Designs and Projects

Tactile Floor Plans

In the months before my senior capstone, I came across a social media video in which a woman of visual impairment described the struggle of navigating new buildings – explaining that if she had a meeting in a new or unknown place, she would visit the location the day before and walk it with her cane. This allowed her to orient herself in preparation. I began to think of different aids to be used in these scenarios, and was led to the idea of a tactile floor plan.

Siebel Center for Design was my trial subject. It was a familiar campus building, and already had many accessible advances. My largest obstacle was transforming its formal floor plans into something simple without compromising the architectural integrity. After many drafts I had established effective design parameters and a key that was effective, as well as easy to reproduce. The key highlights elements like stairs, ramps, bathrooms, emergency exits, etc.

Overall, I aimed to create a key and set of design parameters that could easily be copied/altered to fit different buildings. There are few examples of tactile plans in the world today and all seem to be executed differently. If there were a standardized process of creating these plans, it may become the norm. To increase social sustainability our spaces must be beyond accessible – they must be accommodating. I see tactile floor plans especially useful in commercial spaces such as hospitals and airports. Being both visual and tactile, these plans are usable by all.  

Childhood Longboard: Exploded View

Assignment: Pick a product with multiple components that you can disassemble and analyze, photograph an exploded view. February 2023

For this project I wanted to asses something personal to me. Pictured is my longboard of eight years; this board has seen me through travels, friendships, and a few broken bones. It is because of this I wanted to analyze its forms and view it better myself. I appreciated the familiarity of the parts, but also the repetition and symmetry of components on all four sides.

Sperry Glacier Table

Assignment: Design a piece of furniture that tells a climate story, and can also hold a book. November 2022

This table is based on the melting and receding Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. With this project I wanted to showcase the effects of global warming over a certain period of time – I feel that visual and set examples of climate change can be a more convincing argument. Glaciers in particular have been greatly effected by warming temperatures, and we have much documentation on this.

In order to determine the shape of my shelfs I used USGS Sperry Glacier photographs in the years 1966, 1998, and 2015. I digitally traced these glacier borders, and CNC cut them into slabs of walnut. I fixed these shelf to posts, and marked out their heights scaled to their year gaps. This helped aid in the illusion of time between glacial melt.

Crochet Patchwork: Top, Skirt, and Tote Bag

Assignment: Create a pieces of fashion using sustainable materials and processes. November 2022

I had never crochet before this project and saw it as a great opportunity to learn. It gave me a new appreciation for the time and dedication that go into handmade garments. All fabric and yarn was bought second hand.

Personal Logo

Assignment: Create a logo representative of you. November 2022

My design process for this logo started with mapping out the personal qualities I would like to showcase. I have an affinity for the sun, and it has been the focus of many other projects. I also wanted to include plant life to highlight my agricultural passion and feelings of growth. To the right is my final logo. Below are first drafts of different logos which highlight these qualities as well as others, like my interest in architecture.

Architecture Projects

A Space For Gathering

Assignment: Analyze a site in Downtown Champaign, design a building fit for the space and needs. December 2022

My site analysis began with observations of buildings within downtown Champaign; my primary objective was to better understand light distribution within the city. From my collected data, I created a light sensitivity map displaying the amount of light each building receives at each time of day. This was determined by geographic location, but also in comparison to the relative heights of neighboring buildings. Then I created maps of the downtown area and wider Champaign with a focus on urban systems such as bike paths, bus stops, and green spaces.

Downtown Champaign is an area with many uses, but mainly the built environment helps to support the community in many ways. I wanted to further this support by providing the community with a space to grow, both literally and intellectually. This is why I chose to design an museum type space with many rooms open for community use.

The intent behind this design is to capture the maximum amount of light given the buildings position in downtown. I had to consider both the angles of sunlight, and the change in position at different times of day. The northwest side is a large and solid structure as it will receive the most light. The front of the building faces southeast, and the open center courtyard allows light in from this angle. In order to preserve the light in the courtyard, I had to reduce the shadowing from alternate parts of the building. To combat this I created a stacking hierarchy of the next two floors, each floor receding back to the building by 30ft. These measures not only allow for more light, but also create balcony spaces with an illusion of growth.


Assignment: create a 10′ x 10′ room design for prospect and refuge, and then a corresponding sculpture park and visitors center. May 2022

A 10’ x 10’ Room Designed for prospect and refuge.

This room features a pair of 2.5’ x 1’ sitting steps that allow one to sit and enjoy morning light from the East. There is also an angled laying platform that directions you towards evening views of the sunset in the West. Finally, there is a glass roof over the laying platform, allowing one to enjoy the space rain or shine. Ideally it would be placed in a garden or backyard space

The Sculpture Park features the 10’ by 10’ room accompanied by various other planar elements arranged to create an Art Installation. The focused is to allowing patrons to experience the different effects of the Sun, such as:

  • A depressed base plane with a large Sun Dial in the middle. There are corresponding
    planes of colored glass, rising in height to represent the times of the sundial.
  • An overhead rain basin with a lying bench underneath – this allows light to pass through the water and convey the effects of Sun’s energy.
  • A pergola featuring overhead and enclosing planes that vary in color and the amount of light that passes through. The darker planes absorb the suns rays and increase temperature

The accompanying Visitors Center features three different sections, each representative of a different zone of the sun.

The Core
This section only contains a circular visitors desk in the middle, which allows for a centralized floor plan within the room as visitors circumambulate the desk.

The Radiative Zone
This space contains a ramp into a 2′ depressed event space. The ground level paths radiate people to other parts of the building. Lying on the West side of the building, it receives ample evening light into the event space.

The Convection Zone
This space features a singular hallway leading guests up and out of (or back down and into) a hallway of different rooms, a processes representative of
convection. These rooms lie on the east side, receiving plenty of morning light.


