MONEERAH ALAJAJI DESIGN PORTFOLIO
I’m part of the dirt... I’m part of the water... I’m part of the air...
This work is dedicated to our planet earth, may we all design concisely for better environment.
ReciproCity: Water Urbanism in Addis Ababa Urban Design Studio III
Whats on Your Plate? Food As Knowledge Urban Design Studio II
Graphic Architecture Project: Graphic Narratives
Reading New York Urbanism
Urban Design Studio I
History and Theory Seminar
Urbanism and Videography Seminar
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Agreement of Unity
Urban Design Studio III
Agriculture as a Practice
Site Peacock Park, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Professors Kate Orff, Geeta Mehta, Thad Pawlowski, Julia Watson, Adriana Chavez, Dilip Da Cunha, Lee Altman, and Fitse Gelaye
Strong Social Network
Teammates Mary Allen, Nikita Kumar, and Anai Perez
Peacock Park Development Pressure Uneven Work/ Resident Population
Low Quality Products
Lack of Infrastructure
Low Income Need for Basic Services
Need for Clean Water
This studio examined regional histories and learned about future resilience and adaptation strategies to develop a productive critique and offer Addis Ababa specific proposals that will advance its resilience. The goal is to link social, economic, and environmental prerogatives along a transect of transformation and project alternative futures of the city. Underlying all of the work is a focus on the power of water to shape equitable cities of the future. Peacock Park is a unique prominent site in the heart of Addis Ababa. The site is home to the Kebena Bulbula Farmers cooperative that currently practices large scale urban agriculture. This site is defined by its relationship between two rivers, which allows the coop to actively work the land, producing agriculture in a symbiotic system with the ever changing river.
No Ownership of Land
Strengths and Fragilities
Learning from this unique site, the redevelopment of Addis Ababaâ€™s rivers should not be that of a large scale infrastructural project but rather through a smaller more localized system. Addis has the potential to achieve its goal of becoming a world class city not through imported models, but by learning from the legacy of what currently exists. Structures, such as this cooperative, are a legacy worth preserving. By using cooperatives as a unit of change, a variety of co beneficial relationships can be formed between the government, the residents, the land, and its rivers, overall engaging a symbiotic relationship of reciprocity. This system allows the cooperative to enter into a new relationship, one where they share a variety of benefits, and becoming a more powerful actor.
Road and River Threshold
Field and Park Threshold
River and Field Threshold
Housing Cooperatives Multimodal Transportation Corridor Commercial Corridor
Existing Site and Location of Interventions
Public Gathering Space
Public Waterfront Access River Stewards
Woven Working Landscape
Agricultural Production Rotating Public Space Ecological Services Irrigation System
Gradient of Plantings for Water Filtration Non-Edible Crops Edible Crops
Bioremediation Holding Pond Permanent River Dam
The Living River
Expansion and Weaving Into the City
Growing Habitation Housing Structure
Coop Control of Space
Pool â€˜Resourcesâ€™ to buy: - Some Cash - Stewardship Credits - Education Credits
Family Network from the Cooperative
Government Built Housing
1. Establish Grid -Three by two plots per coop -Four to five households/family groups per coop
Growing Habitation Site
2. Plot Division -Two plots for housing -Two plots for future commercial space -Two plots for dedicated common space
3. Government Built Housing -Housing structure built by the government -Other four plots to be democratically built by the coop
Cooprative Housing Structure
Growing Habitation Moment
Absorption and Filtration
Increased in Biodiversity
The Living River Site
System Diagram Ecological Services
Working Landscapes Site
Weaving Multi-canopy Structure
Working Landscapes Moment
Forming Rotational Spaces
WHATS ON YOUR PLATE? Urban Design Studio II
Site Newburgh, Orange County, NY. Professors Kaja KĂźhl, Anna Dietzsch, Jerome Haferd, Liz McEnaney, Justin Moore, Shachi Pandey, Raafi Rivero, David Smiley, and Dragna Zoric Teammates Vasanth Mayilvahanan, Annie Wu, and Wei Zhang
Working in the Hudson Valley, the Studio operates at the regional scale and asks students to enter the discourse of urbanization beyond cities to engage unevenly dispersed socio-spatial ecosystems at multiple scales. The Hudson Valley, a region defined by multiple systems, histories, and geographies, has deep connections to New York City, the global metropolis at its southern edge. The region is understood as the integration of settlements, modes of production and consumption, and the topographic and biological contexts in which they take place. The studio explores the regionâ€™s rural/urban socio-spatial ecosystems as the site for intervention to address the global climate crisis.
