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Jerome Irwin Khalil Elder

DESIGN DOES NOT EXIST IN ISOL design does not exist in isolation...W


From birth we have entered into a world that creates as it destroys and destroys as it creates. We are molded by our surroundings, our interaction with nature and mankind marks the epoch of our perception of space, time and place. Our very existence is to participate in this event, for we are an unfinished creation. The holistic nature of design places it at the collision of art, science, culture and society. It is from this vantage point that we leave behind the obsession of creating an object and instead explore the potential relationships between all things; ourselves, society and the places we inhabit.

water gallery | rotterdam


bunnifriend center | new orleans, la.


releigare center | savannah, ga.


cmc tower | chicago, il.

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accelerate hub | savannah, ga.

ex-re claim | savannah, ga.

nubox | scadpad, ga.

spatial relief | philadelphia, pa.

creative co-lab | florrida

urban spontanaiety | savannah, ga.

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rotterdam, netherlands. ARCHITECTURE & HUMAN EXPERIENCE




Water Gallery This studio course focused on the relationship between architecture and human experience. Students in this studio were required to chose an object that they interact with daily and develop a semi private museum. The site selected was determined by the object chosen. Emphasis was placed on the site, culture, building integration and human dynamic. Water is an element that transcends all life on Earth. It has the power to cut mountains, the ability to cleanse and the potential to connect. It is the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, constituting about 70% of the

planet’s surface. The human relationship with water is not only one of wonder and joy but one of envy and fear. Through sound, touch color and taste water makes itself a part of every day life.

The design anticipates the time when water will invade Rotterdam, letting water redefine its galleries, and become a monumental reflecting pool, a beacon for the future, transcending understanding and bridging the present to the future. A future that like water will never die.




Today, water threatens the very existence of the city of Rotterdam.

Rotterdam- a young, dynamic, international city on the water, a metropolis for architecture, arts and culture. The river Maas River flows right through the city, crossed by the now-famous Erasmus Bridge which has become the symbol of Rotterdam. Countless tiny harbours line the banks of the river, each with its own unique character. Further downstream lies the industrial port that has made Rotterdam the largest port city in Europe.




new orleans, la.



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Bunnifriend Community Center This studio course challenged students to explore how architectural and environmental context influence architectural design. Students conducted simple site analyses and made design decisions on that basis. The ability to create meaningful design solutions and fulfill simple programmatic requirements was also emphasized. Lectures included topics such as environmental and site issues and the meaning of places. The Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association is located in the Upper 9th Ward. Due to hurricane Katrina in August, 2005, 45% of the residents fled the city. Today, they are still striving to revitalize and rebuild their community, their mission states :

“ To stimulate revitalization and building of the community post Katrina.� The association seeks to rebuild their sense of community, reestablishing the extended family, retracing roots, regaining memories, and relocating to their former homes, making Bunnifriend future proof.

A community is a family,

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born from diversity, supported by truth, governed by hope and strengthened by unity.

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Drawing from the culture and physical characteristics of the community the design seeks to establish fluid yet carefully crafted relationships between urban and architectural places, exterior and interior, culture and nature, self and others. The design also implements various passive forms cooling and heating to aid in energy conservation such as building orientation, clear story operable windows and lovers. It also uses wood and various other materials salvaged after hurricane Katrina.

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RE-LEGIARE Faced with this state of affairs, a cooperative of individuals have decided to create a place to practice ‘being’: the Re-ligare Institute. By fostering and celebrating not-doing, not-having, stopping, and wholeness, the organization intends to give people a space to step back and become reconnected with themselves, others, and nature. Faculty, administration, and staff will support patrons to accomplish such goals and conduct research concerning the practice of being. Architecture is to become a sanctuary for finding, studying, enjoying, and developing being. As such the building will provide a necessary retreat from real world dis-eases, promote healing, and foster a re-connection at the individual and collective levels. Given its intense focus on being, the Re-ligare Institute demands a building of great quality that highlights phenomenological presence at all levels and scales.

