Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 2019


drones, spatial investigation, disputed territories, architecture, UAV technology, aerial photogrammetry, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Iraq






Architecture and the built environment are the mediums onto which political and physical events and forces are registered. This thesis explores the potential of Drones (UAVs) as a tool to launch a spatial investigation into disputed territories of the built environment. The objective of this specific work is to produce and represent spatiotemporal analysis and architectural evidence of the unlawful systematic destruction of Arab neighborhoods and villages in the disputed territories—here in relation to the continuous power shifts in the disputed internal boundaries between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi Federal Government in Iraq. The increasing availability and advancements in UAVs technology and surveying techniques allows for the creation of accurate, high-quality, 3D models of the built environment through the process of 3D photogrammetry. These techniques and capabilities of drone mapping allow the disputed territories and their destruction to become a navigable space of investigation. By locating this destruction in their contexts and extracting physical details from their sites, we can locate the longer threads of socioeconomical and political processes that are encapsulated within these incidents in the world of which they are part. In doing so, this thesis engages with the theoretical and historical relations between architecture, media, and violence in which the drone becomes the tool for the creation of spatial narratives and digital spatial organizations to analyze the built environment. This is reinforced by the use of historical documents such as satellite imagery, maps, reconnaissance data, photogrammetric maps, and ground truthing.

Additional Information

Thesis Advisors:

Ted Brown

Julia Czerniak

Daniele Profeta


Local Input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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Architecture Commons