Fast Food in Public Schools
Despite having many farms, fresh produce in these counties are not widely available due to their high production costs. Lack of nutritious food, easy access to fast food joints, and cheap prices of meat in grocery stores and supermarkets, create an unsustainable food cycle. These issues magnify significantly in areas like Newburgh, which has a diverse young population with school children making up for a third of the population. Therefore, there is a need to restructure the food system to reduce significant carbon emissions by providing access to quality food, changing the current meaty diet and creating awareness by educating the children for the future.
Food Systems Meat and Dairy is responsible for account for 25% of carbon 14.5% of the emissions carbon emissions
First U.S. case of mad cow disease Publication of dietary guidelines-associated health impacts Meat crisis due to decrease in major cow feed-anchovies Policies viewing fast food as cheaper alternatives to develop low-income areas 1,000th McDonaldâ€™s restaurant opens SBA subsidized fast food chains in food desert areas
Newburgh enlarged city school district 1st McDonaldâ€™s restaurant opens
Population 28,444 Poverty Rate 31.2% Average Age 27.9 Singles Rate 28,444 Unemployment Rate 8%
Per capita availability of boneless trimmed meat/ lbs per year
K-12 Students 10,745
Public School Locations Food Desert Zone 0%-27% Students Having Free/ Reduced-Price Lunch 28%-46% Students Having Free/ Reduced-Price Lunch 47%-95% Students Having Free/ Reduced-Price Lunch
Hudson Valley Site Map
History of Diet Change
Satellite Schools Stakeholders: National Funding USDA National School Lunch Program
High School 3217 (Two Schools)
Central School Kitchen
Newburgh Free Academy North High School 3217 (Two Schools)
Newburgh Free Academy
State Funding USDA Farm to School Grant Program (At Least 51% Produce Within State)
National Funding USDA National School Lunch Program
State Funding USDA Farm to School Grant Program (At Least 51% Prodoce within State)
Gams Tech Magnet School
Earth Institute Columbia Univeristy Hudson Valley Foof Hub Initiative
Local Farms Stakeholders: Local NGO For Farmers Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition USDA Intitiative to Provide Fundings Know Your Farmer
Horizon On the Hudson
South Middle School
Cornell Co-op extention Orange County to develop the kitchen Local partistioners to help Employment for the Community Orange County Economic Development
Central Kitchen Satellite Schools Population Density Intervention Area Truck Route
Communal Dining SNAP benefits for the community to buy food
Children Students during school time
Downning Park Planning Committee
Calvary Presbyterian Church USDA Farmers Market Local Food Promotion
Community during Holidays - CACFP USDA Summer Food Service Programs (State Level)
System Reconstruction - Program Diagram
Community Garden Grocery Market
Green Roof Central Location
Market/Garden Unloading Area
Welcome Center Multifunctional Dining Hall
Walkin Storage Drive-Through Market
Corridor Learning Garden
Dining Space Central Kitchen Learning Garden Wet Storage Packaging Space Community Circulation Student Circulation Truck Circulation
Multifunctional Dining Hall training training
Dining Grocery Pickup Educational Gardening Culinary Training Weekend Program
Student Dining in the Afternoon
Community Dining at Night
Multifunctional Dining Hall
Roof Garden Kitchen
5-K Dining Hall Corridor
Grocery Market Learning Garden
Learning Garden Entrance
Dining Space Central Kitchen Learning Garden Community Circulation Student Circulation Truck Circulation
(PRE + PRO) RE-DEVELOPMENT Urban Design Studio I
Site Jersey City, New Jersey, NJ. Professors Tricia Martin, Nans Voron, Hayley Eber, Sagi Golan, Quilian Riano, Austin Sakong, and Shin-pei Tsay. Teammates Alvi Rahman Khan and Kunal Mokasdar
Activation of Public Realm
Today, Jersey City has 33 percent of its area under redevelopment. This gives us the chance to reimagine the city and the way we construct it. The city is growing, and its growth is at a rapid pace. It’s accommodating more and more people, optimizing the available floor area. Multiple sites in Jersey City are marked as redevelopment zones by the city’s planning department The majority of the redevelopment clusters are concentrated around Jersey City’s Downtown, Journal
Square, and Newport waterfront. We are proposing a set of strategies addressing this development. This set of guidelines overlays sectionally on the existing planar zoning, encouraging and supporting resiliency on new development throughout the current and future floodplains and introducing resilient temporary programs in the ground level. The programs are driven by the needs of the users to improve the current streetscape. Through these strategies, we hope to achieve resilient built forms with inclusive public spaces.
