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Weaving Together a Disconnected Landscape :: Reusing America’s Junkspace to Create Community in Centerless Suburbs By Elizabeth Dakota Sall



Weaving Together a Disconnected Landscape A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Design in Interior Studies [Adaptive Reuse] in the Department of Interior Architecture at The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island by Elizabeth Dakota Sall 2013 Aproved by Master’s Examination Committee : _________________________________________________________________________________________ Liliane Wong, Head Department of Interior Architecture, Thesis Chair _________________________________________________________________________________________ Jeffrey Katz, Senior Critic, Department of Interior Architecture, Thesis Advisor _________________________________________________________________________________________ Skender Luarasi, Critic, Department of Interior Architecture, Thesis Advisor _________________________________________________________________________________________ Wolfgang Rudorf, Critic, Department of Interior Architecture, Thesis Advisor





The Road is now like television, violent and tawdry. The landscape it runs through is litered with cartoon buildings and commercial messages. We Whiz by them at fifty-five miles an hour and forget them, because one convenience store looks like the next. They do not celebrate anything beyond their mechanistic ability to sell merchandise. We do not want to remember them, We did not savor the approach and were not rewarded upon reaching the destination, and it will be the same next time and every time. There is little reward for having arrived anywhere, because everyplace looks like noplace in particular. - James Howard Kunstler



table of contents 1. Abstract


2. History


3. Rhode Island Today


4. Site


5. What Can Be Done to a Box?


6. Working within the grid


7. Topography


8. Daylight


9. Environmental Systems


10. Materials


11. Program distribution


12. Renderings


13. Annotated Bibliography




list of images 1.Ulrich, Brian. Stores That are No More: Value City, 2008. Time.,29307,1884100_1854539,00.html, most recent access date : May 12, 2013 2. published 01.15.09 most recent access date : 5.11.13 3.Ulrich, Brian. Stores That are No More: Dominick’s, 2008. Time.,29307,1884100_1854539,00.html, most recent access date : May 12, 2013 4.Ulrich, Brian. Stores That are No More: Curcuit City, 2008. Time.,29307,1884100_1854539,00.html, most recent access date : May 12, 2013 5.Ulrich, Brian. Stores That are No More: Linens’n Things, 2008. Time.,29307,1884100_1854539,00.html, most recent access date : May 12, 2013 6 + 7.Bing maps, Most recent access date : 05.13.13 8’s own 34 -35.Bing maps, Most recent access date : 05.13.13 36. most recent access date : 5.10.13 37. published July 2012 most recent access date : 5.10.13 38.Sturman, Robert “Yoga in Unlikely Places” April 5, 2013 Most recent access date :5.10.13 39.Garforth, Anna “Grow” 2013 Most recent access date : 5.14.13 40 Pelka, Adam.”Beavertail State Park” Most recent access date: May, 10 2013 41. Author’s own 42-43.Author’s own 44. recent access date: May, 10 2013 45-47.Author’s own 48.Oceanside Glass Time., most recent access date: 05.12.13 49.Timeline Wood,, Most recent access date : 05.12.13 50. - via Most recent access date : 05.10.13’s own 52. Most recent access date : 05.10.13 53.Nichols, Clive. Garden Photography cited 05.10.13 54. cited 5.10.13 55. cited 05.10.13 56. Most recent access date : 5.10.13 57.Sea, Sara published in 2009. Most recent Access date : 05.10.13 58.Bradney, Jo. Radish Duo Most recent access date : 05.12.13 59. Most recent access date: 05.12.13 60. Most recent access 05.12.13 61.Glowing Morning Juice. published 02.26.13. Most recent access date : 05.12.13



With the end of World War II came the beginning of suburban sprawl. Ease of transport made it less imperative that people live in central locations, and stricter and more segregated zoning increased distance between housing and commercial space. “Main Street” as it were, was replaced with endless strip malls and box stores, brought on by global consumerism and catering to miles of housing development. It is a reality that the pervasiveness of suburbia in America will no longer allow for one beating heart of a community. Because the last several decades have left us with lifeless suburban sprawl, it is imperative that we cultivate pockets of shared community experience through the country’s bulldozed landscape littered with “Junkspace.” We have the perfect opportunity to do this : with the recent economic crash and the advent of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar chains are rapidly closing. We are left with a plethora of empty boxes.

What make box stores and malls “junkspace” ? What makes “Main Street” vibrant ? Where was community, culture, and a healthy lifestyle lost in the transition from one to the other ? In this thesis I investigate reuse of the prototypical box store and how architecture can play a part in marketing activity, community, and a more local lifestyle to Suburbia instead of strictly consumer products.


