While not totally within the genre this blog covers the Seattle Design Festival has more than a few events that STB readers would probably enjoy. Below are highlights from the festival:
The story of the transformation of the American city in the decades after World War II is told through the lens of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing development and the St. Louis residents who called it home. Built in 1956, Pruitt-Igoe was heralded as the model public housing project of the future, “the poor man’s penthouse.” Two decades later, it ended in rubble – its razing an iconic event that the architectural theorist Charles Jencks famously called the death of modernism. The footage and images of its implosion have helped to perpetuate a myth of failure, a failure that has been used to critique Modernist architecture, attack public assistance programs, and stigmatize public housing residents. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth seeks to set the historical record straight by examining the interests involved in Pruitt-Igoe’s creation and re-evaluating the rumors and the stigma.
Seattle’s 520 floating bridge will be decommissioned in 2014. What new, innovative reuse strategies might designers envision? This exhibit features winning proposals from a competition challenging designers to utilize the bridge in its current state or take the bridge apart and reuse its pontoons. It asks the questions: What is a floating bridge when its function is no longer needed? What can designers do when faced with the design problem of reusing thirty-three floating concrete pontoons?
Competition jurors included Robert Hull FAIA, Ev Ruffcorn FAIA, Shannon Nichol ASLA, Ellen Sollod, Mark Hinshaw FAIA, and Moderator Peter Steinbrueck FAIA.
Witness the profound effect that money, green construction, adaptive reuse and streetcars can bring to a community.
This will be a “special edition” of the South Lake Union: Extreme Makeover tour that will include a brief preview (and a peek through the front doors) of the renovation of the Naval Reserve Armory Building into the new Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), which will open to the public in late December. Sam M. Miller AIA, LMN Architects, will describe the origins of the project, the history of the armory building, and the design approach to the museum.
Tour begins in the new South Lake Union Park, in front of the Naval Reserve Building, and lasts approximately two hours. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended; spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. All tours are conducted rain or shine. Tour participants are responsible for their own personal safety. Most routes involve hills, stairs, escalators, and elevators. This tour is not recommended for children under age 12.
The Museum of History & Industry, one of the most widely used regional history resources in Washington State, is moving into the historic Naval Reserve Armory Building at South Lake Union. Among the Museum’s diverse holdings are an extensive collection of historic photographs, a large costume collection, and a far-ranging collection of objects representing life in the Northwest. The architectural design is exploring the adaptive reuse of the facility as well as changes to structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and vertical transportation systems that are required to house the Museum’s exhibits and education programs. The program also includes a small cafe and retail shop.
There is much conversation lately about how cities are evolving, and a lot of that conversation in the design world is deterministic in nature: “What should the end product look like?”
However, making cities is more like making people than like making cars. Cities are a product of genetic and environmental factors, and they change over time. Successful cities don’t have an “end product.” And successful cities are democratic, so by definition no one person designs the whole thing.
If the cities we end up with are actually a product of genetic and environmental factors (just like growing children), then perhaps our design focus should be less on the end product and more on thinking about cities as a design system.
This talk will explore the impact of zoning, financial structures, energy prices, entrepreneurialism, architects and artisanship on the emergent design of our cities.
What are the levers for change and how can individual people make a meaningful difference?