Architecture and the built environment are manifestations of societal values; these structures also play a significant role in shaping social interactions within the city. In the words of writer/philosopher George Bataille, architecture “is the very soul of societies” with the “authority to command or prohibit.”
The built environment influences our lives and interactions, but whose values are actually reflected in the spaces and places we move through and inhabit each day? Who has been included or excluded from the development of neighborhoods, public buildings and spaces? Students in this studio will examine key moments in Seattle’s development and document the ways in which certain values, societal structures, and needs have shaped the city over time. More importantly, students will identify omissions and gaps within the city’s current physical structure, where alternative histories, “other” experiences and voices are absent or underrepresented. Students will develop architectural proposals that reveal and build on these invisible histories and stories in order to educate and inspire Seattle’s current and future inhabitants, as well as visitors to the city.
A list of potential sites will be provided, but students will have the option to propose their area of study and project site (in consultation with the studio instructor). Students will be challenged to think outside the box (figuratively and literally). We will explore speculative methods for making architecture, using both temporal strategies (events, art, temporary installations, digital technology, etc.) and more permanent materials.