During the fall semester 2012, students of the LA8201 graduate studio are studying paradigm change and future scenarios for dwelling and settlement in the Lower Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, WA. The lower Duwamish is an urban landscape that has experienced tremendous change. No less than 150 years ago, the river was home to Chief Seattle and the Duwamish Tribe. Fast forward to today and what was once a 19-mile river is now a 7-mile channelized "waterway" that is home to heavy industry and logistics in support of an active international port.
From the manufacture of the 20th century "war machines" by Boeing, to current Superfund contamination estimated to cost over $2 billion to remediate and return to healthy river and community function, the Duwamish persists, albeit faintly, in the mind of local residents as a river.
During the week of October 8th, 21 graduate students traveled to Seattle to visit the project site and to listen to various community stakeholders, such as the EPA, Boeing, City of Seattle, DRCC, and ECOSS so as to broaden their understanding of the complex issues surrounding the valley and its future. As part of the trip, students were required to document the emotive ephemeral and visceral qualities of the site/city and to produce a video describing their "findings," which can be found here.