Daniel Meridor

In 1975, a civil riot was diffused in Detroit. The newly elected mayor thwarted the escalation of violence that began as a racially motivated disturbance by walking over and over again along the site's main avenue. His perpetual movement along this invisible racial boundary erased it for a few nights, reducing the tension and violence through the act of walking.

Riots physically challenge the boundaries within a city. Carnivals challenge boundaries between people. Both are distinct temporary instances that change the extents within the city. My thesis explores and questions whether there is any architecture or spatial configuration (whether temporal or not) that can carry within it the same potentials.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.