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Developing being means to offer pedagogy directed to the subjective (personal, individual self), inter subjective (social, collective self), and objective (environmental, no-self) dimensions of human experience. This translates into practices directed to observing, studying, exercising, and expressing being’s mind, body, and connectivity to others and nature. And while these aspects of being do not occur in isolation, it is appropriate to focus on one or the other to foster particular developmental gains. Hence, the Re-ligare Institute demands programmatic separation and connection, that is, dedicated places to work on our physique or inner mental-scape as well as areas where we can come together in society and nature. For this reason, the Institute seeks to establish fluid yet carefully crafted relationships between urban and architectural spaces, exterior and interior, culture and nature, self and others, and so on. In the spirit of healing and growing being, the Institute professes sustainability understood in its widest and deepest sense: the affirmation, appreciation, and support of all life.

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2 7 Chicago Media Co-op This studio course concentrated on the issues raised by creating new architecture in existing urban contexts with complex social and cultural characters. The class focused on developing an ability to create well developed and artistically meaningful solutions to moderately complex architectural problems. In addition to performing in-depth analysis of the urban site and the functional program, students prepared formal building type analyses as a way of understanding the tradition of building in the city. Emphasis was placed on topics such as urban context; social, cultural and behavioral issues; and analytical methods.

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The Chicago Media Cooperative site is located on premium riverfront property, adjacent to the wharf, residential neighborhood, and a prominent bridge on Lake Shore Drive. The extreme variety of the surrounding structures creates a number of distinctive hierarchical relationships that will ultimately impact the proposed building’s structure. The diagram above illustrates the presence of “perceptual mass� that surrounds the site, and documents notable heights of people, greenery and built environment that interact within the immediate area.

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Designed to bring awareness to and embrace human,social and media ecology the Chicago Media Cooperative seeks to encourage the Chicago community to rediscover, reconstruct and regenerate the city.

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savannah, ga. An Urban Laboratory


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3 6 IDENTIFY PARTNERS IDENTIFY & CLIENTS PARTNERS & CLIENTS Introducing a means for Savannah companies to Introducing a means for work together to develop Savannah companies to a local workforce work together to develop a local workforce



The hub allows for needs and offerings The hub allows for to be linked together needs and offerings to accelerate to be linked together initiatives to accelerate initiatives

Dissolve the idea that business ventures Dissolve the idea that must be done singlebusiness ventures handedly and that the must be done singleimpoverished cannot handedly and that the contribute to the local impoverished cannot economy contribute to the local economy


Successful companies can link to hub to Successful compasupport philanthropic nies can link to hub to initiatives as well as support philanthropic invest in future workinitiatives as well as force development invest in future workforce development

RECRUIT POTENTIAL RECRUIT WORKERS POTENTIAL WORKERS The hub builds the infrastructure for The hub builds theon Savannah to take infrastructure forwith green initiatives Savannah to take on its own sustainable green initiatives with workforce development its own sustainable program using local workforce networks development program using local networks

Farming Hub Create feasible and sustainable business models Engage partners to collaborate on sustainable initiatives. By further expanding the physical hub concept, it is important to understand the initial programmatic considerations as individual representations on a spectrum. This spectrum represents two extremes that may develop within the space: heavy focus on manufacturing and assembly spaces or great emphasis on segregated and cubicles, which are balanced by aligning these spaces towards integrated, multi-disciplinary spaces.

3 7 GFG Savannah The Green Food Garden (GFG) project is for local citizens and their neighborhoods, as well as local business. It also serves local government and community organizations that are seeking to better connect “farm-to-table” urban gardens with local businesses while providing training and resources. The Green Food Garden initiative leverages local partnerships and community resources for educational and workforce development training to empower the use of urban farming within Savannah and growth within the food sector of the desired green economy. This is done through a membershipbased initiative, training programs, incentive-based neighborhood com-

petition, and “farm-to-table” retail relationships with local businesses.

SAGA aims to encapsulate the rich cultural history of Savannah, Georgia while committing to fostering, empowering, and promoting civic innovation within the city. SAGA does this through enabling and facilitating the connection between individuals and organizations to collaborate with one another while providing a hub for local ingenuity.

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a civic

c identity | savannah, ga. AN URBAN LABORATORY


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4 4 Urban Spontaneity Urban Spontaneity embraces the balance of order and chaos, crafting enriching, connected, playful moments. Spontaneity, reflection and innovation weave through both the everyday and extraordinary in an active, evolving urban structure. Commissioned by an international, multi-media corporation, this project explored the creation of a new urban development.. It was a collaborative studio, with groups of four consisting of two 4th year architecture students and two urban design graduate students. Explorations included in-depth user analysis, study of city structure and systems including transportation, waste management, zoning programming, ecology and education. My responsibilities included vignette design and sketches, schematic planning, zoning, client presentation, design of digital presentation and physical site model.

