C. Amstutz | 2021 Portfolio

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object / permanence CAROLINE AMSTUTZ


object / PERMANENCE FRAMING AN ARCHITECTURAL IDEOLOGY caroline amstutz

Object permanence envelopes my interests in architecture. The psychological phenomenon explains the comprehension that objects continue to exist despite being beyond physical perception. My borrowed understanding of object permanence hinges on the notion that architecture continues to impact communities and the environment long after physically actualized. Object permanence is a metaphor to describe my diverse ambitions, with the two component words, object and permanence, framing the themes of my design curiosities.

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selected projects

academic works 2016-2021

WONDER WALK 01.

JAMAICA POND | BOSTON, MA pg 01-10 | permanence

ANGLER HOSTEL 02.

CHAIN OF ROCKS BRIDGE | ST LOUIS, MO pg 11-22 | object

TESTING GROUND 03.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN | USA pg 23-32 | permanence

04.

SOULARD | ST LOUIS, MO pg 33-40 | permanence

EMBEDDED GREENHOUSE

ART G(ALLE)R(Y) 05.

POST OFFICE PLAZA | ST. LOUIS, MO pg 41-48 | permanence

LIGHT RAVINE 06.

CONCORDIA SEMINARY | CLAYTON, MO pg 49-54 | object

1 : 1 INQUIRIES 07.

PRINTS | BOOKS | FABRICATIONS pg 55-60 | object

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WONDER WALK JAMAICA POND | BOSTON, MA 42°19’09.5”n -71°07’06.8”w

critic: rosalyne shieh m.arch. core 1 studio fall 2020

Partner handbooks detail the events, activities, and architecture of the Wonder Walks – a collection of three curated learning trails beginning and returning to a Nature Center. The proposal makes nature accessible to children in Jamaica Plains area, while instilling a sense of wonder and care toward the environment that surrounds them. The Wonder Walk Handbook addresses issues of site, experience, and architecture through the lens of child’s interests, guiding them through a series of activities along the Walk and at the Nature Center. The Nature Center Handbook illustrates the tectonic and material aspects of the space through plan, section, and rendering.

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SPECIMEN STRATA A: GROUND

B: TRUNK

ground: brush 01

ground: brush 02

trunk: lichen 01

ground: brush 03

ground: brush 04

trunk: lichen 03

ORGANIC APPENDIX DOCUMENTING NATURE SPECIMEN

Tasked with designing a gathering space in the Emerald Necklace Park in Boston, I was immediately drawn to the nature that surrounded the site; its ability to captivate, revitalize, and inspire those who enveloped themselves in this green sanctuary in an otherwise urban context. The project unfolded from my own fascination with close-looking and cataloging; from pen and watercolor drawings of nature-objects, three experiential strata emerged – ground, trunk, and foliage. Rather than ecologically discretized categories, the strata are geared towards the experience of the park, introducing children to an accessible channel discover the wonder of nature. conceptual model

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C: FOLIAGE

trunk: lichen 02

foliage: leaf 01

foliage: leaf 02

trunk: lichen 04

foliage: leaf 03

foliage: leaf 04

specimen sketchbook collage

specimen sketches

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handbook cover

handbook activity; page 13

wonderwalk materials; page 02

handbook activity; page 19

WONDER WALK HANDBOOK A GUIDED EXPERIENCE OF NATURE

The Wonder Walk handbook addresses issues of site, experience, and architecture through the lens of child’s interests. The three walks allow for groups of students to be guided along an unmarked trail with an ecologist nature-guide; along the walk students are asked to complete various activities to aid their close viewing of nature. The site map highlights moments and landmarks along the walk that might appeal to the participants interests. Representationally, all drawings were crafted with the legibility of a third-grader in mind.

