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2009 architecture thesis review

2009 architecture thesis review

April 29 + 30 @ Liberty Lofts, Ann Arbor, 9:00 til 6:00

Invited Critics
Mike Ferguson Jerry Herron Nina Hofer Keith Kaseman Reed Kroloff Nana Last Raymund Ryan Peter Waldman Kathy Velikov

Mike Ferguson
Los Angeles, California

Michael Ferguson is a founder and principal of Space International Inc., an award winning architectural practice dedicated to producing quality, perceptive designs in a rapidly evolving and expanding culture. Since its inception in 1998, the goals of Space International have been to heighten the experiences of the physical realm through the specialized realization of built works of architecture, landscape and interior environments. Mr. Ferguson is a licensed architect in the state of California and is dedicated to promoting the discourse of architecture in both professional and academic settings. He has been a graduate design instructor at the Southern California Institute for Architecture (1996-2005) and served as Vice President on the board of directors for The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urbanism (2000-2002). Prior to establishing Space International Inc., Michael was a founding member and collaborator of the HEDGE design collective, a multidisciplinary design laboratory and incubator (1995-2000). Michael has also taught design studio at OTIS College of Art and Design (2000), and has served as a visiting critic at all Los Angeles area institutions as well as the University of British Columbia and University of Toronto.

Jerry Herron
Detroit, Michigan

Jerry Herron is Professor of English and American Studies and Founding Dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University. His publications include two books, Universities and the Myth of Cultural Decline, and AfterCulture: Detroit and the Humiliation of History. His essays and critical articles have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Raritan, Social Text, Representations, Georgia Review, Antioch Review, and Harpers. He has also written for the London Times Higher Education Supplement, Detroit News, Hour Detroit, the MetroTimes, and Playboy,. He is currently finishing a book about Americans sense of the past: Not From Detroit: An All-Purpose Guide to American Forgetting. Herron was born in Abilene, Texas; he received his BA (with high honors) at the University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He holds MA and PhD degrees from Indiana University.

Nina Hofer
Gainesville, Florida / Montreal, Quebec

I have taught architectural studio since 1989 at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and am currently also working on a PhD at McGill in Montreal. My primary interest lies in the relationship between design process and the development of architectural program. This project links the academic world with the world of practice, and focuses on teaching methods, both in the classroom and at the level of curriculum. I have explored the development of curricula from a constructivist point of view, in education at every level; within my home institution I coordinate the Architectural Pedagogy Practicum. My teaching practices in both studio and drawing courses focus on phenomenological aspects of architecture, using empirical imagination as a design tool and exploring narrative tropes as architectural resonators. My current research, both scholarly and artistic, looks at Gestural languages and Spatial Syntax with a focus on linguistics and 18th c. architectural vehicles of architectural meaning.


Keith Kaseman
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Keith Kaseman received a BSD in Architecture from Arizona State University in1995 and a Master of Architecture from Columbia Universitys GSAPP in 2001. From 2001 to 2003, Keith worked as a designer / project-manager at SHoP Architects in New York. In June 2003, Keith and his partner, Julie Beckman, fully launched Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies (KBAS) upon having their scheme selected as the winning proposal in the Pentagon Memorial Design Competition. In 2006 KBAS was selected for the Architecture League of New Yorks Young Architect Award. Keith is currently a visiting lecturer in the University of Pennsylvanias Department of Landscape Architecture, and an adjunct associate professor of architecture at Columbia Universitys GSAPP. KBAS operates under the premise that, at its best, Architecture stands as a declaration of collaborative intelligence and exerts a positive force in the world. In this light, KBAS develops advanced strategies to further contribute to the design of our cultural fabric and beyond. KBAS is based in Philadelphia, PA.


Reed Kroloff
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Reed Kroloff is the Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and an independent architectural consultant and commentator. Mr. Kroloff was Dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans, Louisiana from Fall, 2004 through Spring, 2007. He arrived at Tulane just before Hurricane Katrina and helped lead the School to recovery and prominence in the post-storm environment, including raising a record $3 million in gifts and research grants; retaining 97% of the Schools students and 100% of its faculty after the storm; and playing a significant role in citywide planning and rebuilding efforts. The recipient of the American Academy in Romes 2003 Rome Prize Fellowship, Mr. Kroloff previously served as the Editor-inChief of Architecture magazine. Under his direction, Architecture received more awards for editorial and design excellence than any magazine of its type, and quickly became the leading design publication in the nation. His writing has appeared in many other magazines and newspapers as well, ranging from Metropolis to Artforum, and he has been profiled by publications such as the New York Times.

Nana Last
Houston, Texas

Nana Last is Associate Professor in Practice at Rice University, School of Architecture, where she teaches graduate courses in Architecture Theory and Design. She received a Ph. D. in Architecture and Art: History, Theory and Criticism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters degree in Architecture from Harvard University, and a BA in Philosophy and Art Criticism from Carnegie-Mellon University. She has published essays in journals including: Any, Assemblage, Harvard Design Magazine, Thresholds, Praxis and Art Journal. Her work is published in anthologies including Theory in Contemporary Art since 1985. Her books include: Wittgensteins House: Language, Space and Architecture (Fordham University Press, 2008) and the co-written/co-curated exhibition catalog: Paradox and Practice: Architecture in the Wake of Conceptualism (University of California, Irvine, 2007). She has received a Getty Library Research Grant, an Arthur W. Wheelwright Fellowship and a Graham Foundation Grant. She is currently completing a manuscript entitled: When Art Meets Architecture.


Raymund Ryan
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Raymund Ryan is Curator at the Heinz Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh where his current exhibition is on the work of young Mexican architect Fernando Romero. Previous exhibitions include Pittsburgh Platforms (Summer 2003), Michael Maltzan: Alternate Ground (Spring 2005), Frank Lloyd Wright: Renewing the Legacy (Autumn 2005), Connections: The West End Bridge Competition (Autumn 2006), and Gritty Brits: New London Architecture (Spring 2007). A graduate of UCD (University College Dublin) and Yale School of Architecture, Ryan taught at UCD from 1993 to 2003. He is a frequent contributor to The Architectural Review, Architecture Ireland, Blueprint, The Plan and several other publications. First Irish Commissioner for the Venice Architecture Biennale (2000; 2002), he is the author of Building Tate Modern (2000, with Rowan Moore) and Cool Construction (2001) as well as catalogues for the Maltzan and London exhibitions.


Kathy Velikov
Toronto, Canada

Kathy Velikov is an architect, partner in the Toronto-based practice RVTR and Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, where she teaches design studio, advanced design research and theory. She is also chair of the Canada Green Building Councils Academic Committee. In 2008 she and partner Geoffrey Thun were selected as a Young Architects Forum award winners and Kathy was the 2006/07 Oberdick Fellow at the University of Michigan. Kathys work and research focuses on complex ecological, economic, and social structures and processes and built environments that are shaped by advanced technologies and material assemblies. Her current work is focused on high performance residential systems and environments as well as large-scale urban infrastructures, currently focused in the Great Lakes Megaregion. Her work has recently been published in Princeton Architectural Press, MIT Press and the Journal of Architectural Education.


Peter Waldman
Charlottesville, Virginia

Peter Waldman is rumored to have quarried mica ever since his early childhood explorations of the wilderness of New York City more than half a century ago. He studied architecture from 1961-69, first at Princeton University, and later as a Peace Corps volunteer in Arequipa, Peru. He served his apprenticeship in the studios of Richard Meier briefly and more substantially with Michael Graves. Since the 1970s, he has been an architect and educator teaching first at Princeton, then at Rice University and currently at the University of Virginia, where he is now firmly grounded in the Piedmont condition. His extensive residential practice has been concerned with the Climatic House constructed according to Specifications for Construction executed by Nomads, Surveyors and Lunatics. His fables of the Gardener and the Engineer manifest his profound respect for the spirit and resources of the renewable American urban condition. Published internationally in Global Architecture, Area, Architecture and recently the Yale Perspecta, Waldman is winner of several Progressive Architecture design citations, Urban Design Competitions, and New Jersey AIA Design Awards. Waldman received the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award in 1996. In 2000 as an Architecture Fellow at the American Academy, his work focused on the Villa Aurelia as Construction Site, where it is still rumored that he has discovered mirrors for the moon in the mica mines of this ancient oasis some call Rome.


