Steedman Summer Travel 2014

"Complete look at Senri new town." Japan Architect 108, May 1965. p. 69.

Two graduate students embark on international research

Posted by Katherine Welsch May 5, 2014

Master of Landscape architecture student Andrea Godshalk and Master of Architecture student Michelle Hauk have been named the recipients of 2014 Steedman Summer Travel Fellowships.

Awarded annually to students in the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, the two $5,000 fellowships support the investigation of an architectural topic of the student’s choosing. Recipients are selected by the Steedman Fellowship Governing Committee on the basis of the student’s proposed study outline, portfolio of work, and academic achievement.

Bio-centers as Entry Points to Sustainable Urban Design

Godshalk's research focuses on eco-sanitation design in informal settlements. With the support of the Steedman Fellowship, she will travel to Nairobi, Kenya, to investigate the broader potential of Bio-Centers—a new architectural typology developed by the Umande Trust and built by residents with local materials—to address sanitation challenges and impact urban landscape design. Specific points of interest include how Bio-Centers can support informal urban design by solidifying transportation corridor networks and healthy relationships with waterways, and how the harvested compost can be used to develop bio-filter processes and flood mitigation in micro-wetlands.

In preparation for her trip, Godshalk will work with the Umande Trust to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the existing Bio-Centers in Nairobi and choose five critical sites for her investigation. She'll then spend five weeks in Nairobi, where she will conduct site surveys, and collaborate with Umande Trust and other stakeholders to develop a series of drawings and plans. Upon her return to St. Louis, she will synthesize the data and speculative drawings, which will be exhibited at the Sam Fox School. She also plans to address the transferability of the Bio-Center model to other countries.

Constructing Modernity: New Towns, Community, and Paradox in Post-War Japan

During the first portion of her trip, Hauk will conduct site visits to Senri and Tama new towns to document the different housing typologies, new town centers, neighborhood centers, and infrastructure, paying particular attention to the primary organizing elements of each project and the relationships between different housing types. In addition, she will conduct both casual street interviews and formal interviews with members of local neighborhood associations, information centers, and possibly housing in order to develop a narrative of the residential experience from multiple perspectives.

Hauk will then visit public and university libraries in Tokyo and Osaka to seek out primary and secondary documents—such as building plans, sections, and perspectives, particularly of dwelling units; iterative versions of site plans; and publications from the government, news media, and academic institutions—in order to better understand the forces that shaped the development of the new towns, as well as how the perception of these projects has evolved. This research will be used to support her thesis for the Master of Science in Architectural Studies program.