Silence surrounds the head of the occupant with quieting foam.

From "Silence Studio," ARC 600, Material Culture GRG, spring 2019, faculty Chris Romano.

Journal of student work

First published in 1990 as the School of Architecture and Planning's journal of student work, Intersight chronicles the creative and scholarly outputs of our students and reflects on the pedagogy of the school. This online collection represents more recent projects, published in the journal since 2018.

Standing at more than 20 volumes, this anthology of student work captures the program's intellectual currents over the course of three decades. Intersight is curated and produced each year by a Master of Architecture student selected to serve as the Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellow. This annual fellowship is generously supported by Kathryn Brunkow Sample and former UB President Steven Sample. Support for the production of the Intersight book publication is provided by CannonDesign.
 

This year's edition of our student journal is a slice of work and conversations taken during a moment of dramatic change in how and where we learn and collaborate. The separation required during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we had to mostly abandon our traditional methods and places of learning, and rapidly innovate the ways in which we collectively work.


 

Featured projects

  • 6/18/21
    The campus story of the University at Buffalo is an alliterative tale of excessive optimism and investment, followed by passive indifference and resignation. The result: three campuses—each a stunted fragment of a vision left unfulfilled—the whole less than the sum of its parts. This seminar explored the trials and tribulations of university growth and campus planning at UB—acknowledging the university's checkered past as a means to project a more effective campus future.
  • 12/1/20
    The Upstate Road Train (URT) proposed for New York State is a state-of-the-art concept for intercity transportation. The overarching idea for this report was provided by Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture. This report analyzes existing infrastructure to recommend how this URT system can be integrated into its fabric.
  • 12/1/20
    The Fall 2020 semester for junior architecture studio focused on the Tectonics of Buoyancy and the Buffalo Niagara Region’s relationship and response to water’s edge. This design studio encourages students to re-examine the prevailing Western tendency to fortify ourselves against the elements for fear of catastrophic ecological, social, and cultural impacts. Throughout the semester, students explored the relationship between human settlement and water and how architects can offer new tectonic responses to these issues. 
  • 12/1/20
    In the Fall of 2020, students in the Senior class designed multiple-unit housing within the Bedford Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn, New York. The semester focused on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between local and global, and between nature and culture. This project aimed to develop connections in the student’s mind about context and developing systems of housing that would relate to a greater social, technical, cultural, political, and economic understanding of urban space.
  • 12/1/20
    The fifth edition of this studio, the introductory studio experience to the 3.-5-year Master of Architecture program, emphasizes critical thinking on basic architectural issues through design proposals for a group of three houses for three different families sharing a single undivided lot.
  • 12/1/20
    This course introduces students to the basic guidelines, standards, research methods, and documentation techniques used in historic preservation to identify and record historic structures and sites. These kinds of research techniques explored by students included the development of site descriptions, creating historical narratives, reviewing existing scholarly and/or professional literature, collecting primary and secondary data, developing skills in architectural photography, and understanding the basics of documenting and analyzing historic material fabric. The course makes use of lectures, discussions, and fieldwork to introduce the various ways in which preservationists document historic sites and resources.
  • 12/1/20
    This short film was created using the zoom interface by two students studying on different continents. Miguel Ortiz-Teed, working in Buffalo, and Yogesh Ravichandar, working in India, wanted to examine and express the specific difficulties of personal interaction in the video-conference environment.
  • 12/1/20
    This project invited urban planning students to plan and carry out a walk through a neighborhood of their choice. Their walking route needed to be safely navigable as a pedestrian and between .5 and 1 mile in length (around a half hour walk).
  • 12/1/20
    Willert Park Courts (WPC), known today as A.D. Price Homes, is currently a vacant residential housing complex made up of ten buildings located in the Ellicott District of the east side of Buffalo, New York.
  • 12/1/20
    In 2018, the School of Architecture and Planning hosted a competition to address a design problem: students sitting on the HVAC units in the newly renovated Hayes Hall. The competition embraced the issue by inviting students to offer a design solution that would allow students to use the systems in a safe manner.
