2. FROM PLAYGROUND TO PLAYABLE GROUND: FALL 2014 TO SPRING 2015
Playing outside is of vital importance to children’s mental and physical health;
play, especially play that incorporates low levels of risk taking, is a biological
necessity that teaches children the skills they will need in order to survive as
adults. Yet the ubiquitous playground structures found in most parks often
fall short of their full potential. These plastic playgrounds, which should serve
as catalysts for creative thought and action in children, are limited in their
sameness. My thesis project explored the creation of a playable ground which
utilized the specific qualities of site to engage children to move their bodies
and their minds in imaginative ways.
3. How can the ground become an integral part of thrilling and risky-feeling play?
4. Marie Reed Elementary School and Community Learning Center is an integral part of the Adams Morgan neighbor-
hood in Washington, DC. Its outdoor play area, however, has been completely paved over with a variety of impermeable
surfaces for decades. Ripping up the impermeable surfaces and re-using them to create an intense topography allows
children to interact with their environment in a way that requires them to assess risk-taking and be mindful of their sur-
roundings. The counterpoint to the mound range is a soil rehabilitation project that incorporates supervised “dig zones”,
encouraging children to play in a way that allows them to both shape their environment and also to begin the process of
8. URBAN OYSTER GARDEN: SPRING 2014
This design was the result of a semester-long exploration that
answered the query: What is an urban oyster garden? My de-
sign approach was heavily informed by the flux, float, and flow
of water in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, projections of global sea-
level rise, and documented storm surge events.
My design utilized specific methods of oyster cultivation in order to
highlight variable water conditions, creating an interactive and didactic
landscape for both residents of and visitors to Baltimore.
12. 0 16’ 32’ 48’
0 16’ 32’ 48’
0 16’ 32’ 48’
0 10’ 20’ 30’
Exposed gabion stairs
Below-grade gabion connecting channel Rain garden infiltration
overflow pipe to gabion channelpermeable sidewalk pavers
This project is about the performance of
water and an exploration of how it can be
harnessed in a way that creates an interac-
tive learning environment for the students
of Jefferson Middle School in Southwest
DC, while reconnecting the community
to the Potomac River.
REVEALING SOUTHWEST: SPRING 2013
In addition, it seeks to create a human-
scale interaction within the context of
the Hoffman Development Plan for the
Southwest Waterfront, whose plan calls
for large buildings and supersized piers.
14. This project reenvisions movement in the new
urban cemetery. The site is Langston Golf Course
in Northeast DC, on the banks of the Anacostia
River. I explored the physical, mental, and visual
aspects of movement in order to draw people in
to explore by juxtaposing destination views with
the mysterious “what’s behind the next corner”
bends in the paths.
The paths in the cemetery are mown into a
lively meadow of Chasmanthium latifolium.
Imagine the gentle waving of wild oats, even in
moments of seeming stillness. As the meadow
attracts small animals and insects, mourners
and explorers, it becomes a habitat for both the
living and the dead.
MEMORY INFRASTRUCTURE: SPRING 2012