BFA Architectural Design alumnus Nelson De Jesus Ubri spent ten months as a Fulbright scholar in the Dominican Republic’s Peravia province expanding Upstream/Downstream, a boundary-pushing collaborative research project. Originally from the Dominican Republic, De Jesus Ubri knew the devastating effects of extreme weather firsthand; he focused his project on the impact of hurricanes on architecture and infrastructure along the Baní River Basin. He worked with local political scientists, agronomists, social workers, teachers, engineers, and journalists to develop resilience fostering measures for the country.
De Jesus Ubri has distilled ten months of research into a book that is comprehensible for both English- and Spanish-speaking readers, employing visual mapping to illustrate environmental and cultural conditions in the area. He says, “These maps serve as the heart of my research and help me better understand the Baní River Basin and its qualities, beauty, and needs.”
Using bold colors and textured natural hues, De Jesus Ubri depicts a number of landscapes including urban centers and municipalities, regional and local parks, places vulnerable to floods, zones with fertile plains and agriculture, and eroded rocks. These coastline renderings—
aesthetically sophisticated hand-drawn manifestations of text-based data—bring his research to life. “Using the tools and skills I developed at Parsons,” says De Jesus Ubri, who was a Parsons Scholar before enrolling in his BFA program, “I’ve been able to study the landscape of my origins and apply practical architectural design to influence the future of my country’s coastal environment.”