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INTRODUCTION Following the completion of my Master’s Degree in Architecture (May of 2011), I began working for the Center for Applied Energy Research and I was selected as the project manager for the Atomic Cities Research Group. We studied the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a uranium enrichment facility built during the Cold War. The plant caused contamination that leaked into the groundwater over time and our challenge was to create interactive tools that would be used by the Department of Energy to communicate this problem to the citizens of Paducah. We built models to display both the contamination and the remediation efforts. As project manager I was responsible for managing our project budget, my team’s schedules, our material orders, and the model fabrication and exhibitions. In the Spring of 2011, I also began working with Filson and Rohrbacher of Lexington, KY on AtFAB, an open source furniture project. I was responsible for modeling and fabricating pieces of furniture showing the adaptability and customization of each piece. With AtFAB, I participated in the 2011 Brooklyn Maker Faire and Ball State University’s Couched Constructions in March of 2012. While in graduate school, I was fortunate to work on projects with clients and developers. The Henderson Project gave me the opportunity to spend the summer of 2010 In Los Angeles, California working for Marcelo Spina of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S doing a feasibility study, Tax Incremental Financing package, and schematic design for the HMPL-1 Plant in Henderson, KY. Also, the Houseboat Energy Efficient Residences project (funded by the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation) required collaboration with the houseboat manufacturers of Somerset, KY to help them supplement business during poor economic times with prefabricated modular housing.




Houseboat Energy Houseboat Energy Efficient Residences Efficient Residences 2.0


Henderson, KY HMPL-1 River Hub *professional


AtFAB Open Source Furniture *professional


Atomic Cities Research Group 5th IABR (re)Making Cities *professional


Atomic Cities Research Group Project Management *professional


FlyAsh Planters


Project Type: Prefabricated, Multi Family Team Members: Sydney Kidd Houseboat Energy Efficient Residences Description: Southern Kentucky is home to the producers of most of the Houseboats in the United States. During slow economic times, these manufacturers are looking to supplement some of their lost business with modular housing that can be built while making no modifications to their factories. Federal regulations determine the maximum dimensions of homes that can be shipped on highways. Working within a 16’x60’ footprint, we determined the space requirements for typical living accommodations and circulation. We pushed in the long sides of the bars providing for both a front and back entrance. After designing 5 units (accessible, studio, 1br, 2br, and 3br), we began to aggregate them on a site chosen for multi family housing in Monticello, Kentucky. Each residential unit has access to green space for private use as well as courtyards that are meant for communal gathering. The top floor units have a green roof to act as a thermal barrier and each unit will be made with renewable and energy efficient materials.


Project Type: Prefabricated, Product Design Houseboat Energy Efficient Residences 2.0

Description: The current housing crisis means fewer people are selling their homes to move into larger, more expensive homes. This project trys to meet the homeowner’s need for more space without having to list their current home and buy a new one. The houseboat manufacturers of Southern Kentucky would build small, prefabricated, and completely customizable cubes for those people that are looking for just a little extra space. By following a streamlined design process, clients would customize their own cube to meet their needs, their aesthetic preference, and their budget. Clients would be able to choose how their cube functions, looks, performs, and how it responds to its surroundings.

Product Market


Includes growing families, families taking in a loved one, children in between college and buying a home, etc.


Includes newlyweds, couples having their first child, new businesses operating out of home offices, etc.


Includes new home owners wishing to reduce the cost of their home by renting and families with a child between college and a job whom wish to rent the space once the child moves away.

MEETING MODERN NEEDS Rising cost of healthcare Housing crisis Lower employment rates Retiring at later ages High cost of travel

Product Concept Matrix

interactive design application

photo credit: Frank Doring


Project Type: Feasability Study, Adaptive Reuse P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S Marcelo Spina Team Members: Robert Nack, Chris Harris Description: The Henderson Municipal Power and Light plant stands along the Ohio River in Henderson, KY. Since its decommission, the citizens, developers, and city planners have been trying to decide how the building can be used to attract more visitors to Henderson. My team and I worked with Marcelo Spina in Los Angeles to provide a feasibility study and Tax Incremental Financing package to the city in the hopes that they would be able to pursue their plan to build a convention center and hotel on the site while maintaining the original building.

Massing Studies

Render by Robert Nack

Riverfront parks connected by HMPL-1 Riverwalk and Restaurant


Filson and Rohrbacher

Project Type: Product Design, Materials and Fabrication Research, Management Filson and Rohrbacher Description: As a Research Assistant for Gary Rohrbacher and Anne Filson, I had the opportunity to work on AtFAB, an open source furniture project. Twelve initial pieces had been designed with the ability to adapt parametrically to maximize customization. Cut files can be downloaded from the internet and used to cut virtually any material using either a laser cutter, CNC router, or water jet. Once cut, the pieces are easily assembled. My responsibilities included modeling arrays showing the adaptability of the furniture, materials research, and extensive fabrication trials.

