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Master of Architecture


Having the ability to interact with architecture is what makes it so invigorating, like an organism and its interconnected woven threads. Architecture is similar to the biology classes I took as an undergraduate student that highlight the human body, as a life form with its system of networks. My creativity begins with my curiosity to learn more about the world in which humans and nature interact and how architecture is influenced by cultures and the environment people live in. As someone who is inspired to create something that has a positive effect on humanity, there has always been an irresistible pull to architecture.


During my time in the MArch program, my projects have questioned the ways in which we see visually and emotionally, while allowing individuals to experience an act of discovery. Through this questioning and unearthing I’ve brought to the forefront critical discussions about social issues related to poverty and the housing crisis, tensions between the natural and built environments and opportunities to consider future design possibilities. My thesis work is a culmination of all of the themes and issues listed above, it’s called,


Hidden Lives - Transformation of Waste in the Built Environment.


Humans have been creating waste for thousands and thousands of years. But the waste we produce now is different (its filled with chemicals and non-decomposable materials) so how we get rid of it needs to be different.


If someone asked you, “where does your waste go?”

What would you say?

Would you know?

Would you care?


The story begins with those difficult questions about our industrial waste process and suggests the greater issue with our waste culture is that the act of disposal is split into two often disconnected areas of focus with one being the act of throwing our trash away and the other where it travels to after that. I believe the disposal of waste should be a visible activity engrained holistically into the fabric of the community that educates and encourages participation. As a way to explore the multi scalar impact of waste through the community level, three interventions are proposed to complement the existing waste system in Grand Rapids, MI that include: remote sorting locations, an additional waste to energy facility and an incentivization program within the existing GRPayIt App.


We shouldn’t continue to try to make recycling or disposal hidden and simple, it should be complex with innovative design that unites with nature to create one enormous system of waste disposal that everyone can be on board with and proud of. It may seem fantastical, but we are on the precipice of the elimination of waste, we just have to be courageous enough to look to the future and try.

What my time at KCAD meant to me

For the last three years I’ve had the opportunity to grapple with and challenge my preconceived notions about art, science, ethics and culture while being asked to take risks and be vulnerable. As someone who made a drastic transition from health care to architecture I’ve learned our evolving world requires people who are flexible and open minded, possessing a broad perspective and diverse body of knowledge. I know the attributes and wisdom I’ve gained through service and study, at Kendall College of Art and Design will prepare me for success as an architect, leader and individual. I’ll forever be grateful to KCAD and all of my professors for giving me an opportunity.

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