Architecture education prepared me for the demanding world of practice. The studio projects immersed me in different ways of thinking. At the Harvard GSD, I had the benefit of working on a range of critics, from Geometric Whizzes, to the co-inventer of Katia software, to builders who were Project Managers of complex buildings such as the New Museum and the Wyly Theater (stair-a major feat). My Master’s in Architecture thesis enabled me to get my feet wet and establish a real client.
Architecture & Empathy
Master’s Thesis deserves its own page.
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In the Urban Design Studio at the GSD, we worked on a site in Iztapalapa, a division of Mexico City. The site has been occupied by people who claim ownership. The government of Iztapalapa has begun negotiations to begin development of the land. The residents, who have built their own houses, neighborhoods, are skeptical to formal interference, yet also are in need of critical infrastructure such as water and human services. Our studio visited the neighborhoods and met with various stakeholders. Our job was to propose the urban grid, basic massing and layout of the parcel. My project took the following as a given:
1/The neighborhood scale is working wonderfully in many ways, and we should learn from and integrate with their urban organization.
2/Any new road development should connect existing main roads with their existing fabric.
3/A series of discrete new structures can support the already existing cultural activities, for instance: daily markets, yearly religious festivals, while also providing services that are currently not reaching residents, ie: Health Clinics, Job staffing, etc.
Cardiff Museum Expansion
The project brief called upon a team of architects and engineers to propose the expansion upon the Turner Contemporary Museum by David Chipperfield Architects in Margate, Kent. The town needs to increase the museum by 50% (1000 m2 net increase) for event programming as well as gallery space. They also wished to have an all-weather skyroom that could function for both the museum and the city. The skyroom could also be cordoned off for special events as needed. Structural Analysis by MIT students at each step along the way simulates the realistic way that Architects and Engineers collaborate in real life.
Team: Caroline James, Gavin Robb, Juan Yactayo (Harvard GSD M.Arch ’14), Tim Sunghun Lim and Garrett Pierce Jones (MIT, MEng. Structures)