REVIEW SPRING 2018
MIT Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture & Planning Department of Architecture 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 7-337 Cambridge, MA 02139 617-253-7791 / firstname.lastname@example.org architecture.mit.edu ÂŠ 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Individual contributions are copyright their respective authors. Images are copyright their respective creators, unless otherwise noted. Printed by Puritan Press Hollis, New Hampshire
Thesis Reviews, May 18, 2018 04
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
History, Theory and Criticism
Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies (BSAS)
Design for Infectious Disease Control in the Developing World: The Power of Natural Ventilation Abigail M. Anderson Advisor: Leslie Norford; Readers: Cherie Abbanat, Lisa Pratt Ward
Contaminated particles in hospitals can spread from infected patients to those who are hospitalized for non-disease-related reasons. The reputation of hospitals, especially in the developing world, as places where diseases are spread rather than cured necessitates design strategies focused on stopping or controlling disease spread among patients. In this thesis, I examine the potential
of architectural layout, among other factors, to reduce the spread of contaminants through passive ventilation strategies. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics, I propose a system of hospital rooms which minimizes contaminant spread among patients while maintaining comfortable airflow rates. CFD Results for Contaminant Spread in System 2, produced with scSTREAM.
Designing a Folding Fan-shaped Actuated Adaptive Facade System for Fine-grain Daylight Control June Kim Advisor: Caitlin Mueller
In architecture, natural light is one of the main factors to consider when designing a building or a room. A building has to be designed in such a way to allow the right amount of natural light in which influences the building occupants’ visual and thermal comfort level. Curtains, blinds, shades, or shutters are the most common static shading methods currently used to regulate the amount of sunlight coming into a room. However, traditional blinds or shades cannot be customized with respect to fine-grain localized control, which can result in suboptimal indoor lighting levels when the blinds or shades are down. While static window treatments are practical low-cost options, they cannot offer the level of adjustment that dynamic shadings can provide. Majority of the time, occupants of a room have the freedom to adjust the shades; however, the shades are often left in one position since occupants are not willing to constantly adjust the shutters every time the outside environmental conditions change.
Unlike traditional blinds, adaptive façades are designed to automatically adjust positions depending on the environmental changes or have the ability to be fine-grain controlled by the occupant. Because of the ability to respond to fluctuating weather conditions, adaptive façades can provide optimal indoor day lit space. The purpose of this thesis is to design and build a proof-of-concept prototype of a folding fan-shaped actuated adaptive facade system. Because of the scope of this thesis, the prototype is designed to fit in one of the windows at McCormick Hall instead of a full scale building façade. There are 13 fan-shaped shades units that can be individually controlled to reduce direct sunlight coming into the indoor space. The results demonstrate that this technology can be designed and built with a modest budget and commonly available tools to achieve high quality results for customized daylight control.
Inclusive: A Human-Centered Approach to Accessible Architectural Design Jenny Liu Advisor: Cherie Abbanat; Reader: Sheila Kennedy
Architecture is about creating spaces for people to live their best lives, yet it is disconnected from the people most directly impacted by its work. Only 2.6% of non-architects feel that the profession does an excellent job of understanding the needs and desires of those living and working in our buildings. As such, occupants suffer spaces that are uncomfortable and sometimes unusable; in particular, people with disabilities are often restricted to certain spaces because most places are designed without any consideration for them. Universal design, a recent concept, strives to makes life easier, healthier, and friendlier for all by putting people with disabilities on an equal playing field. Universal design draws from accessibility standards and design principles to create environments that can be used by as many as possible without specialized design. Integrating accessibility and universal design
principles in architecture can enrich our understanding of a space and add a new layer of spatial experience for everyone. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what makes spaces inclusive and usable for those with disabilities, and how we can design for a broader population. This thesis will use a review of the history and current practices of universal and accessible design and precedent studies to inform a design process focused on understanding the users and their experiences in order to maximize usability. Then, this thesis will assess the MIT Stratton Student Center using observations and surveys to find the gap between the Centerâ€™s design and universal design principles. This will provide findings and recommendations of how universal design can be better incorporated in public spaces on MITâ€™s campus.
Making Space: Pedagogical Interventions to Foster Equity in Introductory Maker Education Kate Weishaar Advisor: Cherie Abbanat
The maker movement has spread widely among both adults and children, but its recent integration into K-12 education has forced makerspace coordinators to examine their work through a new lens. Experienced makers need little beyond safety training to get started making their own projects, but new makers, particularly young students, need more. Without properly scaffolded introductory activities, inexperienced students quickly become discouraged and opt-out of maker activities. This thesis explores possible pedagogical guidelines for introductory activities that create more inclusive educational makerspaces. Education theorists and maker educators consistently express a need to support beginners, but the exact type of support differs. Some foster equity by choosing non-gendered introductory projects that can be easily modified for personal customization. Many suggest that the most useful support comes from creating a maker community, typically by leveraging both peer interactions and mentor relationships. In the workshop I taught, I tested my lesson plan both with and without explicit emphasis on peer
feedback. The sections with an emphasis on peer feedback were more creative, social, and willing to ask questions than the sections without it. Though their techniques for creating community may differ, educators must be aware of the psychological barriers that keep students from making. Some students claim that they lack certain skills, whether technical or creative, that are necessary to make an original project. Others believe that makerspaces are only for “smart people” or “engineers” and do not view themselves as part of those groups. And still others are eager to get started, but simply lack the economic privilege necessary to continue work with expensive tools at home. All of these students need different types of support, but they will all benefit from a community where they view their mentors and peers as sources of inspiration and feedback instead of as unsurpassable competition. Teaching wearable electronics at a Makerspace in Brazil, credit: Olabi Makerspace, https://www.flickr. com/photos/126274132@N03/31372809331/in/ photostream/. 7
Master of Architecture (MArch)
Bodyscapes: Body to Body, Body to City, Body to Self Nicole Ashurian Advisor: Azra Akšamija; Readers: Angelo Bucci, Mariana Ibañez
In the era of climate-controlled spaces and the digital interfaces of social media, a sense of place and association with others is lost to the enclosed spaces of satellite conversations. These desires for comfort and control manifest in the lack of friction in our built realm. Spaces mirror the scaleless quality of the digital, impose no physical friction of environment, and allow for isolation between bodies in the same room. Boarded in these spaces with the disappearing digital threshold, our friends fall in the same political silos as ourselves, empathy for others
falters, context is arbitrary and we never have to be ‘alone’ when we have our phones. The tech industry offers solutions to alleviate these problems with apps and devices but without a violent change in environment – engaging the physicality of the body, its senses and its association to others and site, the problems will persist. ‘Bodyscapes’ is a series of provocations at varying scales that subvert the language of standardization to allow new opportunities for human interface.
Second Skin: An Antithesis to Hermetic Architecture Sophia Chesrow Advisor: Azra AkĹĄamija; Readers: Mary Hale, Mark Jarzombek, Jessica Rosenkrantz
This antithesis is framed around three nearfuture scenarios where the world has been transformed by environmental disasters. Our immunological bubble has been broken. For years, we have tried to control our environment by creating a separate homeostatic interior. And in the process of trying to achieve physical comfort, not only have we standardized our sensorial conditions into a homogenous experience, we have also destroyed the larger environment. While most of us knew that this bubble was going to burst at some point, none of us were prepared...
