Architecture Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the School of Architecture. More about the Knowlton School of Architecture Honors Program can be found at:

Instructions for students


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 21
  • Item
    Rural Revitalization in Appalachian Ohio
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Kaniecki, Margaret; Reece, Jason
    Over the last 100 years, the population of the United States of American has dramatically shifted from being heavily centered around rural communities to large urban center, all in thanks to changing standards of living, technological revolutions, and work opportunities. With this shift came the decline of small towns across the nation, leaving lasting and systemic socio-economic disparities between urban areas and their rural counterparts. Most of these disparities manifest as lower educational attainment and, in conjunction with that, a lowered household income. As the globe enters a new era that is dominated by remote work opportunities, more rural communities now have an unprecedented opportunity to positively change the narrative. This project explores the possibilities for rural towns to reinvent themselves through asset-based community development. Specifically, this project has examined multiple rural communities within the State of Ohio that have previously diversified or are attempting to diversify their economies by focusing on tourism and recreation; especially ones that have historically hosted agriculture, natural resources, manufacturing, or other such services. The purpose of this is to examine the variety of strategies used by these communities and their peers to make tourism and recreational activities compatible economic opportunities. Additionally, the goal is to recognize the continued preservation of their unique identities and atmosphere as they vary in not only location, but regional identities and purpose. Focusing specifically on rural Ohio prevents harsh overgeneralization as many of these communities have a unique cultural background. By communicating and sharing the challenges and opportunities capitalized up by these communities, others looking for alternative pathways to find economic reinvestment may use this document as a guide.
  • Item
    Challenges to Bicycle Usage in Columbus, Ohio: A Seasonal Analysis of Central Ohio Greenway Mode Choice
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Rolnicki, Catherine; Leonard, Don
    In the United States, bicycle ridership is generally lower than in other cities across the globe. American cities lag behind other countries, especially some cities in Western Europe such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam. A number of factors may contribute to this decrease in ridership such as reduced infrastructure and a lack of cycling culture. Another factor may be weather, which is a focus of this study. How does weather impact ridership in U.S. cities, and what can those cities do about it? To explore this question, I measure how temperature and precipitation impact trail use and cycling in Columbus, Ohio. During the winter months between December 21, 2020 and March 20, 2021, I collected original broad data on trail usage modeled after a study conducted by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Two North American case studies were also done on Portland, Oregon and Montréal, Canada in order to understand how higher ridership is maintained with adverse weather conditions. I argue that there is a greater potential for usage in Columbus. Of the total number of users observed on the trails, 18% were bicyclists and 77% were pedestrians. Temperature and precipitation also played key roles. As temperature increased, bicycle ridership increased. Similarly, on days with little or no precipitation, ridership was higher than days with heavier rainfall or snow. Columbus is projected to continue growing in the long-term, and investing in a more interconnected, well-maintained, and widely accessible bike network has the potential to create cultural change in the city for bicycles that would significantly change mode choice for those living in the region.
  • Item
    Growth, Decline, Rebirth: Quantifying Regional and Local Outcomes in the Midwest Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), 1970-2010
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Mattern, Samuel; Clark, Jennifer
    Ignoring the multiple county context of cities is a failure of U.S. planning. The Midwest as a region has faced significant change over the past fifty years. This study aims to analyze data at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the Midwest from 1970 to 2010 to better understand patterns of regional and local change. Focusing on these two levels of analysis will provide more comprehensive regional understanding and inform local planning decisions. To accomplish this goal, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed on two datasets: one from 1970 and a second from 2010. The number of components generated, composition of components, and component scores for different MSAs were analyzed. The data revealed that the Midwest region became more homogenous between the two time periods, but individual MSAs experienced great change. These results suggest a more nuanced policy approach for local officials and planners as well as reconsidering specialization practices in economic development. Future areas of research include expanding the geographic scale of this type of analysis, utilizing cluster analysis to group MSAs, and constructing an MSA performance index.
