Architecture, College of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-4-2020

Document Type



Nelson, Abigail L. "User: Drone." 2020. M.Arch. thesis, University of Nebraska.


A Design Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Architecture, Major: Architecture, Under the Supervision of Professor: Zac Porter. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2020

Copyright 2020 Abigail Nelson


Though industrial technology furthered the possibilities of architecture and, in the the case of the automobile, redefined architectural principles and promenade, it also influenced a consumerist-driven, technology-obsessed society. Cedric Price and Reynor Banham saw great promise in the implementation of technology within architecture; what they overlooked, though, was the tangible exhaust it brought: electronic waste (e-waste). The current e-waste situation in the New Territories of Hong Kong poses a case study which allows technology, specifically that of drones, to interact with architecture.

For this thesis, drones, in reaction to the e-waste case study, operate an e-waste handling facility alongside humans. The architecture responds to drone’s unique capabilites as a user and the various processes involved with e-waste handling. It simultaneously questions the notion of occupant and architecture’s dependency on humans as a discipline. The thesis culminated in four points which outline the formal and disciplinary effects regarding drones as future occupants of architecture.

Supervisor: Prof. Zac Porter

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