Now in the post-bubble world, we have slowly come to the realization that the answer is not to create bigger or better bubbles. Instead, we need to develop a second skin. Operating at the body scale, this series of prosthetics teaches us how to reintegrate our senses with the environment. They restore our natural ability to interact with air, water, and heat in a world post hermetic seals.
Potential Architecture Jason Minor Advisor: William O’Brien Jr.; Reader: Azra Akšamija
Material equality, and thus the balance of social power, represents an inherently architectural problem; even if architects do not yet possess the tools required to formulate a meaningful response. Architects should be painfully aware that building is almost always the product of some form of real estate exploitation. But what roles are available for an architect to play in addressing the difficulties of real estate as authored predominantly by architects in an era of widening social and spatial inequality? If we assume the influx of global capital into New York property cannot be stopped, do designers concentrate their efforts on redirecting its impacts? If redistribution of wealth - in a society that relies on capitalist principles of investment – seems incredibly unlikely, how do we design for a probable future in which financial imbalances are even more pronounced? Rather than answer these questions or solving these crises, this project complicates them by documents a fictional misadventure; the life of a tower designed for an elite New York popula-
tion that exists beyond democracy, transparency, and justice. Georg Simmel, in his sociological analysis of money, emphasizes its objektiver Geist, objective spirit. Money institutionalizes and structures the entire social terrain. In this formula the contemporary architect is not near a position of power. Rather then impotently brooding, this project treads stubbornly towards a hopeful function for the architect as an agent of social injustice – even if that requires thinking through new temporalities of design. From a conflicted semi-detached position, perhaps the architectural author has the potential to offer an embedded radicalism. Pushing beyond spectacular opposition, architects would be able to construct artifacts of contamination embedded with contradictions. Having the capacity to hold simultaneously opposing states — use and exchange value, resistance and cooperation, independence and regulation — is what at this moment grants architecture immense potential.
The Ecology of Truth Sam Schneider Advisor: Azra Akšamija; Reader: Tobias Putrih
A reinterpretation of the wunderkammer as a macroscope for questions of science and space at the institute. Learn more about curios in person—space can’t be mediated without a lens. [Thesis review time @ the portrait of David Koch, Lobby 66]
Master of Science in Building Technology (SMBT)
Automated Motion Planning for Robotic Assembly of Discrete Architectural Structures Yijiang Huang Advisor: Caitlin T. Mueller
Architectural robotics has proven a promising technique for assembling non-standard configurations of building components at the scale of the built environment, complimenting the earlier revolution in generative digital design. However, despite the advantages of dexterity and precision, the time investment in solving the construction sequence and associated robotic motion grows increasingly with the topological complexity of the target design. This gap between parametric design and robotic fabrication congests the overall digital design/ production process and often confines designers to geometries with standard topology. In the goal of filling this gap, this research presents a new robotic assembly planning framework called Choreo, which eliminates human-intervention for parts that are typically arduous and tedious in architectural robotics projects. Specifically, Choreo takes discrete spatial structure as input, and then assembly sequence, end effector pose, joint configuration, and transition trajectory are all generated automatically. Choreo embodies novelties in
both algorithm design and software implementation. Algorithm-wise, a three-layer hierarchical assembly planning framework is proposed, to gradually narrow down the computational complexity along the deep and branched search tree emerging in this combined task and motion planning problem. Implementation-wise, Choreoâ€™s system architecture is designed to be modularized and adaptable, with the emphasis on being hardware-agnostic and forging a smooth integration into existing digital designbuild workflow. Case studies on fabrication results of robotic extrusion (also called spatial 3D printing) and simulation results of robotic spatial positioning are presented to demonstrate Choreoâ€™s power on efficiently generating feasible robotic instructions for assembling shapes with non-standard topology and across the scales. Case studies on applying Choreo on robotic spatial extrusion of 3D cantilever. Digital design model, generated robotic trajectories, fabrication results and timelapse are shown in the image.
Implementation and Evaluation of Thermal Avoidance Strategies in Arid, Cost-Constrained Climates Aimed at Improving Indoor Thermal Comfort: A Case Study in Bhuj, India Johnathan Kongoletos Advisor: Leon Glicksman
The use of air conditioning in the buildings sector has been rapidly increasing. The International Energy Agency projects that rising income and greater access to air conditioning equipment in many developing countries will increase CO2-equivalent emissions, energy consumption, and urban heat island effects. India is a prime example of a region where new building trends, hot climatic conditions, increasing social aspirations, and rapid population growth is likely to spread the adoption of air conditioning. To reduce the need for air conditioning, the research team has worked to develop, implement, and evaluate methods to reduce temperatures within the built environment using largely passive means. Building on the past work of Nelson and Gradillas, the thesis presents the results of long-term temperature monitoring within four
homes in Bhuj, India. Results from the collective work have helped to inform future designs for the region, and resulted in an innovative roof concept. Using scale models, thermal simulations, and full-scale housing, results from the thesis explore new methods of implementing solutions for reduced solar heat gain, reduced heat absorption, and increased heat rejection. The research concludes by presenting early work on additional techniques and implications of using indigenous products to better thermal comfort conditions. Applicable outside of India, the techniques can be utilized in other regions and climates, as well as concurrently with active cooling systems to reduce energy consumption or extend existing capacity. Further work will seek to improve the design and adaptability of the system to different regions.
Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS)
The Slow Zone: Designing Alternative Paths for the Future of North Bali Diana Ang Advisors: AdĂ¨le NaudĂŠ Santos, Rafi Segal; Readers: Sai Balakrishnan, Daliana Suryawinata
On the surface, Bali tells a narrative of dualism between rural and urban, traditional and modern, local and foreign. However, flows of commodity and human migration pattern reveal that these dichotomies are irrelevant, as all coexist in different intensities and spectrum to balance its two main economy: agriculture and tourism. The inability to recognize this interdependence has resulted in development projects that are harmful for both sectors. The Slow Zone is an alternative model of development that favor and engage local growth instead of relying on outside actors devoid of context. Following the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis, fiscal decentralization in Indonesia distributed administrative power from the province to the district level, creating competition among districts. The high profitability of real estate over agricultural land created development schemes that favor outside capital instead of local needs.
The 2014 Village Law is a decentralization mechanism that provides direct funding for infrastructural development and village-owned enterprises based on each villageâ€™s human and natural resource. The Slow Zone proposes reterritorialization of village networks based on agriculture and social relationships. The project site in North Bali represents a broad range of agricultural diversity, which becomes the foundation for the development schemes. Three design proposals: a mixed-use development, an intervillage cooperative, and an institution, each respectively located in the lowlands, midlands, and highlands, respond to the political history, cultural richness, and geographical challenges of local context. The goal of the spatial design strategies is to retain local control of land and economy through coupling, and not separation of, tourism and agriculture.