  • Item
    A New Design Method to Impact the Development and Sustainability of Affordable Housing
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Rader, Zoe; Hanlon, Bernadette
    This research paper aims to determine a potentially new method of design for affordable housing. Conventional buildings materials and design techniques often leave residents of affordable housing paying a high price for utilities. In this research, Passive House design, an extremely sustainable approach to architecture and design, was examined as a possible tactic to designing affordable housing. This examination took place through a series of interviews, some via Zoom and others via email. A total of nine interviews were conducted, three of which were with affordable housing developers in or around the Columbus area. The other six were with Passive House developers and architects located across the country. It is often perceived for any sort of sustainable architecture to be extremely expensive initially, thus many avoid it for affordable housing. Based on the interviews, it was proven that Passive House design can be designed and built for the same cost, or lower, than conventional, codeminimum buildings. Aside from initial costs, Passive House design has much more long-term benefits because of its energy efficiency. Through a series of design strategies, Passive House buildings and dwellings help to lower the use of utilities, in turn lowering utility bills. Even compared to other sustainable approaches, such as green building, Passive House design tends to be the most beneficial design strategy.
  • Item
    A Study of Three Columbus Public Parks and Their Usage in Winter
    (The Ohio State University, 2019-05) Gleason, Erin; Boswell, Jake
    An observational and case study based project looking at the usage of public park spaces in cities in the wintertime--in order to better plan for and design public spaces for year-round usage in the future.
  • Item
    How Does Stress Shape Experience and Perceptions in Public Space?
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-05) Brill, Taylor; Reece, Jason
    Research on the how the urban environment effects mental health and wellbeing is in its infancy. Only in recent years have researchers began trying to understand the relationship between mental health and urban design (Khanade et al, 2018). Stress is a common mental health condition that many people living in urban environment face. With increased urbanization and the introduction of more urban stressors to peoples lives, understanding the connection of mental health and urban design becomes an important one. College students are a group that face stress at a high rate, due to the demand that academic performance creates, in addition to stressors of everyday life. Understanding the impact that design has on individuals stress levels, can lead to a set of informed guidelines to promote better mental wellbeing in public spaces. Analyzing public space in the context of The Ohio State University, a group of eleven undergraduate students completed a mapping exercise and interview to better understand perceptions of public space and the factors of spatial design that can mitigate stressed responses. A space where students felt a connection to nature, a sense of belonging, secure, engaged or could exercise a level personal control over the space, were found to be more relaxing than environments that did not allow for these conditions. Designers might benefit from approaches such as adding natural elements, creating architectural interest, and dedicating spaces for seclusion or interaction. It is in design interventions like these that we can take a step closer to creating synergies between mental health and urban design.
  • Item
    What kinds of green infrastructure are cities in Ohio implementing and what are the possible barriers to implementation?
    (The Ohio State University, 2020-05) Schmotzer, Jaimelynn; Conroy, Maria Manta
    As climate change brings increasing precipitation to the Midwest and more specifically Ohio, cities will need to ensure that their stormwater management systems are capable of handling this extra water. Green stormwater infrastructure is one way to complement the gray infrastructure systems already in place by reducing the volume of stormwater that goes to the combined sewer systems. This study focused on interviewing relevant stormwater professionals from five different cities within Ohio: Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Athens, to determine what kinds of green infrastructure they were adding and what some of their barriers or obstacles to implementation were. The results of the interviews were that cities are implementing a variety of kinds of green stormwater infrastructure, including permeable pavers, bio-retention cells, green roofs, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, tree canopy, and soil cells. The most frequently mentioned challenge or concern was maintenance, especially in terms of who was responsible for completing it and making sure that person understood how to maintain these projects correctly. Other barriers included challenges during construction due to under-informed contractors and difficulties in gaining community support. Although there were some challenges associated with them, funding and policy were not as much of an obstacle as expected. Other factors that were anticipated to be major barriers but ultimately were not include the number of departments in charge of project implementation, the education of elected officials, and an overall consideration of green infrastructure as a priority for these cities. As a final note, it is likely that more green stormwater infrastructure projects will be implemented in Ohio.
