Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Johnathan Bell

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Katz

Third Advisor

Jehanzeb Shoaib


The built environment has a powerful way of showing where our human attention and care is, a magic trick of emphasis and deemphasis. We proudly display our assets, wrapping them in light and gold while we shun the background people and places, choosing ubiquitous skins of plastic or brick in an effort to remove them from our visual language. Since we have had people we have had spaces to place them in but where some spaces relay the message that the person inside is a gift to the world, the majority chant a tired monotony of oppressive apathy: you do not deserve our time.

From a young age, I saw design not in the moments of light and glory but in the alleys behind bakeries, the suburban driveways, the junk drawer in your kitchen. To me, we have always only been as strong as our weakest player.

When you take a nation as glittery and self-important as America tends to be, you find an opposite but equal reaction behind the scenes, a dusty self-loathing that can be breathed like air and spreads like wildfire out of our centers to form networks of edge environments. Where the 1 % lives in a wash of light, the rest take to the shadows. This thesis seeks out the group cantilevered the furthest past the ledge of human support and shifts the fulcrum right underneath them. Though many groups in the US are extended beyond their support systems, migrant farm workers start from nothing and are forced to begin again every month. We bind their hands, revoke their autonomy and taunt them with a world that is plotting their obsolescence all while begging for hand picked food. They spend their days painting our surfaces gold and sleep at night in beds of dust, in houses of dust with dust filling their pockets.

The edge spaces feel the trauma of rejection the same as the people who fill them and they echo it to each other, a lullaby of complacency and exhaustion.

With adaptive reuse of interior spaces as my weapon, I poke at the sleeping bear that lays soundly over suburban sprawl and strip malls, hoping to shake it awake and break the cycle.

Though there are infinite tiny cuts in the lives of the migrant farmworker, this thesis tries to flip the script of home, turning every parental moment where the structure obsessively whispers that you will never matter into a moment where it sends you off into the world with a full stomach and the knowledge that it will be there, sitting proudly, when you get back.



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