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Rhode Island School of Design

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Full-Text Articles in Architecture

Grid In Landscape Architecture, Ying Xu May 2017

Grid In Landscape Architecture, Ying Xu

Masters Theses

Driven by the interest of the cultural meaning in the landscape architecture and the fascination of the power of the grid, the inspiration of this thesis is from the landscape architecture works that obtain both characters.

Many landscape architecture works simultaneously are expressing the cultural concern while use the grid form. Thus this thesis is exploring the association between the cultural meaning and the grid as a formal device, or to say how the grid is used to express the cultural meaning.

The investigations mainly rely on the research about historical cases.

The whole thesis process is divided into 3 ...


Inhabit The Storm : Emergency Evacuation Route, Anastasiia Isakova May 2017

Inhabit The Storm : Emergency Evacuation Route, Anastasiia Isakova

Masters Theses

Today a lot of design research is concentrated on problems of resiliency and performance in conditions of hazardous events, such as sea level rise, hurricanes, tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes and drought. And while designers, architects and engineers try to convince people to care about these issues, offer building higher seawalls, recreating marshlands, reinforcing shorelines and various ecosystems, they never really address evacuation, which remains a big problem for vulnerable areas prone to cyclical occurrence of natural disasters.

More people die during evacuation - escaping the disaster site, rather than from the disaster itself; more people die because of the consequences of the ...


Alleyways As Avenues, Rebecca E. Ladd May 2017

Alleyways As Avenues, Rebecca E. Ladd

Masters Theses

This thesis explores the possibilities of in-between spaces bounded by the realms of public and private experience in an urban environment, specifically situated in Downtown Providence, RI. This thesis begins by questioning the meaning of what public space is and how we as humans choose to inhabit space that has been given a particular program or quality. What allows a person to feel that he or she has ownership over a public space? Through the interdisciplinary lens of Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture, the subsequent phases will analyze how people in Downtown Providence perceive and utilize space within the city ...


Viaduct Landscape, Juanru Wang May 2017

Viaduct Landscape, Juanru Wang

Masters Theses

Thesis question: can spaces under viaducts become objects of appreciation; can design promote their original characteristics?

This thesis focuses on the space created by the elevated transit infrastructure in urban areas. In recent years, the spaces under viaducts attract attention in the field of landscape architecture. There are many successful practices that transfer the negative space under viaducts to popular urban plazas. Most of those designs, however, may simply regard spaces under viaducts as dangerous spaces or as obstacles in the city. Nevertheless, the scale and spatial characteristics of the spaces under viaducts are not in other public open spaces ...


Water For The Future, Ziqing Chen May 2017

Water For The Future, Ziqing Chen

Masters Theses

Water is a fundamental element for lives. Located in Long Island detached from the mainland of New York State, the densely-populated counties - Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties - rely on groundwater for their sole freshwater source for a long time. The underground geology determines the groundwater movement on western Long Island: from Nassau County to Queens. When overpumping happens in Queens, Nassau County is firstly threatened by lowered water table. The thesis is aiming to propose a local solution to mitigate the problem brought by groundwater movement when overpumping.

In Phase 1, the study focuses on the underground geology of ...


Culturally Integrated Space, Jing Wang May 2017

Culturally Integrated Space, Jing Wang

Masters Theses

The topic of this thesis is the urban public space responses to new residents in old neighborhoods. In phase 1, the GIS collection of demographic changes of New York and typology studies about existing urban parks asks the question: how might urban parks better integrate the new residents into old neighborhoods? This question helps choose the Sunset Park Neighborhood as the study and test site. In phase 2, the site analysis including history, climate, and the park usage of Sunset Park Neighborhood, leads to a preliminary proposal of a new urban park typology for better integrating the new residents into ...