30% Redevelopment Zone
65% Increase in Population
50% Vulnerable Areas Stormwater Management
Public Space Network
+ Tax Incentives
Opening Up the Ground Floor
Public Transit Redevelopment Zone Green space Underutilized Green Space
Jersey City Site Map
Tools and Techniques
100 Year Flood Plane
Underutilized Green Space
50 Year Flood Plane
Site A Lackwana Terminus
Hamilton Park 10 Year Flood Plane Site B Historical District Palisade
NJ Transit Redevelopment Site
Site C 40
Water Collection Area
Additional Density Roof Garden
Extension to Streetscape
Vacated Ground Floor
High Point Rehabilitation Space
Flood Resilient Programs
Rain Garden Flood Resilient Programs Pocket Park Water Management Tank
Extension to Streetscape
Vacated Ground Floor
High Point Public Park/Farm
Additional Density Roof Garden
Permissible Height Stepped Framing Low Point
Vacated Ground Floor
Extension to Streetscape Flood Resilient Programs
Permissible Height Additional Density
Vacated Ground Floor
Flood Resilient Programs Public Open Space
Extension to Streetscape
COTTON KINGDOM History and Theory Seminar
Site Claiborne, Monroe County, AL Professor Sara Zewde Teammate Hugo Bovea Garcia
Watch the Animation Here: https://bit.ly/2SQsezn
In 1852, the New York Daily Times commissioned the thirty one year old Frederick Law Olmsted to conduct an immersive research journey through the Southern slave states. The country was headed toward civil war, and the paper dispatched young Olmsted for his ability to reveal the cultural and environmental qualities of landscape in a narrative voice. Today, landscape architecture, urban design, and planning—disciplines Olmsted helped to shape—
Booming Commercial Street Scene
continue to grapple with the economic, political, and ecological conditions rooted in systems he documented so vividly 165 years ago. This seminar investigated the relationship between major contemporary issues in urban discourses with the documented conditions of cities in Olmsted’s 1861 book, Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom. Also, it positions Olmsted’s journey not only as source material, but also as methodological proposition, in reflection on the significance and methods of research and representation in design practice.
1830s - “Cotton is the King” Cotton Region (Black Belt) Soil Fertility
High influence in soil fertility
1860s - Civil War
The Civil War was one of the main drivers in Claiborne’s downturn, and the abolition of slavery severely altered the cotton economy, leaving plantions without labor workers, which resulted in an economic recession for the city.
Ideal Conditions for Cotton Crops
1860s - Civil War Area Lost by Confederacy 1863 1864 1865 Battlefields of Alabama
1862 - Railroads Act
In addition to that, the construction of the Louisville and Nashville Railroads bypassed the town on both sides of the Alabama River, which, combined with the previous events, caused a dramatic decline in its population.
1862 - Railroads Act Louisville and Nashville Railroads
Bypassed Claiborne on both sides of the Alabama River
1865 - Slavery Abolished
Cotton Region (Black Belt)
Cotton economy severely affected by lack of labor
1873 - Yellow Fever Outbreak Counties severely affected by the Yellow Fever Outbreak
Claiborne’s population decreased to 350 people and continued to decline
1880s - Claiborne Ghost Town
Today, Claiborne is largely abandoned but the area is still surrounded by cotton plantations due to the industrialization of cotton in the 1950s. Some of the issues inherited from the antebellum rural Alabama, such as social inequality and major public health problems, still persist up until today.
1880s - Claiborne Ghost Town 2020 - Rural Alabama
Severe health issues Lack of infrastructure
Bell’s Landing Claiborne Alabama River Mobile
Cotton Kingdom, Then & Now
Claiborne became one of two major shipping points in Monroe County because it provided access to staple and luxury goods from Mobile for nearby cities and towns. As a sign of Claiborne's importance to the cotton trade in Alabama, William Locklin constructed Alabama's first Eli Whitney-designed cotton gin in 1817 in Claiborne. When Frederick Law Olmsted visited Claiborne, he was impressed by the dynamic town and its relationship to the river. Also a specific scene of how the slaves were exporting the cotton by throwing it down an incline without affecting their value to the platation owner and how less of a value of the free Irish men have.