Architecture Faculty
Robert Adams, Mashwanta Armstrong, Joshua Bard, Craig Borum, Tom Buresh, Steven Christensen, Caroline Constant, Karl Daubmann, G. Britt Eversole, Michael Ezban, Robert Fishman, Nataly Gattegno, Harry Giles, Dawn Gilpin, Will Glover, Lars Grbner, Linda Groat, Danelle Guthrie, Melissa Harris, Andrew Herscher, Eric Hill, Shaun Jackson, Jason Johnson, Coleman Jordan, Mick Kennedy, Jong-Jin Kim, Amy Kulper, Perry Kulper, Fernando Lara, Steven Mankouche, Kit McCullough, Malcolm McCullough, Wesley McGee, Keith Mitnick, Moji Navvab, Tsz Yan Ng, Cynthia Pachikara, Tony Patterson, Monica Ponce de Leon, Sophia Psarra, Mary-Ann Ray, Neal Robinson, Mireille Roddier, Joel Schmidt, Anatole Senkevitch, Anya Sirota, Lydia Soo, Roy Strickland, Anca Trandafirescu, Christian Unverzagt, Peter von Blow, Fei Wang, Glenn Wilcox, Craig Wilkins, Jean Wineman, Jason Young, Claire Zimmerman Visiting faculty in 2008-2009: Robert Beckley, Michael Bell, David Erdman and Clover Lee, Julia Czerniak and Mark Linder, Marc Fornes and Dave Pigram, Casey Jones and Mojdeh Baratloo, Roger Sherman, Mitchell Squire, Geoffrey Thn

Thesis Advisors
Tom Buresh Craig Borum Dawn Gilpin Danelle Guthrie Perry Kulper Keith Mitnick Neal Robinson Jason Young


2009_Thesis Students
Zain Abuseir John Alexa, Charles Alwakeel Ryan Arnold John Beck Sara Blumenstein Andrew Bodley Kendal Bowman Courtney Brinegar Jin Chen Emily Corbett Jennifer Cramer Jason Dembski Kevin Deng Kamana Dhakhwa Kristen Dotson Agnieszka Drelich Thomas Drew Matthew Ducharme-Smith Holly Ferguson Justin Fogle Benjamin Foster Laura Beth Gonzales Sean Goodemote Brittany Guercio Loren Halter Emmett Harrison Helen Ross Hoekstra Ryan Horsman Sean Houghton Killion, Stephen C. Julie Kim Mika Larrison Winna Lee Christie Lee Michael Lindstrom Sen Liu Chuck Long Mary Lopez Patrick Lynch Michael Malvitz Mary Martin Paolo Mastrogiacomo Megan McBride A. Scottie McDaniel Juan Mercado Jennifer Minnow Morello, Rebecca S. Reiji Moroshima Diane Moseley Samuel Oh Amanda Olczak Kyle Osterhart Chigozie Amarachi Ozor Jaehyung Park Justin Petersen Tom Prabowo Colin Richardson Dongjun Seo Heon Seo Claire Sheridan Sarah Sobel Chi Song Tyson Stevens Matthew D.Stowe Tim Szal Javian Tang Sandra C Tanner Erin Taubitz Richard Tursky Nate Umstead Ivelisse Ruiz Upward Tiffany Wang Jennifer Williams Francis Wilmore Bethany Wilson Jamie Witherspoon Yukun Xu


Zain W. AbuSeir
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

My interest for this thesis project is producing a book that is a collection of work that investigates the use of architectural representation to anatomize a politically charged site and explore the potential impact that various types of processed/ filtered/formatted information may have on the ground realities of those settings. The conditions of Somalia serve as a basis for analysis due to the liquid quality of its boundary, complex organizational structure, and lack of action and attention in relation to the rapid deterioration of the situation. The work explores the agency of information taking shape from architectural conventions, modes of analysis, and conceptual theorization. The line, the image, the text, and the mappings are tools working collectively and individually to communicate and reassess existing conditions. The book thereby expands the conversation to include existing effects of public policy, address the humanitarian crisis, and project future options, solutions and conditions.


John Alexa
Retained Beauty up keeping the hollywood image
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

The Hollywood image is a game of constant maintenance always in competition with appearance. It seeks to exploit the look by any means necessary. While the look is only seen momentarily be a quick photograph or a short interview; the maintenance behind it is complex, painstaking, time consuming, and requires many to care for the image. Retaining Beauty looks into preserving the Hollywood image through its topologies and topography. Moments of shock and awe, though not lengthy, relish that which is only temporary. The state in which both topology and topography merge, producing a moment where length of maintenance is overlooked by value of appearance.


Charles Alwakeel
Fragments and Process
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson This thesis begins as a reaction to the depersonalization of the architectural design process and its resultant output. It is a study of authorial proximity and distance as it relates to architectural production. It defines authorial distancing as the tendency for the creation of works that prioritize external expectations over the role of the author. Distant works prioritize problematization, environmental parametrics and forms of rhetoric that rarely acknowledge the personal choice as a source of the process. Proximate works stand at the opposite end of the spectrum. A proximate work centers its process and rhetoric upon the role of the designer. These works are rarely subjugated to issues of site, rationality or for that matter, external expectations. This thesis closely examines design methodologies that question the role of author; Automatic practices, parametrics, sampling, etc. Through the use of these methods, the thesis seeks to create an architectural design process that achieves various levels of proximity and distance through the use of deterministic processes.

Ryan Arnold
Defusing Densiphobia
Danelle Guthrie [advisor] Tom Buresh

In a city where greater development density would play a key role in adding convenience, mobility and vitality to the community and in saving outlying natural and agricultural lands from wasteful annexation to urban sprawl established residents of downtown-adjacent districts reflexively and vigorously oppose proposed projects, perceiving them as a threat to the traditional charm of their neighborhood. Operating at a nexus between downtown and blocks of detached houses, Defusing Densiphobia advances a high-density mixed-use building consistent with the character of adjoining streets. The objective surpasses mere visual appearance, targeting an immersive experience so longtime neighbors of the site can feel comfortable strolling through the buildings public spaces, not merely tolerating the result but embracing it as an extension of their own neighborhood, one harmonious community.


John D. Beck
Orpheus. Eurydice. Hermes. Mimetic Transformations of Ground
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young ORPHEUS Longing locates the three assemblies, each multiplying the significance of the other. The shape of longing, two entities separated in space, implies the third, absence. This space between paradoxically holds both transformation and eradication. EURYDICE Mimetics classically invoked the telos of art as an expression of the appearance or na-ture of things. Martin Heidegger, in dialogue with but in opposition to the Greeks, situ-ates the mimetic as a consummation of the quintessentially human desire to see our-selves made complete in the structure of the world. HERMES Distance is the consequence of boundaries. Such boundaries exist in Platonic thinking, which posits everything on earth as a version of its pure form, as something that, being flawed or incomplete, lacks. This work seizes lack, the flaw, and makes it the premise.


Sara Blumenstein
Fata Morgana: On the Vicarious and the Vanished
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

This thesis investigates the collision of physical and discursive spaces created through the articulation of the distance between an observer, what is observed, and the instruments of observation. The work questions the authenticity of representation as a mediating device through its particular framing of the work within the Cabinet and the aesthetic distance (which is to say immediacy) that the Cabinet establishes. It subverts the real unreality, the absent presence of Barthes photograph. The Theater frames the narrative of the Play; its representations are in turn framed by the Cabinet. Because the Cabinets representations, like all representations, are fragmentary, its viscera are analogically re-ordered through the circumambulation of the body, which unfolds the Cabinet.


Andrew Bodley
The Inefficiency of Serialization: Re-making Digital Details + Material Information
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

I am interested in representing the language of digital construction through the making and exposing of inefficiencies. I feel it is these inefficiencies that would be part of the individualized (or non-standard) product that becomes a design resultant of the machine itself. At this level, a question of authorship arises. This questioning also arises at the level of human error or misinterpretation of information during construction (on-site). Therefore, reducing the original role of architect. The same comparison could be made with regard to digital machine production. The digital file is (the majority of the time) not the same as the final product. At this stage, each product then becomes individual in its material perception. It is this translation that occurs between digital information and materiality that I am looking to use as a criticism of standardized production in architecture.


Kendal Bowman aka

nostalgic fresh
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borim

What would an architecture that is influenced by the descriptive depictions of a hip hop artists environment look like? How could they be improved to give an informal act, such as rapping and making music, a formal space? Through the built form, this thesis will take the informal and give it not only a formal space that responds to both the surrounding environment and the inhabitants of that environment but also brings the outside inside to create a city within a building. Nostalgic Fresh thrives on interactions amongst individuals that may not cross paths usually. These interactions, whether indeterminate, lively, catastrophic, or unintentional will allow for the creation of new experiences in which one can describe/ express through the use of this building.