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5 1 Creative Collaborative Designed to foster interdisciplinary dialogue with various fields within the design world. It strives to re-engage students, professors and their audience with each other throughout the day. In the creation of products, services and ideas, a designer considers issues of user experience, value, aesthetics, technology and production. At Creative Collaborative, students learn to be adaptive thinkers, to design with all these factors in mind, from the perspective of the artist, craftsman, designer, marketer, client, user, customer and engineer. The School of Design fosters innovation, facilitates professional relationships, and encourages active engagement. Strategic thinkers, global communicators, collaborative partners and ethical practitioners.

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The properties of the built environment transcend the physical realm as they interact or begin a discourse with their context- people, other buildings, climate, natural elements etc. For humans the discourse is governed by sensory receptors used in constructing the many different perceptual worlds that all humans inhabit. Distance receptors: eyes the ears and the nose. Immediate receptors: touch, the sensations we receive from the skin, membranes and muscles (heat vs. cold)

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Relief: a Dialogue relief: The word relief has multiple definitions, often referring to a liberation or contrast. When applied to a discourse on spatiality, relief suggests a liberation or positive change.

Architecture has fallen into a social trend toward convenience, often opting to neglect or overlook our means of communication, the senses. This hinders the human ability to be actively aware of his collective or individual participative experience of place. This thesis is conceived to foster the individual’s dialogue with others – such as people, architecture, place- within a spatial context. Contrary to what is often emphasized in architectural discourses today, little emphasis is placed on specific dialogues within an event. It is more important that the space allows for, rather than dictate the potential dialogues. It counters the individual mind-set that is evident and seemingly rampant in Philadelphia’s urban construct through interventions to raise spatial awareness in urban fabric of Center City, Philadelphia. The principal architectural exploration is manifested through explorations in materiality, spatial diversity and arousal of curiosity within three sites with great potential for engagement in Philadelphia.

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Library Pavilion This pavilion is proposed to provide a place of rest and disconnect from the chaos along the parkway.

A library is a place of discourse and learning by its nature. It seeks to give the Philadelphia Free Library back its prominence reiterating the library as a place of discourse, learning and discovery. Engaging the user and passers-by in a spectacle that is a result of his or her presence and activity within and around it. The pavilion is a series of salvaged PVC and metal poles an chored in a plinth that support a solar panel roof garden. The vibrations emanating from vehicular and pedestrian, trigger lights within the columns to illuminate, communicating audioception (sound) to ophthalmoception (sight) - bringing the background to the foreground. Looking towards the library the columns are aligned with the classical order, in contrast, along the parkway they become a grid of poles slanted at varying degrees to each other, mimicking the vegetation that exists along the parkway with varying densities and heights. Its rest rooms exist within a double ceramic sphere, the properties of the interstitial space created between them amplify the sound, and increases the reverberation creating a superimposed echo off the smooth ceramic sur-

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Comcast Garden Nestled within a sea of sky scrapes, the Comcast Center Garden speaks of Philadelphia’s drive to educate and give its citizens a better, healthier standard of living.

The garden’s design acknowledges and emphasizes man’s relationship with nature. Enclosed walk ways spill users into sun light areas, a slight incline takes a user onto a level apart from the others, elevated from the street and the rest of the garden. Varying vegetation entices and stimulates the olfactory senses, season by season and water, a lifeline of the garden, is ever present with its circulation pronounced throughout the garden. The new garden strengthens the former ill-defined edge, and is broken at to allow for access into the garden as well as to peak the curiosity of passers by. These breaks are inviting and also give the garden the ability to “breathe”.

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Thomas Paine Plaza The plaza provides a diverse set of opportunities for interaction and plays on spatial diversity, materiality, history, and human curiosity transforming this once exposed site into a place that is needed within the city, a place of relief.

Plaza’s are the social lungs of a city. At a crossroads in the heart of the city, the Thomas Paine plaza can facilitate the uniting a people., giving them a place to be, to live, learn and grow. It can be a place of joy, solace, catalyst for change or even unrest for a person, pair or group. The plaza is a large open area adjacent to the Municipal Services Building and opposite Philadelphia’s City hall. It encapsulates each aspect of the project, combining them harmoniously within the site’s upper and lower levels. It provides enclosure within a space that is vast and empty in contrast to its immediate surroundings. Its four 25 foot timber walls create a monumental facade which honors Pennsylvania’s timber industry which is one of the largest producers of hardwoods in the country. The rest room facilities break the wall and combats the “rest room” stigma that exists within the western world, by giving the rest room extreme prominence within a public space.

