These drawings were part of my final independent project, Water Imperatives: Reframing Systems for Viable Water futures.

These five drawings speculate on possible water futures, including: Collective Management, Decentralized Water Systems, Water for Everything, Post-post Anthropocene, and a Water Synthesis. To know more about this project, please take a look at THESIS



This semester-long project was in collaboration with Rachel Baker.


This project uses housing as a way to explore how water systems can interact with human circulation, and the intersections that can occur when these two flows overlap. Located in the Strip District along the Allegheny River, the vast expanse of the site required thinking at various scales. 



This semester-long project was in collaboration with Aditi Thota.


In 2035, how might the automation of processes change the ways in which people use and interact with space? 


Looking at food and packages as resources that are increasingly becoming automated yet customized, we explored a mobility hub as an architectural opportunity for transportation of people, information, and goods that could reinforce each other. 



This three day charette was in collaboration with Zain Islam-Hashmi.

(Awarded finalists of a competition sponsored by Epic Metals metal decking company.)


This outdoor star-gazing hut combines the idea of the archetypal shelter and the hangar for machines to create a variety of learning and communal spaces through reconfigurable sleeping pods.



Proposal for an Environmental Charter School in Knoxville, Pittsburgh. 

The lobby, commons, and project resource center are oriented south towards Bausman Street, while the classrooms are to the north and face the more residential alley. A large communicating staircase encourages circulation and small group encounters through the school, and allows for light and natural ventilation to flow through the center of the building. 



The proposal was for an experimental media center adjacent to the existing Kelly-Strayhorn Theater located in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I was interested in exploring diagrammatic architecture through the intervention of a stair that can become more than a stair: a stair that extends into the program spaces and can also become its own programmable space, or even the breathing space that lies inbetween circulation and program. 


In creating a very obvious red stair, I was exploring the question of how current design standards in graphic clarity and user interface can also become a part of three-dimensional, diagrammatic architecture. 



In collaboration with Adam Kor, Elizabeth Levy, Miranda Ford, and Sally Sohn.

This project was a study of context and Palladian principles to design an Institute honoring the life and work of Andrea Palladio within Vicenza Italy. 

Exploring the contrast of a solid, vaulted base with freeform objects above, the Institute curates the user's experience in relationship to the neighboring Chiericati building designed by Palladio. 

Working in a team of five allowed us the opportunity to explore detail and material to greater depth. 



This project explored the dynamic between the natural conditions of a valley in New Hampshire and the experiential qualities of a bath house. Program elements included a hot pool, warm pool, cold pool, sauna, steam room, fire pit, mud room, and overlook. 


With this project, I saw a distinction between the external quality of the surrounding wooded forest and the interior tactile qualities of stone and water. 



Urban Grow Center was a project for Grow Pittsburgh. Working with a site in Uptown, we designed a community-oriented agricultural center. This urban grow center includes a greenhouse, marketplace, educational outreach, and fabrication space. 


Based upon the heavy traffic and neighborhood situation around the immediate context of the site, I decided to internalize the structure to create a central open marketplace area surrounded by the program elements. A structural exoskeleton surrounds the site and allows for users to be in an indoor-outdoor space. 



This was a one week design charrette in collaboration with Rachel Baker, Ashley Chen, and Kerrian France.


Our goal was to create a rainwater collection system in MLK Garden for Grow Pittsburgh, keeping in mind a limited budget and volunteer labor force. The construction uses standard measurements and 90 degree angles that are then connected to create both a visually dynamic form and a curved slope for rainwater collection. Each unit can be repeated and varied in its arrangement.


Drawings completed for Materials and Assembly, a course on construction and code review. 



This project was in collaboration with Adam Kor, Jack Fogel, and Cheyenne Bell. 


Our group was tasked with designing a vertical garden out of a single sheet of MDF. We designed a system of pieces that could easily assemble and create shelves for plants to rest. The openings allow for both drainage and additional sunlight. 


While the built structure created one self-supporting loop, we also imagined how with additional pieces, the project could become a sculptural object, or even aggregate into a vertical garden landscape. 



The Hunt Parasite project was situated in Carnegie Mellon's Hunt Library and addressed the evolving role of the library in the age of digitization. While libraries are perhaps becoming less popular for the use of printed books, the usage of libraries has not diminished; in fact, in many college campuses, the function of library buildings have become increasingly more popular as a space for studying and accomplishing work.


My project proposal aimed to increase the amount of study spaces within Hunt Library by using the existing structural framework and inserting parasitical, cubic units that could expand study spaces, or begin to aggregate and create new spaces for alternate functions as the need arises.  



This project was in collaboration with Ashley Chen, Jack Fogel, Kerrian France, Elizabeth Levy, and Zain Islam-Hashmi. 


This was a project for Grow Pittsburgh's educational outreach program. We designed a collapsable hoop house for a planter bed, to be used in an educational settings. The cold frame was constructed primarily out of conduit and shrink wrap plastic, with primary and secondary access points to allow for maintenance or educational plant instruction. 



This project was in collaboration with Xinhui Lim. 


This was a two week design project of a proposal for a reactive system. Using Grasshooper, we created a wind reaction paneling system off of existing wind data for Pittsburgh. It is located in the north entrance of the College of Fine Arts building, and serves to reduce the wind that comes in from the door. If the wind speed increases, the panels unwind to be longer, and they act perpendicularly to the direction of the wind.  



This was a two week design project in which we tried to create hanging plant holders out of yupo paper, shrink wrap plastic, and piano wire. My project was for a lavendar plant, and used the tension created by the weight of the plant to suspend itself. The piano wire and plastic were woven into the plant holder, and openings allows for ventilation and drainage. 



This was the first final project completed in school, involving a vacation house for a college president along the edge of a lake constructed out of concrete masonry units. My project was primarily about passage and bisection. A main passage led directly from the road to the lake, while a secondary passage led to the private garden. The plan was bisected into the northern, more private half and the southern, more public half, and the bisection in elevation allowed for the top half of the home to appear as though it were hovering above the landscape. 

© 2019 by Kelly Li. All Rights Reserved.