Computation and â€˜Makivismâ€™ Design Ty Austin Advisors: Ceasar McDowell, Takehiko Nagakura
We live in a world today where instantaneous transparency is the rule of thumb. Social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn have become the primary modes of communication and connectivity amongst professional and personal circles. This has also become the case with parametric modeling in architecture and urban design. Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a parametric modeling software that visually helps architecture and engineering design teams remotely collaborate, innovate, and connect instantaneously with colleagues and clients in more productive ways to create efficient construction projects. However, BIMâ€™s strengths in efficient transparency are often not extended to the principal stakeholders of any project: the community. Thus, my primary research objective and interest is in the area of Social Media Participatory Design (SMPD) or Makivism.
SMPD is an integrated 3D parametric modeling and social networking system where social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn are primary modes of communication and connectivity amongst design professionals and community leaders. By implementing SMPD into the built environment sector, community stakeholders can attain instantaneous access into the design process of a project through their favorite social media app. SMPD also provides a designer the knowledge and communication they need to make informed, transparent and inclusive design making decisions needed to collaborate with the communities they serve. Most importantly, SMPD removes the hermeneutics, or assumption, of the design. Instead of knowing by doing while doing without knowing, SMPD stresses effective communication, the reformation of academic curricula and professional standards, and the community collaboration they seek to invest in.
Active Prototyping: A Computational Framework for Designing while Making Maroula Bacharidou Advisor: Terry Knight; Readers: Stefanie Mueller, George Stiny, Maria Yang
In the wake of an increased accessibility of rapid prototyping tools in contemporary design culture, designers still face a series of challenges related to their use, one of them being the long waits that occur until an artifact is produced. These waits represent not only a delay in realizing a design outcome, but also one in being able to reflect on design objects and physically evaluate them in real time as they are being prototyped. At the same time, the concepts of real-time interaction with computational fabrication tools and exploration of design through physical prototyping are gaining impetus in the disciplines of design research and human-computer interaction. Stimulated by these inquiries, the hypothesis of this thesis is that prototyping tools can be used as tools for real-time design exploration
and evaluation. Towards this goal, I introduce Active Prototyping, a framework that explores this hypothesis by integrating the following operations: (a) recording of designer actions, (b) association of prototyping tool affordances with rules for generative design and (c) visual exploration of possible design solutions while developing a physical prototype; I develop Fabcorder, a prototyping apparatus that implements the Active Prototyping framework; through application examples, I demonstrate how Active Prototyping can render physical prototyping processes more exploratory and digital fabrication processes more intuitive. FabCorder, an apparatus that implements the Active Prototyping framework.
Between Birds and Humans: The Design of the Encounter Giovanni Bellotti Advisor: Rafi Segal; Readers: Adele Naude Santos, Roi Salguiero Barrio, Peter del Tredici
Through objects like cages, places like zoos and institutions like preserves and natural parks, humans have represented and produced ideas of nature, informing the relation between our specie and others. These institutionalised spaces and objects have traced boundaries, established ideas of proximity and distance to other living beings, and projected moral and aesthetic values on the environment, ultimately extending the realm of human politics to the totality of the earth. The thesis argues that it is through “placing” that the relation between humans and other animals has evolved, and that the established objects, spaces and rules which mediate between our specie and others are in a state of crisis. The cage no longer domesticates, as everything has already been domesticated; the zoo no longer
represents the wild, but constructs fantasies in a tarzanesque vernacular; the national park no longer preserves, but produces “nature”. In other words, the current forms and ideas through which we institutionalised nature no longer help us make sense of it, producing a confusing sense of guilt, helpless concern, and distance. Focusing on birds (animals which, more than any other, have been vectors of metaphors, and that along humans, through migration, seeds dispersal and adaptation, have most contributed to the globalisation of nature), the thesis investigates how new objects, places, and definitions can emerge from the crisis of current spatial and juridical models, shaping other forms of encounter between species.
Peripheral Timber: Applications for Waste Wood Material in Extreme Climates and Earthquake Risk Regions Andrew Brose Advisor: John Ochsendorf; Reader: Leon Glicksman
Worldwide, discarded construction and demolition material account for 40% of all municipal solid refuse including residential, commercial, institutional, and agricultural waste flows (Elgizawy, El-Haggar, and Nassar 2016). Hong Kong sends over 200 tons of timber waste from old formwork and scaffolding to the landfill per day (Wang et al. 2016). After fulfilling their assumed raison dâ€™etre, the cement-flaked shuttering boards and stubby scaffolding poles arrive amongst the discards, left aside to rot in the rain and mud, and over time warp, split and crack beyond utility. This thesis explores the possibilities of reusing wood that sits at the fringe of construction projects, in applications that bring back the beauty and elegance engrained in the oldest of building material. In part, this project is a remolding of the perception of undervalued wood
species and construction waste. This research proposes specific techniques, inculcating value into discarded wood material and bringing a new mechanism for material production of timber existing at the periphery of design and construction. In application, this study considers solutions around natural fiber composites and timber space-frame roofs for affordable housing projects. Prototypes in India include a space frame using small diameter wood elements, made practical by the development of a simple joint system. In addition, waste wood fibers incorporated in cementitious wall and roof panels improved thermal insulation properties while increasing flexural strength. Samples were tested within the objectives of improved thermal comfort, reduced material cost, and increased earthquake safety.
Hold Up: Machine Delay in Architectural Design Zach Cohen Advisor: Mark Jarzombek; Readers: Mark Goulthorpe, Sheila Kennedy
This thesis introduces an architectural design approach that is founded on working with digital fabrication machines, materials, and time: Machine Delay Fabrication (MDFab). MDFab is characterized by the materialization and manipulation of the time taken by digital fabrication machines to do work. MDFab contrasts with other approaches to digital fabrication that architecture has appropriated from adjacent fields (for example, human-computer interaction and automated manufacturing). In particular, MDFab is a response to “real-time” digital fabrication techniques, which use embedded sensing to immediately interact with the designer, material, and/or environment. These techniques have negatively distanced architectural designers from material, temporal, and instrumental understanding. Further, the current dependence on real-time points to a future of anti-anticipation: a time in which architectural designers— and human beings, in general—will not have to anticipate what will happen next. MDFab is an alternative to this future: it offers a designermachine symbiosis that advances the material thinking, improvisation, and speculation that
are—and should always be—fundamental to the architectural design process. This research has several layers: the historical, theoretical, and practical contextualization of MDFab; the critique of contemporary architectural design approaches to digital fabrication; the conceptualization of machine delay; the design of a new concrete 3D printing method that exemplifies MDFab, including its digital-tophysical workflows, machine parts, and material mixes; the use of this method to demonstrate the constructive, aesthetic, and ethical possibilities of MDFab in architectural design. Digital fabrication machines are moving from studios and labs to homes and construction sites. As a result, architectural designers need to cultivate ways of interacting with digital fabrication machines that maintain the vitality of their discipline, yet can also evolve to produce novel forms of architectural practice. Machine Delay Fabrication is a platform for this kind of new design thinking. It aims for a future in which architectural design remains in place, in touch, and, above all, in time. A single wythe of concrete “drops” with various “extrusion times” bleeds at the corner.
Forward-Backward: The Odyssey as a Design Interface Iris Giannakopoulou Karamouzi Advisor: Mark Goulthorpe; Readers: Mark Jarzombek, Gregory Ulmer
The Odyssey, one of the two Homeric epic poems, the other being the Iliad, stands as an exemplary invention of the ancient Greek oral tradition. Odysseus’ nostos, his returning journey to his homeland, Ithaca, still echoes today as an inexhaustible source of imagination and creativity. This project postulates that in the instance of the Odyssey, Homer blends imagination with reality, history with myth, the humans with the gods, and the living with the dead. In doing so, he offers us an affective experience of the known and the unknown territories of the Cosmos; a poetic world of sounds, images, tastes and emotions; a synesthetic experience that puts into question the platonic modes of thinking that supplemented the Homeric period. This work wishes to explore the Odyssey as interface for contemporary design, looking into significant shifts in epochs, such as the one from
orality to literacy and further on to what the cultural theorist Gregory Ulmer coins as electracy, which describes the technological, ideological and institutional apparatus of the contemporary digital epoch. As such, what specifically interests me in the myth of Odysseus, as a creative invention of the oral tradition, are the underlying logics and inventive characteristics of it, which not only allow insight into the shift from an oral to a literate ontology, but are also suggestive as we look into contemporary digital design thinking, making and doing. My exploration in this project takes the form of a ‘forward-backward’ exploration between Ulmer’s theories and the interface of the Odyssey, as well as a ‘forwardbackward’ oscillation between different epochs, aspired to creatively engage with the myth of Odysseus in search of latent design intelligences.
Robots Building Together: Learning to Collaborate Kathleen Hajash Advisors: Skylar Tibbits, Patrick Winston; Reader: Terry Knight
Since robots were first invented, robotic assembly has been an important area of research in both academic institutions and industry settings. The standard approach in robotic assembly lines utilizes fixed industrial-sized robotic arms and prioritizes speed and precision over customization and flexibility. With a recent shift towards mobile multi-robot teams, researchers have developed a variety of approaches ranging from planning to swarm robotics. However, existing approaches are either too rigid with a deterministic planning approach or do not take advantage of the opportunities available with multiple robots. Rather, if we are to push the boundaries of robotic assembly, then we need to make collaborative robots that can work together, without human intervention, to plan and build large structures that they could not complete alone. By taking a collaborative approach to robotic assembly, I define a strategy wherein the result will consistently be much greater than sum of its parts. In this thesis, I take a first step
towards this vision by developing collaborative agents that learn how to work together to move blocks. This aspect of collaboration is the key difference from current methods in robotic assembly. In the context of this research, I define collaboration as an emergent process that evolves as multiple agents learn to work together to achieve a common goal. Rather than taking an explicit planning approach, I employ an area of research in artificial intelligence called reinforcement learning. Drawn from behavioral psychology, reinforcement learning is a subset of machine learning where agents learn an optimal behavior to achieve a specific goal by receiving rewards or penalties for good and bad behavior, respectively. By developing teams of robots that can collaboratively work together to plan and build large structures, we could aid in disaster relief, enable construction in remote locations, and support the health of construction workers in hazardous environments. Conceptual diagram of robots moving blocks into place. 24
Last Chance Sites: Crossing Industrial and Ecological Cycles Monica Hutton Advisor: Rafi Segal; Readers: Lorena Bello, Rania Ghosn
Views of long-term environmental change often rely on linear narratives of growth and decline. Last chance sites have been described as offering a limited window of time to witness landscapes and seascapes that are deemed to exist within varying states of vanishing, captivating audiences with visible and timely sights of change. This thesis questions the agency of representing the future of these sites and calls for a strategy to look beyond end conditions to link less visible cycles with the roles of surrounding industry. On the coast of Hudson Bay, the selfdeclared â€œpolar bear capital of the worldâ€? is discussed as a last chance site due to an industry that has become reliant on visitors observing the changing environmental attractions of the area. This project examines how the northern town of Churchill, Manitoba developed at an intersection of migration between far reaching industrial and ecological systems. To the north the Arctic is opening with decreasing sea ice, and to the
south an infrastructural rail line spurred the transformation of territory from a geographically concentrated urban population. Conceived of as a linear northern expansion project for future growth, the reality over time is a nonlinear emergence and decline of economic pursuits. The design strategy resists focusing on last chance development models by bringing public attention and cyclical activity to a broader territory. New linkages negotiate scattered and fluctuating industries such as forestry, mining, and hydroelectric production that support urban development. A regional mobility strategy focuses attention on overlooked sites and offers platforms to locate discourse on the role of development in long-term change across ecological systems. Polar bear on display at the Itsanitaq Museum in Churchill. Photo: Ian Willms, New York Times.
The New Village for the People of the North: Relocation Strategy for Alaskan Native Villages Justin Lim Advisor: Adèle Naudé Santos; Reader: Marie Law Adams
The existing costal native Alaskan villages are facing the direct impacts of global warming, in particular due to disappearing ice sheets and rapidly thawing permafrost. The impacts ultimately result in erosion of the shorelines, flooding of the riverbanks, and destabilization of foundations – costing in billions of dollars in maintenance and replacement of homes and infrastructure. More importantly, they create imminent threats to lives of the natives and others that occupy the territory. Relocation has been favored by these villages under threats, but without a lead agency and a comprehensive vision, nearly all of the relocation plans have been delayed for nearly a decade by the lack of funding and the complex requirements from the various public and private agencies that cannot be complied or completed by the villagers. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) had provided a report that identified 31 villages that were under the threats of global warming in 2009. The report further identified four villages, Shishmaref, Kivalina, Newtok,
and Shaktoolik, that called for relocation of the entire village. Today, these four villages still remain at their current locations and continue to be challenged by the threats caused by flooding and erosion without any major interventions. This thesis project proposes a new relocation village at a resource-rich area eleven miles south from Shishmaref. Protected from the global warming factors, the new village defines its territory with a peripheral wind/snow fence that creates its own a micro climate by sheltering the village inside from the harsh wind and snow all year around and turns it into positive renewable energy through wind turbines and solar panels. The village’s center, shared by the four villages mentioned above, is located at the intersection of the major infrastructure components of the airplane, water barges, and natural resources – all funded by the new collective funding mechanism that challenges the current linear funding mechanism that fails to individually relocate each village, while also promoting a new social order and a new collective and selfsustaining economy.
