Alec Rovensky

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2021


Ecology, Materials, Clay, water




Firstly, I want to thank my parents, who continue to support me at every step, and my sister Anna, who always acts as a mentor to me, letting me talk to her deep into the night about silicone rubber molds. A big thank you to my nephews Peter, Alex and Leo, for their unwavering curiosity, and for testing all of my creations. Without you, I would never have developed the methods that I employed on this thesis – and in everyday life for that matter. Thank you to my fellow architecture students, and the many of you that I have had the privilege to call my friends, roommates and travel partners, for your constant support and motivation. I cannot express the incredible sense of belonging I receive when I am surrounded by you. In particular, thank you Vas, for always taking time to let me bounce ideas off of you, and for your constant feedback that has ultimately re-defined almost every element of this project. Thank you Dipal for enrolling in the slip-casting class with me and taking exquisite footage of the various processes. Thank you Shiori for your support and TikTok advice. Thank you Julia, my unofficial thesis assistant, for letting me borrow your brain once in a while, and your bottomless bag of references. And thank you Noah and Danny, my official thesis assistants, for your help and energy in my project. Thank you to my fellow Matter Dissimulators, for being an incredible thesis advisory group. Thank you to my architecture advisors, Julie Larsen, Roger Hubeli, Jean-Francois Bedard and Britt Eversole, for your expertise and support on this project. Thank you Errol Willett, for an incredible introduction to technology in ceramics, as well as Margie Hughto, Peter Beasecker and the rest of the SU Ceramics faculty, for your advice and wisdom of the ceramic medium. A big thank you to Britt Thorp, for putting up with my constant barrage of questions and for helping me at literally every step of the way. Thank you to the Honors staff; Karen Hall, Naomi Shanguhyia, Laura McCall, Danielle Smith, Adam Crowley, Melissa Welshans, Alison Cridge and Butters for your support throughout my years at Syracuse. Finally, thank you to the many people and alumni who have supported me along the way, offering their expertise, perspective and honest opinion on the project, including Linda Zhang, Becca Farnum, Dan-Pothecary Smith, Katharina Hoerath, Sarah Beaudoin and Olivia Binette. This project was made possible by the Crown Award, which funded much of the materials and processes used throughout the thesis. (Also thank you to my car, Gold Bond ultimate skin cream, the concept of AirDrop, the Spotify Discover playlist and of course, the Schine Panda Express.)


Architectural Technology | Environmental Design | Other Architecture | Other Environmental Sciences | Water Resource Management


Human intervention of the landscape by damming, filling wetlands and over-extracting is resulting in the rapid perversion of water bodies through the desertification or flooding of terrain and the ensuing contamination of reservoirs. In turn, these changes are disrupting ecosystems, reshaping geological borders, and causing irreversible damage that poses a threat to clean water supplies. As humans exert agency over local hydrology, there is scarce consideration of the ensuing ecological consequences. This thesis aims to expose the ecological transformations of territories laced with human agency by examining the residues left by water in order to deviate from the misplaced nostalgia of a return to nature in favor of a critical awareness. Clay, a residue historically significant for its elasticity and widespread availability, becomes a registration of these transformations. Through the integration of traditional slip-casting and contemporary digital fabrication methods, the thesis attempts to reveal these changes through the form-making of a temporal ecological monument.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.