Master of Architecture Thesis Presentations 2018
Monday, May 7, 2018 - 9:00am
Master of Architecture Thesis Presentations 2018

The Master of Architecture degree at Portland State University culminates in the design thesis, which is undertaken in the final year of this program. The aim of our design thesis program is not to rest simply in proposing another building. Instead, it offers a singular opportunity for an individual to proclaim a position, state a case, articulate what matters, and communicate this through the language of architecture. 

Through a combination of rigorous research and creative exploration of a polemical issue framed as a question, students in the thesis phase of their Master of Architecture degree discover their passion for the contribution architecture can make to the transformation of culture. The response to this question is developed and shared in the form of hand and digital drawings, material studies, scale models, artifacts, and writing, which are presented by the student to a panel of resident and visiting faculty and professionals in an hour-long oral defense. Every student also compiles their thesis research and design process in a professionally printed book.  

The schedule for the thesis presentations is as follows:

Monday, May 7

9am     Ashwaq Al Khalil | Through Her Eyes: Redefining Unisex Public Space

Dammam, Saudi Arabia, is undergoing a major cultural shift with respect to the place of women in society. This proposal for a new typology can alter existing social and architectural norms and provide women a dedicated area where they can be encouraged to learn new crafts, explore their talents and develop financial independence. In doing so, it brings together a new generation of men, women, and children, working together to support their families. 

10am   Alexander Lipshutz | High_Water: How to Win Back Your Watershed: A Step-by-Step Investigation

High_Water is concerned with phenomena associated with the "urban stream syndrome"­essentially the loss of hydrologic functionality of urban watersheds. Due to associated prob­lems which thwart development, urban streams have historically been piped and culverted, commonly becoming part of the sewer system. Many negative environmental, social, and economic issues result from this loss. High_Water investigates the possibility of architectur­al interventions related to watershed restoration via daylighting of one of Portland's most prominent buried waterways, Tanner Creek. 

11am   Kayla Anderson | 98 Seconds: Creating a space for cognitive empathy to better understand our complicity in the prevalence of sexual assault

Every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes that person is a child. After decades of women's rights movements and opportunities for better legal protections, the current administration rescinded two important sets of legal guidelines, weakening legal protections for victims. I have chosen to use my voice, through architecture, to speak out about the prevalence of sexual assault and prove that architecture can and should have a voice in sociopolitical issues. 

1pm     Lisa Patterson | La Belle Riviere: Restoring the Ohio River through the design of an urban riverfront bath in Cincinnati, Ohio

Reckless waste and abuse of natural resources defines the most distinct, contemporary failure of humanity. Without a significant shift in the structure of both our environmental and economic urban conditions, the ability to maintain healthy, anxiety-free lifestyles will collapse. Our rivers are broken. Imagining the centers of our cities as common, potential energy creators generates an architecture that reconsiders the required carbon footprint and ingrained social exclusion of past urban recreation spaces. 

2pm     Rachel Sairio | The Olympics as Graphic Urbanism

Using printmaking and graphic design as the impetus for architectural form creates a visual language in the structure of the neighborhood that inspires identity and memory while contributing to the ongoing development of the city. By deploying this visual language in a multitude of ways, from stadium design to bus stops, and sprinkling it throughout the entire city, the Olympics can bring meaningful urban infrastructure and a visually connective identity to the city of Paris. 

3pm     Mathew Stockstill | Creating Spaces for Supervised Opioid Consumption

Supervised Injection Centers will soon be in existence in the United States. The success of these facilities will be reliant upon their integration into the urban fabric and the experienc­es created within. By humanizing the opioid consumption process and creating programs that benefit the surrounding community, Supervised Injection Centers can be properly situated in society and provide a space that positively impacts users of opioids. 

4pm     Faith Lindner | Transforming the South Side through the modular business incubator

The Chicago Module responds to the lack of infrastructure in place to support Englewood entrepreneurs in launching their ideas. In utilizing modular architecture as a building meth­od, the start-ups have the opportunity to become a prototype across the city. The Chicago Module is seeding businesses, creating nodes of commerce, and is ultimately leveraging residents across neighborhoods and cultures. Architecture must become the enabler, the transformative piece that fosters collaboration and integration among disciplines. 