I I was born and raised, like much of my generation, in Suburbia. I never thought twice about the vanilla stucco mall my mother drove me to, or the fact that I was a prisoner to her chauffeuring, or that 98% of my surrounding population was the same socioeconomic class and skin color as me, or that the only public space I was likely to interact with strangers was the grocery store. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in quasi-rural Maine I moved to Manhattan. The longer I lived there the more the architectural detail, diversity, chance meetings on the streets, and ease of walking and public transport seeped into my bones. Holiday’s home began feeling more like cultural and visual starvation, and entering malls began to feel sacrilegious. It wasn’t until becoming a student at RISD, when reading Rem Koolhaus’ “Junkspace,” that my aversion to the geography of my upbringing was clearly articulated. “Junkspace” gave me a vocabulary for this problematic trend in architecture and planning.


“...modernization is not modern architecture but Junkspace. Junkspace is what remains after modernization is in progress, its fallout. Modernization has a rational program: to share the blessings of science universally. Junkspace is its apothesis, or meltdown...Although its individual parts are the outcome of brilliant inventions, lucidly planned by human intelligence, boosted by infinite computation, their sum spells the end of Enlightenment, its resurrection as farce, a low-grade purgatory... “Murals used to show idols; Junkspace’s modules are dimensioned to carry brands; myths can be shared, brands husband aura at the mercy of focus groups. Brands in Junkspace perform the same role as black holes in the universe; they are essences through which meaning dissapears... “...regurgitation is the new creativity; instead of creation, we honor, cherish, and embrace manipulation... Superstrings of graphics, transplanted emblems of franchise and sparking infrastructures of light, LEDs and video describe an authorless world... “There is no progress; like a crab on LSD culture staggers endlessly sideways... Junkspace is postexistenial. It makes you unsure of where you are, obscures where you go, undoes where you were.Junkspace has to swallow more and more program to survive; soon, we will be able to do anything anywhere. “The cosmetic is the new cosmic.”


K O O L H A U S // Junkspace


To understand why our country’s landscape has become what it is, a very short and distilled history is helpful.




Before the Industrial Revolution cities had no zoning regulations. In the early 1800s, “downtown” meant a union of any number of programs. As Industrialization came about the world saw massive urban change. Factories, and the poor living conditions they foster, multiplied. This pushed the rich to move away from downtown, and their large homes were often subdivided for factory worker housing. Lewis Mumford said, “Industrialism produced the most degraded human environment the world had yet seen”(Kunstler, 35). It also created a huge change of scale within cities. Suddenly massive factories were clustered at rivers. Tenement living created instant slums with death and disease. As James Kunstler states, The spread of slums, the hypergrowth and congestion of manufacturing cities, the noise and stench of the industrial process, debased urban life all over the Western world and led to a great yearning for escape…In America, with its superabundance of cheap land, simple property laws, social mobility, mania for profit…and Bible-drunk sense of history, the yearning to escape industrialism expressed itself as a renewed search for Eden. America reinvented that paradise, described so briefly and vaguely in the book of Genesis, Called it Suburbia, and put it up for sale”(37) Now there was money to be made in commerce in addition to farming. Farms moved west and the prototype for the modern suburban home appeared—a sort of fake manor surrounded by a park of sorts. Its existence was a new realm of dwelling--not city, town (which would include jobs and commerce), nor country (which would include farming). In 1842 The US saw it’s first development—Llewellyn Park in New Jersey. Here, houses were planned on 40 acres with a one-acre minimum plot. They were gardened and landscaped, and the development was purposefully not gridded in order to create a “timeless historicity” (Kunstler, 47). There was security and a wooded common. There was not however a market, work, or varying classes. Zoning was implemented requiring a certain setback and a certain lot size, which cultivated monotony. By 1915, even pre-automobile boom, these developments were rampant.


Modernism arose as a response to this new Industrialism. It glorified the machine and the countless new inventions. Modernism fought to not have any connection to an ornamental past—it wanted to be clean, and functional. Up until its rise the popular architecture in the US, made so by Henry Hibson Richardson, consisted of dark and heavy masonry and massive arched entryways. It was nicknamed “Railroad Romanesque” as many train stations were in this style. Also gaining popularity was a neoclassical movement, often attributed to Mckim of McKim Mead + White. Meanwhile Louis Sullivan was designing office buildings. With the help of new structural steel and the elevator, buildings could suddenly be built to unfathomable heights. Sullivan proclaimed that “form follows function” and that a building’s exterior should express its interior structure. Simultaneously daylight factories begin being built. New reinforced concrete meant windows could be vast for maximum natural light. It is inherently fireproof, and its ability to carry huge loads allowed for large interior bays. Gropius of the Bauhaus in Germany saw this design and proclaimed that factory design is the way of the future. World War One brought an influx of socialist art and activists to Europe. From this, schools of architecture such as the Bauhaus, de Stijl, Constructivism, and Futurims were born. There was no money, and therefore no clients for them in postwar Europe so they put their energy into competitions with a very purist vision of the future. Gropius and his Bauhaus were the most popular movement in Europe. The government, having the only dispensable money, were often their client, making their projects mostly public housing. In Gropius’ purist fashion they were distilled down to boxes, an attempt at being honest to their structure.


In 1925 the world saw its first true architectural Box—white and stucco, it was titled “En” and was presented by Le Corbusier at the Expo Internationale des Art Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. While overshadowed by his “Plan Voisin,” a set of 24 high rise buildings surrounded by park and set away from the road, it was soon revered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as the “International Style” of Modernism. Ironically enough, Le Corbusier said in his “Plan Voisin,”The cities will be part of the country; I shall lve 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car. We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline…” (duany, 5%).

Neoclassicism continued in the US until the world came to a hault with The Great Depression and then World War II. Many of these leading architect socialists fled to the US and took up important positions at Harvard and The Illinois Institute of Technology. They also opened schools like what is today the Chicago institute of Design and Albers’ Black Mountain College. Here, they not only influenced the architects of the future, but they had a voice in architectural discourse across the US. Suddenly the Plan Voisin, or Radiant City became the only model for building at an urban scale. “A great building boom lay ahead. And it would all be done in the Modernist style…because it was the morally correct style…the official architecture of decency, democracy, and freedom. Gropius, Breuer, and Mies, who had come of age mooning over grainy photographs of American cement factories and grain elevators, were about to repay their adopted country in spades. From now on everything in America would look like versions of Faguswerk [German factory]: high schools, hospitals, hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes, college dorms, restaurants, and even weekend retreats in Connecticut” (Kunstler, 77)


Between the 40s and the 80s thousands of these megastructures went up in America. As quickly as they were built there were wastelands between them. “Green space� was not planned for use, and therefore was not used. Footprints became massive as poor southern workers migrated north for work (the forerunner to housing projects). Huge work buildings went up that allowed you to drive there, park beneath, and stay all day. The Meisian box, ignored at its debut, was being replicated by everyone, everywhere, and at every scale.


And of course one of the most important cultural changes going on during this, beginning in 1910 was the rise of the automobile in American culture. Ford came out with the first Model T in 1908, and by 1927 there were 15 million of them on the road (Kunstler, 89). This becomes a huge focus, as planners had to accommodate this sudden influx of personal travel. Taxes skyrocketed as the very costly venture of widening roads began. All of these new low-density suburbs needed extensive infrastructure: expensive sewer lines, access to clean water, traffic lights for orderly commuting. The car continued its importance through the depression and World War II. At the end of WWII however, there was a massive housing shortage. The real estate crash of the Depression and more pertinent production/use of resources during the war meant America was in need of housing. A depression and war also meant that American cities were in rough shape and the government was not quick to work on improving them. Those that could afford to, fled—known today as “white flight” and leaving mostly Black migrant workers from the South who had come to the North for factory work (not only could they not afford to buy in the suburbs but in most places developers would not sell to them anyway). And so it came to be that predominantly whites of a certain class made up the suburbs..

“For many it was a vast improvement over what they were used to. The houses were spacious compared to city dwellings, and they contained modern conveniences. Air, light, and a modicum of greenery came with the package. The main problem with it was it dispensed with the traditional connections and continuities of community life, and replaced them with little more than cars and television” (Kunstler, 105)


Shops of course, eventually followed their customers to the suburbs. The systems of growth however, were targeted only at and financed only for housing. This left no land for corner stores, and forced retail into developments of their own. They set themselves along the large planned collector roads, setting themselves far back from the traffic, and using huge signage to lure their customers over (Duany, 7%). Zoning, understandably created to protect residential areas from harmful factories, has been exacerbated to a incomprehensible state. Practically no land where work, civic, retail, and living coexist exists, leaving us once again as slaves to our cars. Soulless subdivisions, residential “communities” utterly lacking in communal life; strip shopping centers, “big box” chain stores, and artificially festive malls set within barren seas of parking; antiseptic office parks, ghost towns after 6 p.m.; and mile upon mile of clogged collector roads, the only fabric tying our disassociated lives back together—this is growth, and you can find little reason to support it. (Duany et al, 4%)


From their inception until 2007 the number of box stores and their same store sales grew and grew. Customers relied on their cars, and made most of their major purchases at large chains.

