Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Christiana Lafazani


Richmond, Virginia has, through recent design proposals and projects, sought reconciliation with the countries in West Africa that were once the source for slave trade in which the city was such an active participant. These admirable works address the nations’ shared history, perhaps at the expense of understanding modern cultures. This thesis seeks to create this understanding through the development of an educational facility that would interact with Richmond’s current landscape. In pursuit of respectful relationship, I address the ways in which design can authentically teach about place. The study begins with the creation of a personal understanding of site through diagrammatic analysis. The research continues with case studies that relate to either the context, program or process of this project. The concepts this research generated led to a proposed design solution for the Southern Railway Freight building in Richmond’s Shockhoe Slip. Both design processes and the proposed solution are documented herein.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011