Courtney Brinegar
Con( tested + junction )
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

A common mistake made in the architectural discipline, and supported by the general public, is favoritism for modernization that leaves our built environment placeless. What is often overlooked is how contextualized work can empower itself by integrating modern, mechanized know-how with regional, cultural practices. Brownsville, Texas serves as a testing ground in a sector where the newly constructed border fence trails into the US a half-mile from the actual Mexican borderthus creating a no-mans land. A new development arises as interventions are made to generate public participation in an effort to manifest a genuine architectural typology derived from the regions bipolar condition. Through design, the escalating tensions caused by fear tactics and ignorance can be confronted in a setting where opportunity is allotted for the two cultures of varying levels of modernization to overlap in order to expose, inform, and unify each other in a constructive manner.


Jin Chen
just add water starting from materiality
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Materiality is dead. The powerful fabrication capabilities of computer-controlled equipment shadow the necessity of its study; and the seductive computer presentation renders its discussion obsolete. Along with smooth, polished surfaces and prismy graphics, is the lost of material sensitivity, the possibility of making, and the ability of realization/actualization. JUST ADD WATER seeks to start the design from the play with material (basswood); hand was first engaged as critical materiality sensor at a basic level by considering the possible two-dimension of cutting and assembling, materials abilities to bend, fold, twist, crumple and tear are tested; then it acquires a new dimension through the augmented digifab techniques which is based on previous studies. It is a call for material attention; it is a marriage of common materials properties and digital fabrication technology that leads to creative results within a confined environment.


Emily Corbett
between life and death: the cut as medium of presence and absence
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

The cut is the indistinguishable contour dividing the established ground and that which is removed from it. The incised boundary both differentiates and unites the remaining and the subtraction. This line of meeting between mutually defining elements particularly resonates with the program, space and associations of the funeral home: intimate/ public, familiar/ unknown, reflection/ projection, clarity/ obscurity, temporal/ eternal. This project operates through subtractive interventions into an existing funeral home to redefine the programmatic spaces and the circulation. Special attention is paid to the perceived division between pairs of reciprocal elements, which becomes subjective relative to each of the primary perspectives of use: the mourner, the employee and the body.The cut then becomes the imperceivable moment of slipping between projected reads of oppositions.


Jennifer Cramer
Danelle Guthrie [advisor] Tom Buresh

The house has become static, unable to join in the fast paced movement and change of our world. What if the house became mobile - freed of its bindings and liberated from place. Through the activation of the walls and structure which define its form a new house can emerge based on an idea of reassembly and reuse. Injected with the purpose of utility the structure can be removed or disconnected from the site on which it stands, facilitating self sustenance as it moves with the inhabitant through life. By challenging the purpose of the structural framework of the house and combining it with sustainable systems which are needed for living, a transitional and flexible space of habitation can be formed. A space which is freed of the infrastructure of the site and able to be packed, transported, and reassembled at will.


Jason Dembski
Ephemeral Constructs: From Individual Enclosure to Spontaneous Event
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

This project is interested in investigating part-to-whole relationships by means of deployable and elastic components. Where typically a part is seen simply as a piece of the whole, this project envisions a part as something which can function independent of the whole, as an occupiable, autonomous object. Parallel to the part-to-whole relationship, notions of the individual-to-collective relationship are used as a catalyst for the aggregation and assemblage of components. As the collective increases or decreases, so does the number of components forcing the whole to transform and to reconfigure itself, creating an ever changing gradient of spatial and programmatic possibilities.


Kevin Deng
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

Domesticity is no longer the site for living in the traditional sense. Rather, residences anticipate culturally derived performances through the integration of products of new industries and a manipulated delivery of spatial sequences. As a result, traditional domestic programs have become elastic, and have begun to integrate more performative and projective functions into the house. Our familiarity with these products, routines, and functions provides the potential for transcendent experiences of household events; a hyper-awareness of the designed reality. Hyper-Domesticity attempts to craft these trends within the framework of domestic events. At stake is a deeper understanding of our domestic relationship with emerging industries, and a new consciousness in the domestic frontier.


Kamana Dhakhwa
GHOSTS of Architecture
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

Ghosts of Architecture address the anticipation of temporality by spatially embracing the architectural sublime: the atmospheric, the shadowed, the uncanny, the phobic and the ineffable. It accomplishes this by naming them ghosts. By evacuating traditional architectural typologies the ghosts are motivated by unconventional processes of design toward new architectural constructs. Rendered as unconventional ornament, various Ghost injections tap into the context of architecture and its relations to time, space and perception. Ghost of Architecture also personifies and gives visual presence to the invisible dimension of philosophical tendencies in architecture by heightening the presence of otherness. It does this by specifying tendencies of familiar strangeness, inciting conditions of apprehension and tensed surfaces.


Kristen Dotson
Ecovocative: Misappropriating Paradigms of Sustainability
or Putting the Fun in Form Follows Function
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie
I When all the world is crumbling down And engineers cannot be found What will the gentle archtect do If not prepared to play the fool? For when the sitch is at its worst The blame be placed on archtects first And hollow sounds their plaintive cry Aesthetics First! no one will buy. UNLESS, oh should we hope to dream, Like knowledge of a post-and-beam Theyve previously vested clever skill In (Green) Architecture dressed to kill. II Performance sits upon his thrown And no oer players has he known. So enter Beauty to this prince And whisper some suggestive hints, Of how the two may intertwine And save the world, yet look divine. Attended by the Eco-Vs Who test themselves in sets of threes. But how do Vs plant such a seed That can inspire, provoke and feed? They will produce or pro-create Thru kinds of misappropriate. III But whats it do?!? the critics cry It earns LEED points (collective sigh). So forms emerge from ill repute To pester the Graham Institute. Now back to those who still insist That meaning must be serious Grist For here frivolity and unction Can put the fun in form follows function.


Agnieszka Drelich
Sorties of Architecture:
Moments of deviation and autonomy from the institutionalized path Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

The anticipated revoking of the Dont Ask Dont Tell policy under President Obama enforces the change in what our society perceives of as accepted behavior. The US Air Force Academy base in Colorado designed by SOM in the 1950s employs the modernist language of uniformity in architecture, regimenting the movement of the body on a path of ninety degree turns along a proscribed program throughout the course of the day. The academy is an embodiment of white, heterosexual male Christian values that are imposed on the cadets by the military institution and the architects. The project deploys a series of architectural sorties over the fabric of the academy to exploit where the cadets depart from the marginalized path of behavior. The sorties perform at varying scales from the individual to the ground and reveal the underlying issues of social hierarchy and control in the military to question the politics of uniformity in architecture.


Thomas Drew
paralogic re-mediation: slaveless functionality
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

In The Parasite, Michel Serres, activates the French interpretations of parasite: an uninvited guest, a life form that lives off another, and noise by reframing the parasite as an interdisciplinary operator that stimulates evolutionary behavior, moving a system far from equilibrium towards higher levels of complexity. For architecture, the logic of parasitism re-mediates an existing situation by amplifying the current contextual conditions, injecting noise into the system. The engineered space of suburban infrastructure chokes out all activities beyond its singular function, fostering stagnant conditions of perpetual entropy. Conventional solutions transplant urban densification logics into this context, thereby ignoring the formative cultural logics of the suburban landscape. In contrast, parasitic architecture stimulates an evolving space of slaveless functionality, transforming infrastructure from a sterile artifact into an adaptive multifunctional network of public spaces. Therefore, the architect informs the logics of the city, rather than merely reacting to its limitations.

Matt Ducharme-Smith
Critical Opalescence
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

The relationship between abstraction and rationality in architecture is inherently distorted when digital fabrication allows a drawn idea and a physical result to occur simultaneously. Critical Opalescence, the fluctuation of phase changes, reframes this dialectic as a volatile oscillation with unpredictable results. My work therefore exists between states: between the computer screen and the physical output; between the drawing forth of an idea and the creation of the matter of architecture; and between a conceptual representation and the implied immateriality of the ineffable. The research of complex systems is used as a means for exploring the architectural implications of a problem that prioritizes no particular discipline and pushes the boundaries through an amateur-like exploration of the unknown. Critical Opalescence acts as a means to dissolve the separation between pure artistic thought and applied logics to create new potentials of architectural production.


Holly Ferguson
Recycling and Revising a Traditional Psychological Process: Orienting, Dis-Orienting, Re-Orienting
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

Technologies will advance; however, build-ability sets a strong limit of our spatial experiences. If eventually a limit of new ideas were reached, would design become only recombinations of existing techniques, or, could this push unbuildable space to be realized and experienced? My investigation derives from the range of work like Piranesis, - conceived of but not experienced. The immortality of ideas must be portrayed through the inescapable mortality of the built world. Enveloping. Projecting. Crossing. These conditions exchange gestures and deny expected boundaries to build a solution to a futuristic inevitability. My spaces challenge the mental process of experience through forward time; they create experiences beyond psychologically traditional expectations. Familiar moments of common built spaces are re-designed to remove/question/critique our reliance on having an expected/known orientation. I test these ideas by reestablishing the function of a traditional cemetery and incorporating an inviting and curiosity-provoking atmosphere which also allows gathering/ gallery spaces.

Justin Fogle
Generative Fabrication
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

Between the conceptual space of the drawing and the physical space of its construction there lies a third virtual space, that of the architectural forms production and fabrication. It is within this temporal, dynamic state that the thesis dwells. This is a space of stereotomic projections and digital fabrications. Drawing acts as a generative mechanism for architectural production, operating within the factory as a new factory, closing the gap between a coded representation of architecture and that of its physical manifestation. It is this combination of built form and its coded representation that the thesis attempts to merge in order to embed intelligences of mechanical fabrication, digital output, and physical input, to generate drawn architectures.


1 pm

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W (b) W (a)v

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R.A.P. R.A.P. 3.20 9 am


9 am

E (b.a) ( Wall Shadow 12.21 3 pm 6.21 5 pm 3.20 5 pm 9.22 5 pm 1 pm

W (b.a) 6.21 5 pm < 3.20 9 am 9.22 9 am

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11 am

Sun Angle

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S (a) N (a.b)

Benjamin Foster
Relay Drawings
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

Relay Drawings seeks a continuous relationship between site, design (survey) and architect (surveyor) through reciprocal techniques of representation. In the conventional architectural design process, the site survey is too passive. Survey drawings are completed in the beginning of the project and do not influence or activate subsequent decisions. Relay Drawings proposes a new survey consisting of a set of corresponding drawings that will actively record existing site conditions and generate new formations. An organized hybrid of printed and drawn media will convey this process. Individual drawings will attend to separate conditions; the collective set will be more abstracted and invite the observer to perceive differently the original surveys intent. The survey will relay the existing site conditions of an empty greenhouse in Dixboro, Michigan to the design of an aeroponic farm.


Laura Beth Gonzales

The White Elephant: exploring functionalities of the past present
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

A white elephant is a valuable possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) exceeds its usefulness. Receiving a gift of a white elephant was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animals were sacred and a sign of a monarchs favor, and a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it. In terms of architecture the white elephant are the one events, the abandoned, and the washed away halls. This project seeks not to repurpose these structures with out of place programs but instead to reveal the opportunities they provide for the functionality and emotion (or memory) of a place to interconnect. The white elephant becomes embodied in three functional/emotional conditionsthe everyday sacred, charming decay and necessary uselessness. Sited in the industrial beaches of Galveston, Texas this project explores the functionality of the dock as it penetrates the oceanic landscapes of oil rigs and shipping posts while also projecting or imaging upon this landscape the memories and emotions present in the piles of hurricane debris and washed up treasures.


Sean Goodemote
Mnemonic/Aleatoric Field Operations
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin The generation of parametric form involves a reflection of the designers own internal cognitive landscape, a subjective reality that runs contrary to the logic of its algebraic processes. Amidst a plethora of automatically crafted transformations and alternative forms, the agency of the designer within the parametric project lies within the selection of choices that fluctuate between the arbitrary and the logical. By using a hybrid technique based on the principles of memory (mnemonics) and aleatory (chance alignments), Mnemonic/Aleatoric Field Operations begins to form a critique of the architect as cultural agent by replacing the overlay of data with the overlay of personal and subjective eccentricities. A memory theater is crafted through the appropriation and misappropriations of an abandoned toxic strip mine and a corresponding ecology of landscape urbanism mapping conventions. This hijacking of site and site processes begins to create a new architecture that navigates the rift between the nature of the subjects interior and exterior.


Brittany Guercio
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

Tactics intended to manipulate protocols and to promote advancement and power are synonymous with politics. Recently, architectural politics have been considered extraneous, reminiscent of the architects fear of irrelevancy arising out of the desire to supply order in an increasingly disordered world. Critically approaching the politics of architecture, media (or more specifically the New York Times) is introduced as a prosthesis allowing for a cohesive investigation and proposal rooted in politics. Until an event is recorded, its relevance remains minimal. The authority of print media, and with it the notion of the institution, are challenged by the emergence of digital dissemination corresponding with a new form of democracy. Medium and interface rather than content reveal societys desire to continuously refresh the information flux. Proposing a projective outlook for the architecture of a dying media outlet, politics are engaged through the belief that architecture can be powerful while mediating traditional responsibility.


Loren Halter
Abrupt Simultaneities, Slow Histories: Slow Histories: Architectures of the Anthropocene
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

The thesis relocates architectures relationship to the ground through the inter-disciplining of architecture, geology, and natural history. Through frames, dioramas, and the representational techniques of the natural history museum, we re-interpret the ground, revealing abrupt simultaneity. Through the frames of natural history, we read both the thing itself and a representation of it at one size, but at multiple scales. Through the frame we can enlarge, shrink down, and re-imagine the content of the geologic. The ambition is to provide the occupant architectural hooks that inflect a direct experience of the epochal and the epic scales of the geologic, and to read the materiality of the ground through architecture. Here the micro and the macro, the momentary and the epochal, play off each other and in between the represented and the thing itself. This is a baring of the earth: surveyed by geologists, interpreted by natural historians, and made material by this thesis.

Emmett T Harrison
the museum of absent things
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

The Museum of Absent Things centers the mediated subject. Intrinsically incomplete, it ticks and hums in a perpetual state of assembly, requiring common sense to activate its completion. It is the nature of the mediated subject to reconstitute meaning from fragment(s), and the MoAT celebrates the new subject by amplifying the engagement. In the words of Robert Smithson, Memory becomes a wilderness of elsewheres, which reconstruct themselves in a tangled mess. The MoAT is architecture calling attention to its own fictionality by baring its narrative seams. Where the conventional museum serves as a container for the collective memory through the curation of objects, the MoAT becomes a receptacle for the collective imagination as an architectural event of the curated subject


MOTEL 4 [a refuge center for paranoid inhabitants]
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

The view from the vehicle is a flat as the view through the made landscape, rows of similar suburban houses, empty parking lots along the strip mall, and big box structure amidst the desert. A similar, flat view constantly repeats itself, at different places and time. It is everywhere and nowhere. There is nothing wrong with the conformity. Everything is equal, what can be more democratic than this? It could be imported anywhere, the world could embrace it. However, why is there fear growing in the depth of consciousness. Phobias grow stronger every day, manifesting themselves into the spatial realm and have become the generators of motel 4. Motel 4 is a temporary rest area located on the fourth exit of an ordinary interstate highway. It intercepts ones journey, trying to alter perceptions of inside, outside, depth, horizon, transparency, and flatness. It is an architectural inheritance, a basic principle of understanding space.


Ross Hoekstra
revisionary tactics: renovating the museum store at the smithsonian
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Institutions marginalize. The museum store currently defers to the authority of the museum, politely observing, careful to not be confused with the institution and its artifacts. The store is tolerated as long as it remains within the clearly delineated boundaries set for it. Revisionary Tactics aims to deinstitutionalize the museum, freeing the store from its rubber room. The store will be allowed to implicate the museum, laying bare the futile act of framing a singular narrative around an arbitrary series of unrelated objects. The museum shall, in turn, implicate the store, exposing how it has borrowed institutional modes of display to sell cheap memories. The artifacts become souvenir-like and the souvenirs become artifact-like. The visitor/shopper experiences the negotiation of memory, understanding it as contested, restless, accumulative, ephemeral, and dialogical.


Ryan Horsman
transnational sensory
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

Set within the soaring superstructures of Wabash Avenue in Chicago the magnetic levitation train flies, dragging with it the remnants of its travels. Moving at 361 mph, the train enters the city with the sheer force of its turbulence rattling the walls of the towering giants that make up the urban fabric. The sonic envelope of the Mag Lev reverberates through the streets, interrupting and even ending any chance of communication. With its ability to reach from New York to Chicago in a meager two hours, the pure acceleration pulls pieces from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana and drags and deposits them along the trains path. The only thing able to be done is adapt. Through amplification and suppression a new world of afferently defined space is created.


Sean J. Houghton
Flick[e]r/ing North Dakota: Syntagmatic Approaches to Site
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

A cursory glance exposes the site as both monolithic and inconsequential, potentially the largest extent of physical and symbolic vacancy existent in these United States. As the by-product of such a framing, the extent of its database of collective memory reveals this landscape as a series of alienated peoples on the brink of extinction, of alienated economies on the brink of collapse, and of a singular, alienated landscape on the brink of irrelevance. Under what circumstances were such assumptions founded? Consider the proliferation of the electronic database as a means of nurturing paradigmatic approaches to seeing and knowing. To flick is to synthesize, to momentize, to oversimplify, but to flick[e]r is to assemble momentary knowledge into discernable narrative, to the ends of its paradigmatic tagNorth Dakota Town. But it is unstable. Through such a syntagmatic assembly, oversaturations or omissions reveal discrepancies between the tag and our collective, semiotic, notions of space.


Stephen Killion
resurgence and ritual: studies in transgression
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

An existing space may outlive its original purpose and the raison detre which determines its forms, functions, and structures; it may thus in a sense become vacant, and susceptible of being diverted, reappropriated and put to a use quite different from its initial one. The Production of Space -Henri Lefebvre Transgression violates the normal social boundaries and rejects the institutionalization of architectural space. The consequences of transgression need to be viewed as vessels for inhabitance. Forms are found through encounters and altered through repetition. Transgressive space is dedicated to temporal experiences and a vessel of forced interactions. Space is a product of time. Transgress and live.


Julie Kim
double double house telling the tale throught the detail
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

The house is both the representation of cultural values as well as the seeming crystallization of necessity. In this way, the design of the house embodies certain ideals, while also being the solution to one of the most basic human needs. The agency of architecture is diverse, but perhaps one of the most significant contributions that architecture can make is to champion a way of seeing and doing. This implies a deeper level of engagement with the arenas in which architecture plays a role, and a greater understanding of the relationship between thinking and making. In this way, architecture goes beyond fulfilling utilitarian functions, but is ubiquitously relevant in the way that it engages. The Double Double House takes a look at the space of the house from the inside out, using both the details as well as the psychological implications of the spaces of the house as the field of investigation.


Mika Larrison
After Dark
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

Unremarkable but adequate lighting; expressionless dcor and dishware; floor plan designed to the last detail by management engineers; innocuous background music at low volume; staff meticulously trained to deal with customers by the book: Welcome to Dennys. Everything about the restaurant is anonymous and interchangeable. And almost every seat is filled. _After Dark by Haruki Murakami Liminality is dependent on the presence of a structured, normative condition; presenting itself when the script begins to splinter and the anticipated provokes conscious acts of transgression. Yet its existence hinges on the extent to which there are things to negate.


Christie J Lee
Rehab as Paradoxical Program: Sublimity of Self through Baroque Device
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

The program of a drug rehabilitation center offers conditions ripe for philosophical inquiry. The time spent in such an institution represents a pivotal moment for the addict, heavy with the traumatic personal experience that each patient brings to this place. These personal experiences become the backdrop and lens for the experience of the institution. Devices borrowed from Baroque art and architecture become illustrative of the sublimity of the patients condition, where conflicts of free-will vs. institutional control, nature vs. construct battle for a resolution of truth that may never be actualized. Through the use of narrative and collage, the architecture becomes an elastic stage, to be shaped and colored with the contradictory nature of the rehabilitation process. The architecture then functions as abstract art, embodying these paradoxes and holding them up for inspection; the reading of meaning to be determined by the individual.


Winna Lee
Constructing Food Intelligence_ Consuming Edible Architecture
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson Cities are complex systems, sensitive to a range of conditions. Small changes in these systems can produce turbulent behavior at a global scale. The flow of people in the city represents the emergent behavior of such a system, produced by the decisions of large numbers of individuals and their interactions. The diagrammatic mapping of food intelligence establishes a relational discipline (CFI_) as a context for digital form finding. This is followed by the unfolding of the content of food intelligence into physical form through the development of Organic Cells Materialization (_CEA). Contextualism, which transforms CFI into CEA, is based on selectively collecting intelligence to be transformed into parametric modeling. This approach focuses on the slow food movement by analyzing human behaviors through the lens of social, biological, geographical and scientific agents. These agents create contradictory contrasts that go along with the characteristics of the site (Water+ Air + Land). This historical intelligence reflects peoples performance in slow food consumption, thereby situating our contemporary social cultures at all times.


Michael James Lindstrom

a foundation for incremental densities
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

An urban growth boundary and an escalating urban population have pressurized Portland, Oregon. Single-family dwellings are incapable of dealing with the demand for increasing density and continue to give way to large-scale housing complexes. Currently there is no structure for these houses to change gradually and evolve in our dynamic shifting culture. The interface between foundation and superstructure has anchored buildings into a static state of aging without the ability for growth. Buried and fixed in the ground the old system promotes permanence and fixed identity. However, by creating a flexible foundation system to interface with the ground that could also serve as the conduit for utilities, a building typology is created that not only facilitates change and growth, but encourages it; A system of transformation and event that strengthens the independence of the individual, while the collective system strengthens the resources of the community.


Sen Liu
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

The area around the Forbidden City is usually considered a symbol of Chinese culture. However, the real Chinese culture is revealed when this strong symbol is peeled away. The residents living in traditional Chinese forms of urbanism give up their living habits. They convert their flat courtyard house into two-story rental houses and bars. They trick foreigners by stealing the western skeleton and implanting it under a Chinese skin. They build up a beautiful Eastern Dream for westerners, at the same time, pursuing their own Western Dream. Chinese culture exists between historical legacy and commercial product. In other words, Chinese people tend to treat these two things equally, as a so-called cultural product. Treasures perceived by outsiders are no more than historical illusion or self-reflection. Chinese culture appears to be like a pirate. It performs vigorously under a weak form. Through the lens of piracy, one can review the city through the trajectory of an obliquely sectional cut.


Chuck Long
Dis-assembling Detroit
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

The construction of images via linear perspective is an exacting and exclusionary process as it foregrounds moments of desired intensity and discards the nonessential. Cinema is an immaterial production of geographically and methodologically disparate moments. It unhinges the relationship between viewer and location, obscures comprehensive spatial understanding and charges space and activities outside of the frame. Detroit is a self-destructing assembly line. Its product is the resultant and expanding void between privilege and abandonment. The alley engulfs the city, an empty program. Dis-Assembling Detroit employs cinematic and perspectival techniques to compose an architecture of spatial and material consumption. It is simultaneously an in-process reorganization of human and fiscal capital and an imagistic construction of Detroits resonances from the spectacular to the banal.


Mary Lopez
forgottem memorial
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Wars, tragedies and fallen public servants become memorialized through out our cities. The moment the memorial is erected, we remember. We hold ties to that event, to that person, but as the years pass the memorial loses the strong sense of attachment, slowly fading into the fabric of the city. Camouflaged within the formalities of the memorial, a larger infrastructure is being set forth. The memorial becomes forgotten but at the same time is used to generate a hidden monument. When homelessness becomes more permanent than transitory, the city is translated into a domestic realm. Dualities are found in the space we occupy. One space becomes two places, established through the dichotomy of uses. Forgotten Memorial projects a memorial that is no longer about what is claimed to be memorialized and begins to facilitate the existence of another user, the homeless.


Patrick F. Lynch
cite sited
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

Always in equilibrium, a city thrives on instability. Rewriting itself, never finding balance, the modern landscape is never complete. This dynamic landscape is not clean. It is neither static nor certain but rather a conglomerate of contention. An embedded alley and radioactive park stake their claim within the modern landscape. Confronted with the hyper flows of the contemporary city, these sites must remain swift. No longer can architecture claim to be an anchor for urban stability. For the city has passed it by. To keep pace, cite sited implements a new lens to empower an alternate site perception. Heuristic fictions allow for a departure from inadequate site analysis creating a distinct interpretation of urban complexity. It is through this convergence of perception that architecture can dissolve its stasis.


Michael Malvitz
event beyond venue
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

The Big House, a football Saturday, a sea of school colors; the Maize and Blue tradition is dear to University of Michigan alumni and one to which fans are loyal. However, this has become more of a procedure or routine that limits spontaneity and excitement of entertainment. Regardless of the rituals size, intensity disperses outside immediate proximity to the stadium. Places such as Pioneer High School, Varsity Golf Course or Central Campus provide collection points that are typically only used as temporary gathering hubs. By changing the landscape of these areas, the bleak surroundings become active, dynamic and alive, thus accelerating the excitement of the event by adding to it instead of being merely a link. Removing accessory university buildings and actively traversing existing railroad tracks, creates the possibility for a unified event campus.


Mary Martin
the roving dwellers
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

The Roving Dwellers project takes advantage of the current economic circumstance coupled with Americans inherent desire to travel, to create an occupiable and transformable exterior space for a transportable vehicle. It comprises an integrated extensible trailer appendage that facilitates this mobile lifestyle and encourages interaction among inhabitants and visitors in the highly temporal trailer resorts. In addition, the communities will share various kits that allow the dwellers to transform their trailer appendages for different purposes. The kits and trailer appendages foster a dynamic communal atmosphere by creating spaces that encourage interaction among neighbors and strangers. Because everything happens outside of the trailer.