Healing Landscapes, Siyi He May 2017

Healing Landscapes, Siyi He

Masters Theses

This thesis divided to three parts; it mainly looks at the scenario of healing landscapes in the Financial District. Phase one focused on the overall history and site condition of the Financial District, and tried to combine it with the typology of a traditional healing landscape. New typologies of healing landscape for high density and unhealthy urban areas were explored. Phase two evaluated various site conditions and documented the flow of people in the Financial District. The typology of healing practice forms was developed. Phase three tried to locate the specific location of healing practice paths and the area of ...


Super Natural : Hybrid Strategies For Urban Flood Protection In Coney Island Ny, Georges Fischer May 2017

Super Natural : Hybrid Strategies For Urban Flood Protection In Coney Island Ny, Georges Fischer

Masters Theses

How will inundation change the design of city coastlines? This thesis is an investigation into strategies to mitigate urban flooding from storm surge in Coney Island NY.

In Phase 1, dynamic phenomena are identified and deconstructed, the result are properties that can be assembled to make a machine that applies forces to wet plaster, which solidified to yield insights into the sectional forms of waves. This process was used to inform a conceptual model documenting the site’s physical form, and the relative differences between land and water in terms of its density and porosity.

In Phase 2, a catalog ...


Wayfinding Streetscapes : How To Integrate A Wayfinding System Into The Streetscape, Improving Public Transit And Pedestrian Mobility, Lu Zhang May 2017

Wayfinding Streetscapes : How To Integrate A Wayfinding System Into The Streetscape, Improving Public Transit And Pedestrian Mobility, Lu Zhang

Masters Theses

This is a thesis investigation in 3 phases, integrateing wayfinding system into streetscapes by effective spatial planning and environmental communication, aiming to improve public transit and pedestrian mobility. Considering streets as one of the major sites of city life, they play a critical role in the process of daily information flow and communication. This entire thesis tests the possibility of adding a new layer into streetscapes as both a city infrastructure and a method to raise people’s awareness towards a certain site.


Look Up, City Skygazers, Yiyang Qian May 2017

Look Up, City Skygazers, Yiyang Qian

Masters Theses

This is a research-design project looking for tools to rebuild the lost connection between city dwellers and the cosmos through visual effects, spatial experience and materials implemented in public spaces in a modern city. Disturbed by high-rises and their neon lights at night, New York citizens tend to look around instead of looking up. The sky has become unfamiliar to most people. Without seeing the same vastness above us, people forgot how small we are compared to the universe, as well as how much we resemble each other. This project started with a wish that everyone could remember our commonalities ...


Twilight Revelation, Shuwen Xu May 2017

Twilight Revelation, Shuwen Xu

Masters Theses

The first inspiration came from the thrilling phenomenal nuance caused by the natural light, especially the diffused and cool light — that’s why I am so fascinated with the dawn. Also, the “conditional” idea proposed by Robert Irwin in his book “Being and Circumstance — Notes Toward a Conditional Art” influenced my attitude towards landscape and public art: the design could be a tool to “reveal” the phenomenal changes and make people become more aware of them, instead of changing the existing condition arbitrarily.

Then I chose “threshold” — the space between private and public condition, interior and exterior, which might be ...


Landscape As An Interactive Layer, Yifan Kong May 2017

Landscape As An Interactive Layer, Yifan Kong

Masters Theses

The main topic of this investigation is memory and place. The study uses qualitative and quantitative research methods with the aim of addressing the question of, “how landscape design generates interactive layers that last in a community’s memory within a constantly evolving neighborhood demographics?” This thesis is divided into three phases:

Phase I explores the evolving neighborhood in New York City. Specifically focusing on communities with high immigrant populations located in Queens. This phase helps develop a stronger understanding of the issues associated with gentrification and the impacts it has on immigrant neighborhoods and provides the groundwork for the ...


Thrive In Sea Level Rise, Xiang Zhao May 2017

Thrive In Sea Level Rise, Xiang Zhao

Masters Theses

Port Morris has played an important role in the industrial realm of New York City since 1842. After the construction of the first Railroad in Port Morris, the area became an accumulation zone of factories and warehouses. These settlements, over time, though, have caused certain problems.

