The aim of this thesis is to understand and design an architecture that includes as part of its program, the function of communication of a certain encoded idea(s) through the public's everyday interaction with it. This thesis is divided into two parts - exploration and design project. The exploration part studies the methods and history of communicating meaning through architecture. Based on this study a design project was defined which included picking an appropriate site, identifying the meaning to be communicated for the site context, studying the context for such communication and designing a building program and form.

Rochester, being a place of much speculation over the past few years of the author's academic duration, served as the perfect test-bed for applying this research. Rochester's need for downtown revitalization became the starting point for the study and led to the search for semiotic expression of progressiveness for this specific instance. The building function was finalized to be a "Multi-Dimensional Business Incubation Center" and the site was picked to be supportive to both the building function and the communication. The function of this incubation center will be to help and promote start-ups and nascent entrepreneurial activities by supplying infrastructure and services needed by such firms, at a low price. The intent is to catalyze economic growth in Rochester, and thereby incentivize revitalization of downtown Rochester.

Through the process of designing the final product it was discovered that the process of architectural design while encoding meaning into it is a random and cyclic and multiple aspects are studied and analyzed at any given time. The design went through several iterations and critiques. The final design demonstrates the theoretical end point of this reiterative process and is the sweet spot in fulfilling the functions of Entrepreneurial Incubation and Communication.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Communication in architecture; Urban renewal--New York (State)--Rochester; Entrepreneurship--New York (State)--Rochester; Rochester (N.Y.)--Economic conditions

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Jules Chiavaroli

Advisor/Committee Member

James Yarrington

Advisor/Committee Member

Richard Napoli


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at NA2750 .S66 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes