A Door

A door is a wall, a knob, a step. It locks, it shelters, dictates and directs. How often do we abridge its consideration to a symbol, and overlook the ritual that delivers us and welcomes home? Its interface shapes a habit that shapes a person.

To look at a door is to see a hand and an introduction.

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A New Datum

The city has been in a cycle of acquisition—of bodies, buildings, and materials. Our proclivity for possession is not exchange, and is not sustainable.


The aim is to protect the city and its infrastructure from rising water levels and storm surge in the light of Hurricane Sandy, with a focus on avoiding the additive aspect of “landfill” strategy, where land is unceremoniously displaced, and a hard edge built up at the perimeter, making water inaccessible.

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This outdated relationship of land to water is a vestige of the industrial era, as punctuated by the strong figures of warehouses, and rectilinear landmasses simply affixed to the sides of the city. Many of us spend our entire lives in this city, never to actually come into contact with our water. Now with the East River at the cleanest it has been in a century, we can afford to deliberate equilibrium between protection from and invitation toward that water. The proposal is a fragmented shore with lengths of storm surge wall built in. It is generated by direct exchange; Addition and subtraction in contrast to the purely additive.

What is removed is replaced by the direct material and property of the land or water displaced. The new relationships caused by unfamiliar seams coming into contact have the potential to give rise to new forms to architecture.

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Body of Work


A portrait wants to express the quality or character of the individual, through more than blatant signifiers of say, wealth, or superficial caricature. It is always a struggle, and especially so without the help of props or context.

Through intention, intuition, and close observation, one can form a matrix of marks, picking up on the nuances of expression and posture of my subjects in their natural work element. The summation of these moments builds up an image of the habits from which a portrait of the character emerges.


Cut Out Chapel

It’s been such a long time since I made this series, and I don’t wish to talk about it as an architecture project, but as a memory. The Matisse Cut-Outs show was in town, and my professor, the late Diane Lewis, insisted that we see the show, and do all our work in cut-outs. I spent hours upon hours layering bristol with painted acrylic shades of black, white, and grey, just to cut them out into squares and rectangles and arrange them with pins and tape on a gridded square of foamcore. It was the most insane way I have ever drawn. I loved it very extremely, and I have never looked at the representation of space quite the same.

I walked in late one day into a full-on rant Diane was having with herself about Ambivalence vs Ambiguity. I don’t know how long she had been going on for, but from the moment I walked in, the unplanned rant continued for about an hour, as the class stood around drafting desks and miscellaneous furniture and stools around her listening. I’ll never remember exactly what she spoke about for so long, but I know this now— Ambivalence is looking at a drawing whose careful, self-aware consideration in the making cause it able to be read two, three, or more compelling ways. Perhaps ways you never even planned for. Ambiguity is striving for ambivalence, but using vagueness, laziness if you will, an idea that if one can make something vague enough, then maybe someone will believe there is meaning in it.

For a whole slew of reasons I’ll not go into, this became a Tibetan Buddhist chapel. Not being religious myself, I cherish the rare moments I get to step into holy spaces. I cry nearly every time.

I found my local service, at a Chinatown YMCA a couple of blocks away on a Thursday, in a classroom with low ceilings led by a Lama who escaped Tibet thirty years ago, at the last moment he could, to bring his religion to a place he could practice it freely, downtown Manhattan, with a translator, at a YMCA, the smell of chlorine permeating the hallways, and a book club meeting across the hall. It was beautiful. I cried, and then I ate scallion pancakes shared after the service and spoke with the Lama through his translator. They invited me back with open arms. I never went back, and I wish I did.


miscellaneous drawn things

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Color In This Line


Every station on the New York F train subway line, mapped by color.

The question:

Why does subway station coloring not only differ from station to station, but accent to tiling, column to handrail? What motivates these decisions? Subway architecture, even singular subway stations, are the most trafficked, utilized, and insidiously influential uniform architectural spaces in NYC, and yet their coloring from variant to variant is so arbitrary. The MTA is a tightly, bureaucratically regulated system, with systematized building organizations and techniques, so surely its coloring is regulated as strictly as well. How can I unlock some of the reasoning behind the strange color combinations we have become accustomed to? Is it by tracing their origins through history? Or possibly mapping out the variation along some of these lines in the event that I am unable to find viable literature on the topic?

The answer:

In the isolating chaos of the underground, there is logic! Station color groupings depend on the line's orientation in relation to Manhattan. All stations in the general "family" of an area, regardless of train line, follow this color scheme, varying slightly in hue between each group.

The shift in color group happens at each express station, presumably to help a rider intuitively look up, and facilitate their transfer. By this logic you should be able to look up, and have a vague sense of where you are.

I had taken this train twice a day, most days of my life since the age of 11, and never stopped to question it. All these years I have wondered just how is it that I've been able to fall asleep for most of my ride, wake up, and jump off at just the right time and place.

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