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Abundance Within Scarcity: Food Security In The Favelas Of Brazil, Menglin Ding 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Abundance Within Scarcity: Food Security In The Favelas Of Brazil, Menglin Ding

Masters Theses

Rapid urbanization has been accompanied by the expansion of unplanned, underserved neighborhoods with large concentrations of poor people, known as "informal settlements.” Obtaining stable, fresh, and healthy food sources often requires people to spend more money, which can be a challenge for residents of informal settlements who may struggle to afford it. To create greater food security and decentralized food production, Abundance within Scarcity, Food Security in the Favelas of Brazil explores how urban agriculture can be strategically reintroduced into limited-open-space informal settlements and tap into the abundant potential of this seemingly "barren” region. Finally, this project will build a …


Landscape De/Re-Construction Through Art, Manuel Gonzalez 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Landscape De/Re-Construction Through Art, Manuel Gonzalez

Masters Theses

Contemporary landscape architecture practice and education primarily focus on ecological and technical interventions. The climate crisis we find ourselves in demands scientifically informed decisions and well-engineered execution of projects, but, more importantly, creativity and innovation.

The fine arts, which were once integral and foundational to design, are today largely unappreciated and appropriated. The spiritual power of Art, Aesthetics, and Beauty, explored at length through art history and theory, are often viewed as indulgent or secondary to execution. The gap between Art & Design has widened. As a result, designers face challenges in fostering in individuals the kind of care and …


Beyond The Lines, Miranda-Max de Beer 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Beyond The Lines, Miranda-Max De Beer

Masters Theses

Long-held frameworks and philosophies developed over human history have rarely accounted for dynamic flux or shifts between parallel states of being; they’ve ignored the glaring consequences humanity’s brief occupation of the Geologic Timeline will have on the planet. These beliefs have enabled societies to operate through life as if there was no tomorrow, (ab)using the Earth without considering those who eventually reap what’s sown. Beyond the Lines identifies manifestations of the mindset that restricts how we understand living systems and the world around us as so much of what exists in tandem with contemporary society does not adhere to the …


[De]Composition: Grounding Architecture, Skylar Perez 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

[De]Composition: Grounding Architecture, Skylar Perez

Masters Theses

This thesis forages through a multitude of entangled scales that utilizes geologic time, water bodies, farming systems and fungal networks to reorient how we as humans herald the vital connecting force that is SOIL.

Reimagining how approaches to soil care could alter visions of innovation and land management in the arid region of Llano Estacado (Lubbock, TX).

The research embraces soil a place full of life and microbial activity that systematically contributes to local ecosystems and planetary health.

How do we build soil?


Cracks Of The City: Crack As An Invitation For Informality, Yusha Miao 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Cracks Of The City: Crack As An Invitation For Informality, Yusha Miao

Masters Theses

随着城市的扩张和发展,城市规划将效率和易于管理放在首位,从而创造出干净、整洁和无障碍的空间。街道更宽更平坦,建筑物更统一,公园更开放。

然而,这种“美丽”城市的愿景却忽视了各类非正式、非主流人群的需求,抹杀了部分人的表达和生存空间。

城市变得不那么包容,失去了基于当地历史和背景的非正式活动所带来的魅力和灵活性。

如果城市采用更加松散和多孔的规划方法,为非正式活动提供潜在场所,例如带来氧气和光线的缺口,非正规经济和那些被推到边缘的经济体将有机会蓬勃发展。设计师不应完全站在制定规则和秩序的立场上,而应提供自发产生活动的可能性。通过接受非正式城市空间不可预测和不受控制的性质,我们可以为这些地区注入新的活力。

本论文通过引入几种增强裂缝的干预措施来挑战现有的城市体系,作为对非正式性的邀请。我的建议涉及打破不同表面的界限,模糊用途和功能。

使用选择性的“阈值”使一些空间变得模糊,甚至更难接近或欢迎,并使它们的用途不明确。它可以创建一系列只对愿意进入的人开放的“城市秘密花园”。这些地方是有选择性的,并且具有更多样化和非正式使用的潜力。

As cities expand and grow, urban planning prioritizes efficiency and ease of management, resulting in clean, uncluttered and accessible spaces. The streets are wider and flatter, the buildings more uniform, and the parks more open.

However, this vision of a "beautiful" city ignores the needs of various informal and non-mainstream groups, and obliterates the expression and living space of some people.

Cities become less inclusive, losing the charm and flexibility that come with informal events based on local history and context.

Informal economies and those pushed to the margins will have the opportunity to …


Healing The Haunted: Rituals Of Mourning And Suture, Pian Zhang 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Healing The Haunted: Rituals Of Mourning And Suture, Pian Zhang

Masters Theses

Healing the Haunted probes into the capacity of healing towards land trauma. It defines land trauma as a reflexive process that is rooted in the perspective of topophilia—the affective bond with one's environment. Human extractive activities that cause physical ecological violence have led to trauma on the land, which can result in a disconnection between people and their environment, leaving negative effects on the mind and body over the long term. The tangible or hidden wounds lead to an unsettling encounter with the ghost, turning topophilia into topophobia.

To calm the haunting apparition, this thesis suggests healing man-land bond …


Flows Of Sound “Harnessing Sound As Critical Urban Resources”, Zuan Lin 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Flows Of Sound “Harnessing Sound As Critical Urban Resources”, Zuan Lin

Masters Theses

Transportation infrastructure serves as a vital component essential for the efficient functioning of any city. Originally, the design of transportation arterial systems aimed to improve communication and facilitate movement between different regions. Whether catering to passenger or freight transportation, these arterial routes were designed to efficiently transport large volumes of people and goods, utilizing the rapid movement of vehicles within designated spatial corridors. Undoubtedly, transportation plays a significant role in promoting the physical and economic growth of cities. However, it is crucial to recognize that this very infrastructure can also lead to the fragmentation and isolation of communities situated along …


Watering The Soul: Reintroduction Of Water To The Urban Space, Danfei Zhang 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Watering The Soul: Reintroduction Of Water To The Urban Space, Danfei Zhang

Masters Theses

Water and humans have a primordial connection which is more than fundamental survival requirement. Throughout human history, water has been a spiritual archetype by which people perceive and imagine the world. As a reflection of this, water is broadly featured in human material culture and plays a primary role in all religions and cultures.

Well-composed water features are capable for human’s spiritual and physical happiness and wellness. However, water that can benefit human well-being is absent from the vulnerable communities and populations that need it most, which is further exacerbated by the global water crisis.

This thesis proposes the reintroduction …


Rebuild Relationships Between City, Agriculture And Ecosystem In The World Of The Drought, Ninghao Wang 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Rebuild Relationships Between City, Agriculture And Ecosystem In The World Of The Drought, Ninghao Wang

Masters Theses

The drought is a threat to our planet and our way of life, causing serious consequences for both people and the environment. These consequences include crop failures, food shortages, water conflicts, and so on. Arizona is currently at the center of the water crisis affecting the American West. The state depends on the Colorado River for a third of its agricultural and urban water needs. However, the river is shrinking due to drought, leading to water scarcity in the region. Rebuilt Relationships Between Agriculture, Ecosystem, and City in the World of the Drought: rethinking regenerative landscape practices in the drought-prone …


Arctic Resilience: Adaptive Networks Of Self-Sufficiency, Jingjing Cui 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Arctic Resilience: Adaptive Networks Of Self-Sufficiency, Jingjing Cui

Masters Theses

As the impacts of climate change reverberate across the globe, there is an increasing focus on communities already grappling with high environmental stress, limited resources, isolation, and economic challenges. Among these communities, the Arctic region stands out not for its population size, but for the threat posed to their traditional ways of life by the melting polar icecap, rising seas, changing ecology, and shifting migration patterns of vital wildlife. Many communities are living on shorelines being lost to the sea, having been moved there decades earlier by government and oil corporation dictates. Now facing impending relocation again, these communities have …


Temporary Urbanism-Spatial Democracy In The Temporary City, Shijie Li 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Temporary Urbanism-Spatial Democracy In The Temporary City, Shijie Li

Masters Theses

This thesis is committed to exploring and discussing the way people behave in the temporary urbanism, perceive and deploy their space arrangement rights and how this nourishes relationships between people, between people and society, and brings a greater sense of spiritual identity and belonging to people.

The modern city is the result of the spatial distribution of material production, urban space is political and oriented to the distribution of power, and citizens are deprived of the subjective qualification and right to participate in the creation o f urban cultural space. Many factors have led to the monopolization of human participation …


Appropriate That Bridge: Appropriation As A Way Of Intervention, Haochen Meng 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Appropriate That Bridge: Appropriation As A Way Of Intervention, Haochen Meng

Masters Theses

Appropriation is an action of intervention in many fields, including legislation, culture and design. To appropriate something (or someplace) means to violate its original ownership and claim it, which in most cases is illegal. However, appropriation doesn’t have to be an illegal act: it can be permitted by the authority and become a “reuse” of an object or space. For example, street dining is often authorized by city governments, so they indicate a transition of the ownership of the street from the vehicles and pedestrians to the restaurants and diners. In architectural terms, appropriating a space (or structure) mostly equals …


Public-Ish, Aliah Werth 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Public-Ish, Aliah Werth

Masters Theses

Climate change affects public space, and architecture must establish tenets that prioritize pedestrians in this difficult era. Greywater re-use can be a mechanism for creating shade, and in turn, public space.

As heat waves grow more intense, the vast swaths of asphalt that connect commercial zones pose greater risks to public health and to urban vitality. This thesis records the typical material, spatial, and lived conditions of strip malls in urban heat islands, and demands more from infrastructure in public-ish space.

