Jada Crittendon


Jada Crittendon

Jada Crittendon is a senior majoring in Architecture B.S. She completed her first two years of undergraduate school at Virginia Tech and intends on completing her degree at the University of Pittsburgh giving her a diverse education in both programs. Jada intends on becoming a practicing architect in the future and is interested in the connection between the role of the architect and that of the contractor. As she is a student-athlete at Pitt, she is also passionate about sports architecture and the blend between architectural design and athletic performance. She has completed an architectural internship in her hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, which she will be returning to this summer.  

Naturally, with her interests in construction methods, she plans on presenting the progress on her current undergraduate honors thesis at HAAARCH!!! 2021 on the subject of the Mongolian Ger. The project looks specifically at how the role of soft architecture (the Mongolian Ger) explained the nomadic daily lifestyle and long-term success of the Mongolian culture and legacy.

“The Extent to which the Ger Influenced the Mongolian Civilization”
Advisor: Sahar Hosseinibalajadeh

This paper intends on using the tent (in other words a ger or yurt) as an object to explore the area of Central Asia, specifically Mongolia. Tent culture is seen very early in Mongolia but disperses throughout a larger region, which will be discussed through the cultural dispersion and military expansion of the Mongol Empire and their descendants. As the yurt is heavily utilized by the very mobile nomadic people of this area, this paper aims to explore the nomadic lifestyles of the Mongol Empire. These people are known for being expert horsemen and archers that survived off the land. The project intends on suggesting the significance of how the ger ties into their way of life as well as the success of the culture. Outside of the discussion of these people’s daily lives, the paper also discusses the yurt in terms of military success as well and the expansion of their culture, as stated previously. The paper will be divided into four sections: general interest, daily life and the cultural tie of the tent, further adaptation of the tent and a creative digital visualization project. To get more specific, the general interest section intends to cover the tent culture of the nomads from Mongolia. It will also elaborate on the nomadic lifestyle of the Mongols, introducing anthropology and the general history of the people. The second section will be subdivided into two sections looking at how the tent is applied to their everyday life and how the culture, specifically the tent culture, is tied to their military strategy and success. To reiterate, this section will cover the nomad’s transition into rulership and the military success due to their mobility. The third section, further adaptation, will look at the adoption of tentage by imperial powers, such as the Mughals. This will be done by differentiating between the meaning and function of the tent or adaptation of the soft architecture by the given imperial culture, in comparison to the traditional meaning and function given by the Mongols. During this time, we begin to see royal tents and the idea of cities designed around tents. In the ultimate section, the findings of the previous three sections will be summed up and developed into a student-led creative digital visualization project that indicates mastery of the content. This project is designed to be built off primary sources and artifacts that provide increased knowledge and understanding of the tent and the associated culture. The paper will use a wide array of both primary sources, secondary sources, and artifacts to support its claims. Some of the primary sources include but are not limited to journals (first-hand encounters) and other written documents from that time that can provide increased historical insight.

You can view the complete HAAARCH!!! 2021 program at HAA news.

  • HAAARCH!!! 2021