Samendy Brice applies design to bridge food access along Haiti, Dominican Republic border

The focus of Brice's research on the river border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is the Dajabon Market.

Samendy Brice's MArch thesis examines the Dajabon Market as a structural element and condition of exchange along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border, situated in the broader context of post-disaster recovery efforts.

Published February 5, 2020

Samendy Brice, a second-year Master of Architecture student and winner of the inaugural Watts Scholarship, shares her passion for building diverse and inclusive spaces and communities. She is currently completing her thesis research on structural enablers of food access along the border of Ouanaminthe, Haiti, and Dajabon, Dominican Republic.

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How do you aspire to make a difference in the profession of architecture/urban planning/real estate development?

Samendy Brice on a field visit to Ounanaminthe, Haiti, as part of her thesis research.

Samendy Brice on a field visit to Ounanaminthe, Haiti, as part of her thesis research.

For many years Architecture has been known to be a field mostly dominated by white males. With recent exposure and conversations about diversity/ inclusion, the field has begun to grow slowly. As a current graduate student in the program, I aspire to increase both the number of minority students studying architecture and design, as well as the number of practicing minority architects in the field.

What role do architects play in building more inclusive communities? How are you advancinig this work?

Architects play a major role in designing spaces for all people. Inclusive communities need architects and planners more than ever with today’s recent shift of housing access for lower-income populations.

I am interested in providing resources for areas where underrepresented groups can exist and experience everyday activities without limitations. I am very passionate about providing equal opportunities for individuals in underrepresented groups in both the U.S and around the world.

Tell us about your research interests and how you're advancing them at UB and in the communities around us?

UB has provided me with many great opportunities, including the chance to experience field research with the support of my advisors and the UB Community for Global Health Equity. My thesis analyzes the border between Ouanaminthe, Haiti, and Dajabon, Dominican Republic. Current border and market conditions along the Massacre River challenge equal access to food and goods, due to limited agricultural resources and political unrest. The research examines the Dajabon market and the border as a structural element between Haiti and the Dominican Republic as a condition of exchange, situated in the broader context of post-disaster recovery efforts.

My thesis not only prepares me for future career interests but also allows me to gain a better understanding of architecture and urban design on a much larger and global scale.