Make-Shift

As an interface between the diverse city of Ithaca and the center of the block, and inspired by the porches of buildings throughout Ithaca, the project aims at addressing the lack of neighborhood-scale social and gathering spaces while creating an inspiring hub for local and incoming industrial designers, graphic designers, and young architects.

The topology is a framework of shifting and overlapping centers and edges that define and connect spaces and activities for a diverse society of people. Beginning with a primary module, which is then subject to a scalar expansion and repetition, a flexibility emerges which not only creates defined spaces with various scales and functions but also generates in-between spaces. The users' experience is guided by their fluid response to the centering intensities and overlapping edge conditions, as they move from threshold to threshold. The configuration of modules creates local centers in order to reject hierarchy in favor of a multiplicity of intershifting spaces.

Through a series of shifting and overlapping gathering spaces, installation spaces, and public amenities, the building exposes its activities in an attempt to increase passive encounters between the creative occupants and the greater community, (students, families, hikers, etc.) while reorienting and guiding them towards other main centers and attractions of the city. Ultimately, the project serves as a compelling example for neighboring buildings as it unleashes the socially active potential of the otherwise dead center of the block.