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handbook activity; page 21


handbook site map; page 08-09 - 06 -


nature center and regrading plan

TECTONIC HANDBOOK AN ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE

The Tectonic Handbook documents the architecture of the Nature Center. Sited in the basin adjacent to Jamaica Pond, the building is embedded into the ground, visually connecting to the pond, a grove of pine trees, and the paths and road nearby. The plan consists of two main components, a gathering space for learning, and a wide learning corridor. The corridor marks the beginning of the walk and the student’s discoveries and is programed with glass apertures, retaining the soil and allowing the nature guides to teach students about the layers of the soil and consequently the history of this constructed landscape. The learning space is outlined by gabion walls, which peel into benches for a class discussion.

nat

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ture center site plan

nature center longitudinal section

nature center latitudinal section

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interior renderings; gabion bench

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tunnel earth discovery window

green roof

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ANGLER HOSTEL CHAIN OF ROCKS BRIDGE | ST LOUIS, MO 38°76’05.8”n -90°17’63.7”w

critic: kelley murphy b.s. arch core studio fall 2017

Located on historic Route 66, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge spans a shoal of rocky rapids from Missouri to Illinois. On this well traveled site, students were asked to propose a hostel inspired by a material study of liquid tectonics, which was translated into both poetic and formal qualities of the hostel. Angler Hostel is a transient dwelling space for fisher-people, spanning over the Mississippi River. The Hostel consists of both private and public space; two dwelling levels, each with two units and peeling balconies; and a lobby, overlook, and fishing dock which provides a public space to enjoy the ambient sound of the rushing river and the fish below.

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SECTIONAL ANALYSIS HUE AND SATURATION

LIQUID TECTONICS THE POETICS OF WATER

In the exploration of liquid tectonics, I developed a hydro-printmaking device which creates radial prints utilizing ink, water, and hydrostatic pressure between a doubly wrapped mylar cone. The circular prints generated served as an object for analysis. To explore representation, I utilized nautical language and references to re-imagine the prints as randomly generated landmasses. This language served to quantify experiential qualities of the hydro-prints, such as hue, saturation, and projected speed and direction of the ink into a legible set of data, creating an entirely new and fabricated understanding of the results of the liquid tectonic study.

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E print mapping & hydro-print device G

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E site photographs

SITE WATER AS CONTEXT

Siting for Angler Hostel was determined by bathymetry and a fish species analysis. Understanding the bathymetry explains the speed of the river flow: a determinant in the type of species that inhabit the area. Sited on pylon 5, the Angler Hostel was located based on diversity of species in the area. Pylon 5 has direct access to many water depths and speeds, providing a range of species to the visiting fishers.

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E site mapping & section G

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PYLON LEVEL -I PLAN HOSTEL DWELLING I & II

FLUID INFLECTION FORMAL ARTICULATION

Inspired by concepts explored in the liquid tectonics study, the hostel formally interprets the idea of the inflection point evident in the hydroprints. Situated between two bridge modules, the hostel serves as an inflection point between these modules, gesturing from high to low, right to left, and finally wrapping around the mass of the pylon to reach toward the water.

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dwelling cross section


hydro-print inflection translation

longitudinal section

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ROOF PLAN ENTRY AND OVERLOOK

pylon level -II

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dwelling unit rendering

model photograph


twilight rendering

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physical model; pine, basswood, dyed plaster, plexiglass

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TESTING GROUND MISSISSIPPI RIVER BASIN | USA

00°00’00.0”n 00°00’00.0”w

critic: derek hoeferlin b.s. arch option studio spring 2018

Imagined in an America Post-Trump Administration, “Testing Ground” is a deployable scaffolding kit to investigate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin. Hinging on the need for trans-boundary communication between politicians, corporations, and consumers, Testing Ground uses guerrilla architecture tactics to foster discussion. The scaffolding is deployed quickly, attaching to various “Americana” typologies to monitor a range of environmental conditions from soil health to air quality. Testing Ground engages the public via geocaching; people interested in learning about the River Basin can track deployment location of structures, learn about the issue, and contribute to the research.