  • Item
    Exploring the Relationships Between Craft Breweries and their Surrounding Communities
    (The Ohio State University, 2019-05) Corona, Caroline; Reece, Jason
    Thousands of microbreweries have popped up across the United States. The increased demand for local craft beer transforms cities and neighborhoods, leading many to wonder whether they are catalysts for neighborhood revitalization or gentrification. Craft breweries require a unique space—typically large industrial properties that are zoned for manufacturing. This often leads them to put down their roots in post-industrial, distressed neighborhoods; where they can buy or rent large properties for an incredibly low price. They are often one of the first commercial establishments to open in these neighborhoods—sparking a wave of reinvestment. Some argue that breweries are the catalyst that these neighborhoods need since they attract tourism and other food and retail establishments. Others argue that they do not fulfill community needs and pave the way for attracting new residents while driving long-time residents away. Regardless, the relationships between craft breweries and communities are hotly debated but not well researched. This qualitative study begins to explore those relationships from the brewery perspective and focuses specifically on breweries in Ohio.
  • Item
    City Sanctioned Homeless Encampments: A Case Study Analysis of Seattle's City-Permitted Villages
    (The Ohio State University, 2019-05) Finkes, Rebecca; Hanlon, Bernadette
    The United States is amid an affordable housing crisis, which has further perpetuated a homelessness crisis. As cities increasingly respond to the proliferation of homelessness with criminalization as a means of managing visible poverty, homeless individuals are left with no legal place to exist. Many homeless individuals come together to form supportive communities and provide a sense of belonging through homeless encampments, sometimes referred to as tent cities due to their unique urban form. Public officials often derail this nontraditional settlement pattern through sweeps, and cite zoning and public perception as the driving force behind their decisions. In spite of this, homeless encampments have persisted. Seattle has created a legalized form of encampments that relies on a partnership between the city and nonprofits, the first of its kind in the country. This research is a case study analysis that seeks to understand the historical context that contributed to the implementation of Seattle’s network of permitted villages, and what lessons can be learned from their development thus far. This is meant to ultimately inform cities with similar growth of unsheltered homelessness a more sustainable means of mitigating the hardships of such a vulnerable population.
  • Item
    Neighborhood Perception Data and Needs Analysis: Tools for Small Business Site Selection and Retail Mix in the Discovery District in Downtown Columbus, Ohio, USA
    (The Ohio State University, 2018-05) Geppert, Margaret "Margo"; Maasakkers, Mattijs van
    This thesis proposes two potential tools for understanding neighborhood retail mix in the Discovery District in Downtown Columbus, Ohio, USA. While downtown has been growing and gaining residents since 2010, the retention rate of businesses has remained relatively the same regardless of the increase in residents. The first tool is perception data. Both community members within a neighborhood, and citizens not affiliated with a neighborhood, have perceptions of both the community and what is in it. Perceptions can differ regardless of statistical data, built infrastructure, or resources provided. In terms of economic development, what does perception mean for business site selection in neighborhoods? Perceptions of a neighborhood can cause people to believe one neighborhood to be an economic destination before others. The second tool asks "how are we understanding what community needs are not being met in a neighborhood if a specific business type is desired"? This thesis uses Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to use a psychological definition of "need". Then, business are assigned a level on the hierarchy to define what human need(s) the business provides. Looking at community retail mix from a "needs" perspective could provide insight into community business infill suggestions and community perception. Both perception data and the Maslow Needs analysis are proposed in this thesis to be possible improvements business infill and points of communication when the business sector and community members feel disconnected.
