Date of Submission

Spring 5-8-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Jeffrey Collins

Abstract

Mis/Fitting Architecture does not strive to be different just for difference's sake. Instead, the aim is for designers and users alike to question their surroundings and, therefore, the effect on our daily lives and communities.

This thesis aims to critically assess and provide alternatives for generic American architecture. The majority of work we see constructed today lacks variety in form, expression of materiality, and engagement with the public. The forms, spaces, and materials that surround us shape who we are, what we do, and how we interact. However, limited creativity, mass production, and easily marketable design results in a generic “fit” architecture, designed for nowhere but seen everywhere.

Interrogations of current generic architecture, inspiration from avant-garde industries such as fashion, and experiments misusing typical architectural model-making materials will result in a set of strategies for reimagining conventional building typologies and their deployment towards a proposal for renovating the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The intent of this thesis is to engage research through making. The art of fashion is referenced to explore new ways of articulating materials, generating novel construction techniques, and defining spaces that question normative building. A series of experiments combining methods of fabric manipulation with architectural model-making develop initial “mis-use” strategies. This framework is then employed as a design intervention for a new HUD; a disruption in our assumptions about government buildings. While an icon of brutalist architecture, Marcel Breuer’s HUD has nevertheless fallen into disrepair. The building serves as a canvas for implementing Mis/Fitting Architecture strategies while also questioning conformity and hierarchical space planning. This mis-use can be interpreted in different ways, however, as they are only strategies; they don’t aim to set a new standard but instead aim to break current standards.

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