Reflective Futures

An interactive, spatial history of Poughkeepsie, New York.

This site is best viewed on a laptop or desktop
and includes audio and video elements

Made possible by the Onera Prize for Historic Preservation, presented through the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in May, 2018.

Research & narrative by Ethan Boote and Morgan O’Hara in collaboration with MASS Design Group at the Hudson Valley Design Lab

Website design & development by Madeline Blount

History informs the present through the shape of everyday spaces...

We believe that by learning how these spaces came into being - how they were planned and developed, heralded and disputed - we can become better able to participate in their improvement.

Downtown Poughkeepsie, 1912-1917


This is an experiment in leveraging history through place towards the development of better, more collectively-informed design solutions.

Episode 1: Road Recall

This project’s first episode tackles the issue of frustrated mobility; of roads and their brokers; of people, boats, trains, and cars.


The circulation of people and goods over the urban landscape is a reflection of systems of power. Transportation infrastructure dictates who has the right to access the city.

When the City of Poughkeepsie widened its streets to allow for the construction of a state-owned, east-west arterial loop, it recut the keys to the city for the privileged use of the automobile.


The ways we move through urban spaces are critical to how we relate to the city, how we understand its shapes and attend to its contours.

Yet these connective channels do not always function in our favor.

Help us reflect upon Poughkeepsie’s past and together we can design a better future.