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G report cover

E TANGLE / DE-TANGLE

RESEARCH & REPORT A TRANS-BOUNDARY APPROACH

The first month of a semester-long examination of watersheds resulted in a 270 page document produced by the studio. The “trans-boundary report” systematically analyzes 3 river basins - Rhine, Mississippi, and Mekong – through the lens of the prefix “trans.” Students then developed individual proposals with an understanding of watersheds from "source to mouth". Beyond the semester, I was selected as a research assistant for Hoeferlin’s project “Watershed Architecture,” where I analyzed and re-synthesized the current political mechanisms of these watersheds. E TANGLE / DE-TANGLE

E

164-165 E report spreads

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011

012-013


E TANGLE / DE-TANGLE, research position under the guidance of Derek Hoeferlin

016-017

130-131

138-139

TEAM: Caroline Amstutz*, Michele Chen, Jake Deluca, Helen Han, Yin Li, Patrick Murray, Rodrigo Poma, Jimmy Ryoo, Will Sun*, Rita Wang, Joie Zhang, Tiffany Zheng. * - indicates project lead & editor - 26 -


G prototypical typologies G prototypical sites

E the grain elevator

"testing ground" book, typology & site introduction page

SOURCE-TO-MOUTH PROTOTYPICAL SITES AND TYPOLOGIES

Following the research and report findings, students were prompted to design a “trans-boundary negotiation forum” – a speculative space to engage people in a discussion of the state of watersheds. To tackle the prompt, I developed a systematic, rather than purely spatial, approach, which involved researching a series of prototypical sites and typologies, and understanding how one system of architecture could be applied to capture the multiplicities of my assigned river – the Mississippi. The content was bound into a book including the sites, typologies, and a narrative.

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"testing ground" book, narrative spread


E the slaughter house

E the coal plant

"testing ground" book; mylar, thread, craft paper

E the water tower

"testing ground" book, spine

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enlarged plan

E physical model; plywood, concrete, aluminum, thread, spandex

DEPLOYABLE FORUM A SYSTEM IN ACTION

The final form of the speculation is a deployable scaffolding system. The scaffolding fits into a single shipping crate ("the box") floating down the Mississippi river until a call for deployment. With a small team, deployment can happen over night, marking that typology as a site for ecological study. The public is engaged through geocaching; when deployed, the public is invited to the site to learn about the ecological impacts of the typology in question.

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plans and sections; 36" x 60" graphite and wax pencil on mylar

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"

COMMON THREAD ACTIVATING A DRAWING

To create an active experience of the drawing while making a suggestion about the form of the intervention, hybrid methods of sewing and drawing were employed. By sewing a section, the conceptual drawing explores the potential for elasticity in the form of Testing Ground and portrays a key value of the project: participation. E conceptual drawing detail 00_01_02_03_04_05_06_07


conceptual drawing, 24" x 36" graphite and thread on mylar rendering - 32 -


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EMBEDDED GREENHOUSE SOULARD | ST LOUIS, MO 38°36’42.3”n -90°12’13.9”w

critic: anna ives b.s. arch core studio spring 2017

Amidst a climactic crisis, designers must participate as global citizens: contribute ideas, engage broad audiences, and design considerately and sustainably. The project begins with a thorough study of a plant and the life cycle of its environment. This deep study of Spanish Moss and its ecology serves as a microcosm for understanding vaster environmental systems. Following the study was a proposal for a greenhouse to host that plant and others, as well as engage with the community through environmental education and the delight of experiencing flora. The Embedded Greenhouse is designed as a selfsustaining structure, its tectonic systems inspired by the plant it is designed to host: Spanish Moss.

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PROPAGATE SPANISH MOSS FLORA STUDY

In a week-long exploration of flora, I researched Spanish Moss, a plant native to North America. Spanish Moss thrives in humid environments, growing up to 30 feet long in ideal conditions. Neither a moss nor lichen, the flowering air plant propagates via both seed dispersal and regrowth of clippings, gaining necessary nutrients epiphytically from its environment by feeding on the detritus from the surrounding air, water, and the bark it hangs upon.

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TILLANDSIA USNEOIDES

"Spanish Moss"

E flowering node

E seed propagation

E single node

E moss strand

E moss aggregation

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MAPPING AS A MEANS OF FORM DERIVATION RUNOFF COLLECTION Generated from the hexagonal detritus flow analysis, the runoff collection program form is informed by the highest concentration of detritus; situated on the area of the site with the steepest slope.

RIBBING STRUCTURE A runoff grid study inspired the rib structure system. The embedded concrete ribbing integrates the greenhouse into the site’s existing infrastructure through an orthogonal relationship.