5pm     Ossie Pleasant | Seeking an architecture for the end of the world

In Maryhill, Washington, a community awaits the imminent Cascadia Earthquake. At a mo­ment's notice, this small town is prepared to drop everything, grab supplies, and relocate to Portland. In attempts to prevent total population loss in a post-disaster Portland, this mobile community will fight to retain the cultural foundation of the city through the implementa­tion of Mobile Things. 

Tuesday, May 8

9am     Chad Wallace | U-Loong "The Youth Voice": Reprogramming North Beach, San Francisco, for positive change 

The majority of our world's cities grapple ineffectively with conditions like violence, hunger, poverty and prejudice that ferment undesirable social conditions, which in turn divide humanity, destroy social systems and contribute to major global afflictions. The stimuli for architectural growth are these: maturing social tensions, disorderly populations, and sub-par resource management. While buildings (as art and technic) are the core of this Thesis, the perspective of architecture as artifact would be the question of interactions between ar­chitecture and subject: how a very specific architecture suggests certain ways, movements, interactions, and perceptions of people.

10am   Amy Peterson | Wasteland: Repurposing Oil Infrastructure into a Regenerative System

This thesis proposes an alternative for outmoded petroleum storage tank farms by convert­ing these mundane industrial spaces into a renewable energy innovation center with a com­post-to-energy power plant. This project repurposes the site's storage tanks and industrial materials, and Portland's food waste system into a plausible regenerative system within the old industrial framework. 

11am   Carlos Restrepo | Intra[Connected]:  An Architecture for Support in Alternative Therapy

The mental-healthcare system has been neglecting a high percentage of patients where the current standard of care does not work with their therapy needs. The every-day stress and depression that each of us endures while remembering traumas of the past, and holding onto the anxiety about the future, this makes it difficult for some to enjoy life. A wide range of alternative therapies are used to cope with these stressors through traditional methods found around the world such as meditation, aromather­apy, fasting, sauna, sensory deprivation, isolation, and now ... Psychedelics? This project explores the possibilities with which we can support these un-traditional methods to give people a greater sense of well-being. 

1pm     Zachary Pate | Seeds 4 Change | MKE: Social Affordable Housing for the Revitalization of Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee sprang up as a city of opportunity, built on an economy supporting families from all walks of life and built of a typology that efficiently accommodated those families. Today, a majority of that economy has disappeared, with the arrival of a new system that benefits those of a higher economic class to the disadvantage of those struggling to provide for their families. "Seeds 4 Change" investigates affordable housing in Milwaukee and proposes a new typology that is feasible to its builders and renters alike. 

2pm     Connor Scher | Unsung: An Architectural Allegory on the Government Hill Wireless Station

The Government Hill Wireless Station in Anchorage died at 1700 on 10 July 2017 and the spirits and stories that it contained began dissipating into the ether. The structures them­selves preserved a hundred years of history in their fabric. Whereas traditional and codified methods of preservation were insufficient to resuscitate the structures, Unsung elucidates through an architectural allegory the preservation of memories, stories, and place spirits without nostalgic subservience to historic constructs. 

3pm     Alyssa Brook | Dammed if we don't: Reviving a culture of environmental activism on the Columbia River

Climate change, depletion of fossil fuels, and scarcity of natural resources define our future. Architects and other design professionals are key contributors in the building process whose behavior and decisions will influence these impacts for years to come. This project takes a critical look at those impacts in relation to the Columbia River watershed by reimagining existing infrastructure to revive a culture of environmental activism, integrate environmental ethics and foster a more intimate relationship with nature. 

4pm     Austin Zeitz  | Vaccine Vernacular: Treatment Through Architectural Typology

Tuberculosis is the quintessential urban disease. Its prevalence runs parallel to the rise of industrialization. Despite the presence of curative treatment since the advent of antibiotics it remains one of the WHO's top ten leading causes of death worldwide. Cities of the global south like Lagos, Nigeria shoulder a disproportionate majority of this burden. Architecture is the tool to address this escalating urban issue by bridging the gap between consistent treatment and community engagement. 