  • Item
    Playing With People's Lives: How city-builder games portray the public and their role in the decision-making process
    (The Ohio State University, 2018-05) Plumley, William; Maasakkers, Mattijs van
    City-builder computer games are an integral part of the city planning profession. Educators structure lessons around playtime to introduce planning concepts, professionals use the games as tools of visualization and public outreach, and the software of planners and decision-makers often takes inspiration from the genre. For the public, city-builders are a source of insight into what planners do, and the digital city's residents show players what role they play in the urban decision-making process. However, criticisms persist through decades of literature from professionals and educators alike but are rarely explored in depth. Published research also ignores the genre's diverse offerings in favor of focusing on the bestseller of the moment. This project explores how the public is presented in city-builder games, as individuals and as groups, the role the city plays in their lives, and their ability to express their opinions and participate in the process of planning and governance. To more-broadly evaluate the genre as it exists today, two industry-leading titles receiving the greatest attention by planners, SimCity and Cities: Skylines, were matched up with two less-conventional games with their own unique takes on the genre, Tropico 5 and Urban Empire. Several issues in these games' portrayals emerged. The games evaluated typically offered a flawed range of options for dissent with little variety or authority, do little to address social issues and disempowered groups, and poorly portray residents as developed characters. Tropico 5 was an exception to every one of these conclusions, while Urban Empire distinguished itself often as well. The two poorest showings belong to the two games used most often by planners, SimCity and Cities: Skylines. This implies that the planning profession must better educate itself on the full range of games available, a need to take a similar approach to these games as with books published for a general audience, and the ample opportunity for more research in this crucial but neglected facet of planning.
  • Item
    Bridging Social and Environmental Justice: Mapping the Geography of Environmental Segregation in Columbus, OH
    (The Ohio State University, 2017-05) Johnson, Frank R.; Reece, Jason
    Around Columbus, OH boundaries of wealth difference seem to accompany boundaries of difference in environmental assets, particularly trees. This research investigated whether this anecdote supported a broader measurable relationship between the landscapes of wealth and greenery across the Columbus area. A sizable correlation was found between Kirwan Institute Opportunity Index scores and both environmental assets and stressors. This exploratory work identifies a relationship between environment, economy, and discriminatory policy to be investigated further, which bridges the agendas of social and environmental justice.
  • Item
    Do Older People Want to Live in Mixed-income Neighborhoods?
    (The Ohio State University, 2016-05) Burgi, Kristiana; Kleit, Rachel G.
    Current research shows that residential segregation based on income in American cities is growing; mixed-income housing may be a solution. However, mixed-income housing residents often face negative stereotypes, and public housing itself carries a negative stigma. Little to no research has examined this perceived stigma concerning mixed-income housing by non-subsidized residents, and whether or not age affects this stigma. This study analyzes potential predictors of willingness to live in a mixed-income neighborhood. The first hypothesis is older people are less likely to be willing to live in a mixed-income neighborhood than younger people. The second hypothesis is adults with low annual household incomes are more likely to be willing to live in a mixed-income neighborhood than adults with high annual household incomes. My final hypothesis is adults with kids in grades K-12 are less likely to be willing to live in a mixed-income neighborhood than adults without children or with adult kids. An online survey of 385 respondents in the State of Ohio provided data to answer these questions.Using frequencies, independent t-tests, chi-square tests, along with logistic and multivariate regressions, it was found that older adults were less willingness to live in a mixed-income neighborhood than younger adults. Although annual household income and having kids were not predictors of willingness, other potential predictors were discovered. This includes marital status, current neighborhood income level and home ownership. Further research should be performed to analyze why these variables affect an individual’s willingness to live in a mixed-income neighborhood.
