- was very influential in how I approached the project because at the time, they were working on the Perelman Performing Arts Center being built at Ground Zero. It’s the only building that is solely dedicated to the performing arts in that area -- no commercial or retail. Their main idea for the building is about flexibility, so there’s an open floor plan that can be subdivided into four quadrants that can expand and contract and combine with one another. I took it a step further and asked what else can move to make the space even more flexible. FK: I like what you said about how the theater could transform into the performance of the space or how the space can transform for the performance. Trying to tie it back to Jelani’s project, yours focuses on how open spaces can be translated into a theater environment. Mike’s seems like the inverse, since you’re shifting planes inside the space to create

various types of enclosures. MP: I think that’s what is connecting the two projects -- that we’re focusing on making a performance out of objects that aren’t considered performative. Jelani’s is based on how people react to the space and how they move through it, and mine was about the architectural elements being in motion and taking the performing aspects of the theatre or music school and extending them to the architecture. JL: I remember when we were speaking with Charles Davis -- he said that there has to be a relationship between the architecture and the performance space. The architecture should supply all of the acoustic needs of the performance. It should be subdued and fall into the background. We were sort of challenging that notion to where the architecture, after it fulfills the acoustic needs, pulls forward. FK: I remember that. He said that, but actually went a little further to say that the architecture is there to support the acoustics, where the acoustics should come first and the architecture come second. The architecture is the space and the acoustics make it comfortable for the musician. In both of your projects you’re definitely transcending that, to say that the architecture also has power. I have another question, Jelani. In making this big public gesture, why didn’t you push anything outside? JL: It was driven by the possibility for future growth of the campus. The building becomes a gate through a line of buildings framing the quad. It’s less about façade and more about passage-through. MP: That makes a lot of sense. FK: Mike, I saw some of your diagrams of how you were trying to generate an amphitheater behind the building -- moving that notion of a

kinetic architecture outside. Can you touch on what influenced this kind of area? Was it just the site? MP: Yes, it had a lot to do with the site. This was the most interesting site that I’ve worked with in the past four years. There was this viaduct -- an old bridge that is unused and currently serving as parking -- that crossed over the site. Cutting underneath the viaduct and below our site was an old train line that was converted into a bike path, so elevation change became critical to everyone’s project. The overall change in section was about fifty feet or so. You had to have entrances into the design from both above and below, so a central question was how do you create a building that provides two public entrances five stories apart? I decided to make the bike path part of an amphitheater. I implemented terraced seating and ultimately you have people riding through the amphitheater that can stop to watch a show or just continue through it. That became a highly contextual idea that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.


FK: That seems like a part of your project that wasn’t necessary for the success of the design, but was a very strong addition to tie the kinetic concept with the surrounding context. What were some of the frustrations that you had to deal with? MP: Well, the kinetic furniture was something that kept getting questioned at every review. Do these chairs need to move? Not necessarily, but it made the conditions of the space that much more engaging. FK: Jelani, I’m interested in knowing how the process was for you? JL: It was frustrating a lot of the time. The music school had such a strong formal gesture in the beginning, where I carved out that center space. Honestly, the project changed a lot internally, but not so much externally. It was always about manipulating the roof and massing studies to identify central space


extension of kinetic theater environment to outdoor spaces

accentuating the notion of when people moved through the space, there was a crescendo of vertical ground lines. It was a bit stressful to rely so heavily on one rendered view. FK: It’s the struggle about how you deal with the design process as an architecture student. Is it an idea about form that drives the project, or how the building performs and works for its program? For Jelani, the gesture of the form became the foundation for the project. And for Mike... MP: It was the opposite. I started out with ideas about the program. The form of the building came second, which became the most difficult part of the process. At the midterm review, it was made clear that the concept was strong, but it was a terrible building. Luckily, it clicked within the last two weeks of the semester.