Since the ecomonic crash of 2007 many big box chains have closed their doors while others have adapted themselves by focusing on smaller stores and online sales1. Today shoppers rely on e-shopping for the best deals, and a hassel-free shopping experience. Percentage of online sales in total retail sale volume in the US has quadrupled over the last ten years2, and shows no sign at slowing down.

1 Welch, David Chris Burnett + Lauren Coleman-Lochner “The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance is coming to an End� (New York : 2012). 2 most recent access date 5.17.13


Linens’n Things, Curcuit city, Mervyn’s, Gotchalk’s are all Big Box chains that have gone out of business. Between 2008 and 2011 120 million square feet of big box retail has become available This = Total shopping center landscape of Cincinnati, Kansas City, + Baltimre combined1. As of 2012 Border’s had closed 226 Locations, Kmart / Sears 120, and Best Buy 50. The list goes on and on, and even as our economy strengthens, this trend does not appear to be reversing any time soon.


Schmitt, Angie “The Incredible Shrinking Mega Store” (Washington DC :, 2001).

images 1 - 5




images 36-39


“The interest in retrofitting suburbia by the public health sector is a also a relatively new and very welcome catalyst for change. Work documenting the profound negative human health impacts of driving, sedentary lifestyles, and other factors contributing to a growing body of evidence confirming the benefits of designing places that promote physical activity, which are more socially engaging, as well as less polluting. The public health community recognizes that the primary health threats of the twenty first century are chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, asthma, and depression that can be moterated by the way we design our built environment” - Retrofitting Suburbia The increase in a sedentary lifestyle and reliance on fast food harms our nation’s health everyday. We are at a breaking point where the uptick in Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and other obesity induced deaths will make the current youth, the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents1. Because of the connection between our built environment, and our current health state my program focuses on promoting a healthy life style through a variety of activities.



Overweight in Children, ( January 16, 2013)

61% of adults in Rhode Island are overweight or obese 37% of adolescents (6-17) are overweight or obese 74% of adults do not eat the suggested 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day 50% of adults do not excercise the recommended amount1

Many people believe that dealing with overweight and obesity is a personal responsibility. To some degree, they are right, but it is also a community responsibility. When there are no safe, accessible places for children to play or adults to walk, jog or ride a bike, that is a community responsibility. —David Satcher, MD, PhD, US Surgeon General


Rhode Island Department of Health. “Eat Smart Move More Rhode Island: A plan for Action 2010-2015� (Providence, 2006)





4 lane 50 meter (olypmic distance

1 raw vegan open kitchen restau-

1 designated first floor space, and

lap pool

rant with some bar seating

one second floor catwalk for yoga and meditation classes

3 childrens pools

1 juice ./ smoothie bar

2 hot tubs

1 frozen yogurt + fruit pop bar

1 seasonal outdoor pool

seating areas throughout *each using ingredients produced on site





Produce grown in the community

a community garden built on the

Hydroponic farms scattered

gardens and by hydroponic farm,

south side, to grow produce for the

throughout the building to delin-

and is a surplus of what is used by

eateries + market

eate program + grow produce year

the eateries to be sold here.

round for eateries + market.






In order to properly and healthily incorporate them into these suburban boxes, water, light, planting and added openings are necessary.










W A R W I C K, R H O D E I S L A N D

As you can see from these maps, an area that sits so closely to the beautiful coast is walled off and overtaken by asphalt and stucco.


B A L D H I L L R O A D W A R W I C K, R H O D E I S L A N D

images 6 + 7


B A L D H I L L R O A D W A R W I C K, R H O D E I S L A N D


images 8-31



Just as with the national landscape, retail in Rhode Island has taken a serious hit in the last six years. When you drive down the retail packed streets of Warwick there are more and more dark storefronts, for sale signs, and empty parking lots.

images 32-33


1 3 2 4 B A L D H I L L R O A D W A R W I C K, R H O D E I S L A N D


images 34-35


Because this project aims to look at a national problem, and not a site specific issue, the base plans and sections used here are not of a specific site in Warwick, but rather a very prototypical box store construction (as one is practically interchangeable with another). These specific plans and sections were given to me by the developer of “Ross Dress for Less,” a discount women’s clothing chain--this plan came from a location in Florida. Based on analysis of many operating box stores this construction is exactly the same everywhere, with small variances in exits, plumbing location, etc.







