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Adapting An Image: transforming urban built heritage to [re]claim and [re]present an inherited cultural image
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Perpetuated throughout the Caribbean diaspora as street parades and decadent festivities, Caribbean Carnival is an established social ritual that permits revelers to masquerade in extravagant costumes that simultaneously project an assumed character and protect the individual's identity. The wide variety of costumes predominately featured provide such a rich collection of forms and ideas suitable for the architectural exploration of contrasts - the revealed vs. the concealed, the old vs. new - that this thesis poses the question: can the analysis and application of the essential characteristics of Caribbean Carnival costume design be a reasonable approach for the architectural integration of a new cultural program into an established urban fabric? By providing infrastructure for Caribbean nationals active in their shared culture and facilitating continued connections with the wider community, this proposal seeks to innovatively transform a parcel of Washington, DC's built heritage to reclaim and represent an inherited Caribbean identity.