Assignment: Learn all the biological and natural attributed of the Lilac Breasted Roller, imagine it as a human and design them a house. December 2021

Many attributes of the lilac breasted Roller are present in this design, as follows:

  • The circular floor plan mimics the ways males fly and circumambulate their nest as a form of protection
  • The central courtyard is representative of the tree holes they often build nests in
  • The three bedrooms are suitable for their average clutch size of 2-4 birds
  • The ground floor patio signifies their diet of ground dwelling insects
  • The second floor balcony provides a look out point, as they often perch high in trees to scout out food
Hansen Family Cabin

December 2022

My father has had dreams of building a family cabin. He referenced me with my knowledge in architecture for some ideas. Instead I consulted him as if he were a client, to figure out exactly what he wanted. These are rough drafts exploring different ideas and forms. Some of his requests included:

  • Two first floor bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Loft with bunking rooms
  • Lower patio, and upper balcony connected to the loft
  • A drive through garage big enough for a boat

Photo Essays

Catalog, Interior Staircases of UIUC

Assignment: Pick an element of the build environment on the UIUC campus and create a catalog. October 2022

The University of Illinois campus is filled with beautiful buildings, spanning from the 1860s to 2021. Much has changed in these 150+ years and building codes are no exception.
Staircases are vital to the flow of the campus, allowing us to have multi story buildings with easy access (for most). Older buildings may have staircases that do not live up to current day standards. This in turn poses a difficulty to those with disabilities. Beyond the need of an elevator, the tread of stairs is very important in allowing people to move up staircases in a safe manner. Older buildings tend to have taller tread rises and shorter runs. Staircases are also a very important stylistic choice. They can give a building character if done right, while still providing a means of flow. Older buildings tend to have more ornate, and stone based staircases. Stone is slippery and costly, and often the ornate railings are lower than contemporary codes would allow – this poses another risk. Our campus is filled with much architectural history, and that can be analyzed through its elements of the built environment, such as these staircases.

Architecture Building, 1873
24 Steps – Rise:6.75” Tread:12.5”
Natural History Building, 1892
27 Steps – Rise:7.5” Tread:12.5”
Davenport Hall, 1895
23 Steps – Rise:7” Tread:12”
Altgeld Hall, 1896
32 Stairs – Rise:6.5” Tread:12”
Math Main Stacks, 1897
12 Steps – Rise:7” Tread:10.5”
English Building, 1905
22 Steps – Rise:6.75” Tread:12”
Foellinger Auditorium, 1907
22 Steps – Rise:6.5” Tread:7”
Lincoln Hall, 1910
28 Steps – Rise:6.5” Tread:12”
Transportation Building, 1913,
24 Steps – Rise:6.5” Tread:11.5”
Smith Memorial Hall, 1917
29 Steps – Rise:7” Run:12.5”
Main Library, 1923
34 Steps – Rise:7” Run:13.75”
Talbot Lab, 1928
22 Steps – Rise:7” Run:11.5”
Gregory Hall, 1939
22 Steps – Rise:7” Run:12.75”
Illini Union, 1941
27 Steps – Rise:7.25” Run:11.5”
Everitt Lab, 1949
25 Steps – Rise:7” Run:11.5”
Loomis Laboratory, 1958
20 Steps – Rise:6.75” Run: 12.5”
Krannert Center, 1969
22 Steps – Rise:5.25” Run:15.5”
Beckman Institute, 1986
32 Steps Rise:5.75” Run:13”
Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, 1989
24 Steps – Rise:6.5” Run:12.5”
Grainger Library, 1992
25 Steps – Rise:7.25” Run:13.5”
Temple Buell Hall, 1992
20 Steps – Rise:5.75” Run:24”
Temple Buell Hall, 1992
20 Steps – Rise:6.5” Run:12”
FUNK Library, 2001
38 Steps, Rise: 6.5” Run: 12”
BIF, 2006
32 Steps – Rise:6” Run:14”
ECE Building, 2014
36 Steps – Rise:6” Run:13.5”
Turner Hall, 2017
20 Steps – Rise:7” Run:11”
ISR, 2020
22 Steps – Rise:6.75” Run:11”
CIF, 2021
29 Steps Rise:7.25” Run:11.5”
Security Cameras, Gas Stations, and Dumpsters

Assignment: Pick an object and location to photograph and study. October, 2021

In my excursion to photograph and study security cameras around my hometown, I came to two conclusions:

  1. The objects security cameras most often point at is dumpsters, to prevent illegal waste disposal
  2. The locations with the greatest quantities of security cameras is gas stations

I found it ironic the two places we needed to keep watch over most were those that had negative impacts, such as waste pollution and natural resource consumption (issues humans tend to overlook). I constructed the following collages as a commentary.

Community Zines

Caffe Paradiso Art and Poetry Zine

I was a barista at my local college coffee shop, Caffe Paradiso. Voted best coffee shop by the school paper, we have a very close relationship with the students and surrounding community. I have worked at other coffee shops in the past and getting to know the customers and participating in community events has always been my favorite part of the job. At Caffe Paradiso we were known for our poetry slams. This inspired me to create and release a few editions of the “Caffe Paradiso Art and Poetry Zine”. I created submission posters and hung them up around campus with links to digital submissions. Then, I would compile the art and poetry into a Zine template I created. It was formatted around tabloid sized paper and folded up to mimic small doors. The first edition released featured the work of our staff so that our customers could get to know what the Zine was like, but also so they might get to know us as employees more personally. From there I started to receive more submissions from the community. For each issue I would print and fold 100-200 copies, which would then be set out for free with an optional donation towards printing costs. This has been one of my favorite projects to date. I felt immense joy knowing I was aiding in spreading art around my community, whilst also helping us come together.