Concerned with land degradation as well as wanting to incorporate my love for architecture, for my Senior I.S project I research better ways to build sustainable homes and infrastructure in the coastal environment that could survive in the wake of worsening weather patterns and the rise of sea levels. I believe design has the power to change and improve lives, especially design in architecture. Samuel Mockbee, a late architect committed to building locally sustainable houses in the south, designed his homes with the idea that "everyone deserves a shelter for the soul" (Mockbee Family 2009). This quote resonates with me, for I believe the purpose of architecture is to provide a beautiful, clean and safe built environment for all people, especially those made homeless from natural disasters (Gilbert 2001). It seems to me the architecture and construction industry has been stuck on the concrete and steel treadmill, trying to build larger structures than the last. In fact, architecture and the construction industry account for around half of all non-renewable resources consumed by mankind (Davey 2009). Which makes this industry one of the least sustainable industries in the world. Unfortunately, contemporary human civilization depends on buildings and what they contain for its continued existence, and yet our planet cannot support this current level of consumption. Clearly this industry needs an intervention, most notably in coastal areas.


Mangubi, Marina

Second Advisor

Milligan, Bridget


Art and Art History


Environmental Design | Fine Arts


studio art, architecture, drawing, sculpture, infrastructure, land degradation, coastal cities

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Abigail Aloe Sandberg