Heat violence weaves through Los Angeles’ built form. Parking space minimums, required setbacks, and height restrictions pull buildings away …


Unearthing Complexity: Tangible Histories Of Water And Earth, Alexis Violet 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Unearthing Complexity: Tangible Histories Of Water And Earth, Alexis Violet

Masters Theses

Unearthing Complexity investigates conceptions of time and surface through geological stories of the water and earth. Building on theories of deep time, hydrofeminism, critical zones, and grounding, I hope to foster a deeper awareness of time scales other than our own and a more tangible understanding of the embodied experience of matter in the universe. Working toward a new literacy of the water and earth in which they are recognized as living, changing bodies to which we are inherently tied at a molecular level, the site of this multiscalar inquiry occurs in the coastal zones of the Narragansett Bay where …


Urban Succession: An Ecocentric Urbanism, Anthony Kershaw 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Urban Succession: An Ecocentric Urbanism, Anthony Kershaw

Masters Theses

Through the development of canals and parks along with the denigration of the unmaintained, humans have worked to curate a natural environment designed by and for themselves. These urban typologies have defined boundaries, suppressed resources, and fragmented habitats. This thesis will work in opposition to current notions of the canal, park, and unmaintained to develop a new model for multi-species green infrastructure that embraces succession and views maintenance as a facilitation of natural processes rather than preservation of a singular condition.

The green infrastructure in question will more specifically be referred to as an ecological corridor: an ecocentric habitat connecting …


Making Pla(Y)Ces: Softening The City Through Play, Shivani Pinapotu 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Making Pla(Y)Ces: Softening The City Through Play, Shivani Pinapotu

Masters Theses

Cities that grow naturally over time integrate spaces of gathering that allow for serendipitous happenstance. However, the cities we design today instruct and codify through intentional planning and design; they assign use, hardening specific function to place. Such strategies lead to spaces devoid of spirit, inculcating in city-dwellers to a sense of disconnect from the city.

In contrast to this, the places we make as children, express our intuitive, direct, and unselfconscious relationships with space and one other. These spaces embody softness through their malleability and adaptability, borrowing from the world around them and imbuing the ordinary with imagination. …


Beyond Burial - Transforming Death: A New Ritual Of Farewell And The Ecological Return Of The Body To Nature, Chang Xie 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Beyond Burial - Transforming Death: A New Ritual Of Farewell And The Ecological Return Of The Body To Nature, Chang Xie

Masters Theses

Burial and funeral culture have been shaped by human self-awareness and reflect an anthropocentric worldview. The modern funeral industry's multi-billion-dollar enterprise is based on the principle of protecting, sanitizing, and beautifying the corpse to promote the idea of human exceptionalism. However, this practice overlooks the natural process of decay and the potential beauty in returning the body to the earth, with which the body shares the same chemical basis as the earth itself. Modern science has provided Eco-friendly green burial methods, such as soil modification, ice burial, and water burial, making it suitable to contribute to natural ecology using human …


Glowing Under The Bridge—A Healing Space For Wounded Souls, Ruier Zhao 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Glowing Under The Bridge—A Healing Space For Wounded Souls, Ruier Zhao

Masters Theses

The suicide rate among Chinese adolescents is significantly higher than the world average, with academic stress and family relationships being the major causes. This thesis focuses on building a place for Chinese students from upper elementary school to high school, where they can regulate their psychology, relax, and ideally reduce the rate of impulsive suicides.

In Chongqing, the percentage of students who attempt or commit suicide is close to 25%. The proposed site for this place of rest is under the bridge of one of Chongqing’s most crowded monorail stations, which is a semi-abandoned park with a beautiful view of …


Nature As Material, Time As Tool, Chuchu Chen 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Nature As Material, Time As Tool, Chuchu Chen

Masters Theses

No building stands forever. Over time, the natural environment acts upon the outer surface of the building, leading to the failure of materials and the final dissolution of the structure itself, leading to ruin. In order to prevent this or retard its occurrence, we constantly maintain and renew the things we build. Nature seems to stand in opposition to architecture. The passage of time is constantly subtracting from the building. However, what differentiates nature from architecture? This thesis questions whether these two are not opposed, but on a continuous spectrum. Approaching the building as part of the overall environment that …


Celebrate Scarcity: Water Harvesting As Cultural Keystone, Jiajun Ni 2023 Rhode Island School of Design

Celebrate Scarcity: Water Harvesting As Cultural Keystone, Jiajun Ni

Masters Theses

As Phoenix, Arizona’s population has been increasing intensely in recent years, the city is facing a potential water crisis because of the over-extraction of underground water and a gradual decrease in water supply from the Colorado River. To solve the crisis, Phoenix has promoted water-saving lifestyles for citizens and built aquifers to capture stormwater and floods. However, these decisions are not inherently sustainable since they are too costly and centralized without enough consideration of different community contexts. Therefore, we need to rethink the water-efficiency system that is zoomed into the community level.

This thesis explores a water-collection model that is …


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