walls as moving planes


“ was very personal in the way that I perceived the spaces, documented them, and then illustrated them.�




streetscape montage of threshold conditions


Nabil Farhat 151

The focus of this research lies within the mixing, montaging, and adjacency of the material, spatial and programmatic textures perceived throughout the past nine weeks in Tokyo. The urban condition that is being addressed is the density, variety of threshold spaces and material textures revealed to us in the streetscape. Thus, Shimo Kitazawa was chosen to be the area of study where the uncontrolled nature of elements of the programs is expressed through the examined textures. Tokyo offers small lot sizes, a condition that compacts several individual lots on any particular street on which their storefronts or whole facades are constantly modernized with whatever style and material that fits the time. This generates the rich and vast textural field that this research focuses on. Threshold spaces and the material, spatial and programmatic textures are only one part of this large dense fabric. Throughout the process; these streetscape components are observed and examined through axes, movements, orientations and edges. Thus, the collages presented illustrate speculations on the continuity, both physical and visual, through

the examined spaces and textures. It begins to address the future integration of the unplanned-ness and the combination of textures that exists on the street level into design and coming into aesthetic conclusions on designed spaces with multi-textural environments, the right mixture of material and space and their corresponding hierarchy. Faculty: Nicholas Bruscia + Christopher Romano Term: Summer 2017 Course: Tokyo Study Abroad Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture + Master of Architecture


drawing community workshop: mapping experiences

assisted living: hemiparesis

Emma McAneny 153

According to the National Stroke Association is “Hemiparesis is weakness on one side of the body. You can still move the affected side of your body, but with reduced muscular strength”. This is a very broad definition for a condition that affects many people after the occurrence of stroke. As an aside, Hemiplegia is a physical disorder commonly confused with Hemiparesis. Hemiplegia is the paralysis of one side of the body rendering it incapable of supporting weight and unable to move, while Hemiparesis is the weakening of one side of the body Those who suffer from Hemiparesis can work to re strengthen their effected limbs though full recovery is difficult and uncommon. Hemiparesis is a common condition faced by stroke survivors, affecting 8 out of 10 people. The most common manifestations of Hemiparesis are in a person’s limbs, hands, feet, and face. This condition makes mobility and daily tasks difficult and in some cases impossible without assistants. Be it a caretaker, support aid, physical therapy, or equipment. Challenges faced by those who suffer from Hemiparesis are:

Loss of balance , difficulty walking , an inability to grasp objects, decrease in precision (mobile), muscle fatigue, and lack of coordination. These impairments and restrictions can be helped through modifications to a person’s environment. Such modifications can by physical; grab bars, ramps, raised toilets etc. and through lifestyle changes such as; remaining active, strength exercises and being aware of surroundings. Although these changes can help a person in their immediate and controlled surroundings, navigating public or unknown spaces is challenging for those with Hemiparesis. The question arises, how can someone live with this disease, without the need of assistance? Can a person maintain their independance? Can environment do what a walker must? Faculty: Sarah Gunawan Term: Fall 2017 Course: Multiplying Perspectives Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Architecture + Master of Architecture + Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design


relationships of independtly observed threshold properties


Moderator: Randy Fernando Discussion Members: Emma McAneny, Nabil Farhat 155

Randy Fernando: What do you think the intentions were of the beginning of last semester, and what the project was for you as you proposed it? Emma McAneny: The class was taught by Sarah Gunawan. My interpretation of Sarah’s class, which at the time was being called Multiple Perspectives, was very much a focus at looking at societal norms through a lens of post-humanism, which is something that I typically enjoy. When you get down to the nitty gritty, it was a course that was trying to make you embody something that you are not. The main critique was through Neufert’s drawings, and were all not six-foot men from Germany, but rather we are all sorts of different people. Sarah’s best example was the designing of bomber jets because they thought you could just find the average height and average leg length that would be comfortable for everyone, but what ended up happening is that no one was comfortable with the average design. Her desire was that we would embody someone with a different set of normals from our own normals, and then design whatever space or project we wanted for that person we were trying to embody. Nabil Farhat: The normal in this case is being redefined. The definition of it is presented from the individual and not as a

societal thing. EM: Right, so what’s normal to me is normal to me. It might not be normal to you. The project became focused on an aging and elderly body because there was this interest in a critique for whether or not humans were cyborgs now. If we are being really literal with what a cyborg is, any elderly person or anyone that is working with something they aren’t born with can be argued as… RF: A cyborg. They have modifications. EM: Right. For example, I take daily medicine. Does that make me a cyborg? The elderly have hearing aids or hip replacements. Does that make them a cyborg, or not? Is that now normal? Are cyborgs the new normals? This is what her subsequent class is. RF: You’re questioning that if you have any modifications to body in general, is that considered as cyborg because it’s not natural to the human body? There are conditions that you are trying to assess? Am I correct in saying that? EM: Interpret, yes. RF: Interpret into what?

