The Tradition of Making: An Urban Craft and Cultural Center in Seattle's Pioneer Square
Shatswell, Stephen D.
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In the wake of the industrial revolution, and in the information age that has followed, the fundamental notion of man as maker has been stifled in favor of convenience and profitability. Just as industrialization gave birth to consumerism, consumerism has marked the death of the tradition of making. Sand boxes and shop classes have been replaced by video games and standardized testing. It was not long ago when products came with part manuals and could be repaired when broken, or when the most popular toys were kits of parts which allowed imagination and creation to be explored and exercised in unison. What has been diminished in this transition is not simply the ubiquitous ability to make and repair, it is the desire and means to deeply engage the world through motive and action. By the compartmentalization and systemic devaluing of process within both manual and intellectual professions, the validation of work has been besieged by the monotony of labor. The objective of this thesis is therefore to identify the inherent values of the maker, and examine how they might be defined and articulated to a contemporary society. Through these observations, the adaptive re-use of the sunken ship parking garage in Pioneer Square into an urban craft and cultural center is proposed. The intent of this center is to enlist the pedagogy of architecture -in addition to its program- as a means to engage culture on the professional, social, and individual levels. It will serve as an outlet for explorations in the tangible, as to illustrate the process of working with all three facets that make us most human: the head, the heart, and the hands.
- Architecture