Accessible Architecture: Intervention in the Cycle of Homeless Youth With Substance Abuse Disorder
Through the analysis and synthesis of homeless facilities, programs, services, and financial reports, along with the experiences of unaccompanied homeless youth, ages 12-24, who struggle with substance abuse, a cycle of homelessness is developed. Temporary, dispersed, and accessible architecture can intervene within the cycle of homelessness to limit the large amounts of youth that are homeless while providing qualitative care. This project identifies the significance of maintaining existing support systems and family infrastructure defined by the homeless communities and recognizes the existing facilities and services available while considering the experiences, basic necessities, and support systems of homeless youth. The development of a campus, consisting of architecture and programs that can meet the needs of homeless youth struggling with substance abuse, such as access to mental and physical health facilities, housing for groups, and education and community integration centers, is defined by interviews with homeless youth and narrative-based research. By providing a multitude of mobile, temporary, and static facilities dispersed throughout the city, homeless youth gain more access to health services, housing, education, business practices, and community preservation and integration. The comparison of the campus to existing practices allows for the ability to determine how successful the project will be based on the amount of qualitative and quantitative care that can be provided within the determined accessible region and within the designated financial amount.
Infrastructure for Humans: Repairing Urban Fabrics with a Flexible, Dual-Purpose Architecture
The United States interstate highway system is an incredible feat of urban planning, engineering, and common direction of movement within the federal government. By the 1960s this highway system spanned the entire continental United States, implemented using an awesome amount of resources and labor. This same highway system was also a vehicle for the continuation of 20th century segregation practices, veiled as beneficial United States infrastructure. These highways were utilized as a means of physical segregation, ripping through urban neighborhoods, facilitating “white flight”, and creating impassable physical barriers within urban centers. An act of redlining under the guise of federally sponsored infrastructure. Today, the spaces adjacent to these highways re still reeling from the effects of their installation in the late 1950s and 60s. To this day urban fabrics remain torn and noise polluted neighborhoods slowly retreat from highway edges, leaving only vacant lots and disinvestment behind.
Due to the massive spatial investment required by these highways, there exists countless miles of byproduct land in the form of easements, embankments, walls, and berms flanking nearly every single mile of American highways. In urban applications, these throwaway lots can be reclaimed and used to repair the fabrics once disrupted by the highways. By utilizing the leftover space created from the installation of urban highways, a flexible architecture-as-infrastructure can be installed to create bespoke edge conditions and begin to repair social, urban, and economic fabrics of negatively affected highway-adjacent spaces. Current legislation provides a catalyst to begin truly examining the effects of the urban highway and how it can be harmful to both human and urban health. A humanist architecture built to manage the highway conditions should also be able to more meaningfully benefit its opposite constituencies, providing a universal tactic for beneficial change that is mountable wherever highways run.
Accessible Long Spans: Pairing Current Analysis Software with Common Resources to Create Monumental Architecture with Developing Communities
Historically long spans have been linked to power and wealth. Developing countries, through technologies and research, have had access to larger scale and more complex architecture whereas areas of the world are left to discover through accessible means. Architects throughout history and today dedicate a portion of their services to supporting the needs of the community, but can they bring balance to this separation of resources? The technology to bridge the gap between simple tools, repeated operations, common materials, and complex geometry in the form of long span architecture is at reach. Using local means of construction, the common, accessible material is paper tubes. A form as well as a process of building can be established, repeated, and adapted as a leave behind building strategy. The intent is not to create a new type of form or to discover a new quadratic equation but to better establish the connection between the complex and the simple. The analysis and proof of form comes through advanced computer aided technologies and software. Markets are a critical factor for the economies in developing countries, and from precedent research, will benefit from accessible long spans achieved through this analysis. Several of the countries of Africa have the largest projected population growth in the world with Markets critical to their growth. The architect is not designing the exact form but is more of an influence on how the community can implement their strategies over time with accessible resources. Within the communities the architecture has to be adopted, and then sound structures must be implement with common materials to then be adapted by the people. As the economy grows, so will the implementation strategies. Using paraboloid geometry, simple tools, repeated operations, and common materials, the architect can create accessible, non-invasive long spans that can be adapted and developed to define current and future trading points in developing communities.
Performative Biomimicry: Discovering New Design Approaches for Desert Environments
Humanity is not acting as a symbiotic part of earth's ecology. Since the industrial age, humans have settled on a linear, wasteful cycle of using resources. These unsustainable practices have disrupted the earth’s natural order and caused imbalances within its ecosystems such as climate change, extreme weather events, and natural resource depletion which threaten the longevity of a healthy planet.
Architects have a responsibility to adapt their design thinking for the well being of the people and places affected by these imbalances. An effective way to realize this is to provide closed-loop, adaptive, and regenerative design responses that aid in reversing the damage humans have inflicted on the planet.
Fortunately architects have an invaluable precedent to better understand how to solve these functional problems: biology. The earth has had 3.8 billion years of evolution to create closed-loop, regenerative biological systems even within the harshest planetary conditions. The practice of taking a design challenge and then finding an ecosystem that has already solved the challenge and emulating its behaviors and function is called performative biomimicry. This thesis posits that through the implementation of performative biomimicry, architects can design adaptive and regenerative ecosystems within increasingly harsh environments.
To investigate this hypothesis, the thesis tests the role that performative biomimicry could play in aiding architectural design within the harsh African Sahel region, the location most threatened by desertification due to increasing global temperatures. Exploring the reversal of desertification towards the return of a lush, restorative ecosystem via biomimetic principles is a key outcome of the exploration.
Architectura Insectum Sapien: Crafting a Framework to Establish a New Architecture That Considers Mutualistic Relationships Between Humans and Insects
In modern times, insects are viewed as pests. Due to this resistant relationship, we have established a built environment that pushes insects aside. This has helped to create a steady decline in the insect population, leading to resource shortages, changes in the environment, and the extinction of species.