EM: As a challenge to each student, we were each assigned a condition of the elderly that we had to embody in our project, so it ranged from Alzheimer’s to arthritis. I was assigned Hemiparesis, a condition faced by many people that have suffered from a stroke and lose muscular and neurologic strength. In extreme cases it’s complete paralysis on one side of the body. One hemisphere of the body. In mild to moderate cases, it a weakening of that side of the body. If you were a right handed person, and had a stroke one the left side of your brain you would no longer be able to hold a pen or hold yourself up on one side of your body. Which is not a specifically elderly condition, but is statistically more common in the elderly.


empathetic exercise in embodying the medical condition

I was assigned to try and understand how someone with Hemiparesis would navigate the built environment. The initial assignment was how would you get from the subway to the classroom and what challenges would you face if you couldn’t use one side of the body as effectively as the other. That went from everything from not being able to use the stairs because you wouldn’t be able to lift your leg adequately to you might not be able to use the elevator as effectively because if the buttons are on the other side you would have to completely shift your body to accommodate this normal that is imposed on people. As the semester progressed, I decided that with the lens of an aging elderly body how can I make an independent living unit that would make it so that -- I guess backing up people with Hemiparesis have to have some sort of body modification attached or associated with them. Be it some sort of stabilizing contraption on their leg to keep it stiff… RF: It’s a physical modification? EM: A physical modification where you either are confined to a walker or a brace for your elbow or your foot to keep it rigid because you can’t control that.

RF: How about we do a brief introduction of your trip to Japan? NF: Basically, the Japanese experience, was with not doubt, and extraordinary one. I was taken into a whole new space and area where I was able to explore myself while exploring the city. What we ended up doing in Japan was that it was a combination of three courses. There was a studio aspect, a technical course, and a history course. In the history course we learned about the metabolist movement. We were supposed to read ten essays, articles, or books that we had to reflect on. The technical course was about understanding carpentry and old Japanese fabrication techniques. We visited old villages in Japan where there were masters in woodworking, carpentry, and timber. They showed us the process, their work, and their history of how their culture is embedded in the way they process items. In a different segment of the course we learned about contemporary fabrication techniques in a different setting. The studio was the most interesting for me because it was my first time in Japan, and to be able to explore the country, not as a tourist, but as an architecture student. I was curious about the life in the Japanese cities -- Tokyo mainly. I was about to learn more about myself by exploring the city and vice versa. I felt as if the city explored me too. The studio project was about rethinking that map of Tokyo. Re-navigating the city in a different way. I remember, we started off by reading an article about mapping and defining what that is. Mapping, not as the geographic translation. We had to choose a certain element of interest to map out as a way to investigate Tokyo in which we would then intervene a design moving forward. Before intervening, I personally came across a lot of opportunities to create new thresholds that would develop a different way to navigate the city. There was so much going on. There are a lot of complex

processes that are happening at the same time, so it’s chaos. It’s organized chaos. Somehow these 37 million people living in the metropolitan area are able to make things work under circumstances that you would expect to be the biggest hindrance. Subconsciously, I was just absorbing information and letting my hand do the work. I was sketching, writing. Information was flowing through my mind whether it was visual, physical, or textural. I started off being interested in the tiles on the ground of public areas. Each seem to have their own purpose that serves the public. For example, there were tiles for queues for bus lines or even indicators for the blind.