The waterfront area cannot be reached by the public: traffic is dense, air pollution is prevalent. The particle pollution in Port Morris is 2.6 micrograms per cubic meter, the highest in New York City. Across the three miles of shoreline, there are only three spots where people are able to access the waterfront ...


Borderscape : Weaving Political Boundaries In The Amazon Through Water Performance, Lucila Silva-Santisteban May 2017

Borderscape : Weaving Political Boundaries In The Amazon Through Water Performance, Lucila Silva-Santisteban

Masters Theses

This research project is about how to connect political bordering urban systems through the natural structure for a coherent occupation between the built environment, ecosystems and resources following the Landscape Architecture lens that can address different scale systems simultaneously to create a holistic approach between them. And the proposition of a new type of landscape of this threshold territory as its own kind. Specifically looking at the bordering cities in the heart of the Amazon Region in South America that fall between Colombia, Brazil and Peru.

Why the Amazon?

Not only because of the usual fascination, but because of the ...


Remnant Landscapes As Homo Sapiens Preserves : It Is The Dystopian Utopia, The Shrine For Modernity, The Home Of Everyone, Yuan Zhang May 2017

Remnant Landscapes As Homo Sapiens Preserves : It Is The Dystopian Utopia, The Shrine For Modernity, The Home Of Everyone, Yuan Zhang

Masters Theses

When it comes to remnant landscapes, what else can they be instead of being turned into parks, community gardens, or new architectural or urban development?

This thesis starts with a critique towards the very popular post-industrial park, the High Line, where the original materials of the site was completed removed then artificially re-fabricated. By transforming it into a publicly well accessible landscape, the design destroyed the possibility for a citizen to build his/her own intimate relationship with this piece of land because of a much visible ownership. Therefore, the goal for the thesis is to provide a powerful critique ...


Narratives Of Public Space : A Manifesto For Future Urban Landscape In Manhattan, Jaehong Chung May 2017

Narratives Of Public Space : A Manifesto For Future Urban Landscape In Manhattan, Jaehong Chung

Masters Theses

This thesis investigates the history of public space and how it has changed over time. Looking specifically at how social, historical, and advances in technology have influenced and changed the meaning and use of public spaces. Studies of history and its characteristics and case studies check the validity of paradigm of public spaces in Manhattan. The modern features of Manhattan have been completed over 200 hundreds years with Industrial revolutions and influx of immigrants. Due to these reasons, the main focus was to track of causalities among life style changes, social paradigms, and changes of urban landscapes.

As cities developed ...


Grid Talk : Giving A Voice To Energy Infrastructures, Kelsey Wakefield May 2017

Grid Talk : Giving A Voice To Energy Infrastructures, Kelsey Wakefield

Masters Theses

Humans are energy hogs, intelligent purveyors of displaced electrical waves construed from ancient carbon compounds. Our built environment has let us forget this. Our collective ambivalence towards the subject has grown with the loss of these public assets to private companies under a socially engineered lack of public interest in energy production. There was once a time energy infrastructures were revered and upheld as public spaces, giant testaments to the greatness of society harnessing the natural world, gold stars congratulating the intelligence of humankind. Great designers, political leaders and visionaries created works of art, sculpture, landscape architecture which functioned for ...


Writing A City : A Self-Reflexive Exploration Between The Lines, Po-Ming Chou May 2017

Writing A City : A Self-Reflexive Exploration Between The Lines, Po-Ming Chou

Masters Theses

My thesis investigates the dialogue between the act of writing and the process of making: the spatiality of the literary dimension versus the architectural dimension, through creating an invisible city. It is a self-reflexive process in which the storyline and the structure of writing affects how the casts are designed, while in reverse the process of making directs the trajectory of the story. It is a narrative project that lives in both media, and deals with the difficulties that come out of the different directions.

