Glacial Indifference: The Failure and Future of Seattle

by Scott Simpson

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2018
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2209628
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/40796


The future of Seattle is projected to be a bleak reality due to unhindered climate change and massive population growth. The buildable landmasses of Seattle will slowly become submerged leaving many residents to flee and seek higher ground, or adapt. This thesis aims to examine the condition of Seattle in the year 2217 and how a futurist approach to the development of the city is required to continue healthy growth. Architecture groups such as the Metabolists and Archigram faced similar issues during the 1960s as the field of architecture fell short in dealing with the cultural and infrastructural issues of the time. Their responses required city development to be approach in a different manner, through large scale interventions where conventional building methods were not enough. The projects these groups produced depicted a Utopian future where cites adopted the characteristics of machines through master planning as a means to adapt to change. This thesis proposes that Seattle adopt a new approach to building and extend the city beyond solid ground, into the air and water, through a massive infrastructural intervention. Vertical pylons will be installed throughout the city in flood prone areas and allow a new type of development to exist in a floating and suspended cityscape. These new typologies of Seattle will be floating, tethered to pre-existing buildings, or suspended above the street level. A futurist approach is necessary when examining the future of Seattle so it may continue to thrive despite rising tides and overpopulation ravaging the city.Advisors/Committee Members: Miller, David (advisor), Proksch, Gundula (advisor).