  • 12/1/20
    For decades, the area around Northland Avenue suffered from divestment and abandonment, especially as many of its former manufacturing anchors succumbed to outside economic forces. Due to the adjacent Belt Line railroad, the corridor had become a strategic industrial hub able to move both people and products en masse. Once home to manufacturers such as Houdaille Industries, Otis Elevator Company, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Northland Rubber Company, and Niagara Machine & Tool Works (later Clearing Niagara), the products that left the loading docks went on to forge modern America. A blue-collar workforce, building aircraft engines, plunger elevators, and automobile parts, established residency near their employers starting around the turn of the 20th Century. Over time, this pattern of settlement formed the Delavan Grider neighborhood we know today.
  • 5/1/20
    The Spring 2020 Inclusive Design studio, Playing Against Type, was a critique on the typological thinking present in western architecture. Assistant Professor Charles Davis encouraged students to examine the reuse of European-inspired developer housing by the material customs of Black life on Buffalo’s East Side. It is understood within these investigations that the typological diagram of a building emulates the function of the cultural potentials of “primitive” peoples against the standards and norms of European civilization. 
  • 5/1/20
    The sketches featured here were drawn after this course went completely remote. Before this transition class activities were dependent upon the freedom of movement and close inter-personal contact. Until this point the mode of interaction and learning was very direct and experiential.
  • 5/1/20
    Solitude Pavilion is located on the University at Buffalo’s South Campus between Hayes Hall and the Hayes B Annex. The project aims to create a nesting environment by combining two contrasting systems using terracotta as the primary material. 
  • 5/1/20
    Encompassing the period from about 1840-1900, Victorian architecture is characterized by a wide range of interpretations and re-combinations of distinctly different historical traditions. The evolution of Victorian architecture was spurred by many factors including the desire of building owners to create associations with past cultures and times, the role of builders (carpenters, masons, cabinetmakers, etc.) as designers, and the newly emergent technological capacities of industrial mass production.  
  • 5/1/20
    During the Junior Spring semester an integrated design studio is carried out and aimed toward incorporating various systems into a larger building tectonic. In the Spring of 2020, students designed a laufmachine, a self-propelled, two-wheeled vehicle; it is the 19th century predecessor to the bicycle. This portion of the semester prompted students to begin thinking about a multitude of systems within their designs through this construction process. 
  • 5/1/20
    The spring semester of 2020 for freshman architecture explored form in relation to the scale of the human body. This was done through examinations of scaled materials and the ways in which people interact with and sensorially respond to space. Students were encouraged to consider all construction scales as possessing the power to develop critical and influential architecture for those who interact with them.
  • 5/1/20
    Historically, urban designers are visionary: they have always asked big questions facing cities in every era: issues of declining downtowns; inadequate sanitation; shortage of decent, healthy places to live such as the shortage of affordable housing, adequate supply of walkable streets, healthy neighborhoods, and polluted nature including rivers and creeks. As an architect, planner, and landscape architect, an urban designer should act as a citizen-advocate to envision a plan and its alternatives to help solve these issues: big or small. 
  • 5/1/20
    The Situated Technologies studio of the Spring 2020 semester focused heavily on ideas of domesticity and “mass-customization” in their design investigations. Mass-customization is a term used to describe a change in business perception from a mass market to a mass-customized market. Products developed within a mass-customized market are often altered to fit an individual customer’s needs, leading to more effort placed into manufacturing and retail methods. 
  • 5/1/20
    This study focused on investigating economic development opportunities for four cities along the New York State I-90 corridor: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. 
  • 5/1/20
    Willow Way aims to create a space for observing time and growth, of both the site and structure, by using architecture as the infrastructure for habitat and landscape.
  • 5/1/20
    This study is inspired by Lina Bo Bardi’s adaptive reuse project, SESC Pompeia Factory. The main factory building is comprised of a large open space ruled only by a rectilinear grid of columns. 
  • 5/1/20
    Through the design of Anachronistic Spaces, this thesis speculates on futures in the Great Lakes Region through a stance on Architecture that advocates for sensitivity towards a world often ignored or neglected in sedentary frameworks. Research into Nomadism reveals that many nomadic communities have long been cognizant of the relationships between resources, consumption, and environment. As a counterpoint to modern sedentary living, nomadic communities are a case study on resiliency and adaptation in the face of increasingly extreme climactic, political, economic, and social conditions. 