This decline in insect population is frightful because insects make up 2⁄3 of all known species, and are vital to the health of humans and the planet. Architects are able to make a change because we are the designers of the built environment. By continuing to study insect and human architecture, we can then begin to design a new type of architecture that encourages positive interactions between humans and insects. Creating positive interactions between species will aid in creating a mutualistic relationship; this relationship will then help in the awareness and protection of all species, which will result in the improvement of the health of humans, insects, and the planet.
A framework will be established that creates mutually beneficial spaces that can be integrated to any preexisting structure.This redesign will then be evaluated by a classification system that will place the architecture on a spectrum from the original design to the most mutualistic design possible. This framework will ultimately improve our relationship with insects and provide us with a tool to measure our relationship, which could lead to change. Although any city could have been selected for the comparative study, the first project will be located in Sacramento - a city with an ideal location to investigate this concern. It is an inland city with a growing population of humans; but also located in the state with the highest number of endangered insect species, while also providing the country with most of its fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The health of humans, insects and the planet will improve when an architectural framework is established that will create a mutualistic relationship between humans and insects.
Eco social Resilience: Adaptable Architecture Designed to be Reduced, Reused, and Recycled
Historically and currently, buildings are demolished with little to no consideration of life cycles and the waste they produce. Consequently, housing shortage problems are rising and creating unavoidable issues like the demand in resources and built environments. Many architects and engineers have used prefabrication and modular systems in architectural projects as solutions and to demonstrate best practices. However, there is still an absence of architects failing to design for the life cycle, and deconstruction of buildings. This thesis investigation explores how one can design adaptive structures to revert from a linear economy approach, to a circular economy approach within architecture?
To answer this question, this thesis will investigate the use of prefabrication, modular construction, and adaptive housing designs, to address the increasing demands for multi-use, and re-usable structures, and ultimately achieve a circular economy within architecture. The investigation utilizes Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), to prove whether architectural components can achieve a circular economy. The prototype aims to illustrate adaptation over time and increased life span, by reusing and down cycling material, as well as building upon existing conditions. Ultimately, a circular economy within architecture is accomplished by avoiding demolition and construction waste, and contributing less to CO2 emissions.
Discovering an Architectural Metaverse: A Vessel for Emerging Digital Life Forms
Using an ideology of architecture serving as a vessel, a digital simulation of the world can ultimately lead to the discovery of emerging omnipresent, intelligent digital life forms. This is explored within architecture by redefining the relationship between architecture’s substrata: Agent (occupant), Act (activity), and Field (Space).
The Agent - the occupant within the Field (currently described as human), Act - the activity performed by the occupant, and the Field - the space where the Agent does the Act, are substrata for the architect to design. The relationship between these three can be investigated to consider architecture as a network of Agents, Acts, and Fields. Within this architectural network, a vessel for emerging digital life forms can be discovered.
Vertical Folded Plate: Simulated Architecture with Mass Timber and Faceted Space
Vertical Folded Plate is a historical and technological exploration of folded plate design pushed to its limits. Since 1950s folded plate design and modern mass timber innovation, the collision of these two disciplines reveals scarcely known social and ecological benefits that each would otherwise not reveal on their own. A new design approach to multi-story design can expand on the proven benefits of mass timber as a renewable material. To prototype the synthesis of a space created by folded mass timber plates, the vertical span of a series of humanly occupied, faceted spaces was structurally analyzed to test both precedent and exploratory forms in order to achieve spatially-inspiring spaces.
The study traces folded plate design from Sergio Musmeci’s approaches in concrete architecture to Chris Robeller’s synthesis of precision routed, integrated joinery. The modern combination calls for a modern visual analysis method. In this study, spaces created with folded plate were analyzed using structural finite element analysis (FEA) to visually represent how folded geometry supports both physical and social forces. Prototyped on a site as context for an architectural work, the approach serves as a catalyst for future innovation in material and form. A comparative study was performed on a non-timber-based structure and revealed sequestered carbon benefits, spatial impacts and structural methodologies. The design of a vertical folded plate-inspired space charts a new expectation for sustainability and tech-driven architecture.
Pioneering Extra-legal Settlements Through Interventional Design
Extra-legal settlement communities have long existed and will continue to exist and grow exponentially as part of the world's inhabited landscape. By definition, these settlements are realized into places without plan and without legality of land ownership. Unfortunately, marginalization of these communities continues to widen, not due to a lack of desire or ability to improve connectivity, partnership and healthy co-existence, but rather from an infrastructural framework that does not support the fundamental nature and behaviors of the extra-legal. In order for any defined infrastructure to work with an extra-legal settlement, it has to tap into the inherent resiliency of that settlement. Government leaders and design professionals must institute a new approach and new solutions that recognize, honor and engage the inherent resiliency of the extra-legal settlement. Understanding habitual patterns and social instances will help create a structure that is not driven by first world dilemmas but one that applies solutions connected to the value systems that already exist in the community. Incremental instances of solutions may, in fact, require a phase-to-phase implementation, one that will build out of the inherent resiliency of the extra-legal community. Any viable solution will be required to integrate “new” ideas with the lived experiences of the people and establish parameters for shared use of resources, creating new social opportunities that do not diminish the significance of old ones. This study will focus on those things within the extra-legal community patterns of behavior that must be celebrated, salvaged, and utilized optimally in order to make any plan for incorporation viable and appropriate. This discussion will consider the history of the extra-legal settlements and through that as its basis, introduce interventive architectural and infrastructure practices that can encourage spaces that support existing lifestyles of extra-legal while also improving, elevating, and sustaining it.