I was looking at the ground, but then I started looking up where I became interested in mechanical and circulation systems on the facades of buildings. I dove into this idea that in Tokyo for instance, there’s both a interiority and exteriority complex. The exteriority complex being that in the articulation of the mechanical and circular systems on the facade, they push everything to the outside so that they can provide as much space in the interior for residents. What I mean by the interiority complex is that Japanese people are so internalized, individualized. When it’s past 8pm everyone is inside and there is no openness to the outside -- residentially speaking let’s say. What I’m trying to explain is the process of perception. When I started walking around with a few other students, we were visiting sites that shifted my interest to viewing the streetscape in Japan. RF: Your perspective of the space was being challenged through exploration. What were you questioning, Emma? EM: My question was, “Can we design a housing unit that would respond to those needs without a person adapting to gizmos to be successful?” RF: You’re moving away from the cyborg indentifying tactile conditions as tiles


condition in terms of bodies so that the spatial construct is the thing solving the problem?

a railing. How can you make your stove into a walker while you are cooking?

EM: Right. My main focus was this idea of the walker. It’s this symbol of age, symbol of immobility, and though it might help you it makes you feel socially hindered or spatially hindered. You know, you can live in a space that been amended for a walker but the second you leave that space you’re confined to it. If you were out to dinner like we are, a walker would have to spatially find a space. It would occupy space and you would have to be cognizant of the space that the tool is occupying.

RF: You altered the wall conditions to adapt to the user’s need to get rid of the walker condition?

NF: Wow, yes that’s true. It’s golden that you’re mentioning that the walker is a primary spatial condition that is affecting their interpretation of the environment moving forward. That specific object has its own language in intervening with the body and space relationship. The design intervention would try to break the confinement by this object. It would be better to have a more flexible space rather than using this walker. EM: The end project was trying to design a space that would do the job of the walker without the walker being needed. Can you leave it at the door? They enter their space. They leave the walker at the door and they don’t need to think about it spatially because the living unit, in my case the apartment unit, would answer all of their needs. The project ended up becoming what would a senior housing complex or apartment building look like if you didn’t need a walker but had Hemiparesis. It became very focused on where you can get physical support for the amenities and utilities within the space that you don’t need to drag a walker with you. How can your walls react without you needing to lean on them, or being unable to lean on one side? I designed a first go at an apartment that had a continuously embedded rail system, and so instead of attaching a support rail to every surface how can you make a chair guard into

EM: In empathizing being physically disabled on one side of the body, why do we just perceive needing to have a tool to counteract the condition when instead we can just change our perspective of the normal? If we say that this condition is viewed as a normal now, then we would just design for that regularly. RF: The question I would have, is that you yourself are not physically disabled, correct? EM: I am not. Not in any physical condition. RF: I’m curious about how you interrogated the topic and the problem for you if you haven’t experienced it first hand. EM: Yeah, that is a fair critique. RF: How did that transition happen for you and do you think it was effective? EM: For the record, I do not have any physical disabilities. I was in a unique position though, where I was the caretaker for a family member who has Hemiparesis as well as Alzheimers. I didn’t have the perspective of having the disability, but I was first and second hand experiencing the disability through having to help her navigate space. In doing so, I learned that we need to move around in this direction. I would help her make dinner and it would have to go in a specific order because she wanted to remain independent to make her own dinner but she couldn’t use her left arm. The kitchen was not set up to use your left hand and move through the sequence of cooking so we had to do it backward or in circles. I was saying that it was completely inefficient and that if the kitchen was mirrored this would be fine. That was unique personal experience.

