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Redefining the Learning Experience: A New Curriculum and Academic Environment for Children Ages 11-13

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This project has the intent of redefining the learning experience of children ages 11-13 through student-centered design that of provides a beneficial environment for emotional, social, and physical health in which students can become more independent in both accountability of

This project has the intent of redefining the learning experience of children ages 11-13 through student-centered design that of provides a beneficial environment for emotional, social, and physical health in which students can become more independent in both accountability of actions and in their thinking to see the larger picture and real-world application of each topic they learn and to foster thinking at a global scale. This is to be completed through the focus on the cognitive development and physical needs of the children at this age, a combination of the pedagogical models of inquiry-based, project-based, and community-based learning, connection to resources, implementation of design completed with understanding and testing of learning and working collaborative spaces, emphasizing the biophilic experience.

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2017-05

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What's for Dinner?

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Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food, and if we realize that, we can use food as

Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food, and if we realize that, we can use food as a powerful tool — a conceptual tool, design tool, to shape the world differently. It triggers a new way of thinking about the problem, recognizing that food is not a commodity; it is life, it is culture, it’s us. It’s how we evolved.” If the passage of food culture is dependent upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations, the learning environments should reflect this tenability in its systematic and architectural approach.

Through an investigation of agriculture and cuisine and its consequential influence on culture, education, and design, the following project intends to reconceptualize the learning environment in order facilitate place-based practices. Challenging our cognitive dissonant relationship with food, the design proposal establishes a food identity through an imposition of urban agriculture and culinary design onto the school environment. Working in conjunction with the New American University’s mission, the design serves as a didactic medium between food, education, and architecture in designing the way we eat.

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2017-05

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Life Reconnected: Urban Biophilic Microdwelling Communities

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While there is a growing desire for sustainable urban living, Downtown Phoenix remains a fragmented landscape with vacant land, underutilized areas, and a detrimental imbalance between commercial and residential uses. This project aims to fulfill this desire by connecting these

While there is a growing desire for sustainable urban living, Downtown Phoenix remains a fragmented landscape with vacant land, underutilized areas, and a detrimental imbalance between commercial and residential uses. This project aims to fulfill this desire by connecting these landscapes to form a cohesive and ecologically viable urban fabric which will increase the well-being of people and natural systems through increased biodiversity, ecological awareness, and a greater occupation of the public sphere. Biophilic microdwelling communities, strategically inserted into Downtown Phoenix, can recover underutilized areas, create more urban housing, and introduce native species which will begin to transform vacant sites to create a cohesive urban frabric. As water, food, and refuge draw more organisms, a biologically diverse urban ecosystem will emerge and spread throughout the urban area, redefining the future of the city. The increased emphasis on social living in this new biophilic setting will strengthen personal and ecological well-being. After considering many varied interests and looking at what is most concerning in the world today, this thesis is devoted to the sustainable transformation of Phoenix, Arizona. A relatively new city, Phoenix is at a turning point in its development and is poised on the brink of defining itself for the future. The current paradigms of autocentric sprawl and habitat destruction have been challenged and new ideas developed. Phoenix is in a unique position to be able to begin a new sustainable type of progress. The process has already begun with high-density buildings and housing infiltrating Downtown, along with cultural amenities for the new occupants. However, the city currently remains much as it was after the abandonment of the mid 20th century when most residents left for the surrounding suburbs. Vacant lots and underutilized areas fragment the urban landscape, creating an undesirable environment for both humans and native desert organisms. The lack of residential development exacerbates the sense of abandonment as the city shuts down after business hours. The housing that does exist is typically high rise luxury apartments or condos wherein the resident is far removed from city life. The growing desire and need for housing which is affordable for young professionals or students and aimed to engage the city and streetscape has not been developed. The resulting emptiness has created a wound in the urban fabric that is only now beginning to heal, and it is how this wound will heal that will define the future of the city. Will the future development force the traditional unsustainable paradigm into being only to inevitably fail, or will a new sustainable paradigm, guided not by typical planning or thought processes but by unique conditions of the region and input from contemporary users, redefine Phoenix and set a precedent for the redevelopment of other cities? This project seeks to fulfill these desires by providing biophilic micro housing capable of acting as a catalyst for urban transformation. Some of the most underutilized and disruptive features of Downtown Phoenix are the parking garages. They often occupy an entire block and disrupt the streetscape with the detriment of single functionality. The location of these garages, however, is ideal for an urban housing and ecology catalyst based on surrounding resources and they would serve as insertion points for additive development. A greater diversity of habitat for both people and native species through a network of strategically placed, biologically loaded microdwelling communities which leverage these underutilized structures can meet this need and improve the well-being of residents of all species and the natural systems of the urban ecology.

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2016-05

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The Lighthouse: Improving Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Care

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5 With over 55,000 pediatric deaths per year in the United States, there is a tremendous need for pediatric palliative and hospice care facilities. While this programmatic typology exists in several countries around the world - including over 45 centers

5 With over 55,000 pediatric deaths per year in the United States, there is a tremendous need for pediatric palliative and hospice care facilities. While this programmatic typology exists in several countries around the world - including over 45 centers in the United Kingdom alone - only two pediatric palliative and hospice facilities are operational in the United States. Offering a spectrum of care that extends from respite to end-of-life, these facilities would benefit over 8,600 children daily in the U.S. In addition to compiling research in order to build a case for the express need for such a facility, I propose that this typology requires a unique organizational scheme that diverges from the traditional program of home or hospital. Rather than adhering to the hierarchies found in a singlefamily residence, upon which the current model is organized, this new type of design revolves around the Nurses' Station as the nucleus of the facility. Additionally, the design relies heavily upon biophilic stratagem and play therapy, which further influence the program and form of the building. These tactics are used to enhance the psychological state of the patient, family, and medical staff and to mitigate the impact of a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.

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2016-05