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Rhode Island School of Design

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Full-Text Articles in Architecture

Climate Futures, Design, And The Just Transition Part I, Liberal Arts Division Nov 2018

Climate Futures, Design, And The Just Transition Part I, Liberal Arts Division

Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies (NCSS) Events

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Symposium, Part I, November 9-10, 2018. Friday | 1:30-6:30pm.

At a time when climate politics would seem to be stuck between a state of “melancholic paralysis” (Wark, 2015) and “passive nihilism” (Connolly, 2016), mobilizations occurring around just transitions stand as one of the few bright spots on the horizon. Discussions of just transitions are at different stages of development. They come with the usual bundle of issues, problems, controversies and setbacks. But they also come with potential and promise. In a bleak intellectual context, where the converging forces of climate destabilization and authoritarian populism would seem ...


Providence Productivity Framework : Ideas For A Network Of Sites Rethinking Productivity In Providence, Patricia Noto Jun 2018

Providence Productivity Framework : Ideas For A Network Of Sites Rethinking Productivity In Providence, Patricia Noto

Masters Theses

This thesis attempts to answer the broad question: “How can designers have a role in creating or enhancing productive systems in cities?”

The focus is on rethinking the function of public and quasi-public space with the aim of building inclusiveness, ecological diversity, and productivity. The project explores the meaning of productivity and works to push the defi nition of urban productivity to include but also extend beyond community gardens. For example, a productive city might include a network of agroforestry sites, sites being remediated so that they can grow food in the future, a nursery on a capped brownfi eld ...


The Long Forgotten City Element, Yun Chu King Jun 2018

The Long Forgotten City Element, Yun Chu King

Masters Theses

No cities should escape from their history and original features.

Taoyuan, also be called as a city of thousand of ponds, which has an unique landscape in Taiwan. This uniqueness is a victim of the city expansions. Instead of let this uniqueness undeveloped and being a part of victim by filled with soil as the land for the high-rise and high density developments, I would like to purpose a model water friendly community idea and a new living style to Taoyuan city.

This community consist with the one family houses which is the typical living style in this surrounding area ...


Living With Mega-Cavity, Ankang Xu Jun 2018

Living With Mega-Cavity, Ankang Xu

Masters Theses

With the future depletion of mineral resource, huge quarry pits will be remained in many areas in Massachusetts. They are like vast “scars” laying beside the urban fabric which create a sense of “urban sublime”. They exist abhorrently but definitely have significant influence on the region at many levels, such as ecology, hydrology, economy and society. Moreover, the abandoned mine pits have become a global environmental issue. How to deal with these “scars” will be a vital topic in the future.

In phase 1, the researcher focused on the study of quarries in Massachusetts and the recognition of “Urban Sublime ...


Revealing Context & Complexity In Urban Historic Sites, Simin Chu Jun 2018

Revealing Context & Complexity In Urban Historic Sites, Simin Chu

Masters Theses

Historic sites cannot stand alone. The order, hierarchy and narrative sequence of architecture can only survive when surrounding context exists. Often over time the urban fabric changes, leaving future generations unaware of the historic meaning of a disjointed site. By revealing the historic complexity of architecture as it was originally intended to function, we can develop juxtaposition of new and old orders which make old buildings both imply the original order and adapt to new urban fabric.

For instance, in Providence, Rhode Island you have Cathedral Square, located between Downtown and Upper South Providence, which was almost demolished by the ...


Environmental Diversity For Student Residence Life, Jiaying Bai Jun 2018

Environmental Diversity For Student Residence Life, Jiaying Bai

Masters Theses

Anxlety, stress and difficulties in handling human relationships are the three most serious and common mental health problems among students of the Rhode Island School of Design, according to Shauna Summers, director of RISD Counselling and Psychological Services. As one of the best design schools in the country, RISD admits top applicants. It's common for students who had brilliant grades and performance in high school to find themselves no longer the best among their collea13ues, Moreover, the seemingly constant perfect performance of those around them adds to anxiety and stress. For these students, it is hard to recognize value ...


Architecture As Water-Human Mediator, Hui Bao Jun 2018

Architecture As Water-Human Mediator, Hui Bao

Masters Theses

Humans have developed a working relationship with water and the sea since ancient times. Sea level rise is going to challenge that relationship and change people’s lifestyle forever. To better adapt people physically and psychologically to their new life within or near the sea, it is necessary for the coastal building environment to mediate people’s relationship with the ocean, helping people get more comfortable with water.

The Boston fish pier is an icon of the Boston fishing industry. Climate change and overfishing are causing the decline of this industry and making the pier more and more desolate. Hundreds ...


