Architecture Theses and Dissertations

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    Therapeutic Expression: An Architectural Path to Mind and Body
    (2023) Dandy, Selina Michelle; Noonan, Peter; Architecture; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    To design with the intent to influence a user’s psychological and physical well-being. Neuroarchitecture constructs an understanding of how the brain of its occupants works. This is designed by providing users with spaces that arouse their stimuli. When correctly done a space can effectively influence behavior, well-being, cognition, emotion, and perception. In attempts to grow our built environment, neuroarchitecture will help enhance our connection to the natural world as well as create the importance of human health and well-being. By implementing natural light, views/access to nature, materials, spatial layout, acoustics, temperature, and air quality, these principles will promote positive emotions and sensory experience. These design principles will be shown throughout the project. Allowing the user to connect with their mind and body where one can find their therapeutic expression. Although this does not present a cure but based on research with architecture and neuroscience at play, it can positively affect the outcome of human stress levels and mood. All of which are goals that will be set throughout this therapeutic retreat.
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    (2023) Edwards, Joseph Chase; Kelly, Brian P.; Architecture; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Detroit, Michigan, and its residents have suffered through economic, social, and environmental hardships from the fall of industrialization since 1950. Some of the largest issues within the city of Detroit are high vacancy rates, high unemployment rates, poverty, and overall lack of acknowledgement to its residents. However, in recent years, organizations within the city have begun to implement various outreach programs to beautify Detroit, improve its current housing situation, and promote community engagement. This thesis proposition looks to help aid these efforts through the introduction of a vertical smart growth architectural hybrid typology used as a catalyst human-centric, resilient urban housing. This is accomplished through the introduction of a community-focused and supportive building program. Overall, creating a self-sufficient, live-work micro-ecosystem to bring life back into the city center.
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    Step into Green: Reimagining our Urbanscapes with Integrated Green Spaces
    (2023) Long, James Renwick; Gabrielli, Julie; Architecture; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Communities across the country, and beyond, suffer from food insecurity due to Food Desert conditions. Food deserts persist due to lack of reasonable access to nutritious foods, often as a result of distance to the nearest grocery store or market. Minorities, impoverished areas, and otherwise marginalized peoples are particularly subject to this inadequate access to healthful foods and produce. Existing infrastructures and urban planning provide little relief, particularly for those communities that wish to become more self-reliant by establishing greenspaces devoted to urban agriculture (UA). Zoning, local regulations, costs, and access to viable soil and clean water compound the challenges that inhibit a transition from consumer (reliant) to producer (provider). While there are many factors that contribute to the commonness of Food Deserts, the following proposal shows how rethinking urban design approach can, at various scales, provide meaningful relief by way of UA to those in need of nutritious supplements to their diets.This design scheme must be scalable, affordable, and resilient while also being applicable to a variety of build scenarios including new construction, renovation, and repurposing. As such, this proposal rethinks urban design strategies from a theoretical standpoint and exemplifies the execution of this theory in the neighborhood of Harlem Park, Baltimore, MD, that currently and historically suffers from food desert conditions. The scale of this neighborhood will allow the execution of urban planning aspects, community integration strategies, and individual household or unit-scale production to be showcased. Many UA initiatives have proven successful across the country and will serve as a basis by which to quantify the potential impact and effectiveness of this new design proposal in terms of initial and upkeep costs, volume of produce, and sustainability.
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    Light Forms Function
    (2023) Centeno, Cristhy Guadalupe; Williams, Joseph; Architecture; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Light is essential for understanding design as well as living and working in structures. Although it cannot be produced, its perception shapes architectural spaces and forms. It creates a mood by lighting surfaces with texture and materials. It also has a significant influence on our biological and mental well-being. This thesis will investigate the programs, different lighting strategies, and typological precedents used by design schools, as well as collect questionnaires and interviews from building users. To enhance and support users' daily lives, it will also examine methods for capturing, rerouting, darkening, and framing natural and artificial light luminosity. The University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Building would eventually be redesigned using the knowledge acquired. Due to the amount of time, students spend in schools, it is essential to design primarily for the visual requirements of the users and their expected functions inside a given space. This is because schools may serve as students' second homes.
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    Harboring Identity: Community-Informed Design for Belonging in Westport and Curtis Bay
    (2023) Abe, Danielle; Filler, Kenneth; Architecture; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This thesis is a community-informed exploration of South Baltimore’s Westport and Curtis Bay neighborhoods. It is about listening, empathizing, and starting the design process with these communities and then exploring forms and spaces that can serve current community anchors and community needs while acknowledging complicated histories. In the U.S., the pattern of redlining and disinvestment of resources from communities of color is sometimes followed by re-investment that leads to physical and/or cultural displacement of long-time residents. The Baltimore Harbor is experiencing pressure of potentially speculative gentrifying re-investment that would serve future hypothetical residents instead of existing ones. The design intent is to empower residents to stay, strengthen, and feel a sense of belonging in their home neighborhoods.