Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2020

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

M. Saleh Uddin

Secondary Advisor

Zamila Karimi


Since the dawn of civilization, humans have generated waste. With the age of industrialization came urbanization, and as a result, large populations quickly multiplied within cities. In 1842, a report entitled The Sanitary Condition of the Laboring Population, Edwin Chadwick argued for the need for proper removal and management facilities of waste. This report played an important role in securing the first law addressing waste collection. Today, only 26% of the estimated 75% of recyclable goods get recycled. This problem is more eminent within New York city which currently is the topmost wasteful city. New York City residents throw out enough garbage each day to fill the entire Empire State Building. To confront the problems connected with overconsumption and the excessive packaging of goods, the proposed research focuses on one aspect of this problem: to define the role of architecture and design in waste management as one of the crucial aspects in finding solutions to improve the relationship between city users and the city’s main infrastructure. Architects can play a primary role in the conversation as social agents of change through design tactics and innovation. Situated in New York on Chelsea piers, this thesis seeks to create a recycling center as a transparent structure that both physically and metaphorically uses the power of architecture and design as an exhibition device. This investigation reconsiders the typology of a recycling facility by showcasing how the process of recycling can instead become an educational and interactive experience. This thesis proposes a viable model that can be implemented in other cities to provide a center where recycling, public space, and art will bring the community together: ultimately educating and inspiring the public to get involved with recycling in a more efficient way