Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

5-1-2018

Degree Program

Architecture

Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

May

Abstract

The twentieth-century brought a rapidly increasing global mobility and is causing a de-territorial effect on the world. The borders of countries are becoming more fluid. The bounds of cultures that were based on nationality, have become blurred, contested, open-ended, and unstable. These frequently modified cultural boundaries have created multiple cultural diasporic groups. A diaspora is a large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world. Globalism, with its elusive cultural identity, leads to a seemingly unified world culture and the once static sense of nation-state-based cultural identity is now mobile. This mobility and replacement of our locations destabilize our traditional sense of identity that traditionally has been deeply rooted in a sense of nation-state. As a reaction and resistance to the global forces, “localism,” or “nativism,” have simultaneously increased. Thus, the cultural diaspora can be understood as a journey through multiple magnitudes of cultural boundaries.

This thesis reviews cultural identity with an emphasis on cultures that are undergoing a diasporic condition. I specifically emphasize notions of the nationality of a selected diasporic group of Bangladeshi people living in New York City over the past few decades. The vehicle of the research is the study of their current cultural identification, considering the varied struggles of this group in their new host land. After assembling and acquiring a holistic understanding of the current condition (economic, social, and political) of this group, a set of appropriate programs will be proposed to be incorporated into the design for a cultural center. The primary goals of this project are to encourage the socio-cultural, economic, and educational enhancement of Bangladeshi people living in New York City. The project will also raise a sense of unity among the diasporic group and enable a better understanding of cultural interchange.

First Advisor

Erika Zekos

Second Advisor

Joseph Krupczynski

Included in

Architecture Commons

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