The Convergent Workplace: A Bamboo Factory in Aberdeen, Washington

by Allison Marr Acosta

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2018
Keywords: architecture; factory; workplace; Architecture; Architecture
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2209629
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/40798


Since the Industrial Revolution, the relationship between human and work, landscape and production, has shifted immensely. The factory has reflected this shift in practice and in built form. The theorist Hannah Arendt posited that the experience of work in a factory has deteriorated due to division of labor, which replaces skilled, specialized workmanship with repetitive tasks performed by interchangeable people. Like the division of labor, factories have often been removed from the elements that shape production design, research, landscape, and community and which in turn are impacted by it. Yet, as the site of production, the factory is a prime opportunity for collaboration, innovation, and sharing of knowledge. This thesis proposes a factory that reverses the physical division of labor, one in which activities, people, and landscape converge at the site of making. This convergent factory explores how architecture can reconfigure the relationship between people and the industrial workplace by promoting worker agency, interdisciplinary collaboration, and connection to landscape. The thesis investigates these possibilities through the design of a bamboo factory in Aberdeen, Washington. In a region seeking diverse, sustainable industry to regenerate its economy, the introduction of a new material challenges the existing paradigm of the industrial work setting while still offering elements congruent with local values.Advisors/Committee Members: Proksch, Gundula (advisor), Miller, David (advisor).