  • 5/1/20
    During the Summer 2020 semester, Off the Grid, led by Professor Jon Spielman, was one of three remote programs being offered. This studio investigated new ways of exploring systems requiring energy established by the man-made grid system. 
  • 5/1/20
    The affordability of housing has become a critical problem in most of the United States, especially in large, fast-growing cities where there are shortages of vacant land and housing. Post-industrial cities also face severe housing affordability problems due to population loss and deindustrialization, even though vacant land and abandoned houses are common. These “shrinking” or “legacy” cities face problems of low incomes, combined with surplus housing stock that has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer economical to rehabilitate it. The purpose of this report is to propose a unique opportunity for meeting the affordable housing needs of residents in post-industrial cities.
  • 5/1/20
    Students in the sophomore year in the Spring of 2020 made many explorations regarding site context. This approach was taken to help students understand how architecture achieves a sense of belonging in a given place, especially in an ever-evolving context.
  • 12/1/19
    The Inclusive Design studio focused on developing a student oriented, small business incubator to foster creativity and entrepreneurism at UB. The designs were tailored to meet the needs of different “personas” for an imagined incubator design team through the use of inclusive strategies.
  • 5/1/19
    The junior studio followed the laufmaschine project (see page 128) by designing a Bicycle Institute / Resilience Hub / Community Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The site sits directly adjacent to the Superior Viaduct and the Lake Link bike trail. 
  • 12/1/18
    An investigation of the Broadway-Fillmore district, Foederer’s project for Unoriginal Things began with a simple observation. What was once a thriving working-class neighborhood with a dense housing fabric, had become irreparably changed through a sustained effort by the City of Buffalo to purchase derelict homes and subsequently demolish them.
  • 12/1/18
    Environmental Design students worked with the Pride Center of Western and New York to assist in expanding its services, and reach to make the Western New York region an inclusive, safe and healthy community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.
  • 12/1/18
    The City/Life studio puts a focus on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between the local and the goal, and between nature and culture.
  • 12/1/18
    Brianna Mancini’s proposal for a community pool is rooted in process. An intensive analysis of precedents generated concepts, which were then collaged together to generate a synthesis drawing. This new geometry formed the basis and inspiration for both the conceptual and formal paradigms of the proposal.
  • 12/1/18
    The proposal, Roots, is a scheme to create a green gateway for the future Obama Presidential Library in Chicago, while also giving back to the surrounding Woodlawn Community.
  • 12/1/18
    The North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens is an 11-acre site located on 1825 Sweeney Street in North Tonawanda, NY, bordering the Niagara River. The site is overseen by the North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens Organization (NTBGO), a nonprofit working towards restoring the garden to a scenic destination for community education and activity. Three members of the NTBGO, David Conti, Robbyn Drake and Laura Pecoraro, gave students the opportunity to design a proposal for the renovation and re-imagination of the North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens.
  • 12/1/18
    No. 2 (Number 2) is a series of model studies of objects to induce comfort of homeless individuals on the streets. The project used HDPE plastic bags, with the title based on the RIC (Resin Identification Code) of the material and, at the same time, the essence of recycling.
  • 12/1/18
    The interface between the natural and human-made at a material surface suggests the formation of an ongoing process, in which the relationship between materials and the environment is displayed
  • 12/1/18
    A multi-faceted study of the telescope houses of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, Big to Small is a collection of work from 13 graduate architecture students.
  • 12/1/18
    Natalie Harack’s Amazing Grace is an instrument, created by modifying a traditional shopping cart, that collects environmental data and physical artifacts. The objective of this project was to build an instrument to probe the site through inquiry, insight, and impression to develop a representation of environmental phenomena.
  • 12/1/18
    Imagined by the Situated Technologies Graduate Research Group, the installation utilizes sensing technologies to integrate sound, light, and motion, and acts as a means to investigate questions of spatial contingency and the limits of predictability through an interactive, multi-sensory experience.
  • 12/1/18
    This study examines patterns of growth and development on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Surveying major portions of the Boulevard and documenting trends, students engaged with maps, city directories, and other sources to locate areas with extant structures and analyze precedents that dealt with similar circumstances.
