Deconstruction and demolition are an inevitable condition of the urban environment. In the last twenty-one months, 955 applications for demolition permits have been submitted to Seattle; marking a nearly 400% increase compared to the previous six years. Seattle’s urban fabric is currently undergoing an unprecedented transformation. These structures, temporarily liberated from their function and purpose, become an effective medium to instigate a potential dialogue between architects, builders, owners, and the public.
The Seattle Demo Project is a cross-disciplinary cultural program that activates soon-to-be-demolished structures; it is the result of architects, designers, developers and builders viewing structures awaiting their departure as an educational, artistic and cultural resource while additionally marking the end of the structures life-cycle.
Seattle Demo Project was formed in 2012 by a group of young artists and designers who began investigating buildings awaiting demolition. What began as photographic explorations, has slowly evolved into more focused experiments and now, after completing its third case study, incorporates a variety of installations, deconstructions, documentations, and public events.
By building a platform for exploration and discovery as well as providing space and materials for artists the Seattle Demo Project has generated full scale architectural experiments and installations resulting in a hands on educational experience for architectural students and young professionals. By sharing their work, those involved with the program have opened a public dialogue with local communities of said case study projects, additionally the program has gathered the attention of the broader public through social media and seeks to engage all of Seattle in urban and architectural issues.