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Team: Thomas Cheney, Julie Hale
On March 23rd, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee issued proclamation order 20-25 ‘Stay Home Stay Healthy.’ In light of the global pandemic, the public was asked to shelter in place to prevent community spread of the COVID-19. With only essential businesses allowed to remain open, many local restaurants and bars shutter their business to protect against property crime. The order is extended twice, ending on May 31st.
In the late evening of May 30th, Mayor Jenny Durkan issues an emergency curfew in Seattle amid social unrest over the death of George Floyd and a history of police brutality against minorities. The order is extended for the following three nights. Additional commercial storefronts are boarded up after looting, and vandalism takes place simultaneously with the peaceful protests. Seattle Public Utilities provides business in the International District with free emergency shuttering.
Since the middle of March, the building envelope has taken on a different symbolic meaning within the city limits of Seattle. For some Washingtonians, it represents isolation or forced captivity for others; it offers some sense of stability or security. The project Positive Negative is an exploration of the line that demarcates the interior from the exterior.
Two commercial storefront bay windows approximately 48″ wide x 40″ deep x 126″ tall along South Main Street in the International District.
126 layers of 1″ thick honeycomb cardboard with an individual sheet dimension of 48″ x 40″. The paper sheets, when stacked on top of one another, will completely fill one window bay.
Each sheet is cut twice on a laser bed; the cuts lines pivot on two central origin points with axes oscillating 1/8″ per sheet.
The drop from the cut sheets is stacked into two masses at each storefront bay. A positive and negative form, extracted from the initial 48 x 40 boundary of the cardboard sheet, will define a diametric relationship between interior and exterior. The positive object attempts to obstruct, while the negative frame tries to reveal views between the interior and exterior.
Installation is accessible to view from the city sidewalk/ street along South Main Street in the International District with visitors asked to follow state guidelines for social distancing (6 feet) and the wearing of face coverings.