  • 12/1/18
    This vessel became a design muse and instrument for the studio, investigating many fundamental questions that pertain to the tectonics of architecture—space and geometry, structure and skin, form and function, as well as material and construction.
  • 12/1/18
    Leticia Avila developed Poetry Square as a theoretical addition to the University at Buffalo’s library system on the South Campus. By both positioning it in front Abbott Hall and elevating the main floor, the project preserves the integrity of the campus’ main axis. The building would house a special poetry collection and act as a nest, shelter, library, and museum.
  • 8/1/18
    Frank Kraemer and Jelani Lowe drew from their experiences while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. They were immediately drawn to the physical barriers that separate the public and private domains in Madrid. They investigated this duality by layering transparent planes, exploring how to use transparency as a link between public and private aspects of program, while simultaneously providing necessary privacy.
  • 6/1/18
    In Spring 2018, a multidisciplinary graduate studio in architecture and planning conducted a reuse study of the former Harrison Radiator facility, currently know as Harrison Place, located in Lockport, NY.
  • 6/1/18
    Ritual Space is a collection of ten structures, each designed and constructed by studio teams in first-year design studio. Finding its beginnings in the development of an interlocking joint system, students adapted this tectonic item into an evocative, spatial proposal.
  • 6/1/18
    Throughout the studio, Michael Hoover drew inspiration from Ricardo Bofill and his design techniques. The art of collaging seemed to best represent how he created spaces by chance and unconscious thinking. Through adaptive re-use, Bofill was able to re-imagine as- ound spaces. In this way, form and function were disassociated.
  • 6/1/18
    Coastal Dreams is a speculative futures project, envisioning the cities along Lake Erie as subjected to extreme winter weather conditions in the face of global climate change. Sara Svisco developed a narrative, which depicts life in 2391, as the lake begins to experience alarmingly high water levels, resulting in the flooding of nearby coastal cities.
  • 6/1/18
    The research conducted in Logging investigates latent material possibilities within the medium of wood, by investigating material origins and the ethics of material consumption – two societal conditions that humans have increasingly become disconnected from.
  • 6/1/18
    Lukas Fetzko developed Nesting Balasana with Jo Nedergaard and Andreas Thiis in Spring 2018 during an exchange program at the School of Architecture– Arkitektskolen i Aarhus–in Aarhus, Denmark. This project was designed as a physical translation and exploration of the yoga pose balasana, inspired by the transitions between the posture’s use of the body, mind, and breath.
  • 6/1/18
    The work in Cages explores the qualities of material boundaries and enclosing conditions that relate structure and skin, establishing critical connections between the natural and the artificial in the material experience.
  • 1/8/18
    "Moving forward from the interlock project, students were asked to create body supports from their created joint. This joint was meant to expand, repeat, mirror itself, and etc to create the form and system of the body support. This project was especially hard for me because I had to learn how to stretch and expand my system, while introducing new directions and incorporating the key piece from my interlock in new ways."
  • 1/2/18
    Featured: Final review model from the 3.5 year architecture program. 
  • 12/27/17
    High global carbon emissions is a contributing factor to climate change. The popularity of air travel increases the impact of one's carbon footprint. Travelers are asked to compensate for the footprint they use for travel. Planting biomass allows the airport to generate a cleaner source of energy near the site to power regular activities. In addition, wind and solar energy will also be harvested and utilized at the airport.
  • 12/18/17
    This exercise examines the relationship between a biological organism and its context. The Texas Horned Lizard collects water through spikes on its back, which then travels through capillary action to its mouth, thus creating drinking water. The model diagrams the collection of water to one central point.
  • 12/18/17
    "Settler's Landing provides unique opportunities to help address Cleveland's pressing storm-water management issues, as well as the city's current ecological concerns. The site serves a low point in the topography of Downtown Cleveland and the two bridges, making it ideal for storm-water collection and management."
  • 12/14/17
    The directed research engages with designing for non-humans in order to strengthen the relationship between coexisting species. Particularly focusing on birds, bird seed and nesting materials are provided in mesh cages to track the movement in which they are dispersing.   
  • 12/11/17
    "An initiative of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation, the Architecture + Education program is offered in select Buffalo Public Schools every other year. Over the past 10 years, the program has involved 25 Buffalo Public Schools, more than 100 architects and 100 classes, and more than 3,500 students."
  • 12/4/17
    This senior project proposes units that are designed to create smaller communities in the larger context of the complex. With a focus on housing a multi-generational community, the architecture defines a socially interactive setting in which the young and the old can live and work interdependently. 
  • 11/27/17
    At a time of sociopolitical unrest, citizens are involved in demonstrations with increasingly spatial qualities, harnessing a legitimized right to the city. The Origam[we] shield system, delivered in the form of appropriable DIY manuals, challenges institutional reproductions of power in political, professional, and pedagogical approaches to the design and construction of our environments.
  • 11/27/17
    By crystallization of sugar molecules bonding to the fibers of the bagasse, this pulp mixture, when lifted in the air, creates a solidified thin-shell structure. A spatial condition in which light penetrates through the thin paper shell thus creating a harmonious lighting effect that is only experienced from the interior.  
  • 11/25/17
    Black walnut has high strength when bent, and can easily be manipulated without saturation. Students investigate various species of wood to identify a workable balance of flexibility and strength. Layers, cut into 1/8" thickness, are laminated to create the spine and ribs of the boat form under development. 
  • 11/14/17
    The sectional collage highlights progression and amplitude in a way to express a dynamic motion of circulation throughout space.  "The idea of elevation of [the] verticals, and the passage of time of the horizontals" resembles the journey throughout the space. 
  • 11/9/17
    Our design provides a supportive infrastructure that includes on-site wastewater treatment facilities, biogas treatment centers, and a steam production facility. We realized that incentives such as these would make the transition to the area easier for light industries such as breweries, bakeries, and distilleries. All of which, produce a lot of waste and biomass that could be used to serve each other with the infrastructure provided. 
  • 11/9/17
    The sketches visualize an exploration of spatial organization as a result of aggregating a tectonic system. The system is derived from previous studies of buoyancy as the facility attempts to reintegrate people and water along the shoreline of the Erie Canal. 
  • 11/7/17
    Older People: 
    "According to a recent study, the number of first-time parents aged 35-45 has grown nine times larger since the 1970’s.  This rapid growth in the amount of older first-time parents means designers must accommodate their needs more than ever before.  There are several reasons for this shift in age range including infertility and business of everyday life"
  • 11/1/17
    This interdisciplinary studio took place in the Town of Maradu, India. Students brought experience from the departments of architecture, planning, public health, and environmental engineering. 
  • 10/31/17
    An exploration to communicate the true character and the existing potentials of Rumsey Woods by a way of collage and documentation. This drawing explores contours, light, and collection to show the the changing topography.
  • 10/16/17
    The nodes of the hexagonal grid move only vertically, and are physically shifted by the various shapes (curvilinear, rectilinear, or a combination of both pushing into it from the base of the grid. The connecting lines maintain their connections, thus warping the grid. 
  • 10/4/17
    This explores one of the many form-making strategies to produce a light, thin shell structure. Fabric is held in a delicate balance of tension and compression forces, stretching out to create a field condition rather than a solitary object in space. The soft fabric essentially floats above the ground, just barely suspended in place.
  • 7/18/17
    A boat is a vessel for transport by water - constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion. Throughout history boats have been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording humanity greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport, warfare, and the capacity for fishing. 
  • 7/18/17
    Sustainable Futures is a ten week course open to graduate students in architecture, landscape architecture and planning programs, and also by arrangement to students entering their fourth or fifth year of related programs. 
  • 7/18/17
    The slab (a beam stretched thin) is perhaps the most ubiquitous and yet under-appreciated of all structural elements. They are present in virtually all of our buildings as they form the floors upon which we walk and the ceilings and roofs just above our heads.
  • 7/18/17
    Architecture is an art because it is interested not only in the original need of shelter but also in putting together spaces and materials in a meaningful manner. This occurs through formal and actual joints. The joint, that is the fertile detail, is the place where both the construction and the construing of architecture take place.
    -Marco Frascari