Architecture Program


Date of this Version

May 2005


M.Arch Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


A key component missing from many urban cores is an established retail hub. This displacement of retail, shadowing the economic tendency towards sprawl, has robbed the downtown of its vitality. In order to reinstall the appeal that downtowns once possessed, my objective as both an optimist and realist is to suggest the reestablishment of downtown as a place for diverse interaction. In accordance, I am proposing a mixed-use retail mall for the urban domain. I intend to define and design a mixed-use project on a block in downtown Omaha. The project location, in proximity to the new convention center, will include a retail mall with an integrated hotel, theater, and internet café as some of the key attractions. My desire for this project is to address architecture and entertainment as made manifest by blurring the boundaries between physical and virtual – space and time. Physical space and virtual space have distinct differences related to the changing conditions throughout time. Rather than designing two separate spaces absent of the other’s implications of this time shift, I will blur the distinction of space and time between the physical and the virtual. I intend the results of this exploration to be the creation of adaptable spaces in relationship to the current trends following the market. Physical space is apparent, permanent, stable, and comprehensible. Virtual space may require more thought to realize the abstract implications of multidimensional information, connectivity, and communication, which are related to, but different from, the realm of the physical. Digital or virtual spaces are apparent in Las Vegas and New York City’s Times Square. These spaces are distinctly different than physical forms absent of the digital medium of electronic marketing. One’s mind may interact with and communicate through the digital mediums in a way that creates new spaces and environments for socializing. One of the main sources I considered for this topic was a book called THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTELLIGENCE by Derrick de Kerckhove. It looks into the architectural implications of the digital revolution with a bias towards cyberspace and internet design. Mentor: Mark Hoistad, AIA.

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