Bound By // To // In Earth, Lila Pickus Jun 2018

Bound By // To // In Earth, Lila Pickus

Masters Theses

The story of Uravan does not end with its erasure in 1986. The 74 years of the town’s existence is only one chapter in the cyclical narrative of industry, individuals and the earth that shapes today’s political, economic and environmental discourse. Visitors to Uravan are active participants in this story’s ongoing development. The scale of this responsibility, however, is impossible to grasp.

Without the architecture and artifact that make history tangible, Uravan’s legacy is invisible. All remains of the town’s infrastructure have been demolished, yet the site continues to be defined by its intangibility. The ...


Water Voyage From Quabbin To Boston, Ling Xia Jun 2018

Water Voyage From Quabbin To Boston, Ling Xia

Masters Theses

This thesis focus on investigating on revealing the powerful Quabbin to Boston water system. In Boston, whenever we turn on our tap, our shower head, there is water coming out. Being driven by the curiosity of want to know the source of the water, the research eventually get to know the Quabbin Reservoir. Being fascinated by the giant body of water which provides water for people of the big Boston, in phase one the research begins with finding the hidden story of the displaced people who lost their land because of Quabbin reservoir. However, the way of the researching cannot ...


Me Too Park : Inform, Connect, Heal, Xiao Chen Jun 2018

Me Too Park : Inform, Connect, Heal, Xiao Chen

Masters Theses

This project creates an urban sublime experience at an abandoned railroad in order to foster a reflection and healing experience in terms of sexual violence. The big strategy is evoking an urban sublime in the landscape as a bridge to inform, to connect and to heal. The experiment of physical actions to materials and how that could achieve the sublime experience above is also addressed.

In Phase I, the investigation focuses on the definition of sublime and what the sublime is using for. Literature review, site analysis, interviews and experiments are done to clarify the relationship between sexual violence, site ...


Wastescape : Stitching The Process Of Natural Decomposition Back Into The Public Realm, Yu Pei Jun 2018

Wastescape : Stitching The Process Of Natural Decomposition Back Into The Public Realm, Yu Pei

Masters Theses

The research starts with an interest in waste management in New York City which is the most wasteful city in the world. The city spends extra energy and creates more environmental and social problems by transporting them out of the city and dumping them in the landfill.

With the original question of how to bring the waste back to the city and how to get people close to the waste, Phase I investigates the composition, quantity and mobility of the waste management in New York City and raises the objective of bringing waste back into the city within the broader ...


Guide The Flood : Miami Vulnerable Neighborhoods Flood Adaptation Design, Zhe Zhao Jun 2018

Guide The Flood : Miami Vulnerable Neighborhoods Flood Adaptation Design, Zhe Zhao

Masters Theses

When it comes to the future of Miami, what else could be instead of waiting to be swallowed by the sea?

This thesis starts with a group pre-research on different aspects related to the rising up sea-level in Miami. By analyzing the existed urban fabric and typologies, the author tries to use the current segregated open space in every block to create a new open space system to reduce the sea-level-rise influence. Therefore, the goal for the thesis is to provide a powerful and gynamic open space system to the rising sea-level.

The thesis is structured in three phases. In ...


Future Street, Wushuang Xing Jun 2018

Future Street, Wushuang Xing

Masters Theses

This book seeks to identify future street typology in the City of Miami for better adaptation to sea-level rise, hurricanes and flooding. Based on the current transportation system, streets in Miami could be improved and be more resilient during natural disasters and be more navigable after disasters have passed. Currently, urban streets in Miami always confront failure during and after hurricanes and flooding. Because of rising sea levels, these problems are going to increase in severity, which could have an even greater impact on people’s daily lives and recovery after disaster. Consequently, improving urban street typology in Miami could ...


Living With Impoundment, Chuxiong Feng Jun 2018

Living With Impoundment, Chuxiong Feng

Masters Theses

This research-based thesis uses Miami as a site to investigate how landscape intervention can contribute to adaptation to sea level rise (SLR) and shifts it will bring to this region in the future. The whole thesis is divided into three phases and each phase has specific objectives and builds foundations for research and experiments in the next phase.

Phase One: Possible Future of Freshwater Wetlands in Miami Depict a full picture of the impact that sea level rise has had and will have on the city of Miami with particular emphasis on wetlands. The investigations include overlaying sea level rise ...


Life After Dark, Austin Bamford Jun 2018

Life After Dark, Austin Bamford

Masters Theses

Witnessing the movements of the moon, stars, Milky Way and meteors is a fundamental first step in examining our roles in the universe and revealing the material origins of the landscapes we inhabit. It is this cosmic understanding that leads us to steward our environments and identify who we are.

We see the choreography of the stars not only by seeing the celestial bodies with telescopes or the naked eye, but also by experiencing the ways in which ambient light interacts with ground—changing by the minute, season and year. It is the dynamics between source and surface that catches ...