  • Item
    Language and Cultural Barriers in Planning Communication
    (The Ohio State University, 2014-05) Andrea, Hong; Hanlon, Bernadette
    English is considered one of the international languages. Although, there are more than 6,170 living languages in the world and most of them are spoken in Africa or Asia. When English is a second language, is its use enough to communicate technical information? Although all parties may speak English, some may not understand it as well as others. Additionally, any information may be viewed through a cultural lens. Through the study of critical theory, communication theory in planning and cross cultural communication tools used today, this research seeks to test, in a context where English is the common language among non-native speakers, which forms of communication will improve the understanding of a planning technique. The Solomon Four Group experimental design is used to test how well each subject performed in a series of four tasks. The four tasks were given in a randomized order in the experiment: two planning related and two non-planning related. The planning-related tasks included 1) creating a building parcel from given form-based codes and 2) creating a building structure from given form based codes. The non-planning related tasks included 1) an assembling task and 2) folding an origami. The experiment tracked the amount of time it took to complete each task and the accuracy of each step in each task. The experiment showed that learning and understanding the same amount of information when given in the same context subjects varies. Visualization can provide the audience with a strong and comprehensible idea of the proposed plan, whether native or non-native English speakers. These results help further the optimization of communication of planning techniques between two parties of different English abilities and cultures. This study provides support for the use of visual communication techniques rather than the traditional use of translators when working in English in countries whose native language is not English.
  • Item
    Inside the Box
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Ziga, Bryan; Jones, Kay Bea
    Independent objects created in order to serve functional purposes while also engaging the form of the physical human body; this is the concept of furniture. Furniture renders the user stationary but gives the user purpose. Not only can one feel comfortable physically but also mentally. The user feels entitled to location, if one is sitting in a chair, the area becomes the property of the individual, for another user to sit in the same area creates a social disturbance. Proper furniture conception can be the inspiration and medium for social interaction. Through the combination of complimentary forms, hybridization, and proximity, furniture has the power to promote physical, mental, and social well-being.
  • Item
    sims[city]:unleash easton
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Sims, Katie; Jones, Kay Bea
    I will develop an experiential installation that produces social and emotional displacement. The installation has become a genre within the realm of art and architecture, and in order to design in respect to the issues I am interested in, I must understand the notion of the genre and what techniques its sub-genres represent. I will begin by researching precedents for selected art and architectural installations while examining how psychological effects are involved in the arousal of emotional responses. My research then becomes a critical productive tool to the design of my final installation, by examining the success or failure of my colleagues then utilizing this knowledge to direct my design objectives. My research will conclude with a catalogue of relevant precedents within the genre of installations and its techniques, any of which may instigate the design of my own installation. My interest in social and emotional displacement regards the idea of creating environments which provoke a reaction against the normative for a determinant, controlled response. This encounter with art alters a person’s intuitive response to an environment, and an emotional reaction occurs. Is it possible to control an environment similar to those found in today’s popular video games where you choose your character and control their interaction with their surrounding environment? These ideas will be formulated into a joint project for both the public art seminar held through the Arts College on public space and the Architecture Honors studio. Interests which arise from research into displacement will be applied to the design of my final installation, and its relation to the site, to be selected somewhere within The Easton Town Center (ETC). As a part of the art seminar, a site (ETC) outside of the Knowlton School of Architecture and The Ohio State University is available for the investigation into issues involving populations outside of the college community. The installation will deal with the issues surrounding social and emotional displacement and their relationship with the American shopping mall, the New Urbanism ideal and other utopian ideologies for which the ETC is designed. This sims[CITY] will be a tangible encounter with ETC as a provocative architectural installation.
