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Katharine Solien Portfolio Rhode Island School of Design BA/BFA Candidate 2020

Interiority Collaboration with Kaitlyn Cirielli, Ewa Podorsky Clay in Context, Spring 2018 Laura Briggs, Katie Shimmert

After spending a five-week travel studio in Morocco, personal research was continued through a cross-discinplinary course between the architecture, interior architecture and ceramics departments. Travel over spring break back to Morocco was generously funded by RISD Global. This course focused on the relevance of ceramic craft in the construction of contemporary building components and products. In Morocco we observed patterns of light and spacial conditions produced by both crafted and vernacular screens. These screens play a crucial role in the construction of the domestic space, allowing for light, air and protection. Upon our return to Providence, we developed a building units fired in a anagama kiln ceramic tiles and a wooden interlocking system. The entire structure is self-supportive and de/re-constructable. Architectural Research Travel Grant Recipient Exhibited in Shared Languages, RISD, Providence, RI

[01] Exterior 4



[02] Preliminary design concepts involved a folding screen that would use inherent geometries to create structure and space [03] Overhead view of folded screen study [04] Installation site was determined along a main circulatory vein on RISD campus. Various locations were tested to create a sense of division while interacting with surrounding textures [05] Installation on site






[06] Assembly [07] Studies with cotton cloth to inform texture of the interior face of the tile.





[08] Interior



Table Re-Set Collaboration with Clarisse Empaynado Advanced Studio, Fall 2018 Emanual Admassu

A project which recognizes that radical forces must be counteracted by radical solutions. An architectural intervention occurs along the length of Franklyn Avenue, a major commercial vein in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Consuming the space recently upzoned, it inhibits developments that would only further polarize gentrifiers and former resident groups. By capitalizing on the missed opportunities of two contemporary projects, the concepts of The Table and Thickened Walls were extracted. These two elements were utilized to create an radical infrastructural system to encourage displaced former residents to reinhabit Franklin Avenue. The Walls and Table are occupied through a joint building venture system meant to encourage displaced former-residents to pursue collective ownership and community structures in order to re-inhabit Franklin Avenue. The volumes within the Table are developed as subsidized affordable spaces allowing for groups of displaced residents, be it bodega owners, coworkers, families and friends, to re-access the gentrified neighborhood as a collective.

[01] Perspective 12


An axonometric view explores the various activities that could might occupy it. The owners would be defined by a group building venture system inspired by a German model, Baugruppen. Spaces along the Table would be co-owned by groups of self-organized peoples. The group venture system invites current and former residents back into the Franklin Ave through the power of numbers. The table becomes a community of communities, responsive to the needs and desires of those around it [02] Axonometric view



Franklin Avenue

Nostrand Avenue

Utica Avenue

By examining trends in noise complaints and the rebranding and closures of local bodegas, the gentrified terrain is revealed. An analysis of noise complaints revealed they have little to do with actualy volume, but rather it acts as an indicator of when a person becomes so annoyed they report the police.


Franklin Ave had reached a new gentrified norm, while blocks away there was intense contestation in areas that seemed untouched by gentrification. Franklin Avenue was chosen as the site as a way to re-inject the friction and hetergeneity vital to an urban environment. [03] Bodega analysis [04] Noise complaints [05] Terrain of gentrification



[05] 17

In section, the Lacaton Vassal project indicates programmed spaces suspended within a framework of interstitial space. Collages were utilized again to explore this aspect of the project in section as well as along Franklin Ave. [06] Sectional Study 01 [07] Sectional Study 02 [08] Planometric Study The planometric study considered how the section attributes of the sample could be used to knit the urban fabric of street together






The vast scale of the project which consumes all space permitted by up-zoning acts as an inhitor of the kind of polarizing development that has plagued the area and fostered the homogenization of the neighborhood. The party walls and boundaries of buildings below are reflected as they inform the extrusions of the Thickened Walls. The site plans also indicate the two points where existing transportational infrastructure is accessed [09] Site Plan 01 [10] Site Plan 02








A series of Thicken Walls operate as a microcosm of sidewalks, where the healthy friction of the city takes place everyday. Acting as supportive spaces to The Table, they extend the abbreviated and transactional relationships that have taken over at the ground. The Walls are not restricted to structure and vertical circualtion, but also contain storage, micro-commerce, advertising, and chance interactions. [11] Sectional Analysis



Library Deconstructed Architectural Design, Spring 2017 Dongwoo Yim Deconstruction is explored as a way to reiterate program, circulation, structure, and experience while retaining the essence of the original. As books and other physical material becomes digitized and almost instantly available, the physical and programmatic place of the library falls into question. In the digital age, libraries are sought for their ample space for studying or meeting rather than to check out books. How does the library and its traditional conventions evolve? Initial concept models explored a structure held in perfect equilibrium, the removal of any one component causing the rest of the structure to fail. While the form is manipulated and distorted beyond recognition, its essence in its geometric properties and perfect ratio are maintained. In the architectural form, a sleek, futuristic mass appears suspended by three pillars. Inside the architecutre, there are ramps that allow ciruclation to operate seemingly independent of the stairs and elevatos in the vertical masses. Despite their aparent redundancy the monolithic fixtures filled with books remain.

[01] Building elevation rendering 24


[02] Preliminary concept model An 8” x 8” x 8” cube is divided into 1 components – edges and facces. From the deconstructed cube, a tensegrious model is created with “corners” meeting the ground in just four places. The removal of any piece upsets the model’s balance, toppling the structure



[03] Sketch model 01 [04] Sketch model 02 [05] Sketch model 03


[05] 27

[06] Basement, Special Collections [07] 1st Floor [08] 2nd/3rd Floor [09] 4th Floor





[10] Site Plan Ramps seamlessly cutting through the stacks provide a smooth linkage between fragmented floors.