Embody Phenomenal Transparency : The Expanded Application Of "Phenomenal Transparency" In Landscape Architecture, Hongfei Li Jun 2018

Embody Phenomenal Transparency : The Expanded Application Of "Phenomenal Transparency" In Landscape Architecture, Hongfei Li

Masters Theses

Phenomenal Transparency was first identified from cubism painting and applied to architectural analysis by Colin Rowe and Slutzky in 1963. In terms of the discussion of form, this spatial quality synthesizes and demonstrates complex orders and organizations in a structural way which could be comprehend through experience. From the perspective of modern physics considering the traditional space as timespace continuum, the intentionally ambiguous space creates simultaneous perception and actively mutual relationship between human and time-space which is the essential forum of Phenomenology in current context.

The thesis bridges the theory of “Phenomenal Transparency“, the theory of “Phenomenology” in aspect of ...


Floating Miami, Jiongye Li Jun 2018

Floating Miami, Jiongye Li

Masters Theses

This thesis focuses on designing adaptations in order to reduce the impact of flooding in Miami, Florida. Flooding that is generated from stormwater, hurricanes and sea-level rises largely impacts upon Miami in terms of its transportation systems, eco-system and the daily lives of its residents. Even though a large number of adaptations have already been applied in some districts of this city, , such as improvement of pump stations and pipelines, the capacity and materials of those infrastructures still cannot resist the adverse impact brought by hurricanes or other natural disasters.

In order to understand the reasons why Miami has frequently ...


The Future Of Agriculture In Miami, Siyu Zheng Jun 2018

The Future Of Agriculture In Miami, Siyu Zheng

Masters Theses

Miami is facing an inevitable future in which sea level rise will submerge some of the city and most of the Everglades and agriculture area by 2100.

Phase one investigates the impact on ecosystems surrounding Miami due to climate shift and rising sea level. During this phase, the effect of sea level rise (SLR) on ecosystems in Miami will be analyzed using the existing Land Cover Distribution Map and Land Cover Change Report posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Phase two talks about the farming land being taken over by the wetland. However, both wetland and farming ...


Threading Puddles : Stormwater Management As A Way To Address The Impact Of Miami's Future Fresh Water Shortage Due To Increasing Water Demand And Saltwater Intrusion, Jing Zeng Jun 2018

Threading Puddles : Stormwater Management As A Way To Address The Impact Of Miami's Future Fresh Water Shortage Due To Increasing Water Demand And Saltwater Intrusion, Jing Zeng

Masters Theses

The city of Miami will face significant challenges in the future of changing climate. Compared with other cities in Florida, Miami is lucky to have the abundant groundwater resource from its surficial aquifer —Biscayne aquifer, which provides potable water for 3 million people of the region. But, as climate change progresses, Florida is expected to experience warmer temperature, more prolong drought, higher precipitation events and more intense storms. All these factors will influence the hydrologic system and current water management due to the uncertainty.

Climate variability will dictate the amount of water available to replenish the suificial aquifer. The low-lying ...


Reveal The Aura : Risd Contemplative Atrium, Shuyi Guo Jun 2018

Reveal The Aura : Risd Contemplative Atrium, Shuyi Guo

Masters Theses

The built environment affects us on an emotional and psychological level; architecture can be as calming as meditation. Architecturally-induced contemplative states allow inhabitants to experience the benefits of meditation through space. Emotional well-being is essential to personal development and integral to the creative process. The Rhode Island School of Design campus currently offers counseling and psychological services for student and faculty. What is not offered is a space for students and faculty to seek inner peace in a relaxed way. In order to support the RISD community by creating a place for people to promote mental health in a consistent ...


Purpose After Tragedy, Elena Tepavac Jun 2018

Purpose After Tragedy, Elena Tepavac

Masters Theses

Psychological trauma arises through the experience of conflict, such as war, fire, and terrorism. People exposed carry fragments with them throughout their lifetime. Buildings hold a great significance in the fabric of the cities they inhabit, and can also become vessels for trauma. They carry the gift of keeping memories alive even as they succumb to ruins.

One such building is the RTS- Radio Television of Serbia, located in the center of Belgrade, Serbia. During the Kosovo War of the late 1990’s, NATO saw this media center as a target because of its communication ties to the Yugoslav Armed ...


Creating Connection In A Digital Society, Mariah Bennett Jun 2018

Creating Connection In A Digital Society, Mariah Bennett

Masters Theses

The digital revolution has greatly affected the way we engage with each other.1 We choose virtual friends over real life ones as we go through our daily lives.2 According to the 2016 Nielson report, the average American spends four-five hours a day using social media, with teens spending an additional three hours a day.3 This is an average of 28-56 hours a week dedicated to Twitter posts, swiping on Tinder, Snapchatting, checking Facebook, or liking on Instagram, the equivalent to a part time job. According to countless studies, the digital age has made it hard for teens ...