  • Item
    Sexy Architecture
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Friend, Howard; Jones, Kay Bea
    Since gender is a cultural construct, this project will revisit the Chicago Tribune Tower Competition, (1922 and 1980), to explore how the contemporary notion of male and female are incorporated in American Architecture. Gender and architecture will be studied to create a dialogue to define architecture that identifies itself as being sexy. Sexy is a contemporary design term that depicts a project as being sensual, cool, erotic, flashy or seductive. Used literally it means to arouse or excite the senses. While each description gives a general understanding of the term, both fail in providing a definite or insightful description. As modern designers we must analyze the term sexy by peeling off its cloak to understand its possible implication for architecture. To do so one must begin by addressing the concept of gender. The construction of gender in our society has been commonly viewed as polar opposites, males at one end of the spectrum while females fall at the other end. This theory was based on primarily biological factors that science and nature determined for society. However in today’s society this is not the case. Social, cultural, physical, psychological, and emotional factors are more of a determinant of gender then just the biological factors once thought supreme. As a society that strives for equality amongst its constituents, there remains sentiment against homosexuality, same sex marriage, transgender and cross dressing. Multiple constructs of gender identity serves to blur conventional boundaries between social groups and individuals. Attempts to form a wholistic society characterized by equity, equality, tolerance and mutual respect requires a deep understanding of our urban icons. To investigate this topic, the project will examine two popular gendered magazines, Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated for their gender constraints and the symbols and spaces that accommodate them. The architect must have an understanding of the site in which the architecture is located. The urban fabric of the Chicago Loop and other icons of Chicago comprise some of the most dynamic series of networks. As architects we are socially and culturally responsible for how these networks connect with the built form. Once the networks are developed, the architect has the ability to rethink the spatial arrangements, that is generate a new understanding of these networks or present a new idea of the city. This allows the design to be developed from the inside-out. This ideology of the networking will juxtapose with that of the imagery of a skyscraper. The two will start to form the dialogue necessary to relate gender, architecture and the urban condition. The project will call for a new skyscraper(s) for the Chicago Tribune Tower Competition.
  • Item
    White House Redux: NETworks
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) McKenzie, Jennifer; Jones, Kay Bea
    "It [Internet] created a global platform that allowed more people to plug and play, collaborate and compete, share knowledge and share work, than anything we have ever seen in the history of the world." Thomas Friedman Friedman’s perception of a flattened world presents the opportune moment to revise America’s identity. Citizens and governments are more connected than ever, while the United States’ relation to its neighbors is predominantly economic. Cross-cultural cohesiveness is globalization’s unfulfilled promise. America’s revised role as a mediator will transcend her past poses of a politically isolated authority. The sudden exigency for nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq raises questions about American civil society within while presenting challenges to America’s political authority on the world stage. The desperation to conserve cultural identity in this comprehensive environment overvalues nostalgic artifacts. Historic preservation reverts to the commodification of traditional forms and symbols. Twenty-first century America needs a new image. White House Redux: NETworks reconsiders America’s evolving cultural context within, while provoking a new face to the fused world and repositions the US as a new interlocutory force.
  • Item
    ReVITALize: Urban Intervention in Akron's Highland Square
    (The Ohio State University, 2008-06) Shovlin, Natalie; Jones, Kay Bea
    Neighborhood gentrification is defined as a phenomenon in which physically deteriorated neighborhoods undergo renovation and an increase in property values. Frequently, an influx of wealthier residents displaces the prior community. Gentrification can happen as a result of neighborhood revitalization, and often results in a loss of history, community, and character in an urban neighborhood. In age where contemporary design movements, such as New Urbanism, look for a solution to urban sprawl, inner city neighborhoods provide prime real estate for residents looking to return to a metropolitan lifestyle without upsetting existing greenfield sites. Urban revitalization plans look to restore these neighborhoods, making them more appealing and safe for a wave of middle-class residents on the move. While some neighborhood revitalization plans intend to accommodate mixed-income residents, revitalization efforts can lead to the displacement of native residents if they can no longer afford the taxes of their inflated properties. The principles of New Urbanism are a collection of good urban design strategies that have the potential to effectively influence neighborhood revitalization. Although New Urbanism projects have been heavily critiqued, I feel that these principles would be best applied as means of revitalization as they address urban design issues that would create a pedestrian friendly, mixed use, and mixed income environment. My interest lies in the social responsibility of architecture and urban design that, when overlooked, results in gentrification disguised as neighborhood revitalization. These findings beg the question: Can neighborhood revitalization provide both low-income, native residents with innovative, architecturally appealing housing alternatives while also creating viable options for a middle-class wave of residents on the move? The site for this design project is a neighborhood of Akron, OH called Highland Square, an eclectic neighborhood located several miles from downtown along the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, West Market Street. Highland Square has seen a recent phase of neighborhood revitalization that has proved more consequential than beneficial, with the recent closures of local restaurants and the failure to lease new commercial space, resulting in a loss of services to the community. My interest lies in creating an urban design proposal that would increase the density of the neighborhood by providing viable housing options for residents with a range of incomes, while integrating public services. The main goal of the project is to examine and redesign housing typologies as they are relevant to the site revitalization while applying principles of urban design as well as design principles already set forth by the Highland Square Development Association. I intend to design multiple housing solutions that may adaptable to different blocks of the site. In addition to designing housing approaches, I plan to design other mixed-use commercial and residential buildings that increase the public services in Highland Square.