URBAN DEBRIS COLLECTION

E softscape to hardscape decomposition & site map

Angled toward the strong gusts from on-coming traffic, this collection area is positioned to capture stray urban detritus (trash). The form is designed with beveled corners to prevent debris escape.

roof pod detail

spider clamp detail

greenhouse site plan

ACCUMULATE AN INSULAR GREENHOUSE

The Embedded Greenhouse serves as a self-sustaining collection unit – collecting runoff, highway debris, seeds, and people from the site in Soulard, St. Louis. Each type of collection is compartmentalized into an area of the program that best serves its needs, creating an insular reserve from the urban chaos; a space for people and spanish moss alike.

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E collection typologies top to bottom: green roof, pedestrian path, structural ribbing, glass facade/tubing membrane, urban debris collection


E rendered section plans G

structural ribbing lower pathway restroom

glass membrane urban debris collection

GROUND LEVEL

LOWER LEVEL

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DISTRIBUTE The lower level pathway floats above pooling groundwater and reveals runoff minerals stains leeching down the wall. The lower level serves as an observatory for the inner-workings of the building - detritus rich water pools toward the glass façade, allowing a series of tubes to navigate the vertical span of the building and distribute this water to the seed collection roof – a space dedicated to fostering native plant growth through the collection of seeds via wind and birds.

G model photographs

SUSTAINING VIA EMBEDDING

roof 00_01_02_03_04_05_06_07

pedestri


ian walkway

plan

greenhouse facade - 40 -


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ART G(ALLE)R(Y) POST OFFICE PLAZA | ST. LOUIS, MO 38°62’91.2”n -90°19’49.8”w

critic: zeuler lima b.s. arch. option studio spring 2019

Titled “Drawing (From) Lina Bo Bardi,” this analog studio examined the architecture and attitude of Bo Bardi as a basis to propose a case for St. Louis. Bo Bardi’s unique approach to architecture consistently places people first, over form: she believes that architecture is a backdrop for social interaction and growth. Through various drawing exercises, I digest Bo Bardi’s fascinating pedagogical approach to design and explore her motif of figure/ground. Ultimately translating Bo Bardi’s core ideas into a modern St. Louisan context, I latch onto her attitude to promote inclusivity in the arts and place value on the experiences of all people.

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01 a

02 a

03 b

04 b

05 c

06 c

07 d

08 d

09 e

10 e

11 f

12 f

E 14 card suit

E poster

14 card suit collection

poster; watercolor on arches, thermochromic ink on mylar

ANONYMITY AN EXCHANGE, A POSTER

In a suit of 14, my cards explore Bo Bardi's fascination with vernacular architecture. The poster depicts the 14 cards (received from my peers in a card exchange) as Bo Bardi’s reading material, splayed about her coffee table. The poster represents the cyclical nature of architectural learning and inspiration from peers and anonymous architecture alike.

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13 g

14 g


foreground plate, foreground in focus, scene 02

unrolled cube print; etching ink on arches paper

foreground plate, background in focus, scene 02

E drawing model cube; etching ink on plexiglass plates

FIGURE / GROUND A DRAWING MODEL

The drawing model explores the "human-ness" of Bo Bardi’s drawings. The cube model represents the glass house – each cube face etched, inked, printed and then sealed closed. Opposing sides of the cube divide the scene into foreground and background, showing how Bo Bardi subverted the importance of people over architecture in her practice. print detail

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site concept book, “Expansive Alley,” expanded

EXPANSIVE ALLEY A CASE FOR ST. LOUIS

The Case is a proposal for a project in St. Louis. Through walking and mapping downtown I discovered a site to embrace Bo Bardi’s architectural methodology by activating a vacant alley through accessibility to the arts. The proposal is to vitalize the alley by introducing an art residency program, revealing the potential of the alley canyon to the public. concrete conceptual model, expanded

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site concept book, compressed


a case for st. louis: including site book and concrete conceptual model in wooden display tray

E site exploration map; photographs, graphite on velum

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serial section bx

serial section cx

serial section ax

ACTIVATED ALLEY IMPLEMENTING AN INTERVENTION

art g(alle)r(y) presents one architectural solution to the previous case proposal. The project takes advantage of the alley proportions, calling to activate the ground level of the alley canyon through choreographing the walking surface. 5 artists residency pods of various scales, and an art gallery and cafĂŠ wrap the alley and adjacent vacant lot to invite the public into the space to enjoy the arts. massing model

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longitudinal section ay

plan; 24" x 36" graphite on mylar

site map & notable cultural adjacencies; 22" x 22" graphite on mylar

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LIGHT RAVINE CONCORDIA SEMINARY | CLAYTON, MO 38°63’95.4”n -90°31’42.3”w

critic: lindsey stouffer b.s. arch. core studio fall 2016

Sited in Concordia Seminary Park, a quaint green space in DeMun, St. Louis, students were asked to propose a non-denominational chapel. The Chapel, intended to be welcoming of all, fixates on light as a unifying aspect for spirituality – whether religious or other. The Chapel views light as a universal language – it is a space that allows for reflection through light and dark, sound and silence. To understand the power of light, students first created a “device” to alter the quality of natural light. Following this study, rigorous site analysis exploring a light-related phenomenon facilitated the selection of a site for the chapel. The proposed chapel reflects the sensitivity of the site and the nuance of light itself, creating a space of reflection for all.

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E module in motion detail

E model photographs; acetate, aluminum, plexiglass, fishing wire

E single module connection

REFRACT LIGHT MANIPULATING LOOM

The Refraction Loom allows the user to control caustics by manipulating modular elements. The Loom is comprised of modules strung through a frame. Held in place at control points, the modules are capable of morphing into two forms: open and closed. When open, the modules disperse refractions, when closed, the refractions are condensed.

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refraction loom drawing, 24" x 36" graphite and chalk on mylar and museum board

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E model photographs; plexiglass, museum board, styrofoam beans

plan and entry section

group reflection room section

longitudinal section

SOUND VOID URBAN CHAPEL AND MAPPING

To understand experiential qualities on the site, I mapped tree canopies, acoustics and their effects on a visitor to the park. Cricket chirps, a sound that represents silence, served as a tool to inform the site of the chapel. Preferring dark and warm habitats, crickets chirp loudest in areas that receive both the most intense light and shadow.

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light and sound site mapping; graphite and charcoal on mylar

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1 : 1 INQUIRIES PRINTS | BOOKS | FABRICATIONS analog, digital, 2d, and 3d

critics: sage dawson, michael powell. kelley murphy

The act of making is an instant feedback loop - a way to digest the world and the complex systems that surround us. Whether binding a book, carving a matrix to print, or lasercutting an assembly, the creation of physical objects is an informative part of my design practice and understanding of architecture. Creating at 1 to 1 scale lends itself to a deep appreciation of materiality and the importance of quality. This human scale renders systems comprehensible through both visual understanding and muscle memory - a book is not a monolith but rather a choreographed collection of pages, punctures, and stitches. The following projects are a few of the 1 : 1 inquiries I have recently made.

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TESSELLATE FISH SCHOOLING KITE

Derived from studies of fish schooling, the full scale kite implements a radiating triangulation system, consisting of frame, membrane, and apertures. The apertures are reactive to different wind levels, opening to varying degrees based on the wind strength.

~24" x 24" styrene, acetate & packing tape

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FEEDBACK LOOP LARGE-FORMAT MULTIMEDIA PRINT

Fascinated with the juxtaposition of nature and artifice, Feedback Loop abstracts the interaction of these two binary ephemera into color and form through monotype, screenprinting, and collagraph techniques.

48" x 60" ink on arches paper

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REDACT CENSORSHIP DIPTYCH

In a flight of books interrogating the material applications of transparency, this diptych explores censorship of literature through the use of opacity. Drawing from historically censored poetry, the diptych censors using opposite techniques: hyper-transparency vs. extreme opacity.

flight of five 4"x6" books, featuring "Redact." plexiglass, acetate, cloth, paper, ink, thread

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DE-PRINT RE-PRINT SCREENPRINT

Inspired by studies of 1920’s photo-montage, this multi-layer screenprint explores cartography as an extension of reality and interrogates the graphic traits of maps through the abandonment and re-printing of once-legible information.

15" x 20" screenprint & solvent transfer

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CAROLINE AMSTUTZ M.Arch. candidate, 2024 Massachusetts Institute of Technology camstutz@mit.edu Tel. 917-733-0767