Project Concept and Execution Š 2012 Filson and Rohrbacher

Silver Lining Tête á Tête Chaise

AtFAB Chair Array

Š 2012 Filson and Rohrbacher

Tattoos and Bracketing: Every AtFAB cut file can be used on any digital fabrication machine and with any sheet material. While cutting the Cellular Screen, we discovered that we could control how tightly the pieces fit together. To find the exact right fit for the slots and tabs, we wrote the grid-code using various bit sizes to remove more or less material. A test piece is included with each cut file so our method can be tested anywhere before cutting an entire piece. In order to keep track of our bracket studies, I designed a “tattoo� to mark each piece. The tattoos evolved into a means of describing the assembly of complex pieces (like the Screen) and a way for us to have AtFAB clients include our logo on their piece. Test Piece

photo courtesy of Robert Smith, KY DOE


Project Type: Physical and Interactive Models, Research, Exhibition Design Atomic Cities Research Group Description: Originally built during the Cold War, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has been enriching uranium for over 60 years. The Department of Energy is in the early stages of decommissioning the plant and cleaning up the mess it has left behind: a 10 square mile plume of contaminates that has affected the groundwater and the soil on the site and stretching as far as the Ohio River. The DoE asked the Atomic Cities Research Group to provide them with interactive tools that will help communicate the problem to the public as well as help them plan to solve the problem. Model 1 physically shows the underground strata and the different layers of the aquifer so as to better show how this dynamic plume is likely moving. It also shows the contamination relative to the surface geography. Model 1 can be displayed “exploded� or compacted, demonstrating the source of the contamination.


Models 2 and 3 The second model commissioned by the Department of Energy was designed to quickly show new progressions and it featured a writeable surface. Scientists could gather around the “tabletop” and use special markers to draw information directly on the model. After the session, the markings could be easily wiped off and the model is ready for the next session. At a scale of 1:150, the site, locations of monitoring wells, and the contamination were printed directly onto acrylic sheets and lit with LED’s from beneath. Along with the model, we included a “kit” that housed laser cut items that could be used to help describe the scale, for example, the Empire State Building. We later expanded this model to include the surrounding area and the Ohio River. Eight 4 foot square models were built with casters and a pegging system that allow for quick changes in the layers that display the remediation efforts of the DoE.



Storage Unit

5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: The Atomic Cities Research Group was featured at the International Architecture Beinnale in Rotterdam entitled Making City. The work was displayed in the Netherlands Architecture Institute from April-August, 2012 and was visited by designers, architects, city planners, and policy makers from around the world.

IABR 2012

As a part of the University of Kentucky’s River Cities Project, the Atomic Cities team presented the interactive 1:150 model of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant as well as a strategic plan for the future of the city. Biennale visitors were encouraged to use the “kit” to experience the model’s use as a planning tool.

(re)Making City: Concurrent with the IABR, an exhibition entitled (re)Making City was presented at the Center for Applied Energy Research to academics, citizens, scientists, and congressmen. The work physically represented the phases of the strategic plan for the future of Paducah. The exhibition will travel from the Center for Applied Energy Research in Lexington, KY to the Western Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah where some of the work will become a permanent collection for students and citizens of Paducah to visit.



Project Type: Management Experience Atomic Cities Research Group Description: As project manager for the Atomic Cities Research Group, my responsibilities included managing our budget, tracking our progress and schedules, ordering materials, communicating with fabricators, and coordinating travel and model transport. With so few people working on the project, it was important to coordinate material orders so that we didn’t have to delay fabrication. Also, we were able to send fabricators our own digital files to ensure accuracy and a quick turn around. fabrication drawing sample

materials suppliers for ACRG


Project Type: Product Design, Materials Research Team Members: Joseph O’Toole, Anton Bakerjaan, Neil Waddle Description: The United States’ reliance on burning coal for energy comes with a price. While cost effective, burning coal is dangerous for the environment, especially in the areas closest to the power plants. As coal is burned a byproduct known as “fly-ash” is created. Currently, regulations require that power plants store the fly-ash in containment ponds on site, but leaks and spills allow the toxins and heavy metals to contaminate the water supply and soil. With the help of scientists at the Center for Applied Energy Research, my team and I created a concrete mixture by combining fly-ash, sand, water, and a few chemicals. We used a CNC to mill the physical form of the planter which we then used to make silicone rubber molds. The special properties of fly-ash allow the mixture to set quickly, allowing us to rapidly produce planters for everyone to enjoy.

Fly-Ash Contamination

coal burning power plant environmental damage cases

source: Clean Air Task Force

Showcase: My team and I were thrilled when the creators of TEDxLex asked us to make our planters the centerpieces for the tables at the main event. The planters dotted the stage and groups of three sat in the middle of every table. We made 75 planters total for the event and we sent many of them home with the attendees and presenters.

“TEDxLex was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, ‘ideas worth spreading.’ The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.” - TEDxLex Creators

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My Family and Friends Gary Rohrbacher Anne Filson Rodney Andrews Steve Hampson Magnus Lindqvist Marcelo Spina Bruce Swetnam David Biagi Mike Jacobs Sydney Kidd Joseph O’Toole

Carolyn Parrish Design Portfolio  

Compilation of design work from both the graduate program at the University of Kentucky College of Design and professional experience.

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