PanoFrame: A Crowdsourcing Platform for Making and Editing Multi-perspective Narratives with Panoramic Video Chang Liu Advisor: Takehiko Nagakura; Reader: William Uricchio
Traditional storytelling methods have been developed and expanded with the emergence of new media products. Panoramic video is one of the powerful contemporary media that helps to present and understand stories occur in a spatial environment and their related context. However, telling a story with a panoramic video can be challenging for storytellers to share their perspectives given that the whole landscape is presented to the audience without any frames. The aim of this research is to explore the potential of making multi-perspective panoramic video narratives. As low-cost panoramic cameras become prevalent among non-professional consumers, an easy-to-use panoramic video editing tool is required for emerging storytellers. With this tool, it is possible to build a crowdsourcing community that helps creating multi-perspective narratives with panoramic videos. This thesis presents PanoFrame, a lightweight online panoramic video editing platform for storytelling. The main editing purpose is
to specify a sequence for a panoramic videoâ€™s default viewing angle, field of view, and playback rate in the runtime. Three experiments are conducted using different groups of participants to test how people create, understand, and interact with a panoramic video story in the proposed tool. The results reveal that PanoFrame enables storytellers to work collaboratively and create multiple narratives from a panoramic video, and the generated panoramic video narratives are also more attractive to audiences than the raw video. PanoFrame can serve as a computer-aided design tool that lowers the barrier to designing narratives from panoramic videos. It can also be used as the basis for developing a crowdsourced platform for building an open-sourced panoramic video-sharing community. The future development will entail deploying computer vision algorithms to automate part of the storytelling process with panoramic video using data collected from the community. The main video editing user interface in PanoFrame.
A Micro Active Network after Massive Urban Expansion Yi Liu Advisors: Jim Wescoat, Jinhua Zhao; Reader: Lorena Bello
Urban form and transportation systems are closely related; each influences the other in different ways. This thesis explores this relationship, with a specific focus on systems for megacities in China. I argue that a new micro-scale active mobility network system can support current shifts toward transit-oriented development. Rather than focus on massive urban expansion dependent upon the automobile, the micro-scale active mobility network offers an example of sustainable urban life in relation to transit system developments. An active mobility network does not only aim to solve the â€˜last mileâ€™ problem by connecting citizens from places to public transit, but also offers possibilities for new street life because of its flexibility, low cost (investment and usersâ€™ daily cost), and low energy consumption. In contrast to the wide and monotonous impression of roads in Chinese megacities, an active mobility network prioritizes the citizen
over the automobile. Such a network advocates for separate lanes with dedicated urban activities and speeds and a flexible surface that can adapt to changes in demand. The test field of this thesis is Shenzhen, a city that developed in an automobile-dependent mode and now aims to shift towards a transitoriented development mode. Through city form analysis and transit-oriented city mapping studies, I highlight several typical urban forms of the city and the transportation characters of each metro system. In the thesis, I focus on four typical urban form areas, which are connected by metro systems, to develop further design guidelines for the city. These four typologies are treated as typical examples for active mobility related to space negotiation, density, service, and recreation in Shenzhen, as important urban intervention operations, and references to other similar areas.
Gaming and the Simulation of History: Constructing Perspectives of Machu Picchu Eytan Mann Advisors: Terry Knight, Takehiko Nagakura; Reader: Mark Jarzombek
In this research I have developed a new method for depicting historical sites using game design concepts and technologies. I argue that using computer games’ design environment researchers can integrate and consolidate various historical documents, challenging the dichotomy of space and time as two discrete constructs, undermining a static “frozen” image of place. This method allows for movement from representation to simulation of historical places and events, and facilitates an active participation in the remaking of an historical place. While this method seeks to provide an accurate historical reconstruction, it also allows for the maintenance of a critical distance by exposing the mechanism of historiography. Stitching together various perspectives, I propose the making of a collage simulation of history in a game environment.
To test my method, I studied the historical site of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the story of its discovery by explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. Bingham’s expedition remains today a constituting myth of the site that has been captured by various documents, primarily Bingham’s travel journal, but also include photography and cartographic drawings, all made by Bingham himself on the day of his discovery. In the contest of my work, Bingham’s materials were integrated into a 3D game environment. Taking-part in a collaborative project for 3D-scanning of Machu Picchu, we worked on-site to produce an accurate model of various sections of the site. The 3D models became a basis layer for my prototype — a hybrid of a game and digital archive, suggesting a movement towards a collage simulation of an historical site. Collage simulation, screenshot from prototype.
Exploring the Technics of Computer Representation: Three ‘Prepared’ Instruments for Plotting, Meshing and Rendering Jonah Marrs Advisor: Terry Knight; Reader: Andrew Witt
Without Seeing, theorist Paul Virilio describes virtual drawings and models here as “signals in the electronic currents of a closed-system, readable by machines but neither visible nor legible to humans.” My thesis attempts to give form to these computer translations between the drawing and its object. The three sections: Plotting, Meshing and Rendering, materialize the underlying infrastructure of the computer representation technology we interact with daily as designers, exploiting a form of “time-lapse” image to freeze moments that happen within an instant inside the computer. The thesis asks architects to question our relationship with our tools and invites us to explore Evans’ “blind spot” and claim this fertile territory for the designer, leveraging our visual-spatial and interdisciplinary knowledge culture for new ends.
In Translations from Drawing to Building, historian Robin Evans draws attention to the “blind spot between the drawing and its object” as a productive site in architecture. Instead of a “uniform space through which meaning may glide without modulation”, the “substratum” of this “gap” is uneven and unpredictable, a space of “entropy” and a “locale of subterfuges and evasions.” Through their passage, “things can get bent, broken or lost on the way.” Evans sees architects exploring “deviations” and “potentialities” here by “maintaining sufficient control in transit so that more remote destinations may be reached.” Today we manipulate CAD drawings and 3D models in software programs and visualize them at human-computer interface moments like the display, plotters and 3D printers. Meanwhile, at internal machine-to-machine interfaces, algorithms regularly carry out translations; their “labor behind or below the threshold of perception,” as John May writes in “The Logic of the Managerial Surface.” In Sight
Above: Palladio's Villa Rotunda Plan with a Variety of Display Parameters.
Machinesâ€™ Perception of Space Wenzhe Peng Advisor: Takehiko Nagakura; Reader: George Stiny
Architectural design is highly dependent on an architectâ€™s understanding of space. However, in the era of digital revolution when efficiency and economy become the major concerns in most industrial fields, it remains a question if a computer can gain human-like understanding to read and operate space, and assist with its design and analysis. This thesis focuses on the geometrical aspects of spatial awareness. Machine systems are developed that have similar behaviors to humanâ€™s perceptions of space in geometric aspects. These systems are developed employing techniques such as isovist and machine learning, and are trained with open-sourced datasets, self-generated datasets or crowdsourced datasets. The systems proposed simulate behaviors including
space composition classification, space scene classification, space 3d reconstruction, space rating and algebraic operations of space. These aspects cover topics ranging from pure geometrical understandings to semantic reasonings and emotional feelings of space. The methods are examined in two ways. Firstly, they are applied to a real-time space evaluation modeling interface, which gives a user prompt insights about the scene being constructed; Secondly, they are also utilized in the spatial analysis of existing architectural designs, namely small designs by Mies van der Rohe and Aldo van Eyck. The case studies conducted validate that this methodology works well in understanding local spatial conditions, and it can be helpful either as a design aid tool or in spatial analysis.
