Designing for Culture




Client/Advisor: Design Local / Kyle Ezell

Spring 2016, OSU Grant Project

(2.5 month duration, part time


First things first, the project was an experiment.  The designs use a myriad of previously identified terms from the residents to create a cohesive new building that can be welcomed into the community, because the community defined what was used to create it.


The project was focused on primarily creating a McDonald’s (something that would likely be unwelcomed), and making something that could be rallied around.  Athenians overwhelmingly said that nature, hills, their river, and various other natural or sustainable things were paramount to their city.  With that in mind, the McDonald’s was aimed to be unlike most fast food buildings, having a low EUI (Energy Use Index) and a small footprint, with ample outdoor space.


The housing project was perhaps more successful, and despite using fewer terms from the book to aid in its creation, the finished product still celebrated much of what is distinctly Athens.  It uses a courtyard and shares outdoor space in substitution of a traditional front yard.  The open plan, large pitched-roof, unusual operable windows, and unique private spots within the house make it perfect for student housing that could be accessible to all.