As far as trying to embody the disability, I guess for better or worse I specifically tried to alter my physical condition and navigate a space. I tied my arm to my body and I made my leg rigid, so I didn’t have weakness but I didn’t let myself use that side of my body. I did that to my right side because that would be the most inconvenient. I tried to embody it through manipulating my own body. I don’t for any second believe that it was successful in completely mimicking this condition. I’m not naive in thinking that I found the perfect answer, but I attempted to embody this condition. What I found inconvenient is not being able to use one side of my body. I tried to couple my experience with taking care of someone with this condition, and put that into the project. RF: I guess specifically to the condition, when you were trying to embody it, what were the issues that you faced that you needed to resolve from personal experience. EM: There were three main issues, not to say that there aren’t more. The immediate ones that I was concerned with were this idea of accessibility of spaces, not through the conventional lens of a wheelchair ramp, which are incredibly helpful, but more like I couldn’t get into the building because I didn’t have the strength to open the doors. It was a windy day, heavy doors and I struggled, when I’m perfectly capable, but when I didn’t have one side of my body it became very awkward to try and get into spaces with the door opening in a way that was not aligned with the side of my body I was using. I ended up ironically getting stuck at a handicap door where the handicap button wasn’t working. I kept pressing it with my “good side” and it wouldn’t open. Then, I was trying to maneuver my backpack and my body through a door that I could only open by crossing my own body and spin in with one leg. I was thinking about how horrible this was. Accessibility beyond just the ramp was an issue. The elevator was much less of an issue. The stairs I couldn’t do because it took


developing spaital environments to replace the use of assistive objects (i.e. walkers)

radius parameters associated with interest/activity level 160

six times longer with my leg not being able to bend. I would get in an elevator and if the button wasn’t on my left side I had to cross my own body and over people. It wasn’t… horrible, but it was awkward per say. I feel like the structures we put in place… RF: To mitigate the problems. EM: To mitigate the problems, mitigated some but made others. I don’t think that’s an inherent flaw of the design. There are just a lot of issues that people contend with. I’m not a believer that there is a universal design. I don’t think you can design a space that is perfect for every human person, but can we be more cognizant of the different people? Yes. RF: Yeah, for sure. EM: That was a problem. Something I didn’t really expect from the project was how exhausting it is to navigate a space without an abled body. I was tired. I was trying to get from a subway platform to my classroom was the goal. By the time I exited the subway I was like, woah, I had to go through 3 elevators and multiple doors. I was supposed to be thinking that I was like eighty and I’m sick of this at twenty something. Plus there was nowhere to rest. This idea of a space where you can

take a reprieve. From this experiment, it was just as crucial as having a ramp to walk up. There was only one bench in one place was covered in gum. I was like… I don’t want to sit anywhere else. There was puke on one bench and one was clean so I sat there, but I still had to make it another two thirds of the way. That was interesting because I never thought about how do you navigate when you could only go a short spritz at a time. It was something that I never thought of. RF: You never really thinking of resting spaces in circulation spaces. You have a more intimate relationship of body to space because of this project. You know more about the details, I suppose, of routine and what that means of individuals that are handicapped. Essentially, it was important that you were able to immerse yourself in a different perspective so that you could embody that through a design moving forward to solve the problem. These sketches for you Nabil, are the mapping of particular streetscapes? NF: Basically. These were my first attempts in documenting those conditions. The “T’s” with the number are supposed to be the points where there is a certain texture or swatch that was different from the rest. I created my own

scale, indicating that for every four steps there was a certain condition being documented. I started documenting thresholds… entryways or space that inviting you into other spaces. That divert your direction from long, narrow, busy streets into some alleyway or entrance. They could be stairs that lead you up to different buildings. I set different degrees of threshold that were based on how I felt and they ranged from first to the third degree. The bigger the circle the larger the impact was on me, and by impact I mean the more curious I was about these kinds of spaces. I called my final project, Streetscape Montages. I heavily relied on sketching and collaging to produce design opportunities. I took pictures of several thresholds, but at that point I wasn’t able to define what that is. Technically speaking the definition of a threshold is technically an entry or exit. For me, this was a way that I was redefining what that is. I came up with three collages. I superimposed images on top of each other and extended lines to discover new spaces. After that I was advised to go to a certain area called Shimokitazawa. The streetscape was really dense and pedestrian heavy. The final collage was based on that location. I feel like my project wasn’t resolved, but was a strong start to something. It was a really complex project to resolve in

six weeks. I was looking at a lot of details, but wanted to document everything. RF: Beyond immersing yourself into their physical body condition, you also navigated around Neufert’s drawing and I’m curious about what that was, Emma. There was a red-lining process that happened and critiquing those conditions. Saying that their standards aren’t practical because they don’t cater to an individual but are based on a collective analysis.

squat, you can’t lift both hands above your head to grab something heavy. What you can and cannot lift is now different. I went through these measured, assumed norms and said that doesn’t work. You need to be able to design a space for someone that can lift one hundred pounds over their head or someone that can only lift one pound over their head. Both are valid.

