On Thursday I presented for my final review of M.Arch Thesis at the MIT Media Lab with 18 other students. I am elated!!

MIT has a tradition of the Core and Option students helping the thesis students finishing up.  They finish a few days before us and then keep going-building models, and essentially being our interns for a few days.  In the past, I've helped thesis students every year, but never have I seen the department this completely mobilized  contributing to our projects.  We had incredible support! 

In a non-stop adrenaline session, I presented on Thursday and moved out of my apartment and studio and drove to Buffalo on Friday with my family who came to support me. I have a week in Buffalo and then onto a new life in Denver, CO! Onwards and Upwards. (or westwards?)

Thesis Interview

For the MIT architecture blog, thesis students are being "interviewed" each week about their thesis.  It's a quick way to give other students in the program a window into what's happening in the thesis room. Here's my response:

Day One at Silo City

Today starts my week long adventure in my home town of Buffalo through the lens of my thesis on adaptive reuse of abandoned industrial buildings in shrinking cities.  Case study: grain elevators in Buffalo.  This morning I met with Jim Watkins, the Silo City Site Manager who is a wealth of knowledge of the happenings and history of these concrete giants.  I interviewed him outside his house beside his super-chill giant dog, feeling totally dwarfed by the silos rising around us.  He gave me a tour of the site and led me through the three buildings that Rick Smith of Rigidized Metals owns and then gave me free range to explore.  Also on the site today was a graffiti class for inner-city youth: using the silos as their canvas, remnants of a wedding that happened there, and the beginnings of the design studio with +FARM with whom I was able to talk.   

I have lots more meetings, tours and interviews scheduled and will even get to check out a wedding happening at Silo City on Saturday.  

I'll be here grinning all week, smelling Cheerios from General Mills.  

Meanwhile, here are some photos from today: 

Thesis Travel

Next week I've scheduled time to go to Buffalo, NY and visit some grain elevators there and chat with designers from +FARM Studio who are working for three weeks on fabricating a pavilion along the Buffalo River funded by Rigidized Metals, a company invested in the grain elevators.   


Here are some things I've been producing from industrial building photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher's body of work on grain elevators:



One of my thesis committee professors just hooked me up with at least a hundred GIS layers of data for the city of Buffalo which I've been trying to track down for months.  It's like Christmas in June!  I've been so psyched all week.  Railroads! Water! Parks! Vacant parcels by year! Time to get map-making!

Remember, Sharing is Caring.  Always share your GIS data! 

Thesis Musings

I'm currently in the midst of Thesis Prep.  Here's a peak at what's on my mind:

Grain Silo Adaptive Reuse Brain-Storm Sesh.

Some exist, some have been proposed by others, some are absurd.