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atlanta, ga. SCADpad


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As part of the SCADpad Micro Home Initiative, I was tasked with the design including fabrication drawings and visualizations of the planters for the community garden, NuBox and integrated vermicomposter. The planters are integrated into the working system of SCADpad as a source to recycle nutrients from each residence.


The NuBox can accommodate approximately 1,000 red wiggler worms to compost the food waste from the SCADpad occupants. They can process between a half pound and a pound of food waste a day; turning scraps into nutritious compost for the community garden.


The NuBox is made from materials that were destined for the landfill. Others saw these materials as garbage. The box sees them as ... well, you know; nutrients.


We look forward to the day when everything that is discarded becomes a nutrient for other processes. Until that day, we must find an efficient means to accommodate the non-recyclable waste “trash�. The residents of SCADpad were challenged to see how infrequently they can use it

NuBox The Nu-Box is a hybrid planter box which incorporates a custom designed vermi-composter, recyclable and non recyclable disposal containers . Micro planters from the community garden can be nestled within its counter top, additionally a Vermi-compost tower is nestled within the Nu-Box, for the disposal of organic materials from the students who occupy the pads.


Place for your favorite plants from the community garden here. Then change them any time you want!


Drip tray for plants with evaporating tray. Can be drained manually if needed.


Bin used for single stream recycling, There’s a reason why this drawer is pulled out further than the other one. We should be using it more often!

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CREW center for resilient everyday water-use

CREW: a group of people associated together in a common activity or by common traits or interests.

Mission: To bring our everyday experiences and transactions water to the foreground through awareness, activism and stewardship, and doing it together!

In Savannah, GA, 28.4% or almost ONE THIRD of its population

lives below the poverty level, which means that approximately 1/6 of its population or almost 24,000 Savannahnians would rely on facilities like laundromats. As water is a precious resource to all, CREW marshals the community to recognize and embrace better water-use practices, expanding and supporting everyday civic awareness and agency through use.

CREW exists as a dynamic interplay between, people, environment and place; a catalyst for change. By envisioning and establishing a system which exemplifies innovative, resilient practices on an existing site, CREW acts as urban acupuncture, a reinvestment in an under utilized or weak area within a city’s urban fabric. Savannah’s first CREW will be located in the Midtown neighbourhood district,which neighbours the East Side, Live Oak and Benjamin Van Clark Park neighborhoods all of which have high levels of poverty. These neighborhoods are also historically African American Neighborhoods, with a rich cultural and civic identity that can still be observed today. Unfortunately in recent years they have become centers for petty crimes and gang activity, disrupting the social fabric of the neighborhoods and challenging its civic identity.

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Restoration | Renovation Drawing from Savannah’s expertise in historic restoration and adaptive reuse of its structures the existing building will be restored and retrofitted with environmentally friendly laundromat services on the ground floor with a proposed mixed use upper floor, with the ability to be used as teaching kitchen in the evening and drying area to hang clothes during the day, with operable windows and louvers. The new design will divert and capture and filter a large amount of water from entering the existing storm drainage on the site, reducing the pressure on the city’s storm-water management system and mitigating pollution issues caused by runoff. Within the site the users are exposed and engaged in the collection, filtration, use and reuse, of water through a wide range of applications ranging from simple to complex infrastructural and natural systems; CREW like Savannah, is a facilitator of social learning; a curator, inventor, researcher and teacher. Instilling values and exploring through play and innovation, social, environmental and economic sustainability, viability and resilience and injecting value.

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swimming pool


Swimmobile 2.0 Water recreation and access to it has become a major topic up for national debate. With the release of information confirming the stark disparities between white and black American deaths by downing, black and other majority minority communities are seeing a slow but steady increase in recreational facilities within their neighborhood.