Bell’s Landing was a major shipping point that provided access the Alabama Rive providing the area with nesseccary products.
Cotton Incline, slaves would drop the cotton bails from the top to be received by Irish men at the bottom.
Bell’s Landing Alabama’s Major Shipping Points Claiborne Alabama was an important shipping port for cotton and trading center throughout the 1850s.
Movement of Steamboats was sign of Claiborne's importance to the cotton trade in Alabama, ships would travel to Claiborne.
Mobile (Port of entry - exit)
Gulf of Mexico
Alabama River is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about 6 miles north of Montgomery.
The Mobile Port was a significant entery point to the Alabama river from the Gulf of Mexico.
Fort Claiborne was worked by the Irish men who would receive the cotton bails by slaves and load it on the ships.
Visual Literary Analysis
GRAPHIC NARRATIVES Design Elective
Professors Michael Rock and Whitney Dow
Site New York, NY, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
How do we tell, and how do we read, stories? The answers to those questions reveal essential aspects of narrative, the way parts can stand for wholes, the distinction between mood and plot, the difference between things that happen in sequence and things that happen simultaneously, and the way details reveal truths. We will investigate those issues through careful reading and watching, but most importantly, by making. In this class we aimed to look at multiple aspects of narrative: both how we tell the story of an architectural
Addis Ababa History Timeline
project and how thinking about narrative informs the design process. The intention is that Graphic Narratives is an extremely practical class, the tools you acquire should be immediately applicable to problems of presentation and documentation of the individuals work. Simultaneously, we hope that through practicality we can investigate the structure of narrative itself in precise and profound ways that will influence the way individuals think about making design.
READING NEW YORK URBANISM Urbanism and Videography Seminar Site Hoboken, New Jersey. Professors Cassim Shepard and Jesse Hirakawa Teammates Nikita Kumar and Sophie Lee
Reading New York Urbanism is a seminar that introduces urban design students to New York City as a laboratory of historical experiments in both designing and understanding the urban environment. The goal of the seminar is to arm students with the observational and representational tools to be able to “read” the city and the multiple forces that influence its physical form and social experience and to represent these forces through documentary video.
Documentation of Different Fabrics
The class explores specific places throughout three districts: Jersey City/Hoboken, NJ; Long Island City, Queens; and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to analyze how different actors—writers, artists, designers, real estate developers, government agencies—have interpreted, represented, or intervened in these sites over time. We have focused on Garden Street Farmers Market in Hoboken to document and understand how open public space can act as a community gathering area.
Im Dylan from Brooklyn, NY.
Im Evan from Jersey City, NJ.
Im Samantha from Hoboken, NJ.
Im Connor from Long Island, NY.
COME-unity: Rethinking the Urban Square, is a short documentary that talks about Garden Street Farmers Market and how activates an urban square. Watch COME-unity the full short video at this link. https://bit.ly/35NRnQQ 58
Garden Street Farmers Market
Community and Products Diagram
Our oatmeal is locally sourced we work with a local farm, very dellious and healthy.
Garden Street Farmers Market 14th St & Garden St, Hoboken, NJ Saturdays 9AM-2PM Jun - Dec Is that cheese can we try some?
Its oatmeal try it!
Picking up veggies?
Im into healthy holistic eating so I love coming here, everything is local and fresh.
Sustainability to this community is to eat locally, eating closely to where food is grown and to be able to see and try the food encourages the area to be more environmentally friendly.
I like how this market fosters community gatherings and supports local businesses
Sit down the show is starting soon..
Successful day! Cant wait to come back and sell more pickles.
The market is the market because of the people, this area comes to life on saturdays.
Its a hot day but people are still coming to around to pick-up their supplies for the rest of the week and to enjoy some chilled natural drinks.
Lets support local farmers
The plaza is usually unused during the week but the residents are happy use this space as a resource on weekends.
Comic Strip of COME-unity
Thank you Columbia GSAPP for the opportunity, for the friends, for the memories, for the late nights, for the laughter, and especially for coffee. Congrats Class of 2020!
255 West 94th St, New York, NY, 10019