Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design

First Advisor

Roberto Ventura

Second Advisor

Kristin Carleton

Third Advisor

Sara Reed


Climate experts around the world agree that anthropogenic climate change threatens the long-term survival of the human species. Human activity has already contributed to an exponential spike in the rate of extinction among other Earthly species, beginning at the time of the industrial revolution.

The American home is a site of concentrated resource consumption, waste production, and greenhouse gas emission. It is also a site where gender-based expectations continue to burden women with a majority share of uncompensated, under-valued domestic labor. Collective or communal housing arrangements could reduce per capita carbon output while facilitating the equitable re-distribution of work that defaults to women within the traditional family home.

Interior designers are well positioned to influence the adoption of new housing modalities. In doing so, we can look for opportunities to identify and replace elements in the built environment that reinforce inequitable social relations.

The structures built and inhabited by monastic communities—in both eastern and western contexts—are instructive precedents for residential designers concerned with ecological stewardship and social parity. Floating Home proposes a residential community focused on these commitments, within the Richmond Intermediate Terminal No. Three Warehouse, on the banks of the James River.


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Is Part Of

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission