Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jehanzeb Shoaib

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Katz

Third Advisor

Jonathan Bell


In México, the proliferation of monotonous affordable housing developments on the outskirts of urban centers stems from a profit- driven approach that prioritizes rapid construction over livability and community well-being. These housing developments, stark rows of barren husks, reflect a system that depletes both land and human connection. Abandoned units — consequences of a patchwork (or non existent) infrastructure —now stand as silent critiques of this broken system.

Drawing inspiration from the cycical strategies of ancestral agricultural traditions, that recognize the full spectrum from barren stalk to abundance, this project proposes a cyclical model for community growth. Current housing practices, akin to the industrialized profit-driven corn industry, siphon resources and degrade the environment, leading to subpar living conditions. Through the repurposing of abandoned housing units, the strategy introduces architectural environments that weave in adaptability and programmatic duality into these mono-zoned housing developments.

The neighborhood becomes a living organism, adaptable and ever-evolving to meet the needs of its inhabitants. Abandoned units become fertile ground, not just for crops, but for a new self-sufficient way of life by encouraging user agency, diversifying commercial opportunities, and reintroducing traditional community resource distribution methods. As a disruptive approach, this thesis embodies a seed sown in defiance, fostering a future where resilience and community thrive on the forgotten borders of Mexico’s urban centers.



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