Tropical Islands; or, How the Architectural Interior Became a Primary Site of Aesthetic Mediation Shane Reiner-Roth Advisor: Mark Jarzombek; Readers: Katarina Burin, Jennifer Light
For three days and two nights, I was a guest at the Tropical Islands Resort, the world’s largest indoor water park. While inside, I ate the special at every one of its restaurants, drank every signature cocktail advertised, explored its perimeter in a hot-air balloon, went on all the water slides (twice), lounged in front of and within every water feature, slept in a canvas tent the first night and a junior suite the second. During my stay, the Houston metropolitan area was suffering the worst of Hurricane Harvey, the first tropical cyclone of the abnormally active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. The floods led to the widespread loss of electricity, the death of over 106 residents, and the incurment of over $125 billion in damage. During its peak, Hurricane Harvey was the top story of several American news outlets.
But I had only learned about Hurricane Harvey after leaving the Tropical Islands Resort, stopped at a red light and scrolling through my news feed for the first time in days. For three days and two nights, I was in a bubble. This thesis considers The Tropical Islands Resort as a site of aesthetic mediation, equally as mediating as any other form of popular media. The parallel histories of its precedents – including greenhouses, world’s fairs, theme parks, bunkers and experiments in social ecology – reveal a crucial link between architectural interiority and the public response to some of the greatest challenges facing contemporary society. The Tropical Islands Resort is a testament to human ingenuity and denial thousands of years in the making, and it is absolutely a sign of things to come.
Beyond the Kitchen: Strategies for Overcoming L.A.’s 194X-196X Sitcom–Suburban Domesticity Angelos Siampakoulis Advisor: Roi Salgueiro Barrio, Jim Wescoat; Reader: Timothy Hyde
Yet worshipped and beloved, suburbia advances in popularity. Orchestrated, among others, by the Atomic Age’s massive stock of political and mass media propaganda, sitcom-like domestic imaginaries, customized Formica kitchen innovations, and Barbie doll fantasies, the canonization—if not idealization—of a particular domestic ethos still characterizes today’s suburban living. If suburbia remains popular, what are today’s new domestic models of living? Driven by this question, the research recognizes the modern ranch-style house as the most popular suburban domestic typology. In this vein, it investigates this typology’s various domestic facets and grounds a design proposal in Lakewood, California. Through an analysis of the ways by which the abovementioned typology was commodified, the thesis attempts to draw a parallel between commodification and spectacle. Bound upon this recognition and hypothesizing on television’s increasing popularity after the Second World War, the thesis asks: In a historical period steeped in technologi-
cal innovation, how did television influence the organization of the interior space of the suburban house? Analyzing such concepts in Lakewood, the thesis performs design research with specificity yet with an understanding that certain examined architectural phenomena and cultural trends should be viewed in a broader— but still chronologically and geographically specific—context. The thesis draws evidence from literature, archival research, online surveys, site visits, interviews, and the design proposal. It employs drawing in three ways: for archival material analysis, for argument augmentation, and for design implementation. With its design, the research investigates the possibility of two strategies: the restructuring of the suburban domestic space and the reconsideration of the plot’s property line. Conditioned upon this apparatus, a new domestic suburban form comes to question the possibility of a collective living project. Left: Construction Series, Lakewood, California, 1950. William A. Garnett, Gelatin silver print. Getty Research Center. Right: Existing Housing Variations, Lakewood, California.
Villages of Delhi: Towards Inclusivity and Plurality in the Urbanizing Countryside Ranu Singh Advisor: Jim Wescoat; Reader: Marie Law Adams
As the idiom of urbanization driven by financialization of rural land is purported to bring development to rapidly developing contexts, the nature of the resulting urban realm, functionally, socially and ecologically dispute any concept of betterment. Delhi is a poster child of this kind of rural to urban conversion generating a sprawling megalopolis, which is increasingly fragmenting into islands of high-end gated residential enclaves or ghettoized villages. The resultant urban form is an archipelagic state that supports only certain types of urban citizenship, systematically removing and delegitimizing rural modes of existence and citizenship. Following the trend of urbanization of peripheral metropolitan areas, the thesis addresses the current wave of urbanization in the rural periphery of Delhi. This move will lead
to the conversion of 89 villages to urban areas, affecting about 30% of land in the National Capital Territory. As an alternative to the centralized, city-centered mode of urbanization for the rural belt, the thesis proposes an alternative framework of the network-territory that allows for urban exchanges while maintaining and transforming rural landscapes. This model of planning and design stems from the villages themselves, organized around the idea of village collectives that integrate social, ecological and economic values in the new developments in the countryside. Approaching the project at multiple scales, these village collectives would operate at the scale of districts in Delhi that plan and accommodate for new growth and sustain life forms of the village as well. The Urbanizing Countryside of Delhi. Credits: ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images, November 25, 2014.
Improving Human Visual Information Intake through Customized Lighting Controls Jiamin Sun Advisor: Christoph Reinhart; Reader: Joe Paradiso
Electronic surfaces have become increasingly common in daily life. When they bring benefits and convenience to people, human visual ability of reading text or images may be highly influenced. This thesis explored this problem through two phases. First, this research reviewed current studies towards this issue, and introduced new experiment method to quantitatively describe the difference between electronic surfaces and paper under natural light. According to the results of the experiment, the electronic surface can substantially decrease people’s visual ability to recognize details and color differences. Based on the perceptual test, in the second phase, the potential reasons and solutions were explored, including new lighting concept and intelligent lighting controls. With introduction of Ubiquitous Computing and Internet of Things, modern lighting control system no longer only allows users to digitally
turn on/off a specific light. The control becomes more intuitive and responsive. Thus, adaptive and context-aware lighting control system is one possible method to improve the user experience by collecting user’s experience, current weather data, environmental measures, etc, and adjusting the lighting levels accordingly. According to this background, we designed and implemented a control infrastructure and user interface which provide users with full control of different lighting networks, and can safely collect user’s personal data such as psychological perception, location, etc. Through multiple personal features, the system is able to decide the dominant features and map to an optimized lighting scene, maximize users’ total satisfaction and visual information intake. We are aiming to achieve an open source library which can support a more responsive and ambient environment.
Iconographies of Pain in Mahmoud Sabri’s Work Suheyla Takesh Advisor: Nasser Rabbat; Readers: Azra Akšamija, Nada Shabout
Out of Iraq’s most prominent modernist artists, Mahmoud Sabri was perhaps the most attuned to human suffering. Subjects of political martyrdom, social injustice, and the plight of the dispossessed permeate his work throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The period of Iraq’s rapid modernization and chaotic political transition from a monarchical regime to a republic in 1958, followed by a Ba’ath military coup in 1963, left the artist with no shortage of tragic events to reflect upon and respond to in his work. His Communist beliefs and a sensitivity to social and economic inequality guided his artistic vision, presenting the world through a lens of human pain caused by political repression. This thesis argues that Sabri’s practice in the 1950s and 1960s combined an abhorrence of discrimination with a constant desire to reach the people, especially the working-class, through his art. In light of this, his engagement with Iraqi heritage was not conceived around a formalist or a historicized line of inquiry, but around an exploration of the deep roots of
a national identity through popular practices and vernacular customs. As an active contributor to modernist experiments in Baghdad’s artistic milieu, Sabri drew from local traditions associated with the notion of martyrdom in the 1950s, which was bolstered by his turning to international iconographies of pain and oppression in the 1960s, to create realist images that condemned injustice exercised by the country’s ruling elite. A paradoxical figure in many ways, Sabri combined in his work an interest in the local and the universal, the religious and the secular, in Iraq’s past and its political present. Being both a man of the people and a member of the intelligentsia, an Iraqi and a long-time exile, an outspoken supporter of realism and a later convert to abstractionism, Sabri was no stranger to contradiction and internal conflict. What remained consistent in his early practice, however, was a political drive and a heightened sensitivity to the plight of the oppressed, which was layered with a belief that an answer to the predicaments of the disadvantaged could lie in Communism.
Above, Mahmoud Sabri, Grief (1960s). Image courtesy Christie’s Auction House. Right, Mahmoud Sabri, The Hero (1963). Image courtesy Barjeel Art Foundation.
Planning for Scarcity in Jordan Valley: In Defense of Environmental Flows in Arid Climates Sera Tolgay Advisor: Jim Wescoat; Readers: Eran Ben-Joseph, Anne Spirn, Lawrence Susskind
Scarcity is relative, as water resources can be mismanaged, shared inequitably and allocated asymmetrically. The Jordan River basin, a peri-urban regional corridor, is in a particularly water-stressed region with worldwide lows in per capita water availability that is projected to decrease further by 20% by 2050. Both the valleyâ€™s communities, especially smallholders, and fragile habitats of the watershed will be hard hit by the impact of a drying climate. The collapse of Jordan River, which has seen its flow reduced to a small fragment, and decline of the Dead Sea downstream are flagged as ecological disasters. However, beyond being merely a physical constraint or a supply issue, I argue that the problem of scarcity is also shaped by the politics of allocation. Through layers of geospatial data, from archival maps, surveys and remote sensing data, I show how the history of resettlement, water allocation and infrastructural development has produced some of the problems of arid zone decline in the valley today. The Regional NGO Master Plan, drafted by experts from Israel, Jor-
dan and Palestine, makes the case for the need to rehabilitate Jordan River by allocating 400 MCM, a third of pre-historic levels, as the required inflow for restoration. I argue, however, that restoring the river is much more than direct flows and should be defined to include critical ecosystems that affect the hydrological cycle of the entire basin, including buffer systems and conservation reserves that support local communities. As an addendum to this master plan, I argue that in the absence of reallocation mechanisms and regional design at the scale of the watershed, a roadmap to establishing common environmental flows is infeasible. Rather than offering a utopian vision for the rehabilitation of Jordan River, I develop six geospatial propositions as a defense of establishing environmental flows in contexts of scarcity. Map data source: UN-ESCWA and BGR (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; Bundesanstalt fĂźr Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe), 2013. Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia.
Architecture in an Unstable Territory Manuela Uribe Buitrago Advisors: Lorena Bello Gomez, Sheila Kennedy; Reader: Mark Jarzombek
This thesis argues that traditional architectural practices are insufficient to respond to the instabilities of rapid informal urbanization in Latin America. Traditional practice has mostly focused on designing objects. Informal territories need instead design practitioners able to embrace complex social agendas, environmental risks and the lack of infrastructure resulting from limited governmental investment. Under these circumstances, this thesis proposes four new design protocols: 1. Architects start by building trust and empathy with the community, 2. Architects’ responsibility extends beyond designing objects to designing systems, 3. Architects rethink the use of materials and get involved in their projects’ production process and 4. Architects acknowledge that design is by necessity incomplete. These protocols are tested in an informal settlement surrounded by swampland in Cartagena, Colombia, where I worked hand in hand with the community and a local foundation. From a deep understanding of the place, I designed a water-based mobility system. Its
design strategies consider: alternative sources of material such as plastic waste, 3D printing’s potential to facilitate local production, integration of different actors that will support the project and programs that enhance people’s livelihoods, while promoting ecological restoration. Acknowledging the incompleteness of design, the work speculates about possible “design hacks” or reinterpretations that result from the informal settlers’ agency. Ultimately, these design hacks can become catalysts for upgrading design and innovation. These new architectural protocols present a paradox. They expand architects’ agency by requiring them to assume additional responsibilities. At the same time, these protocols require architects to relinquish some of their traditional responsibility for full control over the design. Even if paradoxical, this new approach can motivate future forms of architectural pedagogy and practice that envision new tools and adjust methods and agency consistent with informal urbanization. Design system hacks: Hack 1, floating house; Hack 2, car engine-powered boat.
Pretty Gross: Aestheticized Abjection in Feminist Video Art, 1996-2009 Emily Watlington Advisors: Eugenie Brinkema, Kristel Smentek; Reader: Caroline Jones
This thesis looks at the work of three video artists—Pipilotti Rist, Marilyn Minter, and Mika Rottenberg—who all make work that is simultaneously mesmerizing and repulsive. While Immanuel Kant has argued that beauty and disgust are opposed, these works complicate this binary, as does my choice of the more minor terms “pretty” and “gross.” My weaker descriptors encapsulate the desensitization to seductive and disgusting imagery that, in the media-saturated context of the late 1990s/early 2000s, is the result of their pervasiveness and thus banality. These artists respond to abject feminist performance art of the 1960s and 70s, which some critics at the time worried attracted the male gaze though intending to avert it. Theorists of disgust, however, have long understood seduction as always already part of disgust, which the artists in “Pretty Gross” set out to tool strategi-
cally. They respond to representations of women as objects of fascination on screen by borrowing resources and formal devices from mass media used to seduce viewers and consumers, but training their lenses instead on traditionally disgusting imagery (from menstrual blood to saliva-coated caviar). Rendering the disgusting palatable, these artists have attracted massive popular audiences and revenue. Yet all have raised a number of ethical quandaries for their critics, who struggle to defend their attempts to reclaim representations of women’s bodies from an abusive history as successful. The widespread visibility and influence of their work makes this critical interrogation especially urgent. Ultimately, I argue that Rist, Minter, and Rottenberg reflect, rather than resolve, tensions between ethics and aesthetics, gender and image, as well as attraction and aversion. Mika Rottenberg, Cheese (2008) (production shot). Image courtesy Andrea Rosen, New York.
