Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Steven Cooke, M.Arch.

Committee Member

Dawn Mages, B.A.

Committee Member

Mark Morse, M.Arch


Architecture center, Built environment, Public architecture, Institute, Urban living rooms


Architects throughout have been forced to practice design surrounded by a society that generally lacks of architectural awareness and interest. A growing trend to transition from a relatively isolated profession into a field that promotes stronger public involvement is critical for architecture to evolve. Within the past 10 years, the growth of architectural centers have begun to dissolve the barrier between the profession and the general public in that their primary function regardless of what form they represent, is to introduce and educate issues of architecture that are an inescapable part of our built environment.

An investigation of architectural research institute precedents, would allow for opportunities to understand how they have engaged professional knowledge with a growing educated public opinion. Promoting the idea of similar functions locally to a skeptic public has to be based on the importance of change, where new technologies are consistently transforming the way we approach design problems. Introducing a variety of techniques to display information, which go beyond any two dimensional format into a three or four dimensional, more tactile, interactive medium, allowing the observer to become engaged in what they are learning is important for individuals to establish meaning. The facility itself would be a catalyst for learning in which design issues are presented and solutions are viewed by the viewer in a multi-sensory way.

The ultimate goal would be able to establish a system of memory responses to allow the general public a better connection with architecture. Creating a center of information housed within a singular building would be a beneficial beginning but it is important to express that information beyond any static building into a contextual environment in which it can be further related with. Adding richness to public spaces that promote cases of good architectural design can be an example that would allow the absorption of concepts through participation. Eventually, the results would lead to more knowledgeable public input about how their built environment is viewed and encourage better design.