Weitzman School of Design

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation. 

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 250
  • Publication
    Stigmatized Space: Negative Heritage in Historic Preservation
    (2015-01-01) Moses, Sarah
    This thesis acknowledges negative heritage as an essential but understudied thread in preservation discourse. It traces the naissance of the term “negative heritage” and its antecedent terminologies in order to situate recent scholarship on the subject within a larger philosophical moment. By tracing the origin of scholarship on the subject, this thesis develops a paradigm of the sorts of events that have been essential to development of negative heritage as a material and theoretical concept and that have had impact on a diverse enough audience to merit continued interdisciplinary study. Before outlining when negative heritage developed as a concept, for what reasons, and what movements and tendencies its consideration has come to promote, this thesis diagnoses what precisely negative heritage is; definitions of the term and its antecedents, which have largely been borrowed from anthropological and psychological literature, are evaluated in terms of their clarity and applicability, and rewritten to tailor the concept — now widely disseminated but still poorly defined — to historic preservation discourse. Precedents in disparate contexts trace the development of a sociogeographic ethos with regard to stigmatized spaces; tactics that have had little representation in the literature receive particular attention. To encourage the management of traumatic sites in a manner that accounts for geographic context as well as sociocultural factors, this thesis considers modes of intervention able to foster acceptance, catharsis, and in various modes, preservation.
  • Publication
    Evaluation of the Effects of Bottom-Up Management in Preserving Values of Historic Hutong Neighborhood in Beijing: A Case Study of Community-Based Organization (CBO) - Shijia Hutong Historic Preservation Society
    (2016-01-01) Wang, Haoyu
    Preservation of traditional urban neighborhoods in China has long been a government-oriented process. In particular, since the “Old and Dilapidated Housing Renewal Program” implementation in the late 1990s, the Beijing Hutong neighborhood renewal has become an important trigger for the municipal governments to engage with the real estate market. Yet over the years, the official forces have been facing increasing challenges in the development of politics, socio-culture, and economy. As a complement to the current top-down management, the bottom-up approach could improve the recognition of a holistic spectrum of site values in the fast changing environments. However, the lack of on-the-ground community collaborations has limited the ability to test a grassroots-oriented preservation mechanism. The projects dedicated to renovating the courtyard built environments and promoting the neighborhood’s intangible values by applying a resident-centered decision-making process create valuable opportunities for the preservation practitioners to experiment with a bottom-up approach. The establishment of Shijia Hutong Historic Preservation Society (SHHPS) as the first registered community-based organization (CBO) in Beijing, has facilitated the transformation of decision-making roles between the officials and grassroots. My research probes into the effectiveness of a bottom-up management approach relative to the current top-down system in preserving the values of the Hutong neighborhood. The evaluation adopts a value-centered methodology for identifying, documenting and categorizing multiple values of the study area. Comparative analysis of the renovation project demonstrates the differences between the two approaches in the integration of interests, implementations and subsequent reviews. The efforts of promoting preservation mediated through a dedicated CBO have a beneficial effect on pursuing a more adaptive and sustainable system for the historical Chinese social contexts within the Hutong neighborhood.
  • Publication
    The New Hope Experiment: An Investigation and Conservation Plan for the Antonin and Noémi Raymond Farm
    (2018-01-01) Gdula, Sara
    This thesis is the first investigation of the material fabric of the Raymond Farm Center for Living Arts and Design, a 1730s Quaker fieldstone farm house located in New Hope, PA that was synthesized with Japanese and Modernist elements by the architect/designer couple Antonin and Noémi Raymond in 1939. After nearly two decades of successful practice in Japan becoming some of the main proponents for modern architecture, the Raymonds returned to America in 1938 and purchased the 150-acre farm. In their renovations, they synthesized the Quaker architectural elements with cedar panels, sliding fusuma doors and shoji screens among other Japanese features. In this building the Raymonds took on apprentices and functioned as a design atelier in which the apprentices would tackle real-world design in the drafting room as well as assist with work on the farm, which was later titled “The New Hope Experiment”. It was here that the Raymonds first experimented with the combination of vernacular architecture and Japanese-inspired modernism. The initial investigation in this work was conducted with the goal of analyzing and understanding the site through a survey of the extant building fabric by utilizing archival sources, building archaeology, and conservation science to create a comprehensive building chronology and condition assessment with prioritized treatment recommendations. The recommendations presented are in line with modern conservation values as well as the non-profit organization’s mission to create a physical and mental environment that promotes creativity in the spirit of Antonin and Noémi Raymond.
  • Publication
    Form Regulation to Address New Construction in Historic Districts
    (2019-01-01) Johnson, Meredith
    This thesis will evaluate several tools that cities are currently using to regulate the form of new construction, large alterations, and additions in designated historic areas. A number of tools are available to achieve this type of regulation, but the most popular tools tend to be place-specific design guidelines derived from the study of a historic district, associated with an overlay designation established by the city’s zoning code. Throughout this thesis, this type of regulation will be referred to as “traditional tools.” “Non-traditional tools,” as used herein, include things like form-based codes or neighborhood conservation districts. These are tools that have not been as widely used or are relatively new to the regulatory landscape. The tools evaluated in this thesis will be examined through case studies and include a mix of traditional tools and non-traditional tools. The traditional tool case studies are New Orleans, LA, and Savannah, GA. The non-traditional tool case studies are Beaufort, SC, which is used a case study for both traditional and nontraditional tools, and Philadelphia, PA.
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  • Publication
    Preserving Large Farming Landscapes: The Case of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
    (2017-05-01) Daniels, Thomas L.; Payne-Riley, Lauren
    Preserving large farming landscapes is one of the main goals of farmland preservation programs. Other goals include protecting highly productive soils, maintaining and enhancing the local farming economy, and promoting locally produced fresh food. Farmland preservation programs take time, however, because of the hefty funding requirements and the detailed process of preserving farmland through the acquisition of conservation easements by purchase or donation. The standard measures of dollars spent and farmland acres preserved do not give an accurate picture of the spatial outcomes of preservation and preservation effectiveness. Three other measures better reflect the spatial effectiveness of farmland preservation: acreage and percentage of preserved farm parcels located in agricultural zones, number and acreage of preserved farm parcels in large contiguous blocks, and number and acreage of preserved farm parcels along growth boundaries. Scattered preserved farms and preserved farms not located in agricultural zones are likely to face more nonfarm development nearby as well as problems with non- farm neighbors. The farmland preservation effort in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, provides an important case study of the pattern of farmland preservation over time. Other counties and land trusts can employ geographic information systems (GIS) methods in this study to monitor and evalu- ate the progress of their farmland preservation efforts.
  • Publication
    On the Preservation of Principles: Determining the Adequacy of Historic Preservation Theories, Charters, and Guidelines for the Philadelphia Police Headquarters
    (2013-01-01) Berger, Allee
    Mid-twentieth-century architecture imposes unprecedented challenges onto the field of historic preservation. These problems are placing a strain on the theories, charters, and guidelines developed over the years to guide preservation efforts. As a result, there are collective calls for a reevaluation of the field’s principles. However, an in-depth understanding of why traditional preservation methodologies warrant retooling is missing from this overarching conversation. This thesis analyzes a select number of longstanding preservation doctrines to determine whether or not they are adequate for preserving post-war architecture. In order to assess the field’s traditional theories, charters, and guidelines, this thesis uses the Philadelphia Police Headquarters, also known as the Roundhouse, as a case study. This building presents a range of problems that similarly affect other mid-century buildings. Throughout the evaluation, each doctrine proved to be insufficient for resolving the challenges hindering the Roundhouse’s preservation. In response to these findings, this thesis offers a new methodology to help guide preservation efforts of post-war architecture, with flexibility as a fundamental attribute.
  • Publication
    Demolition-By-Neglect: Where Are We Now?
    (2012-01-01) Hildebrandt, Rachel Ann
  • Publication
    The Schoolhouse Problem: New Solutions for Preserving Historic and Obsolete Buildings in Rural New Hampshire
    (2016-01-01) Cushing, Andrew
    What options exist for public or nonprofit stewards of historic buildings in rural New Hampshire to re-use their properties for purposes other than museums? Over 200 historical societies exist in the Granite State, and of those, more than 40 own or manage multiple properties. These buildings – often schoolhouses, Grange halls, churches, etc. – are seldom open to the public and can be burdensome for volunteer-based organizations like historical societies that operate on small budgets. This thesis examined alternative solutions in rural communities, solutions that return a building to usefulness without compromising character-defining features. Case studies derived from conversations with various rural historical societies, local government officials, and statewide leaders in historic preservation.
  • Publication
    Encasing the American Dream: The Story of Plastic and Steel
    (2014-01-01) Roark, Patton Howell
    This thesis considers a preservation understanding and treatment for mid twentieth-century building materials that were designed and promoted to appear “brand new” in perpetuity. Based on their significance as pervasive mid-twentieth-century building materials, as well as their broader social, cultural, and technological roles, this study focuses on porcelain enameled steel and high-pressure plastic laminate. In order to comprehend the role and cultural importance of these materials, this study investigates how innovations in the manufacture of enameled steel and plastic laminate, as well as the corporations that developed these products, helped to create an ideal American kitchen, a symbol of postwar prosperity, patriotism, and progress. In addition to explaining the history of how these materials were produced, marketed, and used, this thesis provides a practical guide for preservation professionals, curators, and historic home owners, detailing the options involved in preserving, restoring, and conserving plastic laminate and enameled steel.