Back to top

06.19.18 – #DanielsGrad18 Melissa Gerskup

What was the most enjoyable part of your degree?
Travelling to Sarasota to study the mid-century architecture of Paul Rudolph was definitely a highlight. I will also say working through the night at 230 college just deleting extraneous lines from a 'Make 2D' in Rhino was somehow very fun and rewarding.

What inspired your thesis topic?
For my thesis I was interested in creating a narrative – inspired by architecture that is represented rather than built, in mediums such as comic books; like Jim Lai's Citizens of No Place. I liked how you could make architecture that did not respond to physical constraints necessarily, allowing the focus to lie in social concerns and thought experiments. I really wanted to explore absurdity and science fiction.

Tell us more about your thesis!
The aim of this thesis is to use the genre of science fiction as a thought experiment for imagining the future of beachfront properties in Sarasota Florida. What would become of Florida’s vulnerable coast if storms were to increase in severity and frequency? If sea levels impede current living conditions? The affects of climate and natural disasters have always been very real for the less economically prosperous – but what would it take for increasing storm severity, and increasing sea levels to feel real to everyone?

What is one piece of advice you would give to a new student?
Do work you are proud of.

What are your plans after graduation?
After I graduate I plan on working to become an architect. Right now I am working at Studio JCI, a Toronto based architecture firm.


Convocation for #UofTDaniels students was on June 14. This month we are featuring our graduates, including their work, their memories, and their advice for new students. Follow #DanielsGrad18 for more!