Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
This thesis began with exploring low-cost prefab dwelling units to be implemented in struggling communities with extreme poverty, homelessness, and unemployment. The initial research on modular units shifted to focus on our healthcare infrastructure challenges here at home given the COVID-19 crisis.
“Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a substantial impact on racial and ethnic minority populations and essential workers in the United States …”1 This disease disproportionately impacts poor and rural communities in the United States, showing double the mortality than urban areas simply due to the neglected environment2. Emergency assistance is needed to expand the care capacity in these communities. How can architecture play a critical role in transforming emergency healthcare design to improve the response during a crisis by exploring the possibilities with modern technology?
The current solution for expanded care is eerily similar to the strategy of over century ago during the 1918 flu pandemic, using tents as field hospitals, along with convention centers, stadiums, and churches housing hundreds of infected patients in open spaces not designed for a hospital’s sensitive care. I am researching to develop a temporary, but resilient, modular emergency deployment care unit which can be used to test, care, and house patients who are at risk to this pandemic and other infectious diseases. MEDkit aims to be unique due to a collapsible frame for quick transport, and structural integrity to withstand the weather for prolonged periods. My research will challenge the geometry, structure, and deployment of the modular unit by exploring new technology to design a computerized deployment method driven by data. If the healthcare system’s range does not become more widespread people’s health will continue to be at risk.