  • Item
    A World of Synthetics:Existing Condition
    (The Ohio State University, 2006-06) Blumensheid, Bradley; Oubrerie, Jose
    Nature is the origin from which all architecture and technology has derived. The primitive hut was the first instance when man manipulated the landscape for better utility transforming the natural landscape into the synthetic landscape. Over time the influence of these synthetic landscapes has grown with the expanse of civilization and knowledge. Knowledge, acting as a catalyst for control, allows the natural conditions to become logical and numerical ultimately replacing the natural with the synthetic. The natural condition is broken down into two categories: the cognitive natural condition; the physical natural condition. The cognitive natural condition is our perception of nature and how we believe or how we know it to exist whereas the physical natural conditions are the processes and spatial ontology of nature from which the cognitive nature was born. The physical natural condition exists as man’s lack of knowledge of the physical world, accepting what is not understood either through belief in chaos, religion or un-substantiated law. Throughout time these conditions have slowly been erased as man’s knowledge has expanded bringing control to the chaotic, reason to the illogical, and purpose to existence. In 1993, however, a sudden shift happened when knowledge expanded dramatically and the cognitive natural condition was abruptly erased. The GPS / GIS system launched by the United States Air Force is a matrix of satellites that map the earth’s surface to a resolution of less than 6 inches. This mapping has since gone public, from portable GPS handheld devices to computer programs like Google Earth, which allow anyone to see aerial photographs, maps and geographic information for anywhere on earth at any time. Rapid growth of general knowledge was gained from the GPS / GIS system, so rapid that the cognitive nature (the nature that we imagine or know to exist) is fully controlled and ultimately deleted. Not to be mistaken with the gradual deletion of the physical natural condition, which still exists and still is mostly uncontrolled, this deletion happened in the cognitive aspect of nature alone. The rapid change in technology, material, information and technique that occurred in 1993 resulted in a paradigm shift for architectural practice. Its importance to the field is inherent in the connection of architecture with nature (acting as the mother which borne the built form), and architecture to civilization. Nature has been the backbone and tabula rasa of architecture throughout history and with its deletion comes the requisite for a new understanding and appreciation of how the world is structured and where architecture fits into the contemporary. The invisible periphery of the individual site has typically been the boundary of the survey and maybe a few surrounding city blocks, but a building’s design now has larger connotations and can no longer be looked upon in this isolated, closed-loop view. Through knowledge the synthetic has become the new real via technology and the GIS / GPS system which has brought a graphical globalization to architecture (even though the field has mostly ignored it). More than one hundred years ago two Ohioans became the first in flight and until recently the architectural implications of flying have been overlooked by practitioners. When studying this precedent for the development of architectural theory, the implications for GIS / GPS on architecture could take just as long to realize. Since architecture has, throughout history, represented the zeitgeist of a civilization, how can it still maintain that status when it takes decades to catch up with potential significances of the technological advancements of that society? The truth is that it cannot hold claim to the popular or the avant-guard of such a civilization. Simply utilizing modern technology in the field is not the same as understanding the potential positive and negative ramifications of that technology either. The GIS / GPS system has, along with deleting the cognitive natural condition, graphically globalized the populous unlike any other time in history, and an understanding of this is imperative as a means for maintaining the status of architectural practice as society’s ambassador.