Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Jade Yang


An architectural thesis should center around unresolved challenges within the field. Within our nation, numerous architecture-related issues persist, with many awaiting effective and lasting solutions. Some of these challenges are glaringly evident, drawing attention as eyesores, while others remain unnoticed, escaping the public's scrutiny. Paradoxically, the issues that often elude widespread attention are those most in need of urgent assistance. A prime illustration is the ongoing housing crisis afflicting Native American tribal lands. For years, these reservations have grappled with persistent poverty, with the lack of access to affordable housing emerging as a prominent and pressing concern. Unfortunately, these tribal lands have received minimal assistance in recent times, perpetuating the housing crisis and its detrimental impact on the well-being of the communities residing on them. Understanding the complexities of this issue requires delving into the unique context of tribal lands. Unlike homeowners outside reservations, Native American residents often face insurmountable obstacles in purchasing tribal land. As reservations typically consider land a communal asset, privatized ownership becomes an unattainable dream. This lack of land ownership complicates matters when individuals seek to rent or purchase homes within a reservation. The inability to secure ownership titles makes banks hesitant to loan to Native American families, as land cannot be used as collateral. Consequently, many residents resort to mobile homes and trailers, which, though affordable, lack permanence on the land. Employment opportunities on tribal land are scarce, further exacerbating the challenges faced by Native American residents in obtaining these affordable housing options. The housing crisis on tribal lands has prompted various responses. Government aid, however, has fallen short of the dire need, with a substantial gap between the demand for homes and the supply provided by official channels. Even loan amendments, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Planning's Section 184, designed to assist Native Americans in purchasing homes, have only marginally alleviated the crisis. Considering the pressing needs of residents on tribal lands, an architectural response becomes crucial. The primary requirement is for affordable and portable housing solutions, addressing the issue of land ownership. Portable, prefabricated homes, incorporating green practices for energy efficiency, could significantly improve living conditions. An architectural thesis proposal could center around the fabrication of affordable, green living spaces tailored to the regulations and vernacular of reservation land.

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Architecture Commons