2017, A yearlong collaboration with Seattle Demo Project
One soon-to-be-demolished house.
In late January, fireworks sprung in the middle of the streets. The perpetrators ran into a dark house, hidden behind a tall fence and great bush. The neighborhood began complaining to the homeowner, whose contact is listed on the MUP sign outside the home. This single-family home is currently in Design Review, being developed into a 4 story apartment complex. Having past difficulties with squatters, the owner rushed to avoid similar problems that had been happening in similar homes in Capitol Hill. With the rush of developments in the area, many homes have become vacated, only to bring in illegal activity and neighborhood concern to the area. Similar developments within a 2 block radius had attracted squatters, arseny, hard drug-use, and lots of undecipherable graffiti. This particular owner had another home catch on fire due to squatters.
According to the owner, there was initially a pregnant couple squatting in the home. With all the recent commotion and complaints, there seemed to be an indeterminable amount of people flowing in and around the house. Previous Seattle Demo Projects had shown this to be an cataclysmic effect on the community and house. The home is not treated well and the becomes an unwanted blemish to the neighborhood. The Seattle Demo Project was initially brought in to come up with ideas of how to avoid permanently boarding up the house.
Boarded up homes provide two main issues all parties wanted to avoid – negative attention and lacking creative potential. If the home attracted attention, we wanted it to be positive. And if the space is available, we wanted to foster creativity abundant in Capitol Hill. Previous work done, by ourselves, Love City Love, Facing Homelessness, and various artists have proven that these opportunities provide unimaginable positivity in the community.
Over the past year, The Seattle Demo Project has transformed this house into a vibrant creative space. It has served as transitional housing, site specific art installation, artist studio, film set, performance space, and public hall to communicate with the architects. It has also sparked the curiosity of passerbyers by visually engaging the streetside. By inviting arts and cultural communities into the space, the ambition of this project is
to peel away the Murk through Urban Interaction, allowing neighbors the opportunity to build positive memories with our changing city.