Digital Re-creation Summer Internship 2018 CBT Architects, Boston, MA Over the course of several months, rigorous research and analysis was performed on pre-existing conditions of an existing Victorian-style building in the South End of Boston, MA. The building, formerly a hotel, had been abandoned for over 30 years with ownership of the building repeatedly changing hands. Despite its vacancy and disrepair, the building remained as a icon and an local highlight for its neighbors and passerbyers. After it was determined that the south- and east- facing facades would be restored to their former glory, the thorough process of digital recreation was imperative to design its addition. Details including building material, ornamentation and cornice datums were evaluated. The analysis and digital model were executed entirely out of plans, sections, onsite and histoical photographs, and Google Earth. Graphics and renderings have and continue to be used in client presentations, project proposals and permitting meetings.

[01] Enterance study of the Southern facade 30



[02] Ornamentation documentation [03] Cornice datums and proportional analysis [04] Detail profiles




[05] Eastern facade



Readapting Row House Urban Ecologies Studio, Fall 2017 Anne Tate

Row houses read as dense, orderly walls exposed to the public domain, but deconstructing this traditional typology makes them more permeable. The inherent flexibility of the row houses allow them to accommodate the natural interventions on the site. Four variations of row houses were designed around a four-story unit. One, two, three and four story units are stacked on one another to meet the 150 unit minimum on the site. A healthy community includes a rich diversity of people. The row house adapts to meet a variety of housing needs including handicap accessibility, high-end and public housing. Additionally, there is a unit to accomodate flooding.



1 + 3a

Single floor units are meant to satisfy a need for public housing. They minimize space

A variation on traditional format acommodates flooding and handicap needs. The single unit is handicap accessible but can also be replaced with a floodable basement.

1 + 3b



The traditional row house format including both bays and outdoor patios on its front and back facades.

Enters one story above ground as a way to satisfy fire codes as well as a double two-story unit.

A four-story unit offers the most amount of space for service and living areas. A double ceiling outdoor space is also featured.


Recollection Sensitive Response, Winter 2017 Rahul Ghera

Memory fades over time. Immediately after a moment occurs, the blurring and distortion of the original memory. As one repeatedly attempts to reaccess a memory, the more it is unconsciously reshaped and manipulated. The memory is eventually replaced by one’s reimagined version of the original. With each gentle pull of a string, knotted nodes within the fabric unravel. The materiality of the piece warps and responds to each tug and the resulting form shifts in response to one’s interaction within the space. Viewers were asked to hang each loose string on a hook. By deinstallation, the form was irrevokably mishapen and the strings had collected into a dense web, a manifest of the reimagined.

Photography by Advait Kalakkad

[01] Detail 14’ x 6’ Wire mesh, black tule, string. 36


[02] Reflection / Resononce



[03] Recession [04] Nodes


[04] 39

[05] Church [06] Glass Corridor Preliminary drawings studying distortion and ephemerality of memory of visited sites, a chuch and a glass corridor. 12� x 12� Ink and gesso on paper





Self-Help / SelfHarm Spacial Dynamics 2016 Gale Freddel

A design challenge was assigned using only cotton rope to create a “Body Assist.� The definition of the prompt and usage of the material was left up to the student, but basic splicing and knot-tying techniques were demostrated. While traditionally corsets were tied in the back by another person, the repositioning of the brace allows the wearer to suture their own waist themselves. The piece was performed to demonstrate the operations performed on ourselves in ways that may initially seem assisting.

Photography by Rohan Chaurasia


Operation Cotton rope, wooden dowels




[02] Spine [03] Performance

[03] 44


The slackened line is a biproduct of the operation, a persisting burden and an entangling implication.



Reconciling Craft and City Crafting the City, Wintersession 2018 Eduardo Benamor Duarte, Leora MaltzLeca and David Katz

In RISD’s pilot program in conjunction with the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, Transportation and Craft, a five week period is spent with Maison de l’Artisan in Fes, Morocco. Throughout that time I worked within a copper shop producing ornate lamps to better understand the gendered spaces and the hierarchies at play within the traditional craft tradition. The final was an installation within a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Kettanine Founduk in a vacated artisan studio. Scraps collected from bins and buckets of studio surplus were cleaned, pounded out, drilled, and polished. Sewn together with metal wire, a lamp is created through the synthesis of what is considered exclusively men’s work and women’s work. Each piece is marked by physical resistance of the material but equally speaks to an emotional and cultural resistence. A poem was written and performed in accompaniment of the installation.

RISD Global Travel Grant Recipient Exhibited in Fes, Morocco Exhibited in Shared Languages, RISD, Providence, RI

[01] Detail 24” x 24” x 24” copper scraps, steel wire, wax candles, wooden frame 46


[02] Interaction [03] Excerpts of poem performed with installation [04] On-site installation at UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fes, Morocco Lit candles at the center eminate light against worn edges and facets of each fragment, but soft reflections cover the walls and fill the room. [02]

hands pass money hands pass food [right hand only] hands pass me from one man to another hands motion to chair hands say Stop, Wait a cushion at the expense of a stranger hands motion back to chair, cushion included hands return to work.


In a different room, in a different shop between broken tongues they’re breaking bread Together. Work together, eat together He is given a seat at this table. Together, They don’t just share a workspace. They’re sharing soup and bread and hand gestures. It’s not the end of this maze but, For him, the walls within this shop have faded. For him, the curtains are lowered.



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