Bordertopia: Architecture and Fiction at the Canada-United States Border

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Leung, Jenny Yan Yu




This thesis began with research into a current crisis condition manifested in the growing number of illegal border crossings into Canada from the United States. Bordertopia evolved beyond the practicality and the legality of the issue, developing into a hypothetical condition that speculates a future for the international boundary. In the summer of 2017, the influx of people crossing the border illegally has surged to a record high. Affecting the political regime and the human condition, this thesis questions the status of the nomadic individuals who have situated themselves within the Canadian border. Bordertopia explores the framework of present space and time, using an architectural strategy that envisions border topologies of a near future. Using a network of informal crossings as a mobile port of entry, the destination for the refugees is a self-determining community that continues to move and transform, while maintaining an aesthetics of incompleteness and temporariness.






Carleton University

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Master of Architecture: 

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Theses and Dissertations

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