“Architectural practice needs to engage in the reorganization of systems of urban development, challenging political and economic frameworks that are only benefiting homogenous large-scale interventions managed by private mega-block development. I believe the future is small, and this implies the dismantling of the LARGE, by pixilating it with the micro: an urbanism of retrofit” –Teddy Cruz


what can be done to a box ?


Spatial Elements


Main Street

1. Grid

perfectly gridded


variety within

2. Circulation




3. Natural Context




4. Inside/Outside Relationships

closed off



When I began my exploration of what would change a person’s experience in a typical box store I made a set of rules based on what makes Main Street dynamic, and these stores mind-numbing. Once I established the biggest differences I began sketching these “rules” into the box in as many forms and combinations possible.


ying porosity varying porosity Junkspace

Ways to address Small Town Junkspace Small Town

Ways to address

1. Grid

perfectly1.gridded variety within Grid perfectly varying griddedheights/ variety within creating focal pts

2. Circulation


Intersections 2. Circulation loop

varying heights/ creating focal pts


3. Natural Context siteless 3. Natural Context contextual siteless natural habitat/ contextual natural light

natural habitat/ natural light

4. Inside/Outside Relationships

varying porosity

Rules For Addressing

closed 4. Inside/Outside open Relationships


varying porosity open

varying heights/ focal points creating variation within the grid



materiality + landscaping of natural habitat varying porosity

site specific skylights/windows

very small plentiful ceiling pattering

images 40, 41

big openings + building cuts



























Bring pool / activity outside

Insert vegetation on the interior

Farm on the South

. . . The elements that worked best in the drawings created box specific rules


Show greenery on exterior (denoting interior

Create entrance that draws visitor in

Bring in natural light/ activity energy saving dependant


My purpose in reusing this simple box construction is to make use of what already exists in order to have less of an environmental impact than new construction given this plethora of vacant buildings, while conserving cost. Because of this, I aimed to use as much of the existing structure as possible, and worked within the existing column grid.


working within the grid




FIRST FLOOR 1/32” = 1” 66




ELEVATION 3/32” = 1”








Because I aimed to create an enviroment that encouraged health, activity and interaction, and because it was in such an expansive space, I chose to treat the building in three dimension as a landscape. This allows height to delineate different activities while promoting the visibility of one to another. As with any good Main Street, this encourages the interaction of people that are at the facility for varying reasons, promoting a cross section of interest and talent that can have a positive influence on one another.






































As with the topography of the space, the use of daylight is important in it’s ability to communicate different experiences. Over both pools are screens with a sporadic hole pattern the represents dappled light felt through trees--on forest floors, and across bodies of water. At the entrance quarter are large expanses of light--promoting a park like community feeling. Over the far right the light is sectioned in moments: a chance for quiet and focus like the sun peaking through the clouds or creating a well between trees in a forest. This was chosen for the yoga and meditation area as both require focus, a sense of calm, and encourage one to be in the moment.


images 42-47



environmental systems


In Rhode Island... there is precipitation one out of every three days 46 inches average a year (hawaii is the wettest w 70)

This facilities pools :: 3 leisure pools 2 hot tubs 1 4 lane Olympic distance lap pool = 1,682 Tons of Water

Photovoltaic + solar thermal hybrid panels :: produce electricity for the facility + are bonded to water tubing behind them which heats the water + keeps the photovoltaics cool + operating more efficiently. These are reserved for South side w/most sun (due to cost). Stand alone photovoltaics : produce electricity for the facility + are situated where the sun is not quite as strong Hydroponic farms :: Vertical interior units that grow produce using mineral nutrient solutions in water and without soil. Water supplied by in house tertiary water treatment of rain water. Light provided by a combination of sunlight and artificial light

Rainwater harvesting :: rain is collected at roof drains and piped down into a collecting unit buried underground, where it is stored to be used as needed.

Vapor barrier :: continuous epoxy paint, membrane, + special sealing window treatment to hold humidity inside the facility

Water treatment :: Beginning at the top collected rainwater goes through a series of particle filters (starting large to filter debris, and successively decreasing in pore size). Next comes disinenfection via the non-chemical solution Ozone. Ultrafiltration removes cysts algae + bacteria. Lastly carbon fixes taste and odor issues.

