Curving wood strips make a star shape.

Journal of student work

First published in 1990 as the School of Architecture and Planning's journal of student work, Intersight chronicles the creative and scholarly outputs of our students and reflects on the pedagogy of the school. This online collection represents more recent projects, published in the journal since 2018.

Standing at more than 20 volumes, this anthology of student work captures the program's intellectual currents over the course of three decades. Intersight is curated and produced each year by a Master of Architecture student selected to serve as the Fred Wallace Brunkow Fellow. This annual fellowship is generously supported by Kathryn Brunkow Sample and former UB President Steven Sample. Support for the production of the Intersight book publication is provided by CannonDesign.

a green square inviting students to submit work for Intersight 22.
Intersight 22 - Call for Submissions

"Intersight 22 aims to gauge the current pedagogical focus of the school in comparison to its founding principles. Intellectual discussions between professors and students will give a deeper understanding of the ideologies through a reflection of the fundamental ideas behind the school's evolution." Submit your work today.

- Lizzy Gilman, MArch '20, Brunkow Fellow and editor of Intersght 22

Featured projects

An investigation of the Broadway-Fillmore district, Foederer’s project for Unoriginal Things began with a simple observation. What was once a thriving working-class neighborhood with a dense housing fabric, had become irreparably changed through a sustained effort by the City of Buffalo to purchase derelict homes and subsequently demolish them.
Environmental Design students worked with the Pride Center of Western and New York to assist in expanding its services, and reach to make the Western New York region an inclusive, safe and healthy community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.
The City/Life studio puts a focus on the urban dwelling as a threshold between self and society, between the local and the goal, and between nature and culture.
Brianna Mancini’s proposal for a community pool is rooted in process. An intensive analysis of precedents generated concepts, which were then collaged together to generate a synthesis drawing. This new geometry formed the basis and inspiration for both the conceptual and formal paradigms of the proposal.
The proposal, Roots, is a scheme to create a green gateway for the future Obama Presidential Library in Chicago, while also giving back to the surrounding Woodlawn Community.
No. 2 (Number 2) is a series of model studies of objects to induce comfort of homeless individuals on the streets. The project used HDPE plastic bags, with the title based on the RIC (Resin Identification Code) of the material and, at the same time, the essence of recycling.
The interface between the natural and human-made at a material surface suggests the formation of an ongoing process, in which the relationship between materials and the environment is displayed
A multi-faceted study of the telescope houses of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, Big to Small is a collection of work from 13 graduate architecture students.
Natalie Harack’s Amazing Grace is an instrument, created by modifying a traditional shopping cart, that collects environmental data and physical artifacts. The objective of this project was to build an instrument to probe the site through inquiry, insight, and impression to develop a representation of environmental phenomena.
Imagined by the Situated Technologies Graduate Research Group, the installation utilizes sensing technologies to integrate sound, light, and motion, and acts as a means to investigate questions of spatial contingency and the limits of predictability through an interactive, multi-sensory experience.
This study examines patterns of growth and development on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Surveying major portions of the Boulevard and documenting trends, students engaged with maps, city directories, and other sources to locate areas with extant structures and analyze precedents that dealt with similar circumstances.
Leticia Avila developed Poetry Square as a theoretical addition to the University at Buffalo’s library system on the South Campus. By both positioning it in front Abbott Hall and elevating the main floor, the project preserves the integrity of the campus’ main axis. The building would house a special poetry collection and act as a nest, shelter, library, and museum.
This vessel became a design muse and instrument for the studio, investigating many fundamental questions that pertain to the tectonics of architecture—space and geometry, structure and skin, form and function, as well as material and construction.
Frank Kraemer and Jelani Lowe drew from their experiences while studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. They were immediately drawn to the physical barriers that separate the public and private domains in Madrid. They investigated this duality by layering transparent planes, exploring how to use transparency as a link between public and private aspects of program, while simultaneously providing necessary privacy.
In Spring 2018, a multidisciplinary graduate studio in architecture and planning conducted a reuse study of the former Harrison Radiator facility, currently know as Harrison Place, located in Lockport, NY.
Ritual Space is a collection of ten structures, each designed and constructed by studio teams in first-year design studio. Finding its beginnings in the development of an interlocking joint system, students adapted this tectonic item into an evocative, spatial proposal.
Throughout the studio, Michael Hoover drew inspiration from Ricardo Bofill and his design techniques. The art of collaging seemed to best represent how he created spaces by chance and unconscious thinking. Through adaptive re-use, Bofill was able to re-imagine as- ound spaces. In this way, form and function were disassociated.
Coastal Dreams is a speculative futures project, envisioning the cities along Lake Erie as subjected to extreme winter weather conditions in the face of global climate change. Sara Svisco developed a narrative, which depicts life in 2391, as the lake begins to experience alarmingly high water levels, resulting in the flooding of nearby coastal cities.
The research conducted in Logging investigates latent material possibilities within the medium of wood, by investigating material origins and the ethics of material consumption – two societal conditions that humans have increasingly become disconnected from.
Lukas Fetzko developed Nesting Balasana with Jo Nedergaard and Andreas Thiis in Spring 2018 during an exchange program at the School of Architecture– Arkitektskolen i Aarhus–in Aarhus, Denmark. This project was designed as a physical translation and exploration of the yoga pose balasana, inspired by the transitions between the posture’s use of the body, mind, and breath.
The work in Cages explores the qualities of material boundaries and enclosing conditions that relate structure and skin, establishing critical connections between the natural and the artificial in the material experience.
