Designing for Peace and Understanding: Architecture as a Social Catalyst

Open Access
Ostendorf, Sally Ann
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Christine Lee Gorby, Thesis Supervisor
  • Scott W Wing, Honors Advisor
  • Architecture
  • Conflict
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Schools
  • Abu Tor
  • Conflict Resolution
Conflict is loosely defined as a struggle or disagreement between two or more parties. Conflict is part of our nature and will always exist in some form or another. However, what happens when the conflict becomes violent? Who is responsible for mediating the conflict? Currently, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being mediated by government and military officials through a top-down approach. This thesis aims to change that by utilizing architecture and educational philosophy to bring communities together. Collaboration and interaction, aided by design, stitches the two sides together with a common goal of peace. Architecture is used to mold the tangible space while also enabling less tangible social interactions and relationships. This thesis aims to explore how architecture can be used to mediate conflicts on a community level. According to Contemporary Conflict Resolution, conflict resolution must be multilevel, multidisciplinary, and multicultural. The process must be analytical and normative, theoretical and practical. Conflict resolution must adapt and integrate multiple disciplines in order to be truly successful.