Paolo Mastrogiacomo
Life Dreams and Death in Seas of Asphalt
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum The Strip Mall: A banal modern environment filled with an almost surreal mixture of spaces carefully separated from one another. The Cast of Characters: The Chinese Restaurant The Spa The Pet Shop The Florist The Dentist Office The Appliance Center The Homes The Cemetery Location: A sea of asphalt anywhere and nowhere The Proposal: What should happen if all these carefully separated realities were to mix? What would the new environment become? What would happen if the dream of China became present in the drug induced dreams of the dentists office? What would happen if the individual dreams of the strip mall became one constant world of voices and shadows? What could happen within this schizophrenic world? Life, death and life. What would this new, stimulant filled environment look like?


Megan McBride
Perception Fluxation
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

The nature of saturation is an inundation of the senses. The amount of glut leaves little opportunity for comprehending and even less for reflecting. Such scenes can train the mind to shut down and the body to dissociate from its physical context. White space creates relief within this complex field. It is an absence that re-frames the abundance. It allows for shifts in consciousness and attunes awareness. The choreography of white space can dramatically redefine perception and create new and unexpected experiences. Ones internal spatial map begins to register nuances within what was a ubiquitous condition. Reflection is inevitable and perception is forever changed. One first truly learns to see by allowing ones attention to be absorbed in streaks of dried spittle or the surface of an old stained wall until the imagination is able to distinguish an alternative world (Da Vinci).


A. Scottie McDaniel
_conditioning the IN-BETWEEN
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

Our awareness of the world around us has become weak. Convenience and comfort have stunted our perception and diluted our ability to interpret. We are caught in a trap, afraid to evolve. Our understanding of space is dependent on references and associations linking our, not so distant, past to the present. The world has been reduced to signs and symbols that construct a representation of reality. Standardization and commodification have induced society into perceptual hibernation. Through processes of inclusion and exclusion of familiar databases, our biases of reading are exposed and we are forced to use interpretation as a tool of understanding. A thin line exists IN-BETWEEN beauty/grotesque, brilliance/insanity, mundane/insight, and bold/insecure that challenge our means of perception. Hybrid conditioning allows the viewer to engage the known, while provoking the reassessment of our accepted lens. Hybridity, deployed as a methodology and pursued as a result, offers a negotiation between known parental conditions and the emergent other.


Juan P. Mercado
drift between here, there, and imagined grounds
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

The thesis looks at the migrating body and mind displaced constantly inhabiting the in between here and the imaginary by recalibrating our sense of scale. The project takes the motel as a potential ground that drifts between origin and destination in which agglomeration of events, narratives, and facts are put into tension in consequence of housing the migrating mind. It is through housing the illicit, lover, saint, and migrant for a night or two that the crystallized events reveal its existence even after the acts have long happened, leaving spaces out of the banality of the motel typology. The motel is a terrain that allows us to fantasize between the physical object, and the imagination. It is a play of a ground that is, and that is not; a false simulacrum of events with true tactile evidence but also true tactile grounds for the imagination to drifting from here to there regardless of being real or not.


Jennifer Minnow
Encoded Interaction
Danelle Guthrie [advisor] Tom Buresh

The reality of architecture is the prominence of solitary, static forms and single-use buildings. The accepted norm prevents architecture from improving in response to changing needs and evolving as a discipline. The architecture also becomes isolating and desolate for the inhabitants. There is the potential for the architecture to become a stage for human interaction and a dynamic architectural form. Encoded Interaction is an inquiry into the potential for spatial and programmatic interaction within architecture. The interactions are explored through a language of flexible, elastic, and transformable architectural space and form. These multifaceted interactions focus on the social, cooperative, spatial, and perceptual aspects of the design. These concepts and design unite to create a new architectural form that is connected and dynamic.


Rebecca Morello
Form Follows [dys]Function _occupying the glitch
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson The dictum form follows function, a rallying cry for modernist architects throughout the 20th century, has found itself broken in the culture of the 21st. Mass consumption, promoting new, fast, cheap and disposable, has overriden conceptions of loyalty, stability and repair, while mass standardization has nullified made-to-order specification. With function regularly becoming outmoded after only a few short years, dysfunction becomes more relevant than its antithesis. This thesis explores what can be gained from spatial dysfunctions that occur with changing temporal dynamics, asking if form can instead follow dysfunction, as a means of revitalization. Exploiting spatial biases latent to the paradigmatic phrase, and endemic to urban warfare simulations being run across the country, a School of [embedded] Broadcast Journalism infiltrates an urban operations training facility. Propagating throughout the facility, the school continually adapts and restructures itself, taking advantage of hidden channels and repurposing discarded space.


Reiji Moroshima
Nature and Complex
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

Nature and technology are the fundamental components in defining how we experience the world. Emergent digital culture exhausts the present human conditions, and satisfaction from an abundance of supply enables us to stay apart from the current environmental crisis. Architecture can be the profound departure which promotes a new accommodation of foremost technology and sustainable environment by manipulating them in complex situations. This project seeks to find the way in which nature and technology can be managed as significant partner of one another. Programs based on technology stimulate visitors to perceive the power of nature in itself, and atmosphere inspires them to recall the intrinsic value of their life. It is essential to progress human activities by an appreciation of nature and a spirit of innovation.


Diane Moseley
mutable architecture
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin The world is in flux. The circumstances which man lives change, and so does his needs and wants. With limited resources and limited space, we can no longer build buildings meant for one purpose and to last one generation. We are in need of a sustainable architecture that is able to adapt to change. This thesis seeks to bring the concept of collapsibles to the scale of a commercial building- creating a structure that can expand and contract, easily assemble and disassemble, and adapt to different forms and functions in the future: thereby reducing demolition and waste.


Samuel Oh
performance translation transparency
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

How can we measure the value of architecture? One way is to look at architecture as a form of manufactured capital. In his book, Natural Capitalism, Hawken indicates four major types of capital system connections: human capital, fiscal capital, manufactured capital, and natural capital. This is derivative of Karl Marxs theory of societys internal struggle of land (natural capital), labor (human capital), and capital (broken down into two forms hard assets, or manufactured capital, and soft assets, which is fiscal capital). This thesis attempts to derive the delta value of architecture in a high reality state to justify its quantifiable return on investment.


Amanda Olczak
[NO] Vacancy a search for the exquisite mundane
Kwith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

The backdrop to the mundane commercial activity of American life is an architecture largely reviled in our discipline and rendered essentially invisible by its ubiquity, yet the strip mall typology and its adjacent terrain unerringly represent our cultural values, conditions and priorities. Engaging rather than ignoring what engenders indifference, sussing the potential from that which inspires ambivalence, exaggerating systems of order while distorting anomalies, evacuating the vacuous only to insert absurdities, this work seeks to tease the exquisite out of the mundane, probe the ambiguity of value, and question assumptions of cultural vacancy in order to re-imagine our contemporary built environment.


Kyle D. Osterhart
agrarian logics cultivating urban_scapes
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

Examining the relationship between architecture and the working environment of which it is a part allows architecture to be more culturally and critically engaged. The consumer landscape [dilapidated urban space] lacks a sense of materiality and atmosphere. On the other hand the agrarian landscape [the farm] has an ingrained logic, purposeful materiality and unassailable character. Agrarian Logics reconsiders these two landscapes at a time when the worlds food supply attracts increasing scrutiny with regard to basic nutritional needs, inhumane processes and a host of unsustainable practices. Simultaneously with a food supply in crisis, what are the architectural ramifications of a comingling of urban and rural production logics?


Chigozie Amarachi Ozor

Manifold Dimensions
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

Primary education has been framed by and confined to prescribed notions of pedagogy and space. Instruction often serves as a means to an end, rather than an interactive and engaging dialogue between the learned and the learner. Enclosed spaces, singular program elements, and the lack of formal freedom create exclusive and isolated learning boxes which serve to constrain and confine. The implementation of shifts in planes, views, space, boundaries, elevations and pedagogical practices allows for the development and transformation from traditional to unconventional design. Flatscapes become landscapes, separate elements become shared, distinct spaces begin to co-occur, disjunct elements become contiguous and the common becomes uncommon. These transformations add a new pedagogical dimension to primary education through the physical. Unfettered and unobstructed, these manifold dimensions may transcend the longstanding philosophy and ideology behind the practice of primary education.


