For his Master of Architecture thesis, Shah designed a swimming pool filled with filtered storm runoff as a way to raise awareness about the intersection of architecture and urban water infrastructure.
Exorcise Pool, Shah’s thesis project, proposes placing a swimming pool next to Brooklyn’s polluted Newtown Creek. Pool water would come from rain that is filtered through bioswales, landscape features that remove toxins and silt, and then processed at a water treatment facility that also houses amenities for pool-goers.
The project reflects Shah’s interest in New York City’s water-related infrastructure—a topic he investigated in Jean Gardner’s Issues and Practices course—and his desire to heighten public awareness of waste and storm water and the role they should play in urban design. “At Parsons, you see architecture’s role in work of this scale, which requires the coordinated efforts of city departments that have a stake in the outcome,” says Shah.
Through courses such as the Design Workshop—Parsons’ studio in which students design and build projects with community partners—Shah gained the experience he needed to join Situ Studio, a leader in digital fabrication and design. He now handles design details for new projects in the studio and builds prototypes in the shop.