An Infrastructural Ecology for Lima Alexander Wiegering Advisor: Rafi Segal; Readers: Roi Salgueiro Barrio, Hashim Sarkis, James Wescoat
Lima is facing an infrastructural and water crisis. Its infrastructure has reached the limits of elasticity, capacity, and implementation. Its systems are ecologically challenging and are ecologically challenged. Born as a top-down system, they currently require too much investment from institutions in order to be governed and managed. We should rethink the conventional understanding of infrastructure as the hidden physical organizational structure of urban development, and favor a multi-scalar shared social approach to infrastructural production. The whole spectrum of infrastructure should be embraced: civic and social, ‘micro’ and ‘macro’, hard and soft. This thesis proposes to analyze the set of elements that can constitute a new ecology of infrastructural pieces, in order to foster a new form of development and solidification of the peripheral settlements in the city of Lima. Water and infrastructure need to become a mechanism for democratizing the urban form throughout the geography of Lima. The limitations to achieve the next generation of infrastructure in Lima are neither technical nor financial; they are spatial, social
and political. This thesis challenges conventional understandings of infrastructure by looking at it through the lens of ecology (which implies the study of the interaction between the elements of a system, beyond their independent development) and uses this lens to propose a new infrastructural system. First, it catalogs the infrastructural pieces at play, defines their relationships, and documents how infrastructure is implemented throughout the region. Second, it proposes new pieces and partnerships of this system that encourage negotiations, develops new and existing relationships, and define operations and rules oriented towards processes of urban solidification. These rules consist of physical, spatial and social interactions, moving energy, economy, and labor through the territory. These rules can mobilize dialogue between the built and unbuilt, objects and territories, organisms and environments. The goal of the thesis is to define a system capable of supporting and expanding itself while producing a legible project in the territory: an infrastructural ecology that enables different lifestyles, new interactions, and civic dialogue. Pieces of the Infrastructural Ecology
Rethink Streets: Urban Life with Autonomous Vehicles Daya Zhang Advisors: Rafi Segal, Jinhua Zhao; Reader: Anne Whiston Spirn
Historically, streets have served a range of functions, primarily those associated with traffic circulation and social interactions. However, in the 20th century, the street design became centered on traffic movement and maximum space for automobiles, while public lives were marginalized to narrow sidewalks. Contemporary planners and designers have actively sought solutions to rebalance the relationship between automobiles and people, but they have not taken advantages of 21st-century technology. This thesis offers a solution to revitalize streets by introducing autonomous vehicles. First, I present a new design paradigm based on a three-prong approach: 1) redesign of pedestrian surfaces, to allow them to function as a continuous public living room; 2) inclusion of shared
surfaces for pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles at different times of day; and (3) inclusion of efficient surfaces that provide dedicated spaces for shared vehicles and cyclists to connect nodes and neighborhoods. However, another feature of this thesis is a new approach to the design of these autonomous vehicles that combines the selfdriving technology of autonomous vehicles with new robotic features that tell vehicles when to reduce speed to share surfaces with pedestrians, and when to resume speed on dedicated surfaces. Using South Boston Waterfront as a case study, I show that cities do not have to remain under the dominance of automobiles; and that urban life can gain new spatial integrity that serves the needs of people and, at the same time, responds to the realities of urban mobility.
Advisors & Readers: Cherie Abbanat Marie Law Adams Azra Akšamija Sai Balakrishnan Roi Salguiero Barrio Lorena Bello Eran Ben-Joseph Eugenie Brinkema Angelo Bucci Katarina Burin Rania Ghosn Leon Glicksman Mark Goulthorpe Mary Hale Timothy Hyde Mariana Ibañez Mark Jarzombek Caroline Jones Sheila Kennedy Terry Knight Jennifer Light Ceasar McDowell Caitlin Mueller Stefanie Mueller Takehiko Nagakura Leslie Norford
William O’Brien Jr. John Ochsendorf Joe Paradiso Tobias Putrih Nasser Rabbat Christoph Reinhart Jessica Rosenkrantz Adèle Naudé Santos Hashim Sarkis Rafi Segal Nada Shabout Kristel Smentek Anne Whiston Spirn George Stiny Daliana Suryawinata Lawrence Susskind Skylar Tibbits Peter del Tredici Gregory Ulmer William Uricchio Lisa Pratt Ward James Wescoat Patrick Winston Andrew Witt Maria Yang Jinhua Zhao
Special Thanks 2018 Thesis Students, Faculty & Critics Kathaleen Brearley Renee Caso Irina Chernyakova Eduardo Gonzalez Jim Harrington Lisa Hersh Duncan Kincaid Terry Knight
Inala Locke Tonya Miller Jesica Dunaway Nishibun Les Norford William O’Brien Jr. Andreea O’Connell Paul Pettigrew Kathleen Ross Andrew Scott Cynthia Stewart J. Meejin Yoon
— Bachelor of Science in Architecture Studies (BSAS)
— Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS)
Abigail Anderson Design for Infectious Disease Control in the Developing World: The Power of Natural Ventilation
Diana Ang The Slow Zone: Designing Alternative Paths for the Future of North Bali
June Kim Designing a Folding Fan-shaped Actuated Adaptive Facade System for Fine-grain Daylight Control
Ty Austin Computation and ‘Makivism’ Design
Jenny Liu Inclusive: A Human-Centered Approach to Accessible Architectural Design Kate Weishar Making Space: Pedagogical Interventions to Foster Equity in Introductory Maker Education
Maroula Bacharidou Active Prototyping: A Computational Framework for Designing while Making Giovanni Bellotti Between Birds and Humans: The Design of the Encounter
Jonah Marrs Exploring the Technics of Computer Representation: Three ‘Prepared’ Instruments for Plotting, Meshing and Rendering Wenzhe Peng Machines’ Perception of Space Shane Reiner-Roth Tropical Islands; or, How the Architectural Interior Became a Primary Site of Aesthetic Mediation Angelos Siampakoulis Beyond the Kitchen: Strategies for Overcoming L.A.’s 194X-196X Sitcom–Suburban Domesticity
— Master of Architecture (MArch)
Andrew Brose Peripheral Timber: Applications for Waste Wood Material in Extreme Climates and Earthquake Risk Regions
Nicole Ashurian Bodyscapes: Body to Body, Body to City, Body to Self
Zachary Cohen Hold Up: Machine Delay in Architectural Design
Jiamin Sun Improving Human Visual Information Intake through Customized Lighting Controls
Sophia Chesrow Second Skin: An Antithesis to Hermetic Architecture
Iris Giannakopoulou Forward-Backward: The Odyssey as a Design Interface
Suheyla Takesh Iconographies of Pain in Mahmoud Sabri’s Work
Jason Minor Potential Architecture
Kathleen Hajash Robots Building Together: Learning to Collaborate
Sera Tolgay Planning for Scarcity in Jordan Valley: In Defense of Environmental Flows in Arid Climates
Sam Schneider The Ecology of Truth — Master of Science in Building Technology (SMBT) Yijiang Huang Automated Motion Planning for Robotic Assembly of Discrete Architectural Structures Johnathan Kongoletos Implementation and Evaluation of Thermal Avoidance Strategies in Arid, Cost-Constrained Climates Aimed at Improving Indoor Thermal Comfort: A Case Study in Bhuj, India
Monica Hutton Last Chance Sites: Crossing Industrial and Ecological Cycles Justin Lim The New Village for the People of the North: Relocation Strategy for Alaskan Native Villages Chang Liu PanoFrame: A Crowdsourcing Platform for Making and Editing Multi-perspective Narratives with Panoramic Video Yi Liu A Micro Active Network after Massive Urban Expansion Eytan Mann Gaming and the Simulation of History: Constructing Perspectives of Machu Picchu
Ranu Singh Villages of Delhi: Towards Inclusivity and Plurality in the Urbanizing Countryside
Manuela Uribe Architecture in an Unstable Territory Emily Watlington Pretty Gross: Aestheticized Abjection in Feminist Video Art, 1996-2009 Alexander Wiegering An Infrastructural Ecology for Lima Daya Zhang Rethink Streets: Urban Life with Autonomous Vehicles
May 18, 2018 BSA, MArch, SMArchS, SMBT Thesis Projects