Jaehyung Park
Multilayer Park
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

I would like to suggest an imaginary park in Chicago. I hope that it will be an architectural fiction an imaginary world based on reality. The high rise buildings, population, and natural environment of the city provide complexity and diversity for the park. It will be a fantasy park to refresh the inhabitant of the city. Artificial structures and nature in my project converge at Millennium Park. So, artificial and natural elements will be tangled an ideal combination. Water from Lake Michigan will go into the Sears tower and the park will reflect the unique spaces from the tall buildings in order to make an innovative space. Moreover, ground and floors will be reformed as organic spaces. I expect that people experience experimental spaces in the park in the future.


Justin Petersen
Second Nature in the Third City
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

American culture has consistently forsaken urban social life for romantic visions of wilderness and myths of the self-made individual. At best these dreams have produced innovation and flexibility. At worst they have facilitated a festering desire to flee the weight of history and the responsibilities of living in a society. When the going gets tough, Americans pick up and leave. Today we witness the consequences of an economy that for sixty years was based on expansion, dispersal, obsolescence and the fantasy of domestic bliss. There is no escape. There is no terrestrial frontier. Nothing is pure. We cannot start over. It is the hope of this thesis to inspire an appreciation and dedication to American urban society by presenting the city as our second nature, the garden in the machine. If the first city was pre-modern and the second was industrial, the third will be sublime.


Tom Prabowo
in tune: engaging the flawed surveillance
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

In the realm of shifting landscapes, it is critical to employ an architecture that is capable of synchronizing itself into the changing patterns of its context to allow for circumstantial self-adaptation. We cannot rely on the conventional permanence of past architecture- it is crucial to shift the current architectural model from one which accepts its own static permanence into one that is capable in negotiating its ever-changing environment. The architecture of this project scrutinizes and interprets the active forces within a shifting landscape to produce a reflexive architecture that is tuned to this impermanent site condition. It will exploit this condition as its driver and speculate towards the coming shifts in pattern intensities but will not fall victim to its own imperfect measurements.


Colin Carmichael Richardson

Craftmatic: Along the Infinitely Adjustable Router Bed
Tom Buresh [advisor] Danelle Guthrie

How can I craft what I cannot touch? The ecology of computerbased modeling and computer-controlled fabrication seems to afford few opportunities for craft. In fact, such opportunities are many, rich and inevitable in practice. It is essential, in order to find real benefit in these technologies, for me to work with a reflective awareness of these locations of craft. Craft is not a fetishization of means. Its measure is not correlative with time, material cost, dimensional tolerances or aesthetic sensibility, but it does have value.


Dongjun Seo
Pyknoleptic Hands
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

Pyknoleptic Hands considers a therapeutic process whereby a pyknoleptic patient intervenes between the ego and body, or the imaginary and real, discovering another self and enabling a transformation to another body. The lens of Pyknolepsy, an absent seizure, helps one erase certain aspects of the continuity of perception and leads to a deep recollective and traumatized ego. Psychodrama, a situational structure, establishes narratives for the protagonist, enabling role-playing toward the development of the ego. Simultaneously, the patient is in conflict with other auxiliary egos structured by relational plots like Role Reversals, or Mirroring. Culturally, Henri Bergsons work facilitates a critical look at memory relative to perception and recollection. His insights pose questions for the discipline of architecture and highlight the tensional play between perception and projection, between experience and imagination and between continuity and discontinuity- these framed in this thesis through Pyknoleptic Hands.


Heon Seo
homage to urban archeology
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

This anatomical blast furnace explores the boundaries between real and hyper real experiences. The project develops around a user, a caricature of a Michigan auto worker exploring, searching and hiding in the island. The vessels, pipes and tubes of the building are exposed and develop a woven sequence of internal volumes illustrating the montage of industrial assaulting senses dominating the island: the bright orange glow of the blast furnaces, the dark piles of ore, and the rust stained works, the noise and the strange smell. The experiences of such a place are transfigured and reconfigured into a functional way and revealing their potential as space creator. This thesis combines the strict logic and components of the steel milling process with an architectural proposal that is strangely appropriate for the site, Zug Island by the Rouge River.


Claire Sheridan
network [un]trace
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin No society has ever produced archives as deliberately as our own, not only by volume, not only by new technical means of reproduction and preservation, but also by its superstitious esteem, by its veneration of the traceToday, private enterprise and public administration keep everything, while professional archivists have learned that the essence of their trade is the art of controlled destruction. _p. nora _The logic of archive is used to investigate the trace and question: are we moving from a visible past to an invisible one? _Networks are exposed through issues of embodiment, to reframe the ubiquitous and banal, making conditions of quantity and quality visible. _Using positions of America @ Large, the strip mall, and the light bulb to charge the site, this network utilizes different levels of intimacy + remembrance to critically analyze positions of culture. Vacancy, and non-descript spaces highlight the bulb and archival conditions. This re-presentation of the (un)familiar invites us to look again.

Sarah Sobel
L.A. Ground embedded image
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper Photographs shape two sides of a reflective prism that is the American West: imagistic myth, and the province of geography and geology. Los Angeles, an extreme example of this refractive glass, compresses images into its geography and creates a new topography. This image-ground depends upon existing terrain while separating from its physical realities. L.A. Ground interrogates the perceptual situation that LA establishes in relationship with the earth. It questions the tools and methods for interpreting the land, and the ways civilization creates reflexive perceptual circumstances. Appropriating the photograph as a map of intimate terrain*, and cartography as the framework for structures of power, L.A. Ground re-frames perception. The notion of wilderness is bound to its mastery and destruction. Americas pioneer identity is thus entwined with the West and embedded in photographic modes. L.A. Ground regards the city in terms of images. * (Bruno, Giuliana, Atlas of Emotion, New York, 2002)


Chi Song
Structure of Expression: Skeleton of Redemption (SoR) - A Realistic Fiction
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

SoR is a surrealist projection onto Detroit, the most enlightened of all modern cities. The failure of Detroit was the failure of programmatic singularity, which depleted the citys energy, turning it into futuristic ruins, or an artificial farmland. This proposal is motivated by the process of redemption, structured through the metaphorical development of a catholic savior. The recovery process is a surgical action and a process of the citys cellular organ rebirth. An artificial injection programmatically penetrates the remaining farmland, gaining energy while providing the basic nutrients for the growth of new infrastructure and revitalized accommodations. Framed through varied articulations of the exotic bizarre, the narrative is fictional and oneiric, revealing the spiritual reality and hope behind the pessimistic skeletons of the city. An alternative visionary-urbanism is being rediscovered.


Tyson Stevens
Screen Architecture: A Pseudo-documentary
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

Architecture is the grand, but eternally provisional frame of human meaning. -Camille Paglia The film screen is a stage that is used to depict and interpret cultures as they evolve over time. Each film embodies a particular cultural interpretation from a specific vantage point in the context of the near-now. While each film differs greatly from the next, the screen has one unchanging quality, its blankness. Similarly, architecture only conveys the meaning that we impose upon it; it is inherently indifferent. Yet, architecture is often viewed as a pre-existing condition. This chicken-egg relationship causes confusion as to our cultural authority and authenticity. Screen Architecture: A Pseudo-documentary seeks to find ways that architecture might provide a blank screen for emerging cultural and social paradigms while simultaneously breaking down those that it pretends to purport.

Matthew D. Stowe
Between the Sheets _All The News Thats [un]Fit to Print
Keith Mitnick [advisor] Craig Borum

Each day nearly 1,500 different daily newspapers arrive at newsstands and doorsteps across the nation containing stories of local, national, and global impact . Over time these stories shape our understanding of the world in which we live but this understanding is itself shaped by the way the media is presented to us. By spatializing the artifact of the daily newspaper, an architecture is produced that facilitates a movement in, through, and around the stories contained therein and in navigating the content of the paper, hidden structures, biases, and unexpected relationships are uncovered thus producing an alternate reading of the paper always misreads but often readings that reveal stories below the surface that were never meant to be accessed by the reader.


Tim Szal
two side of the horizon: reexamining domestic architecture
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Domestic architecture is loaded with unintended mixed messages. The expansive urban loft with living space taking up a faction of the overall space. The affordable home that is less affordable than a conventional one. The cheaply-built suburban home stuffed with luxurious fittings. The rustic cabin with details more impressive than those of a stately home. These examples explain the conflicting dualities through terms of desire, style, or budget, but these explanations are not robust enough to deal with anything deeper than the projection of the image on the architecture. This project seeks to activate domestic architecture though encouraging the coexistence of these opposing dualities while resisting their face value, thereby allowing an architecture to emerge that is aware of the spatial consequences of its existence


Javian Tang
Urban Pleasures
Keith Mitnick[advisor] Craig Borum

PUBLIC is not a use, nor a location; instead, it is a condition characterised by a change in activity or attitude, a comparison to the private. It exists metaphysically, wherever personal desires meet collective interest. Public-ness is defined as a liberation of the mind. PLEASURE is the ultimate object of human endeavour. It is the outcome of the duplicitous nature between the real and the surreal, the ridiculous and the acceptable. Pleasure can be intensified by exaggerating experience, compressing time and dissolving barriers. SIN is neither intent nor outcome. It is merely the infrastructure that facilitates the creation of pleasure. Amoral sensibilities provoke desire and participation, also providing a universal language for public-ness to disseminate worldwide. SPACE is a series of autonomous zones configured through questioning repressed behaviour and traditional building typologies. Utilising misused and under-used spaces in the city, urban interventions generate pleasurable, new forms of public spheres.


