Archive for the 'events' Category

Seattle’s Bike Community

by Leslie Gianna Clark

Location: 2323 East Cherry Street in the Central District every Sunday 2pm-5pm

3 examples of the bike community in Seattle:

The Bikery” is a volunteer run bicycle resource center established within the past year. They have a very well thought out mission statement that aims to address a number of social issues through education of bike repair, anti oppression, and clean urban environments. A bike clinic, held on Sundays from 2-5 is one of the direct connections that the organization has to the community. Currently located at the Garfield Community Center on 23rd Ave and Cherry Street in Seattle the bike clinic is free and open to all. Initially, when the clinic began, it was held in a parking lot at a few different locations. Since the weather has gotten cooler, the clinic has moved indoors.

Seattle Critical Mass” is a performance of civil disobedience that happens the last Thursday of every month. This event is a product of the coming together of a group of people to take over the street for a short period of time. This demonstration signifies to the larger Seattle community that there are other forms of transportation that deserve the use of the road.

“Bike Swap” is an event put together my members of the bike community and vendors to sell bikes and bike parts at discounted rates. It takes place in an old Naval hanger at Magnuson Park temporarily taking over a large portion of the hanger area with a discounted marketplace for the bike community.


Snow as Social Glue


by Danielle Pierce

Location: Seattle, WA (Wallingford, Greenlake, Capitol Hill, University District)

In cities where it rarely snows, this type of climatic event induces a state of excitement in the streets of the city. The slippery roads reduce the number of cars on the road, resulting in more pedestrian activity and use of mass transit. This activity, in turn, increases the number of interactions and conversations with strangers an individual experiences on the street, as well as random acts of kindness. For example, helping a person who has fallen to get up on their feet or giving your gloves to a homeless person. The key characteristics of my selected micro-urban subject are: 1) snow increases people’s outside-time through play and pedestrian/mass transit commuting, reducing the number of cars on the road; 2) snow increases the excitement of a city, providing a convenient topic of conversation with strangers; 3) sticky snow is an outlet for creativity and group-process; 4) finally, snow increases spontaneity in that it alters environmental conditions on a large scale.

Sunday in the City

by Judy Blanco

Locations: various, in Seattle

Traditionally, Sunday is a day to relax and reflect, a day to rest and gather strength for the coming week. Generally, people seem to be quiet and subdued on Sundays, and in response, the city seems quiet. But how quiet is it? Despite the miserable winter weather, I very easily found a lot of people getting together on a Sunday in the city. I have included pictures in a vibrant community café in an unlikely location. I took some furtive pictures of the men furtively “cruising” the Volunteer Park drive on a Sunday morn. I visited the Mt. Baker Park Community Church and was introduced to the highly organized group effort that is their Sunday service. I’ve also included a picture from a matinee theatre performance about a little-known composer. The larger patterns these gatherings make over time, of individuals acting and working together outside of the consumer-culture as well as their working life, is part of what makes cities so appealing to me.

Temporalities through time and space

Monica Le

Location: Migratory movement through Pike, Pine and Stewart Street

My study of micro-urban spaces paid attention to temporal phenomena that occurred within Downtown Seattle. Micro-urbanism, as I observed, were natural, moving events that were caused by direct or indirect interaction between two or more people. These temporal phenomena are bound by time and space. They are as complex as our body systems, and as simple as breathing. Some spaces were multifunctional, flexible and versatile, and others faced limitations caused by time, place, and the individual’s purpose.

In one way or another, these phenomena were always moving, they were non-static. The location of an individual and their purpose was planned and unplanned at the same time. Micro-urban phenomena were forming and dissipating at the same time. They were joyous in the way they formed, yet some were saddening and unfortunate remedies that were responsive to the way spaces are designed today.

Rhythms of Everyday Intersections

by Christine Plourde

Location: University Way NE and NE 42nd Street

The intersection of University Way NE and NE 42nd Street in the Universtiy District is a collection of rhythms of sound, vision, scent and movement during an early Sunday afternoon. This intersection is used highly by pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles. Both streets are two lanes wide. The area studied is defined by the distance from the intersection where pedestrians approaching the intersection begin to take their actions into consideration; therefore it is a fluctuating boundary based on individual attention to changing colors of lights

In this project I explore how this intersection in the University District relates and is integral to the greater urban landscapes. Drawing from articles that address what defines and make up the urban experience I describe the importance of such an often over looked space. The events that occur in this intersection are what define the urban experience, not the place itself. Intersections are sources of rhythm of movement and emotion in the city. They are places where people come together in various forms and interact with each other. Intersections have great future potential for design and planning to use as sources social interaction.

Street Performers around the Market

by Chany Park

Location: bounded by First Avenue to the east, Western Avenue to the west, Virginia Street to the north, and, to the south, a line drawn from First to Western Avenues halfway between Pike Street and Union Street.

On a weekend, street performers produce an ensemble around the Pike Place market. Street performers choose space to occupy carefully, so as not to encroach on other performers’ spaces. Sound they make defines the outer limits of the performance space, the area within earshot. Musicians play lively, brisk, and laid-back music which harmonizes greatly with other sounds and the atmosphere in the market. The amused spectators clap and give cheers. How many people gather is not just matter of the quality of performance, but space also. If a performer occupies a space which makes pedestrians feel uncomfortable and insecure to stand, nobody gathers.

Their performance plays crucial roles in many ways in the context of micro-urbanism and soundscape idea. It contributes to give viewers enjoyment and a pleasant experience and memory in Pike Place Market. Performance becomes an instrument of urban memory. Moreover, their improvisation performance gives energy and vitality to space and a sense of belonging to people by evoking interaction between artists and viewers, which is not usual in just urban street. Finally, their performances become absolutely part of the landscape of Pike Place Market by forming most of the soundscape of the market.

Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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