Future Kent: Community Design Through Storytelling in the Suburbs
Connery, Kira Benavides
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American suburbs are ubiquitous and complex places. They are dynamic and evolving, and popular conceptions of them don't necessarily match reality. Much of this evolution is due to dramatic demographic shifts that have amplified during the past decade. Suburban spatial form does not reflect the diverse needs of changing suburban populations, and the suburban landscape needs to evolve accordingly. For many additional reasons--from climate change, to changing lifestyles, to poor construction quality, the suburban landscape is in need of a retrofit. This fact presents professional designers with the opportunity to examine our preconceptions of these places, attempt to develop a more authentic understanding of their place identities, and make them more resilient and inclusive for the future. In response to stories collected from residents of Kent, WA, this project proposes a design intervention in the suburban landscape that engages a multiplicity of perspectives. This thesis investigates how community design through storytelling can yield a more authentic understanding of a contemporary suburb, and how such a process can include suburban communities in imagining a future alternative.
- Architecture