Sandra C Tanner
Danelle Guthrie [advisor] Tom Buresh

While our experience of the world is formulated by a combination of five senses, much architecture is produced under consideration of only one- sight. The suppression of the other sensory realms has led to an impoverishment of our environment, causing a feeling of detachment and alienation. Juhani Pallasmaa

This thesis challenges the disparate discourses of sustainability and sensory experience through an investigation of the sensory potential of commonly used natural and sustainable materials and their effect in the development of architectural space. The work tests these notions through the development of an architecture for daily use by students which explores how the relationship between materials, space and the surrounding environment might awaken our sensory awareness, and reconnect our minds and bodies. Through careful selection and use of these materials in specific ways, architecture can transcend both discourses and have the capacity to be experiential/sensory/subjective and practical/sustainable/objective.


Erin Taubitz
EMBEDDED: A School for the Story of Bigfoot
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

Story + Action + Learned + Spatial Practice = School In a rural economy, the landscape is steeped in a history oftentimes neglected by the design practitioner; distance and difference is too great to provoke a revealing, a reading of the story in the soil. Embedded in the traditions and daily practices of rural living, learning is implicit to doing; knowledge of the collective culture is remembered, reinterpreted and reinstated into the community through action and the story that teaches the action. EMBEDDED: A School for the Story of Bigfoot is an unfolding of the process of education, integrated with the knowledge and beliefs of the community. Informed by traditional methods and artifacts, new spaces are dispersed across the site, embedded within existing structure, seeking new meaning and discovery through daily practice.


Richard Tursky
The Jig is Up [on versioning fabrication]
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

I like adaptability and parametrics in architecture. The challenge lies in escaping the mindset (read grid/repeated module) of mass production and developing a sustaining ability to construct variation and adaptation. If versioning (data-process-product) establishes a strategy for design thinking, then the tactic for design making is the jig. Instead of the subservient act of fabricating a form, jigging instantiates the version. A tool only works for an idea in its past tense. We made designed objects. Now we jig versions. Form is replaced with formation. The how-to of making becomes the what-can (it do) of jigging.


Nate Umstead
Urban Retooling
Dawn Gilpin [advisor] Jason Young

Cities need revitalization, as in eras prior, to keep up with ever changing cultures and economies. Urban Retooling aspires to outfit downtown Grand Rapids with a unique set of tools for operating/performing/existing in the emerging 21st century. Urban Retooling rejects the tabula rasa practices of 1960s Urban Renewal, but rather proposes architectural interventions in the present condition of the Urban Renewal district that in-fill, overlay, and edit the urban fabric. These interventions are active and reactive hybridizations of civic and infrastructural concerns, instigated by contemporary urban characters and narratives. Active architecture promotes interactions and relationships that are presently absent while reactive architecture enhances or facilitates those that are already present.


Ivelisse Ruiz Upward

Counterfeit Architecture: Surrogate Bodies
Perry Kulper [advisor] Neal Robinson

Contemporary body criticism establishes the dissolution of the single standardized body as representative of the self and alternatively proposes a new body with no corporeal boundaries. Under this theorization, the body is understood as an accumulation of both its own parts and those of others, attaining its integrity through the assemblage of surrogate objects and subjects. Drawing from these concepts, this thesis targets two central conditions: one, the dislocated body and two, the conceptual counterfeiting of the body through surrogate objects and subjects. Thus, the thesis seeks to re-construct a counterfeit spatial condition that frames the body with no boundaries as an architectural strategy, creating an artificial framework that reconstructs a new territorial extension for the body. This kind of reconstruction mediates between presence and absence, providing asylum to the body from its physical boundaries by revealing its subjective extensibility.


Tiffany Wang
Operation Expendable: assisting the demise and growth of architecture
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

Suburbs have been propagated to such an extent that they seem embedded within American culture and landscape. It is the proliferation of the same that enforces a level of standardization, while at the same time, imposing the ideal. In developing an iconic and ever-present image suburbia seems to defy impermanence. However, moments where the perimeters become blurred, such as the encroachment of wild vegetation upon a pristine lawn, pose as subtle cues that challenge the idealistic view. Operation Expendable proposes a new standard where impermanence is embraced. It anticipates, even encourages, the desolation and destruction of buildings so as to acknowledge the possibility of reoccupation of space.


Jennifer Williams
Consuming Community
Danelle Guthrie [advisor] Tom Buresh

The big box store is the modern museum, showcasing the products with which we create our experiences and define who we are. It is the cultural center where people go socialize, recreate, and educate themselves. This thesis embraces this culture and seeks to advance it through the incorporation of residences and community services in order to create a more sustainable higher density development. In heightened advertisement markets, the content of community becomes so controlled by its supporting advertisers that it becomes mere context to advertisement. In this new development, commercial corporations sponsor the community context required to support their retail and may do so to their own advantage. By planning the access and activity infrastructure, the retailers gain a captive audience while consumers gain convenience and sociability. The big box and super center logic is used to create community and stimulate consumption through the production of a mixed use development.


Francis Wilmore
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Fashion is inextricably tied to the current markets demands, available production techniques, and societal desires, and, thus, of the moment that it spawns from. This seasons Haute Couture will be prt--porter by the next, and the ideas of fashion will have evolved to create new desires for the current season. Architecture, on the other hand, is often slow to react to change and rarely infiltrates media fast enough to create a desire for itself. Digital design subverts the traditional sluggish flow of information and allows architecture to adapt and create in realtime. Design can be streamlined as relative decisions are made and then run in the background to further allow designers to evaluate the next level of complex issues. Haute Couture fashion and parametric architecture share the thread of being overlydesigned and for ideal conditions. However, the role that both play is not in the resolved flair of the runway show, but rather their dissolved reception in reality.


Bethany Wilson
scrambled eggs
Neal Robinson [advisor] Perry Kulper

Memories form throughout every experience; collecting, overlapping, clashing and misinterpreting. In order to explore memory in terms of place, identity, clearing and renewal, a revisited place is chosen as the site; a grandparents house. It contains an element of closeness yet instances of distance. Wallpaper becomes the generator through which the methodology is explored. Modes of burning, cutting and carving take place, creating a clearing in order to open the site to a renewal process. Though this clearing a new system of representation occurs. It is re-making through the erasure. Within the re-making process ecological triggers begin to appear creating references back to the original house, yet reorganized into a new memory structure that not only refers back to past memories but also projects forward to new memories. It is this zone of the reference and the projection where the new architecture is found.


Jamie Witherspoon
Material Persistence | Virtual Transience
Jason Young [advisor] Dawn Gilpin

The space of our everyday experience is one of constant shifts from the procedural to the episodic as we negotiate various forms of attention and distraction within the built environment. These habits and practices construct, and are constructed by, our individual subjectivity, yet are related by our shared cultural experience. While typically, the architect either abstracts the subject as a trajectory of circulation, or conversely creates a highly specific and idiosyncratic subject to correspond to highly idiosyncratic figuration, I am interested in how the architect can maintain the simultaneity of multiple subjectivities without collapsing into simplification. In this way, the architectural ground is always provisional, not as a stand in for something permanent, regular, or final, but rather in that it is perpetually contingent, situational, and tentative to ones relational understanding of it, which provides temporary erasure of episodic memory to allow for renewed spatial narratives to emerge.


Yukun Xu
reconstructive palimpsest
Craig Borum [advisor] Keith Mitnick

Resulting from scraping clean and reusing the parchment on which it is written, a palimpsest is a manuscript concealing several layers of overlapping text. Many historical works, which were considered lost, have been miraculously revealed embedded in other texts, most famously the Archimedes Palimpsest. QianMen, Beijing 2009, the oldest neighborhood in Beijing has been totally demolished and rebuilt as it looked 100 years ago, as a new place for attracting tourists, a Chinese style Disneyland. Palimpsest city is criticizing the simplistic rebuilding of the visual experience, questioning the authenticity of the project, while searching for the hidden dimensions beyond the common perceptions as the parameters of designing a new performative space capable of Palimpsesting the invisible relationships.