Rising Above Disruption, Paola Alexandra Mondino Jun 2018

Rising Above Disruption, Paola Alexandra Mondino

Masters Theses

Climate change is real. Given the rising number of natural disasters affecting communities across the globe, this is a universal concern for all. From warming oceans to the decreasing of ice sheets and global sea level rise, we have problems. In the wake of increasingly frequent natural disasters, a community’s identity is abruptly interrupted repeatedly – an identity built upon history and traditions created over time, pulled apart over and over. When dealing with damaged communities post-disruption, another identity must emerge, shaped to incorporate the need for future resilience, while acknowledging the presence of the affected area’s past.

South ...


Understanding Dwelling Beyond The Terrestrial, Sungkyu Yang Jun 2018

Understanding Dwelling Beyond The Terrestrial, Sungkyu Yang

Masters Theses

One of the first places humans have lived outside of Earth is the International Space Station. However, the quality of life on the station is dehumanizing because it was designed to be a laboratory, not a dwelling. The condition of the existing space is monotonous and dooms residents to a boring and tedious life. The expression of beauty inherent in human nature is missing. The operation of the ISS as a space environment research laboratory is scheduled to end in 2024. This thesis explores how to utilize the adaptive reuse potential of the International Space Station to better understand human ...


A Monument Thesis, Graham Rice Jun 2018

A Monument Thesis, Graham Rice

Masters Theses

Monuments are to something; people, events, memories, achievements, or tragedies. They are meant to freeze the moment of the builder and save it for the future. Monuments are an attempted cryogenesis, but monuments that preserve the past sever themselves from the present. They are cryogenic. They can be viewed, but are frozen behind the glass of time. All but the most potent of artifacts will fade at these low temps. Their relevance diminishes until they undergo a transmutation from an intentional object into a historical artifact.

These historic monuments are worthy of our suspicion. Do they replicate or preserve what ...


Joy Through Layered Tension : Convergent Fire-Escapes Fulfill A New Community, Luca Rivelli Jun 2018

Joy Through Layered Tension : Convergent Fire-Escapes Fulfill A New Community, Luca Rivelli

Masters Theses

The initial curiosity of this thesis was the exploration of the unquantifiable aspects of architecture. How can the emotional experience of one’s design process be manifested into something that physically embodies those sensations? How can the creator and the observer have a more intimate connection through emotional solidification?


The Space In Between : Liminal Space, Wei-Chun Cheng Jun 2018

The Space In Between : Liminal Space, Wei-Chun Cheng

Masters Theses

Drawings are not just a representation of the architecture. We ask questions through drawings and solve questions by drawings. Every line on the paper is constructing a thinking, an idea. The moment you draw, ideas start to evolve. The way you draw reflects the way you think. Your drawings will function as a trigger to stimulate your brain to imagine the world differently.

This thesis is a journey of discovery through draw “boundary”. The site, architecture language, and program will emerge from the process of drawing.


Facade Of Democracy : Realizing The Architecture Of The Fourth Wall, Johnny Yueh Han Lin Jun 2018

Facade Of Democracy : Realizing The Architecture Of The Fourth Wall, Johnny Yueh Han Lin

Masters Theses

This thesis project explored the scope of democracy and seek the opportunity to relate the research into the discipline of architecture. This one-year thesis journey started from “Democracy in Words”, “Democracy as a Rule of Drawing”, which seek to develop a representation system under the wide topic of democracy. The second part, “Behind the Democratic Illustration”, used a series of collages and drawings to understand a contemporary democratic crisis. And in the last part of the thesis “Reveal the Democratic Truth”, develop an architectural project based on the previous knowledge to reveal the predicament of the society through a counter-design ...


A Third Thing : An Exploration Of Black Hair In Architectural Design, Christina B. Schaller Jun 2018

A Third Thing : An Exploration Of Black Hair In Architectural Design, Christina B. Schaller

Masters Theses

“African-American architects have been unable to articulate our own truth or vision of the future except as a reflection of the very culture that marginalizes us. We are so spent by trying to get into the system that there is little time remaining to critique the historical condition that make our climb so difficult. Rather than develop a self-defined praxis of architecture that would make a real difference in the lives of our people, we mimic the values and goals that have created our oppression.” - Sharon Sutton

By looking at traditions, art and architecture in the African American community, my ...


The Present, Ann Motonaga Jun 2018

The Present, Ann Motonaga

Masters Theses

My thesis asks how can architecture create spatial experiences that hold us in the present moment? I investigated how good stories that follow a structure of constriction and release as defined by Christopher Booker, and that exists in the Japanese culture that engage the imagination and senses to allow us to return to the present moment. In addition, I looked at other forms of “constriction” such as paper and thread making, and the Buddhist philosophy of menmitsu that emphasized a slow process and being present.

Since the industrial revolution our lives have gotten increasingly more efficient. Because of this time ...