[De]Composition: Grounding Architecture, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
[De]Composition: Grounding Architecture, Skylar Perez
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?
Nature As Material, Time As Tool, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Nature As Material, Time As Tool, Chuchu Chen
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 …
Glowing Under The Bridge—A Healing Space For Wounded Souls, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Glowing Under The Bridge—A Healing Space For Wounded Souls, Ruier Zhao
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 …
Making Pla(Y)Ces: Softening The City Through Play, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Making Pla(Y)Ces: Softening The City Through Play, Shivani Pinapotu
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. …
Decolonial Perspective On Fashion And Sustainability, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Decolonial Perspective On Fashion And Sustainability, Haisum Basharat
The fashion industry has long been criticized for its exploitative practices, cultural appropriation, and detrimental impact on the environment. To address these challenges, there is a growing need to adopt a decolonial approach that acknowledges the historical injustices perpetuated by colonial systems and centers the voices, practices, and traditions of marginalized communities. This abstract presents a model that integrates decolonial principles into the fashion industry while incorporating traditional textile practices to promote local autonomy, cultural sustainability, and mitigate climate change.
Healing The Haunted: Rituals Of Mourning And Suture, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Healing The Haunted: Rituals Of Mourning And Suture, Pian Zhang
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 …
The Root Of Culture: Human Ritual And The Soils Of West Virginia, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
The Root Of Culture: Human Ritual And The Soils Of West Virginia, Aleece Mount
The Cumberland Mountains of Southern West Virginia are home to mountaintop removal, with the Guyandotte River watershed exhibiting some of the most extreme examples. The strip-mining practices have removed fertile soil, altered water courses, deeply polluted the land, and stripped people of their wealth – prosperity in happiness and abundance of possessions and resources. This has resulted in some of the nation’s worst health, education, and economic conditions. The communities of this watershed live at the heart of the economic and political forces that undermine community and ecological well-being.
Southern West Virginia has a deep and continued history of living …
Vanishing Ice, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Vanishing Ice, Zhehao Tang
Many northern cities’ magnificent civilizations, especially coastal cities, have relied on the glacial ruins left by the melt in the past. These bustling metropolises get opportunities from glacial disappearance. But now, they face potential threats from remote alpine glacial melting. Most people view this glacial disappearance indifferently. Moreover, they do not seem aware that we have a potential connection with these remote landscapes. This thesis proposes to use landscape design to raise public awareness of the glacial geological history of cities and the concern for the glacier melt, including the impact of glacial changes in the past, present, and future. …
Orchestration Of Experience, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Orchestration Of Experience, Jingyi Shen
The sensory experience shaped by the landscape unconsciously influences people’s emotional and mental states. Contemporary urban landscape designers prioritized the functionality of the landscape, sometimes ignoring the spiritual impact of the atmosphere created by imperceptible environmental sonic factors. Orchestration of Experience explores the connections between sound and vision in shaping people’s sensory experience of the landscape. Drawing from soundscape ecology, environmental psychology, and dynamic visualization, this study demonstrates how they are closely intertwined. Motivated by the idea that white noise can unconsciously affect people’s mental health by Michael Rutter, we question how physical and sound landscapes shape each other, how …
Modern Nomadism ——A Network Of Reciprocal Moorings, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Modern Nomadism ——A Network Of Reciprocal Moorings, Jinting Liu
The wave of modernization and the impact of globalization have gradually dissolved the traditional nomadic way of life. However some people still choose to live a nomadic lifestyle for quality of life or economic reasons, but they are still under huge cultural and political pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), there are 164 million migrant workers in the world, which can be thought of as modern day ”nomads”.
This paper focuses on seasonally migrating Mexican farm workers without a permanent home, exploring how they can be provided with a “mooring system” and, through different forms of …
Starting From Ecotone Reconnecting Fragmented Mission Hill, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Starting From Ecotone Reconnecting Fragmented Mission Hill, Xinyi Cai
This thesis aims to address the spatial fragmentation of Mission Hill. As an old, crowded and chaotic neighborhood in Boston, Mission Hill is a microcosm of Boston's history. Four hundred years ago, Mission Hill was an ecological ecotone which consisted of a series of transitional landscapes, located on the border of a peninsula surrounded by salt marshes. Today, the history of ecotone has been hidden. Landfill, segregation, gentrification, and climate change have caused fragmented spaces, weak connections, and poor accessibility. Meanwhile, the fragmentation of public open areas has also disrupted people's interaction with one another, and the spatial spirit of …
Arctic Resilience: Adaptive Networks Of Self-Sufficiency, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Arctic Resilience: Adaptive Networks Of Self-Sufficiency, Jingjing Cui
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 …
Abundance Within Scarcity: Food Security In The Favelas Of Brazil Menglin, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Abundance Within Scarcity: Food Security In The Favelas Of Brazil Menglin, Menglin Ding
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, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Landscape De/Re-Construction Through Art, Manuel Gonzalez
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 …
Liquid Border, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Liquid Border, Yingfan Jia
A River is a mighty and constantly-evolving force, leaving behind an intricately designed and constantly changing system. Not just a river, the Rio Grande stretches all the way from Colorado before intersecting with the US-Mexico Border in southern Texas - a point where the powerful forces of nature now merge with a clearly-defined political boundary. The outcome of this is a unique ecological niche, which may often go unnoticed despite its distinctiveness.
Texas is famous for its farms and ranches, and the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas was once an agricultural hub. However, urbanization and the depletion of water …
Celebrate Scarcity: Water Harvesting As Cultural Keystone, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Celebrate Scarcity: Water Harvesting As Cultural Keystone, Jiajun Ni
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 …
Temporary Urbanism-Spatial Democracy In The Temporary City, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Temporary Urbanism-Spatial Democracy In The Temporary City, Shijie Li
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 …
Public-Ish, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Public-Ish, Aliah Werth
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, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Unearthing Complexity: Tangible Histories Of Water And Earth, Alexis Violet
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 …
Cracks Of The City: Crack As An Invitation For Informality, 2023 Rhode Island School of Design
Cracks Of The City: Crack As An Invitation For Informality, Yusha Miao
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 …