Pool purification: Ozone :: Ozone is made of atmospheric Oxygen which is converted to O3. Manufactured and used onsite via Ozone Generators. Lacks carcinogen + other health issues that chlorine cause, and is more gentle on pool materials.


pool dehumidification units

Stand alone solar thermal panels


photovoltaic + solar thermal panels

vapor barrier

rainwater harvesting from roof

hydroponic garden


terrace garden

lap pool surge tank, pool pumps, ozonation units, + electric

Buried rainwater storage


Materials choice in this building was influenced by an attempt to connect the users with the natural world that lies so close yet often feels completely out of reach. For this reason the pools are surrounded by greyed wood like the many docks of the Rhode Island Coast. The park entrance is grass and shade loving moss, and the yoga and farmer’s market area is tiled in slate--emblematic of the rocky coast that makes up such a huge percentage of Rhode Island’s mass.




W O O D “D O C K” D E C K I N G








93 images 48-55

At the front entrance of the building there are several surfaces that have been carved out, and are set back from the original facade. For these a green wall is implemented --a symbol of a healthier, more stustainable life infiltrating the current.

At the corners where these two systems meet there are two important actions. One is the cut ends on the chain-link. This represents the opening of an accepted vernacular into a healthier more sustaibable way of life. The second is the introduction of an ivy that will begin to grow into the chain-link, marrying the two systems.

On the existing facade where it is not altered, a typical chain-link fence vinyl coated in aqua will wrap the box. The aqua and the linking annouce the water that is inside in a suburban vernacular made new by a simple change in color. 94

images 56,57


exterior renderings




Program Distribution

images 58-61


pool area

community gardens *hydroponic farms are scattered throughout

park + eateries

yoga + medetation

farmer’s market

locker rooms




Program distrubution

Skylights + solar panels

perforated screens

elevated lap pool + medetation platform

hydroponic farms + farmer’s market juice bar / restaurant locker rooms

Living walls @ carved away exterior aqua vinyl covered chain link fence, wrapping existing exterior slate floor (yoga + farmer’s market cascading kiddie pools

hot tubs

grass / moss sloped floor

terrace farms





park + eateries under lap pool


Leisure / kiddie pools


yoga platform surrounded by hydroponic farms


farmer’s market





Annotated Bibliography // Reference List : Breslin, Paul (editor). “Architectural Design : Human Experience and Place--Sustaining Identity.” London, Enlgand: John Wilet & Sons, November/December 2012 profile no 220 Duany, Andres. Suburban Nation : The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York, NY: North Point Press, 2001 This books breaks down the major issues of sprawl/city planning/and suburbs very well at all scales. It walks you through everything from why the sidewalks don’t get used, why stores signage is the way it is, to the greater economic, social and environmental implications of the current trends in planning. Dunham-Jones, Ellen, June Williamson. Retrofitting Suburbia. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons 2011. Suburb redesign Harwick, Jeffrey M. Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an AmericanDream. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. History of Malls. Kunstler, James Howard. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Manmade Landscape. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Great quick history of towns / cities in America since it’s founding and why suburbs have developed into what they have. Koolhaas, Rem. “Junkspace.” October, Vol. 100 Obsolescence. (Spring 2002), pp 175-190. This article was my original inspiration for this as a thesis topic. It took everything I had felt for several years (ever since living in New York City) about the suburbs and the problems with America and made it into architectural poetry. Rhode Island Department of Health : Eat Smart, Move More Rhode Island: A plan for Action 2010-2015. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Health, 2006. Rhode Island’s Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living 2006-2012. Providence, RI: Rhode Island Department of Health, 2006. Both pamphlets are useful information as to what Rhode Island is currently doing to promote a healthier lifestyle for Rhode Islanders, and along with the CDC, are a good source for RI Health statistics. Schmitt, Angie. “The Incredible Shrinking Megastore: Retailers think outside the Big Box.” March 30, 2012. Web. 05.14.13 Statistics about the current state of Big Box retail Welch, David, Chris Burnett + Lauren Coleman-Lochner. “The Era of Big Box Retail Dominance Is Coming to an End.” September 15, 2011. Web. 05.14.13 Statistics about the current state of Big Box retail The Gruen Effect; Victor Gruen and the Shopping Mall. Dir. Anette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner. Pooldoks Filmproduktion, 2009. Film. Fantastic documentary about the creation of malls and how a good idea went bad. US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau 05.15.2013. Most recent access date :: 05.17.2013 Statistics about internet sales