Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The way we build our environment today is a process of protecting ourselves from the elements of nature. We build walls, roofs, and windows; we create a more predictable and controllable environment to keep out what’s felt to be dangerous, dirty, and destructive. We isolate ourselves from the things we perceive as threats. This is common practice and not illogical. Shelter is about preservation and refuge. We need to feel safe in order to prosper. What is illogical, though, is wasting all those opportunities that come along with living closer and more integrated these natural processes that are being excluded. What would happen if we were to re-integrate our lives with nature?

This examination of a re-integration strategy begins with breaking down the idea of plant and animal into basic “technologies” and learning from them. Through the use of fractal generation these technologies are embedded within the landscape to create a framework that embodies both plant and animal traits or desires of habitation. This new framework becomes the basis for the design; the ground zero for an explosion of life. The final design seeks to re-integrate the human with a whole host of organisms that already exist on site and play vital roles within the ecosystem that the human is participating in. The intention of this process is to imbue the final design with aspects or technologies that are not merely centered on human habitation conditions but are purely post-anthropocentric in that they see to the needs of all inhabitants on a particular site.

First Advisor

Skender Luarasi

Second Advisor

Ray K. Mann

ref 1 - harmonia_57.gif (118 kB)
Reference 1

ref 2 - harmonia_57.jpg (113 kB)
Reference 2

ref 3 - Vancouver-Landbridge.jpg (11 kB)
Reference 3

ref 4 - Vancouver-Landbridge.jpg (291 kB)
Reference 4

ref_5 - Living Systems Multi-tiered Vine Park.pdf (12259 kB)
Reference 5

Included in

Architecture Commons