CREW champions the re-introduction of the SWIMMOBILE to the American community. Bringing water recreation to the different communities in Savannah, GA. Its unique and fun design featuring an environmentally friendly artist moss wall will provide a healthy, chemical-free swimming experience for all who use it. With almost ONE THIRD of Savannah’s population living below the poverty level, this disparity is disturbing. There are very few public swimming pools within reasonable distance to many of these communities. To address this problem the Swimmobile 2.0. will primarily move between the under-served neighborhoods throughout the spring summer and fall months, acting as an educational tool to teach about natural water filtration and the benefits of swimming, as well as to give these communities a common innovation and novelty they can take agency of..

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Resilience | Sustenance A

Within every civilization access to healthy food is integral to the health and resilience of its citizens. With almost one third of Savannah’s population living below the poverty level, this disparity is disturbing. The community garden provides

opportunities for education about the water footprint of horticulture and also learn about sustainable environmental practices, such as composting, recycling and seasonal gardening. It also provides ample opportunities for individuals to relax, undertake physical activity, socialize neighbors.

The the garden as urban acupuncture through recuperation — turning vacant or derelict land into a site of public investment. In the early twentieth century, the garden was a refuge for many still adapting to the increase in urbanization. In Great Britain allotment gardens became quite common and was supported by Royal family, most notably the Queen who insisted that part of the Buckingham Palace garden be turned into an environmentally friendly vegetable patch. No chemicals were used and the irrigation came from the palace’s bore-hole and not the city’s main water lines. Today, in the United States, similar developments can be observed throughout its cities and towns and even on the national level, they are at forefront of the sociopolitical discussions, highlighting the importance of the home, health, community and resilience.




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Diversion | Filtration Storm-water is diverted from the hard surfaces surrounding, and within the site, to a stormwater separation and capture system which runs along its perimeter. An alternate stormwater drain system allows for the collection of large suspended solids and debris while preventing them from entering the box drain that transports the water to the southern end of the site where further filtration occurs before it is reused within the community garden. By keeping this water out of our storm drains and sewers, we can reduce the downward pressure on the system and prevent flooding sewer overflows that damage the health of Savannah’s watershed.

The storm-water bump-outs at crew are designed to separate, redirect, store and infiltrate storm-water runoff into the ground or alternate on site storage point. With the opportunity to capture approximately 450,000 gallons + of storm water a year this green infrastructure feature greatly helps mitigate problems with flooding as well as creates opportunities to rely less on the water grid! During heavy rainfall, any water that exceeds the capacity of the alternate on site storm drain overflows into the existing municipal storm drainage system.

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8 2 B rainfall display

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Reclaim | Reuse | Return Storm-water is diverted from the hard surfaces surrounding, and within the site, to a storm-water separation and capture system which runs along its perimeter. An alternate storm-water drain system allows for the collection of large suspended solids and debris while preventing them from entering the box drain that transports the water to the southern end of the site where further filtration occurs before it is reused within the community garden. By keeping this water out of our storm drains and sewers, we can reduce the downward pressure on the system and prevent flooding sewer overflows that damage the health of Savannah’s watershed.

The storm-water bump-outs at crew are designed to separate, redirect, store and infiltrate storm-water runoff into the ground or alternate on site storage point. With the opportunity to capture approximately 450,000 gallons + of storm water a year this green infrastructure feature greatly helps mitigate problems with flooding as well as creates opportunities to rely less on the water grid! During heavy rainfall, any water that exceeds the capacity of the alternate on site storm drain overflows into the existing municipal storm drainage system. Reclamation, filtration for reuse of water diverted from the street, permeable paving and laundry. Entering from a variety of points (permeable paving, road etc. It then falls down a separation sediment filter waterfall and is filtered through the gravel bed to the storm-water basin below the deck. Within the storage basin is a series of filtration membranes used to removed additional pollutants from the water


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princeton, nj. PROFESSIONAL WORK


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KSS Architects llp While an Intern Architect at KSS Architects, I was primarily responsible for providing architectural support to the lead architects in the design, visualization, selection, documentation, coordination, and detailing of a wide variety of architectural typologies from conceptual design through construction.

8 9 NAIOP - Distribution Center of the furture design competition Developed as KSS Architect’s submission for the NAIOP Distribution Center of the Future Competition, this study presents a redesign for the distribution center typology. The vision is not that of a single building but of a network of distribution typologies that form a sustainable and resilient industrial city. A sustainable community; part of and woven throughout a larger, existing urban fabric. My responsibilities included research, design and planning, visualizations and graphic design of the submission booklet

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Jerome Elder _ Portfolio 2014 DRAFT  
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