Consciously working with intuition, and exploring roots in every decision made, as if diagnosing my ...


Grave : Landscape Necromancy, Jil Sanchez May 2017

Grave : Landscape Necromancy, Jil Sanchez

Masters Theses

This thesis focuses on the phenomenon of festivity in order to better understand the spatial qualities of platforms for experiences of release. The work is grounded in the intimate connection between post-industrial landscapes and the emergence of raves and electronic music. The design approach questions western cultural norms by creating a scenario for a combined rave venue and cemetery. The investigation’s material and spatial manifestations are applied to Red Hook Grain Terminal, an ideal latent venue for raves, concerts, and other festive and contemplative functions on New York City’s fringe. The project aspires to widen the range of ...


Wellness Within Reach : Life / Work Balance Within The Risd Campus, Kyunghwa Kang May 2017

Wellness Within Reach : Life / Work Balance Within The Risd Campus, Kyunghwa Kang

Masters Theses

Academics often overlook the importance of a balanced life and even encourage a competitive work environment. However, life balance, health and mental wellness have strong influence on academic performance, social relationships and even life satisfaction. Working environments matter, too: lack of natural light and ventilation, noise and lack of privacy often contribute to elevated levels of stress, anxiety and depression. In the case of students from the Rhode Island School of Design, most devote almost all time to work without satisfying the body’s need for rest. However, studios do not integrate spaces for relaxing, resting and refreshing and do ...


Surveillance City In A Post 9/11 Era, Wanting Dong May 2017

Surveillance City In A Post 9/11 Era, Wanting Dong

Masters Theses

Surveillance City in A Post 9/11 Era is a thesis investigation trying to understand our privacy, perceived safety and public realm in the large context of evolving terrorism worldwide by promoting a conversation about how surveillance would change our city, our new relationship with the city under surveillance, and how people will live with surveillance in the future.

Phase one seeks to understand terrorism and terrorist attack in general, and the opportunities and limitations of the existing security design strategies that have been implemented by US government. In phase two, a specific investigation direction is determined and a series ...


Light Installations For Le, Yiqi Jiang May 2017

Light Installations For Le, Yiqi Jiang

Masters Theses

This investigation derived from a personal childhood memory of an autistic boy, living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). His struggles to communicate and to have people understand him drives this thesis investigation in hopes of better connecting people of all abilities through accessible design. After serving a summer term working at a special needs inclusion camp, there is the exposure to the lack of awareness and communication gap between design and people living with autism. The study develops a series of strategies that strengthen communication between people with and without ASD and ultimately seeks to educate the design profession on ...


Remediating The Garment Industry, Kellie Knight May 2017

Remediating The Garment Industry, Kellie Knight

Masters Theses

This thesis culminated from an interest in addressing the pollution by the dye processes of the textile industry on the Earth’s waterbodies. The first Phase of this thesis explored the globalization of the garment industry. The movement of production was tracked over time from the 1950’s when production occurred primarily in the United States and Europe to present day when production is worldwide. With the global spread of the industry came the global spread of its pollutants.

The second phase of the thesis investigated the functioning of the fashion industry itself to determine which process from production to ...


Fluid Solid : Can We Converse With Granite?, Patrick T. Beals May 2017

Fluid Solid : Can We Converse With Granite?, Patrick T. Beals

Masters Theses

This investigation seeks to detect sources of the quantitative granite anomalies through various methods and use available resources to allow for an immersive, qualitative, and perhaps didactic experience, which will build a conceptual foundation for design of the in-between spaces made by the negative form of granite architectures. This thesis is about timescales and lenses by which to view them in partnership. With lenses are assumed perceptions, ones that define the understanding of the object in the viewfinder of the landscape, and in this case, the timescales which will be addressed in the following three phases:

Phase 01 Background : Geological ...