5pm     Nick Vipond | Narrative Simulation: Fiction as a tool for design

This thesis explores narrative as a tool for understanding the role that craft and design play in an autonomous future. By creating a fictional world bound by location, and with the vari­able of an autonomous industrial process, lives and architecture are manifest which respond to this new fictional environment. This process of narrative world-building gives the author/ architect an insight into the possibilities of a site, beyond its current state. 

Wednesday, May 9

9am     Cheryl Leontina | Intersections: Historic Centennial Mill Restoration and Adaptive Reuse using Social, Economic, and Environmental Design (SEED)

In response to critical issues faced by Portland's urban development, I am proposing the"tri­ple bottom line" of SEED as a component to historic preservation, and as a key to sustainable growth, as a means for healing our fractured social infrastructure. 

10am   Cosette Hardman | Vibrotorium: Read my hands, not my lips

What will happen if we step away from the word 'disability' and start focusing on how diverse human bodies actually occupy space? For an extended period of time, the Deaf have been marginalized from this world, because hearing loss has been considered a threat to the overall society. People should consider that having hearing loss can offer something better in the world. When a person sees pictures mentally and thinks in gestures, the world is in a unique perspective, forming a different functionality. Now it is the time to create a space that will accommodate varied occupants.

11am   Chelsea Mueller | Hand Game Architecture: Re-utilizing the element of game to provoke a deeper understanding of a post-colonial reality

The Canadian North has great potential, but it is doing an appalling job at creating architec­ture that speaks to anything but thoughtlessness and its colonial annihilation of a culture. As a result, this is consciously and sub-consciously perpetuating systemic marginalization. This thesis proposes a new architectural typology, Hand Game Architecture, which uses Play as a method to deepen conversations and provoke an understanding of perspectives. The value of play is critical to human nature and a fundamental aspect of culture, yet it has been largely overlooked in the North. 

1pm     Meijia Qi | Belonging: Architecture should be a home for a sense of belonging

The thesis aims to address and redefine the sense of belonging, new ways of being together and new perspectives to understand architecture for the public. It explores the importance of individuals' understanding of who they are and where they belong in a public building. Intentional consideration of space and time dimensions provides meaning to the place. This project investigates how architecture emphasizes the sense of belonging to make people feel more confident and welcome. 

2pm     Lauren Sanchez | Almost Architectures: A Speculative Design Fiction on Immigrant Developments

Forged within a False News Metropolis In the year 2018, we dwell in a spiral of decomposition. Our unprecedented access to the Internet enables us to con­sume news, images, and information (both legitimate and illegitimate) rapidly. No matter how inconsistent with reality reproductions may be due to the various image manipulation and meme-ing techniques available to us, they have become the acquired understanding which renders our lives and shared existences legible. This project explores the possibility that the recomposition of these reproductions can be productive in shaping new conditions. Through recomposition, the image becomes productive in that it takes on qualities that cannot easily be defined, or "almost" qualities. By suggesting objects exist beyond the singular definitions they are typically confined to, this project seeks to create space for those typically marginalized, like the strange or the"other;' within both the disciplinary and societal contexts. 

3pm     Christopher Jones | Post-Sculpture: The Setziol Center as an Exploration of Architectural Form

How do we develop the physical manifestation of an idea? What happens if form follows idea? Can this approach be leveraged to break into a different architectural space?The Setziol Center is a sculpture museum, carving studio, and civic institution proposed for Sher­idan, OR. The architecture emanated from an idea - the idea that the architecture should be sculpture that accommodates sculpture. Post-sculpture is a question. We have sculpture, so what comes after? 

4pm     Jennifer Moran | Intergenerational Synergy: Lived histories as a form of space

Architectural spaces,much like the generations that inhabit them, can be a catalyst for exchange and synergetic connection. America is culturally rich and offers a wide variety of methods to care for our precious generations. However, highly problematic is the segregation into institutions that warehouse and isolate generations. How can architecture stimulate intergenerational interactions to wake, revive and inspire memory making? What type of architecture can best connect those at either end of the age spectrum? When can architectural typologies best celebrate and encourage the active intersection of these generations? Can opportunities for mentorship create connections strong enough for the forma­tion of architectural spaces? 