RF: It’s not just a critique of the drawing set but a reinterpretation or remapping of body EM: Well, I think it’s easy to critique Neufert now and space to the current conditions of our because we’re not just assessing Anglo-Saxon society and how we are using it now. men in the profession. I understand that Neufert was working under certain conditions that to him, EM: Yes, but for the sake of the project I was were normal. The idea of designing spaces for only looking at one-sided paralysis. It definitely an able body, middle aged, six-foot tall man was did open up a conversation for exactly what completely normal. I don’t initially critique him, you said. but the drawings in a modern context definitely don’t work. The red-lining of Neufert was looking RF: I think that’s interesting, if I could make through Hemiparesis, what would the new two points. Nabil it seems as if you were drawings look like. They were completely limited essentially mapping the inverse of what Emma to one side of the body, mirrored dependent was focusing on. Spatial implications on the on which side you were disabled on. This idea individual and what those conditions were of a person’s body in motion being completely at an urban scale. Emma’s focus was the mappable doesn’t work when on one side you opposite -- she was focusing on the individual can raise your hand all the way to your head or into an urban landscape. beyond and the other side you could only lift it sixty degrees from your side. NF: That’s actually one of the comments I wrote down. That’s funny, go on. Even within that critique you’re assuming that someone with Hemiparesis can lift their arm RF: That’s one of my first observations. The that high where some people can’t even lift their second one is that what you just mentioned, arms at all anymore. It became very a critique both of the projects are finally resolved or have of how these spaces now get quantified when a solution. That’s what she was mentioning you can only use half of your body. Where do too is that in no way did she think she was you start putting your emphasis? Where do successful in identifying a solution, it was these assumptions about how we maneuver more of a stepping stone to renavigate space, through space need to disappear completely which is what you are talking about. All of the or be completely reimagined. I didn’t find a lot sketches and collages that you produced a of conditions that were covered. I feel like they new way to understand the environment that were baseline conditions of Hemiparesis that you were occupying. needed to be addressed. For instance, you can stand when you have Hemiparesis but can you NF: The sketching and collaging was really squat when you need to grab something from important because Tokyo, Japan is such a under your bed? No, you can’t. It was mostly a raw and organic city and so using such a raw red-lining of those conditions saying you can’t and organic medium was perfectly compatible

heirarchy of spatial effects in urban contexts 161

in exploring the location. When you started mentioning the idea of New Normals, I was thinking that I could immediately relate that to Japan. It’s a new area, a new culture. Design relies on the embodiment of a set of diseases. We’re using something that is viewed as unfortunate to intervene with design, which is where architects get some inspiration from. When there are sad, unfortunate events happening where we can intervene the strongest I suppose? Architects should be integrated into politics to enhance the life of people, and be part of the authority. I really like that she is thinking society, and is trying to break that confinement that we talked about.


mapping new body conditions

Moving on, space implying function is one of her themes. She’s using disability as a means to navigate spatially. When you were interrogating her and saying that well ‘you are the designer, but you are not disabled’. This was a very interesting critique. Usually, with the design I’m always saying that there is a specific order. Spatial conditions operate in a specific way. My comment was that technology is integrated into the space to enhance its navigation? You integrate some kind of component or technology into the space in order to enhance the navigation of it. Another question that came to mind was what kind of architectural precedents did she look at? She went on to say that no design is designed to ever be perfect. I completely agree with that. I was taught, since freshman year at UB, by Phil Gusmano, that no design is ever right and no design is ever wrong -- no design is perfect, but design can be optimum. We can optimize design with respect to culture, politics, and time. In this case, with respect to what people need. What the space can do to make life easier. RF: You explained a narrative of having to navigate space from an urban scale, but Emma’s project for Multiplying Perspectives seems to focus on a smaller means of navigation with focused body parts. You dissected ranges of motion for a particular

instance and your redlines were suggestive of that. What is the specific interpretation or marking up of this drawing? EM: I was definitely looking into the range of motion that is capable, and in my specific case it was right-sided paresis. Beyond just the physical limitations, it became very cognizant of the supplementary devices. In analyzing what the Neufert man, if you will, works in the environment that Neufert is trying to critique or explain. That was easy enough to say that that was a no and this was a yes. Then coming back to the assumption that a man, in Neufert’s case, but in my case a human can’t or can do I had to really step back and look at what this person could do. Their range was this, but there was also this walker, a brace, or a sling. There are these supplementary tools that become a person that can’t survive without them. RF: It becomes an extension of their body. EM: Right. Where does the body stop and the extension begin? This lets you conduct your daily activities. I had to go back in my critique in terms of physical mobility and say well, what are these space if I say I throw a walker in. Your turn radius with a walker is by standard, a five-foot turn radius or x amount of space to turn. RF: To navigate. EM: What would that be if you had a walker. You’re not in a device but, it’s in front of you. With a walker, it takes up the space of this table. What becomes your use of space when this table is between you and me, always. RF: I’m looking at your final collage, and am trying to make note of what it means to me. You have a certain kind of documentation method that is very specific towards your observations. After going through this process and creating a new understanding of the space for yourself and trying to project it out, what

is the new normals for you? As you projected this new interpretation back out into the urban landscape of the cities in Japan, what is your critique on it moving forward and how you now alter those spaces? It is something where you are assessing that you want the other spaces like threshold at the third degree to reach the characteristics of the thresholds at the first degree? Is that your new normal? Now that you’ve reflected on this project moving forward I think you should answer what the next project would be since you said that this was a beginning step to something bigger. NF: If I were to go back to my project and continue, the first thing that I would do is clear up everything. I suffered from that idea that it was very personal in the way that I perceived the spaces, documented them, and then illustrated them. It was hard for a lot of people to understand what it is that I was trying to project. I did try to annotate everything on the last collage to clarify the different elements. Moving on I would create more collages in a variety of different spaces. I would take pictures, overlay them by collaging, and then create new thresholds. I would have a set of collages to interrogate. I’m not sure how the project would move on after that point. I believe it will be about discovering a new way to interject into the spaces through the collages. I would have to continue the project in order to find out the next step. I have a logical feeling that this project can enhance the way people navigate around the cities through their perception of new spaces. Otherwise, it can just stop there and it is just a mere representation of the complexities that are Tokyo. Why not? It can be just that. This whole Japanese process from the studio aspect was an exploration. I wasn’t set on solving a problem. I was absorbing this information and trying to discover something new through that process. RF: What you were creating was a means of data collection. You gathered that data and tried to reassess in way that you could

re-communicate back to people. That on its own is really big project to begin with because you now need to pull out information in order to generate a hierarchy. One of my critiques would be that everything is superimposed in a manner that assumes that information is all at the same level. There’s potential of understanding that the data set you currently have can tackle culture, politics, and a social environment that architecture currently does not engage with clearly. When you dig deeper into the collage you understand moments where these intersections that are happening. Everyone is going to interpret it differently. For instance, I’m personally interested in the little annotations you made as documentation notes that are graphically there to indicate a piece of information at that specific moment in time. Others might be interested specifically in the images that are superimposed and what the meaning of those cross sections are together. You’re capturing moments of time and space. It’s a range of time that is put together as a collective of this experience as a whole. NF: Absolutely. I identified notions of continuity in texture, life, action, and movement. I felt like there is continuity in space. One main element of the collages that I produced was that the space, with respect to time, can go on and on. There’s a continuous life to the collage. To be specific, there’s one collage where the stairs just kept being mirrored until it faded away towards the top. RF: As you’re mentioning that now, I’m thinking back. You document this full range of time, where Emma’s point of view is more relative to body movement through time. Her critique of the Neufert drawings is when they were documenting a full range of motion over different discourses that were happening. Her mark-ups had a hyperspecificity towards a particular moment in that full range of motion, so for a person with Hemiparesis that could only lift their hands up half way that’s where the moment was assessed. In this case it was specific to the individual and not as the

collective. NF: What’s different from our projects was that she was driven by a very specific condition that set boundaries for herself. For me, the project was just growing and growing and growing. I wasn’t focused on one thing because there were a lot of elements that needed to documented for me. I thought it would lose its essence in leaving that information out. That’s a really nice comparison. They’re two really different project but there is a lot of commonalities between them. I could see the potential in narrowing the focus afterwards. She talked about understanding mapping as a technique. It’s a very important design tool. Her mapping was very intimate as opposed to us in Japan. I felt like I had to remove myself from my body to embody my soul into the city in order to understand it. That itself was a very interesting juxtaposition between the projects. We talked in the city, we ate, we sat, we explored and I felt like through that I became integrated with Japan. Some moments were highlighted in my memory. As an open-ended comment that we could potentially talk about endlessly, is that I viewed the city as a field. A mythic field that is connected together through program and material consistency, but most importantly through discipline of culture.


school of architecture and planning ROBERT SHIBLEY, Professor and Dean OMAR KHAN, Associate Professor and Chair – Department of Architecture ERNEST STERNBERG, Professor and Chair – Department of Urban and Regional Planning

faculty 164

Craig Alexander, So-Ra Baek, Paul Battaglia, Alex Bitterman, Martha Bohm, Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, Nicholas Bruscia, Sean Burkholder, Carl Calabrese, Brian Carter, Stephanie Cramer, Elaine Chow, Stephanie Davidson, Charles Davis II, Gregory Delaney, Alan Dewart, Stephen Fitzmaurice, Mark Foerster, Ann Forsyth (2018 Clarkson Chair in Planning), Kathryn Friedman, Laura Garófalo-Khan, Jordan Geiger, Wade Georgi, Miguel Guitart, Sarah Gunawan (2017-2018 Banham Fellow), Zoé Hamstead, Hiroaki Hata, Daniel B. Hess, Melinda Hoffman, Christopher Hogan, Bradshaw Hovey, Matthew Hume, Joyce Hwang, Julia Jamrozik, Kellena Kane, Bumjoon Kang, Ashima Krishna, Annette LeCuyer, Vincent LiPuma, Kenneth MacKay, Dennis Maher, Jordana Maisel, Marguerite McAfee, Virginia Melnyck, R.J. Multari, William Murray, Erkin Özay, G. William Page, Jiyoung Park, Alfred Price, Laura Quebral, Georg Rafailidis, Samina Raja, Nicholas Rajkovich, Paul Ray, Bartholomew Roberts, Christopher Romano, Bryce Sanders, Mark Shepard, Michael Silver, Robert Silverman, Korydon Smith, Jin Young Song, Jon Spielman, David Stebbins, Hadas Steiner, Edward Steinfeld, Despina Stratigakos, Karen Tashjian, M. Beth Tauke, Henry Louis Taylor,Jr., Kerry Traynor, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (2018 Clarkson Chair in Architecture), Daniel Vrana, Brad Wales, Elizabeth Walsh, Harry Warren, Sue Weidemann, Li Yin

staff Marion Brush, Corinne Cardy, Barbara Carlson, Teresa Bosch de Celis, Brian Conley, Holly Cook, Patricia Donhauser, Debra Eggebrecht, Sharon Entress, Christina Farrell, Norma Everett, Frida Ferrer, Jason Hatfield, Alexandra Judelsohn, Enjoli Hall, Matthew Hervan, Robert Hill, Jeffrey Kujawa, Jason Kulaszewski, Danise Levine, Subbiah Mantharam, Bruce Majkowski, Doug McCallum, R.J. Multari, Jessica Naish, Rose Orcutt, Shannon Phillips, Donna Rogalski, Lindsay Romano, Maryanne Schultz, Samantha Stricklin, Heamchand Subryan, Rachel Teaman, Heather Warner, Jonathan White




Intersight 20  

As an evolution of Intersight 19, this year’s volume expands on the notion of moving students to the forefront of discussion in evaluating...

Intersight 20  

As an evolution of Intersight 19, this year’s volume expands on the notion of moving students to the forefront of discussion in evaluating...