EMpower Design has partnered with Peace and Security Collaborative to propose a strategically designed two-dimensional resilience map providing a comprehensive look at existing routes and locations of crisis management centers. The maps are a tangible and interactive tool for women in New Usmanpur, Uttam Nagar, Vasant Kunj, Chattarpur, or Sangam Vihar to navigate finding a safe space within their own community.
The map makes visible the existing network of support for women in the region by identifying service providers, hospital and crisis services centers. Users of this map are encouraged to utilize the services of the Crisis Management Centers. By engaging and participating with the centers, women can receive individual support while learning about helping to build resilience in their communities and urban areas.
The ability to have printed maps is critical to providing accessible information to all women in various Delhi neighborhoods. Many families do not have access to digital means so distributing paper that women can take and share with other women with allow for this resource to spread within the existing social infrastructure. The building resilience map strives to connect masses of women who lack a platform and space to exercise their voice.
Collaborators: Emma Jasinski (Co-Founder EMpower Design) & Karen Bhangoo Randhawa, PhD (Founder of Peace and Security Collaborative
Johannesburg Women's Shelter
To provide for the affected female population of Hillbrow, Johannesburg the architecture mediates through gradients of safety to sanctuary from refuge to retreat. To allow for women to feel secure without becoming prisoners of the space, creating introspective regions for individual healing and active areas to foster communal activity.
In order to secure the facility along with creating an environment which feels safe for the patrons, the architecture implements methods of camouflage, through materiality and hidden fenestration. Siting the facility in the heart of Hillbrow, a notoriously dangerous neighborhood with a high density of housing, the project is in an ideal location to serve the women of the community. The surrounding market and network of vendors around site act as its own grassroots security system. The market provides the women residing in the shelter with outlets for work. The stores and vendors are designed to blend easily into the existing urban fabric, camouflaging the inner shelter facilities.
Sanitation and Health Rights in India (SHRI) fights alongside rural Indian communities to end outdoor defecation and empower women through education as a key step in an ongoing struggle for health equity and social and economic justice. 650 million Indians defecate outside daily because they have no toilet. This tragic reality has severe consequences on the health status of Indians and a substantial negative impact on broader social and economic conditions. Women suffer the disproportionate brunt of these deleterious impacts, perpetuating gender inequality. In 2013, nearly 400 rapes in Bihar occurred while women were walking to the fields to defecate. Additionally, 5 out of 6 schools in rural India do not have toilets for girls. As a result, women often have no place to change their sanitary napkins during menstruation at school. Thus, almost 40 percent of India’s female school dropouts cite lack of school toilets as the cause.
SHRI's sanitation facility has started to address the issue of gender inequality by providing women with toilets in a secure and clean environment. Mia joined SHRI on the ground in 2013, to design strategies that address gender inequality in the community. This collaboration encouraged local community women to use of SHRI’s toilet facility. During these meetings, the women have participated in an Empowerment Institute Workshop*, focused on personal growth and the potential for the HP facility.
EAST HARLEM HOUSING PROJECT
During the redevelopment of 125th Street, more globalized corporate-based companies moved into east Harlem causing a dispersal of locally grown businesses. By providing high market value spaces for those dispersed local business owners, this housing project retains a local enclave urban condition within the matt-housing complex. A housing typology that is actively networked and thus responsive within a greater global environment.
MONUMENTAL INDUSTRY (FOR 21ST CENTURY INNOVATION)
Any proposal for the redevelopment of the Navy Yard must recognize it as just that, a redevelopment of the city’s previous needs. The buzzwords of today - interdisciplinary, start-up, DIY, co-work - are as inherently mutable as the needs that drove the Yard’s initial construction - industry, manufacturing, enterprise, and mobilization. As such, this project seeks to provide new, flexible, highly serviced works spaces while simultaneously preserving and expanding the monumental character of industrial and knowledge centers of the past.
We propose a grand monolithic insert that produces two distinct types of spaces - highly compartmentalized, focused, programed areas and a single, grand unprogrammed hall that contains all circulation and axially organizes the building. Instead of thinly spreading the new ‘collaborative spaces’ across the entire structure, the insert defines a series of tenant and programed spaces, each with its own dedicated service connections and flexible floor plates allowing each to adapt independently to changing needs, times, and technology without compromising and cluttering the civic and grand qualities of the hall.
This project was done in collaboration with Thomas Heltzel.
NEW YORK MID-TOWN LIBRARY
n response to the relocation and special treatment given to controversial material in the New York Public Library, historically and at the present this adjunct mid-town library is to stand as an architectural mechanization of the processes of censorship within the library. Formally playing on the irony of censorship, which ultimately makes material more popular in contrast to it’s intention.
The library’s permanent collection is designed to store material which has been subject to a type of censorship, and present them to the users through varying degrees of accessibility. The additive collection is a process of moving new controversial materials from the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library (Lion’s) over to this library through decisions made within the public forum arenas.
AMMAN ART PARK
Popularity and celebrity are ephemeral yet powerful social constructs, creating networks for exposure, awareness and influence. What is the potential for architecture to subvert and deny its own power in order to construct a critical discourse, which influence the subject-object relationship of viewing art at exhibitions? Can architecture act as a type of resistance and showcase art in a manner which is beyond commodification?
PECK SLIP NEW YORK CLIMATE LAB
This project intends to redefine traditional lab space for the newly developed science of Climatology. This study of science requires an extensive amount of fieldwork, with a major focus on the prediction and anticipation of disastrous weather conditions. The design uses building materials to create extreme climate conditions within the confines of interior spaces to test and collect data on the building systems. The goal being to observe how building systems respond and endure under these imposed climate conditions.
BRONX STEVENSON HIGH SCHOOL RETROFIT
Architectural projects oftentimes have a set of known inputs and ask for a certain set of desired outputs. Through the incorporation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and parametric design the process of achieving the desired output for a project can be optimization, high flexible and create a range of effective biases within spaces; however, if designers collaborate, challenge the prescribed outputs and question the driving inputs, the abilities of parametric design even more so expanded.
The design project developed an evolved retrofit building components, which architecturally affects a space while simultaneously providing for or enhance some aspect of the building-systems. The building components (element) were then cataloged and accessible for the use by other members of the studio, the component’s application was test within different reuse strategies (Bronx School retrofit here) and building types to augment adaptability.
Currently Mia is working as an Associate at SHoP Architects. Since joining SHoP in 2013, she has held a leadership position on critical projects such as the Uber Headquarters and multiple confidential embassy projects with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Design Excellence Contract. Currently she is acting as a Project Manager and Lead Designer for the Bajalta mixed-use development in Tijuana Mexico (site photo to the left) and Uber Oakland Headquarters.
Under the RESUME tag above you can see a full list of projects Mia has worked on at SHoP. Please also visit http://www.shoparc.com/ to see images of the projects.