5pm     Rosemary Hill | Stability Matters: Making Space for Building a Seismic Culture in the Pacific Northwest

The impending Cascadia earthquake presents us with an opportunity to build differently. Not then, but now. Disasters are unplanned moments of creative destruction, so their inev­itable occurrence must become part of our city-building process. Portland must empower its citizens and its builders to explore alternatives to conventional post disaster reconstruc­tion. This thesis proposes a building center and research institute for the development of a regional seismic culture. 

If you are interested in attending any of the presentations, please contact or 503.725.8405 to RSVP.

Visiting Reviewers

We are pleased to welcome a panel of distiguished guest reviewers who will participate in critiques during the three days of presentations.

Deborah Hauptmann is Professor in Architecture Theory and Chair of the Department of Architecture at Iowa State University, USA. Prior to ISU, Professor Hauptmann was the Director of the Delft School of Design, an internationally recognized platform for research and advanced education at the Delft University of Technology, NL. Hauptmann’s research draws on a trans-disciplinary approach to architecture, which includes disciplines such as philosophy, cultural & media studies, the social sciences and the neurosciences. In her edited volume, Cognitive Architecture: From Biopolitics to Noopolitics: Architecture and Mind in the Age of Information and Communication. Cognitive Architecture begins with the basic premise that in a world increasingly populated by technologies of information and communication, the analysis of biopolitics must be expanded to include thinking on noopolitics. While the former acts on body, or populations of bodies, and inscribes habits and practices specific to life (bios), the latter operates on mind (nous), on general intellect and mental disposition. Select publications include: ‘Repositioning: The after(s) and the end(s) of theory’, in This Think Called Theory, 2016; ‘Northern Line’, co-authored with A. Radman, in Deleuze and Architecture, 2013; Forward to Writing and Seeing Architecture: Christian de Portzamparc and Philippe Sollers, 2008; The Body in Architecture, 2006. Hauptmann is a Henri Bergson scholar; she is the English (co)translator of his 1889 Latin thesis Quid Aristoteles de Loco Senserit/ On Aristotle’s Conception of Place. Deborah has practiced architecture in Switzerland, Spain, and the US and, since 2006 she has the pleasure to participate in the Biennale Educational Sessions at the Venice Biennale in Architecture, where she hosts three-day workshops and symposia. 
Jesse LeClavierJesse LeCavalier is a designer, writer, and educator whose work explores the architectural and urban implications of contemporary logistics. He is the author of The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Architecture of Fulfillment (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). LeCavalier conducts design and research work through LECAVALIER R+D and is assistant professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Daniel Rose Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He was the recipient of the 2015 New Faculty Teaching Award from the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the 2010–11 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan. His work has been published widely, including contributions to Cabinet, Public Culture, Places, Art Papers, and Harvard Design Magazine. LeCavalier's essay, “The Restlessness of Objects,” was the recipient of a 2013 Core77 Design Award and his installation “Architectures of Fulfillment” was part of the 2017 Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism. His project "Shelf Life" was one of five finalists for the 2018 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program and will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art in the summer of 2018.
Nichole WeidemannNichole Wiedemann, AIA is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. In her teaching, research and practice, she continues to focus on the elements of architecture--program, site, material and representation--as places for continual investigation rather than simply givens in the architectural equation. Wiedemann’s research focuses on site and utilizes drawings to explore endurance as physically manifest in the landscape. Her work, independent and collaborative, has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the 10th Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, as well published in JAE, On Site, Progressive Architecture and others. A registered architect, Wiedemann maintains a small independent practice with projects in Texas, Georgia and Florida. 

Wiedemann received her Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and Master of Architecture from Princeton University. She has previously taught at the University of Florida, RISD, MIT and the University of Arkansas, where she held the John Williams Distinguished Professorship. She is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. In 2017, Wiedemann received an AIA Honor Award for Outstanding Educational Contributions in Honor of Edward Romieniec, FAIA, from the Texas Society of Architects.