hello! I’m a visual and spatial designer.

a collage of tightly packed rows houses in oakland - the are all 2-3 floors, with porches close to the street.
Hello! House
What’s the power of a porch in Pittsburgh?
Partner - Morgan Carlisle

Studio 3 - Undergrad Spring 2020  - Instructors: Emily Pierson Brown and Chris Guignon
Site - Osage Nation Land, or Central Oakland, Pittsburgh PA
Program - Housing Project for Refugees and Grad Students

Resettled refugees face extreme isolation and a lack of a support system in a new, unfamiliar place. We wanted to create a community space that promoted moments of accidental mentorship between refugees, grad students, and other members of the community - whether that’s through just observing people or studying and cooking together in shared spaces. We wanted to create a space where you always had someone to wave hello to.

This program includes space for Hello Neighbor, a mentorship program that matches resettled families with families in Pittsburgh and also provides resources like job searching assistance and language tutoring. 80% of resettled families felt more confident after completing the program. With a focus on this project on sustainability, we wanted to focus on community sustainability and provide tools for the community that they could take beyond their time living in this residence,

Porches are a prominent feature in Pittsburgh, especially in Oakland, where they are very close to the sidewalk.

a diagram that shows two porches facing each other, with a zone highlighted in the middle where people are coming together to meet
A porch can be a living room, a cafeteria, a community center, an event hall for celebrations, and a space for storytelling.

Porches are used as a device to help build community - and played the same role in this design, taking three forms in different scales - a porch that faces the external community, a shared porch that is for the internal community, and then neighbors being paired up to share a porch to mimic the Hello Neighbor’s mentorship program.

a diagram that shows the steps of how the building form was created - started with a rectangle, a center courtyard was carved out. then the entire building was sloped like a roof, broken into pieces, and rotated to make two seperate courtyards. openings were then carved into the form to create sightlines and access to the center courtyards, and finally, porches were added.an overall look at the building - you can see lots of activity going on, from people sitting in courtyards on the edge of stairs, to people sitting on a roof plaza. the building forms looks like two Cs interlocked together,

an illustration of the two community backyards (courtyards) in the building - you can see people playing music, kids playing ball, lights handing up - it seems like a warm and welcoming environment