Social Justice Urbanism

Other Titles
This report offers an in-depth analysis of my journey through the course of the M.S.AAD program at Cornell. With ‘Urbanism’ as my territory of Investigation, my studio projects have allowed me to work across multiple geographic scales ranging from rural contexts of Chongqing, China where I explored unique local spatial and construction practices, to urban environments of extractive degraded landscapes attributed to human intervention as seen in Trinidad and Tobago. My Mellon Urbanism Fellowship at Cornell has equipped me with resources to study the devastating effects that dilapidation, sprawl, and failed urban environments can have on society and well-being. In an age where even the natural environment has been curated by mankind, I believe that the lack of sensitivity for the impact of our own constructions is a constant notion for (re)evaluation. My study of social injustice in the built environment, of existing and newly emerging national, religious, and ethnic conflicts and their relation to urban space was the focus of multiple courses at Cornell. I try to address this injustice in the built context by analyzing the indelible imprint left behind by the spatial patterns of exclusion. While disparities in cultural and political systems have always had a long-standing tradition in architectural history, the sudden emergence of new spaces of conflict has considerably altered architectural discourse, threatening to re-configure our living environments. This understanding has enabled me to re-evaluate the forces that shape cities by bringing to light the economic and cultural attributions of architecture. Resilience and Sustainability should be civic inputs into the spaces we try to create. For architects to advance design justice, we should create buildings that prioritize people, places, the planet, and prosperity. I hope to have fulfilled this social responsibility of architecture through the various examples of my work showcased here.
Journal / Series
Volume & Issue
29 pages
Date Issued
Effective Date
Expiration Date
Union Local
Number of Workers
Committee Chair
Mergold, Aleksandr
Committee Co-Chair
Committee Member
Richardson, Henry
Degree Discipline
Degree Name
M.S., Architecture
Degree Level
Master of Science
Related Version
Related DOI
Related To
Related Part
Based on Related Item
Has Other Format(s)
Part of Related Item
Related To
Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Reference(s)
Previously Published As
Government Document
Other Identifiers
Rights URI
dissertation or thesis
Accessibility Feature
Accessibility Hazard
Accessibility Summary
Link(s) to Catalog Record