Landscape of Experimentation: Pioneering and Succession on Harbor Island
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Intensive industrialization has left many cities with a variety of complex site conditions that necessitate innovative responses. Whether post-industrial and derelict or actively functioning under soon-to-be obsolete modes of operation, industrial landscapes present a critical opportunity to transform degraded and destructive sites into vital and regenerative places. The residual and contaminated nature of these sites offers a venue to take risks, test new response mechanisms, apply innovative frameworks of urban ecological design, and engage the public through distinct site experiences. I propose such an approach at a site within the active industrial matrix of Harbor Island in Seattle, WA - a landscape of experimentation that will decontaminate, regenerate, and populate while embracing indeterminacy. This is a landscape in flux; a static design response shall not apply. The idea is to integrate ecological, industrial, and social infrastructure into a dynamic and synergetic system. My design proposes a successional series of experimental operations that engage goals of phytoremediation, shoreline habitat enhancement, industrial ecology, and insurgent appropriation of public space. The western edge of Harbor Island will become a living laboratory where novel forms of ecological infrastructure, progressive industrial operations, and unique social programming will be activated. Successful strategies determined at the local level can then be replicated elsewhere, effectively addressing various needs of industrialized landscapes regionally and beyond.