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April 4, 2017

An Innovation Hub in Central District

Contributed by Karen Chan

During Winter Quarter 2017, visiting professor Donald King led a senior year undergraduate design studio of ten students (including an exchange student from Australia) for a mixed-use Innovation Hub in Central District, located on 23rd Avenue and Yesler Way. The project aspired to restore the neighborhood’s African American heritage affected by gentrification and provided amenities that encourage the community to generate local capital, hence ‘prospering in place’. Urban design and architecture solutions were applied for the creation of space for human service offices, a technology jobs development center, entrepreneurial startup space, a maker space fabrication lab, retail spaces and an affordable housing complex. Students presented their project boards, scale models, and a short video for their final review.

During Week One, the class went on a site visit to Central District. Students brought cameras and a Go-Pro to film the site for their project videos. They also visited the The Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center for a building orientation and attended a panel discussion with the project client and stakeholders. Some of the stakeholders students met were Evelyn Allen, Director of Randolph Carter Family Centre, Rob Van Tassell, Vice President of Catholic Community Services Housing and Community Development, and David Harris, a startup advocate for tech entrepreneurship and collaborator with rapper Sir Mix-a Lot.

Donald leading the site visit in Central District

Panel Discussion at the Randolph Carter Family and Learning Center

Over the course of the quarter, students develop their projects through sketches, drawings, and renders. Each project expresses the student’s unique approach to the site and cultural context and their aspirations for their future careers.

Building the site model

Lean sharing her design ideas for class pin-up

Yufei (Misty) presenting her project for final review

This model made by Alex is created from a 3D printer!

More projects can be viewed on our course website: https://arch401innovationhub.wordpress.com/