Thresholds : Natural Phenomena, Urban Form, Equilibrium, Peiyi Liu May 2017

Thresholds : Natural Phenomena, Urban Form, Equilibrium, Peiyi Liu

Masters Theses

My research topic is finding methodologies to address thresholds between natural processes and the urban network to achieve equilibrium between the two at Battery Park community.

Phase 1, In this phase, this investigation will seek to look at the definitions of thresholds, and then generate a system to categorize the operations of thresholds in order to understand and access more possibilities for thresholds within landscape.

Phase 2 will build on phase 1 by looking at the existing features and subtle processes of the site in order to understand its potentials and problems.

Phase 3 will build on phase 2 by ...


How To Get School Children Access To Urban Farming By Activating Vacant Land And Rooftops, Yixin Ren May 2017

How To Get School Children Access To Urban Farming By Activating Vacant Land And Rooftops, Yixin Ren

Masters Theses

The thesis topic is how to get school children access to urban farming by activating vacant land and rooftops.

Phase one focuses on research about the rooftop urban farming systems in New York. As a high density and high land value city, New York is one of the cities with the largest number of rooftop farms in the United States. People use urban rooftop farms as a medium to improve community engagement and improve environmental issues. For phase one, this thesis researched the operation and conditions of existing rooftop farms, and evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of them to figure ...


Lighting : An Atrium Core To Reconnect With The Sun, Quan Lei May 2017

Lighting : An Atrium Core To Reconnect With The Sun, Quan Lei

Masters Theses

At the Rhode Island School of Design, students work so much that they treat their studio as home; the majority stay in studio past midnight, which leads to lack of sleep. How to improve students’ physical and mental health is a question demanding immediate investigation, particularly as relates to rest. According to the scientists at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) in Troy, N.Y, engagement with daylight environments increase occupant productivity and comfort, and provide the mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate circadian rhythms, encouraging more restful sleep. Students cannot function healthily because their busy schedules remove them from ...


We Are What We Dispose : Continuation Of Culture Through Recycling At Rhode Island School Of Design, Xinzhou Jiang May 2017

We Are What We Dispose : Continuation Of Culture Through Recycling At Rhode Island School Of Design, Xinzhou Jiang

Masters Theses

Every year, RISD produces massive amounts of waste, from dining trash to discarded art pieces. Art educational institutions have more complex varieties of garbage compared with other educational institutions, given the variety of media used by each discipline. As an art and design school, RISD takes issues of sustainability seriously, therefore it is natural to address the problem of waste. The current recycling strategy of RISD is mainly based on the waste’s material difference, even though other processing strategies have been developed, like the Second Life Store, which is mostly based on usability; current recycling strategies remain singular and ...


Hill Study : Re-Energize Highly-Programmed Hill Study Space, Di Qiang May 2017

Hill Study : Re-Energize Highly-Programmed Hill Study Space, Di Qiang

Masters Theses

Sloping sites present a variety of difficulties to the structures on which they are built: difficulty in access, difficulty in delineating the space, difficulty in reaching specific functional areas. These problems aren’t caused by the sloping site itself; the sloping site is a natural terrain. The problem lies in the contradiction between the natural sloping site and the traditional hillside architectural forms which evolved from flatland architecture. The College Building of the Rhode Island School of Design exemplifies the use of flatland architectural typology on the hillside . During the expansion of Rhode Island School of Design in 1935, RISD ...


Risd Club, Madeleine Devall May 2017

Risd Club, Madeleine Devall

Masters Theses

Higher arts education is an enormous luxury. If part of the appeal and exclusivity of higher education is grounded in the extravagance of attending private, reputable schools like Rhode Island School of Design, is there a way to extend this exclusive “club” to alumni and visiting artists and designers?

When we join a club, we become part of an organization that is exclusive to people with similar interests. Education is a club; the privilege to be accepted to an exclusive group of people with similar interests allows for access to professional insight, resources, and knowledge. RISD provides privilege where ability ...