Inhabitation + Topography, Re-Defined

REVIEW: March 5 & 7, Greene Gallery

THE TERRESTRIAL + THE EXTRA: Inhabiting the “Uninhabitable”

[Final Project Mid-Semester Review]

As the School’s 5th year students wrap up their final semester, the mid-semester review serves as a culmination from their fall research in Final Project I and the schematic design proposal under-works this spring with Final Project II. This week’s reviews gathered faculty, students, and staff together in order to celebrate and honor the class of 2014 as the half-way mark in their final semester is met.

Under the direction of Carla Leitao, students dive into “new frontiers” of architecture and design ranging from inhabiting lower orbit, to colonization of other planets, to a flooded earth covered in floating cities. All students presented issues and research on population density, technological advancements, and the altercations such futures will have on relationships of public and private spaces in Architecture.

Thesis students within Gustavo Crembil’s final project studio all began with a series of iterative and intricate material studies to serve as diagrammatic studies of the extreme populations now facing South America and the rest of the world. Among them, FP student Kunmi Park selected an intervention in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, in order to engage extreme populations existing on extreme topography by inverting inherent conception of location and elevation. Crembil’s students’ isolate networks within and among informal settlements with design schemes ranging from large scale landscape, to aquatic, to infrastructural projects.

Discussions of form v. formalism v. program gathered weight along side speculations of design in a post-human world. As has been the trend among final projects, it is clear that ambitious scales and locations have been selected throughout the entirety of the studios in order to better tailor today’s designers for the world of tomorrow.

Reviews will conclude on Friday with presentations by students currently enrolled in Chris Perry’s and Ted Ngai’s final project studios, respectively.


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Evan Douglis, Professor


School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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