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Nana-Yaw Andoh

Assistant Professor, Architecture
Email:  
Phone:  
585-475-4144
Office:  
SUS/81-3178

About

Mr. Nana-Yaw Andoh teaches courses on the social, political, economic, legal, and environmental impacts of large-scale urban planning for population growth. His current research interest revolves around the idea of improving the quality of life in developing countries by focusing on the impacts of population growth in sub-Saharan African countries and how appropriate planning and design initiatives can alleviate the sub-standard quality of living that most citizens of displaced communities are subject to. He has received the Dean’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture and the John A. Kaneb Graduate Teaching Award from the University of Notre Dame. His students describe him as having academic rigor delivered with calm enthusiasm and passion. When not teaching at GIS, Mr. Andoh enjoys playing sports, watching movies, and reading novels of historic significance.

Prior to coming to RIT, Mr. Andoh worked for several well respected firms on a variety of high profile projects, including churches, parochial schools, high-end homes, hospitality and resort projects, and large scale urban designs. Mr. Andoh has also held multiple teaching appointments, most recently as an Associate Professor of Architecture at SUNY Delhi where he developed the first Study Abroad Program based on the History and Architecture of the Italian Renaissance in Florence and Rome. Mr. Andoh is a “double domer” having received both his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

Teaching

My teaching philosophy is relatively simple and structured around 4 general ideas that allows for flexibility based on a variety of factors. The 4 areas or ideas that inform my teaching are acknowledgment, demonstration, repetition, and refinement.

Acknowledgment refers to an appreciation of the history of Architecture and Urbanism. We become better by researching and understanding the past, learning from the past, and applying the best practices learned into current practice for a sustainable future. This is accomplished by using appropriate precedent in design studio projects, and applying historical knowledge in current design projects.

Demonstration is my ability to sketch for student comprehension and impressing upon students the necessity of constant exploration through drawing. Architects tend to be visual learners by nature, and in my experience beginning students appreciate professors with the ability to teach through the process of drawing with students. By going through the steps of showing students how to break down ideas graphically and investigate through sketching and drawing, it allows for students to understand complex design concepts and appreciate the process of drawing as a design tool.

Repetition is the continued practice of the craft. We get better by doing things over and over again. This does not necessarily mean repeating the same project, but rather than having one large design project over the course of a semester, a design studio can use a general idea and work on three or four smaller projects over the course of the semester, allowing students to repeat a similar process and hopefully be better each time.

Refinement is a skill I try to impress on all students during the design process. Some students tend to arrive at design solutions very quickly by falling in love with an initial idea and never exploring other concepts. Refinement forces students to continuously tweak ideas to make them better, and in the process explore other concepts that will benefit the overall design.

Lastly, I impress upon students that the way we build affects the way we live, and the responsibility of every architect and urbanist is to design better places than what existed before we arrived, and in doing so we will improve the quality of life for everyone who interacts with the buildings and places we design.

Outreach

Currently working with the Community Design Center of Rochester, a non-profit organization for design professionals to lend their expertise in creating better and sustainable places in Rochester through quality designs and public engagement.

Highlighted Project

Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries: Proposal for a Road Pricing Scheme to reduce Traffic Congestion in the city of Accra, Ghana

The current stereotypical image of major cities in developing countries is one of a chaotic and congested mass of humanity and automobiles as each struggles to gain control over an ever diminishing road infrastructure, and Accra, the capital city of Ghana is no different. Over the last two decades, the city of Accra has seen a massive increase in population coupled with the development of new buildings and neighborhoods in and around the city center. However, very little thought has been given to the road infrastructure which is now serving more people and places than it was originally designed to handle. As such, mobility and accessibility are increasingly becoming impossible as personal automobiles and informally operated buses dominate the streets. This problem is further exacerbated by the limited existing road network in poor physical condition, lack of funds to repair and maintain the existing network, lack of adequate planning expertise (or interest) to expand the road network, and a general lack of government oversight to address these pressing issues. Due to the current dire situation in Accra, it is my belief that the introduction of a Road Pricing scheme will be the best immediate solution to address the traffic congestion and pedestrian needs of the city. 

Road pricing is a flexible and efficient way to charge road users for their actual road use. It can be differentiated by vehicle type (to penalize high emissions vehicles and reward energy efficient vehicles) or time of day (to account for and alleviate congestion during peak hours). Road pricing is mostly applied to selected routes or infrastructures only. It is either implemented in order to recover investment costs for expensive infrastructure such as express motorways and bridges or to impose an extra charge on the use of congested roads during peak hours. The objective of this case study is to review and propose a Road pricing scheme for all vehicles entering the Central Business District (CBD) of the city of Accra in an effort to reduce the traffic congestion and create a safer, efficient, and socially equitable environment for the most heavily trafficked and congested area within the metropolitan area.

Research

  • Design of a Good City – Creating a 21st Century City in Developing Countries (and bringing about Social Reform).