Pratt, Melanie Leanne
Master of Architecture
This thesis is an investigation of a rapid deployment housing system inspired by the El Paso/Juarez border shanty towns and their proximity to manufacturing plants in a global market transition zone. It is about developing co-operative relationships between architects, engineers, and fabricators, as well as developing new integrative methods of production, deployment and construction. The program typology is organized around a hybrid spine/duct that integrates structural, mechanical and circulatory functions into a single performative architectural device. Building systems are no longer conceptually exclusive and separately deployed, but synthesized into a fluid interior/exterior definition of space. This process instrumentalizes a hands-on/in-the-field form-finding strategy using a primary material (polystyrene foam packaging) as ductwork/spine that twists up to become wall and structural supports in key locations and twists flat to become roof, floor, ramps or bridges. This thesis is an interface connecting multiple disciplines while making available to home-seekers a form to adapt to their own culture and needs while also participating in a new form of urbanism.
Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning