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Light It Up

LIGHT IT UP is an archival and exhibitory investigation into the tobacco barns, or sheds, of the Pioneer Valley. The ultimate goal of this effort is to expand the scope of architectural design beyond the human, thinking about how we can decenter humans in design. In the Pioneer Valley, the tobacco barn is the most pervasive and distinct vernacular example. Humidity levels and this proximity to the river has made the valley an ideal region for growing tobacco, with farmers now primarily involved in the cigar production industry…

Designing the Rural Projects

Shannon has a strong, interdisciplinary background fostered by her undergraduate career at Providence College. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Studio art, she has developed both analytical and creative thinking skills. Her studies at Northeastern University have catered towards landscape design, and sustainable architectural practices. After receiving her Master of Architecture from Northeastern in May 2024, Shannon will stay in Boston to work as an architectural designer to attain licensure.


Shannon Rooney

Master of Architecture 2024



Tobacco production in the Pioneer Valley taps into a global economic network of production and labor.

The structural design of the sheds was developed to specifically cater to the process of growing and curing tobacco. This process starts with the seed, which tobacco farmers in the Pioneer Valley continually experiment with new strains being developed in the lower Connecticut River Valley.

The central design motivations of the sheds concern space, structure, and fenestration.



This is an architecture that is honest and intuitive, solidifying the architectural language of the sheds as a living skeleton. Here is an alternative to the reliance on computer generated technology in favor of a situated technology that leverages regional specificity to push back against universal solutions for the future.

For More on the Tobacco Barns...