"Moving forward from the interlock project, students were asked to create body supports from their created joint. This joint was meant to expand, repeat, mirror itself, and etc to create the form and system of the body support. This project was especially hard for me because I had to learn how to stretch and expand my system, while introducing new directions and incorporating the key piece from my interlock in new ways."
Featured: Final review model from the 3.5 year architecture program. 
High global carbon emissions is a contributing factor to climate change. The popularity of air travel increases the impact of one's carbon footprint. Travelers are asked to compensate for the footprint they use for travel. Planting biomass allows the airport to generate a cleaner source of energy near the site to power regular activities. In addition, wind and solar energy will also be harvested and utilized at the airport.
"Settler's Landing provides unique opportunities to help address Cleveland's pressing storm-water management issues, as well as the city's current ecological concerns. The site serves a low point in the topography of Downtown Cleveland and the two bridges, making it ideal for storm-water collection and management."
This exercise examines the relationship between a biological organism and its context. The Texas Horned Lizard collects water through spikes on its back, which then travels through capillary action to its mouth, thus creating drinking water. The model diagrams the collection of water to one central point.
The directed research engages with designing for non-humans in order to strengthen the relationship between coexisting species. Particularly focusing on birds, bird seed and nesting materials are provided in mesh cages to track the movement in which they are dispersing.   
"An initiative of the Buffalo Architecture Foundation, the Architecture + Education program is offered in select Buffalo Public Schools every other year. Over the past 10 years, the program has involved 25 Buffalo Public Schools, more than 100 architects and 100 classes, and more than 3,500 students."
This senior project proposes units that are designed to create smaller communities in the larger context of the complex. With a focus on housing a multi-generational community, the architecture defines a socially interactive setting in which the young and the old can live and work interdependently. 
Students in the Real Estate Development program actively engage their work with a field visit of their site, 619 Exchange Street.
At a time of sociopolitical unrest, citizens are involved in demonstrations with increasingly spatial qualities, harnessing a legitimized right to the city. The Origam[we] shield system, delivered in the form of appropriable DIY manuals, challenges institutional reproductions of power in political, professional, and pedagogical approaches to the design and construction of our environments.
By crystallization of sugar molecules bonding to the fibers of the bagasse, this pulp mixture, when lifted in the air, creates a solidified thin-shell structure. A spatial condition in which light penetrates through the thin paper shell thus creating a harmonious lighting effect that is only experienced from the interior.  
Black walnut has high strength when bent, and can easily be manipulated without saturation. Students investigate various species of wood to identify a workable balance of flexibility and strength. Layers, cut into 1/8" thickness, are laminated to create the spine and ribs of the boat form under development. 
The sectional collage highlights progression and amplitude in a way to express a dynamic motion of circulation throughout space.  "The idea of elevation of [the] verticals, and the passage of time of the horizontals" resembles the journey throughout the space. 
Our design provides a supportive infrastructure that includes on-site wastewater treatment facilities, biogas treatment centers, and a steam production facility. We realized that incentives such as these would make the transition to the area easier for light industries such as breweries, bakeries, and distilleries. All of which, produce a lot of waste and biomass that could be used to serve each other with the infrastructure provided. 
The sketches visualize an exploration of spatial organization as a result of aggregating a tectonic system. The system is derived from previous studies of buoyancy as the facility attempts to reintegrate people and water along the shoreline of the Erie Canal. 
Older People: 
"According to a recent study, the number of first-time parents aged 35-45 has grown nine times larger since the 1970’s.  This rapid growth in the amount of older first-time parents means designers must accommodate their needs more than ever before.  There are several reasons for this shift in age range including infertility and business of everyday life"
This interdisciplinary studio took place in the Town of Maradu, India. Students brought experience from the departments of architecture, planning, public health, and environmental engineering. 
An exploration to communicate the true character and the existing potentials of Rumsey Woods by a way of collage and documentation. This drawing explores contours, light, and collection to show the the changing topography.
The nodes of the hexagonal grid move only vertically, and are physically shifted by the various shapes (curvilinear, rectilinear, or a combination of both pushing into it from the base of the grid. The connecting lines maintain their connections, thus warping the grid. 
This explores one of the many form-making strategies to produce a light, thin shell structure. Fabric is held in a delicate balance of tension and compression forces, stretching out to create a field condition rather than a solitary object in space. The soft fabric essentially floats above the ground, just barely suspended in place.
The slab (a beam stretched thin) is perhaps the most ubiquitous and yet under-appreciated of all structural elements. They are present in virtually all of our buildings as they form the floors upon which we walk and the ceilings and roofs just above our heads.
A boat is a vessel for transport by water - constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion. Throughout history boats have been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording humanity greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport, warfare, and the capacity for fishing. 
Sustainable Futures is a ten week course open to graduate students in architecture, landscape architecture and planning programs, and also by arrangement to students entering their fourth or fifth year of related programs. 
Architecture is an art because it is interested not only in the original need of shelter but also in putting together spaces and materials in a meaningful manner. This occurs through formal and actual joints. The joint, that is the fertile detail, is the place where both the construction and the construing of architecture take place.
-Marco Frascari