Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

Honors Thesis Project Title

Off-Ramp: An Architecture of Deceleration

Date of Graduation




Major 1


First Advisor

Brian Ambroziak

Second Advisor

Jennifer Akerman


Contemporary life is characterized by the desire to go from place to place as fast and efficiently as possible. The Interstate Highway System is meant to improve the speed and efficiency of travel from point to point. The faster that we travel, the less our perception is able to understand the places to our periphery. The off ramp is an instrument that shifts us from the fast paced interstate travel, with the focus ahead to a new path outside normal perception of the interstate speeds. We discover at this point many of the things we overlooked while engulfed in the speed of the highway.

Architecture can be an instrument of changing velocities. It can slow us down to understand or speed us up to pass something unknowingly.

Some places can be lost to speed just as the motions of a body. Each is understood through a sequence of frames. Eadweard Muybridge first showed us this through the examination of a horse’s gallop. His series of photographs revealed that the horse leaves the ground completely at a certain point, oblivious to our perception. The gallop is a series of dissimilar frames combined together to form a complete motion. Places like the roadside are the one frame in the sequence of a trip that stands out against the rest of the otherwise identical frames.

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