Thank you to Mithun for cosponsoring ARCADE's website and e-newsletter.
Tomorrow 21 May –
Saturday 25 May
by Center for Architecture & Design
Tu – Th, 10am – 6pm
F, 10am – 5pm
Sa, 1 – 5pm
An exhibit of work showing how design can improve water quality and livability while inspiring us all to think about landscapes and rain differently.
Tomorrow 21 May
by Seattle Architecture Foundation
5:30 – 7pm
Learn about rain gardens and other forms of green infrastructure that you can incorporate in your yard and neighborhood.
This Wednesday 22 May
by Common Cause Collective, AIGA Seattle, Creative Live
6 – 8:30pm
Come together as a design community in the Pacific Northwest to begin to explore what responsible design looks like.
This Wednesday 22 May
by UW Department of Landscape Architecture, UW Landscape Architecture Professional Advisory Council
6 – 8pm
A presentation on how water and wetness can be addressed in design.
This Thursday 23 May
by Friends of Waterfront Seattle
5:30 – 7:30pm
A presentation of findings on the new salmon-friendly seawall by UW research scientists.
Sunday 26 May
A fascinating look at the histories, hidden secrets, and current occupants of five monumental buildings built during the height of the Communist era.
Wednesday 29 May
by ULI Northwest
1 – 5:30pm
Explore Everett at the threshold of its next chapter with this multi-modal tour, which will take you past the city’s edges and into its heart.
Thursday 30 May
by Pecha Kucha Seattle, Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering
6 – 9pm
Join Pecha Kucha Seattle for a future-defining conversation about women, technology and shared future.
Thursday 30 May
by Elliott Bay Book Company
Eric Gorges discusses A Craftsman's Legacy: Why Working with Our Hands Gives Us Meaning, a look into practices and beliefs of craftspeople.
Friday 31 May –
Thursday 13 Jun
by Northwest Film Forum
See website for days and times
An unprecedented look at Christo’s process, from the inception through to the completion of his latest large-scale art installation.
Saturday 1 Jun –
Sunday 2 Jun
by ARCADE, Hugo House
10am – 2:30pm
at Hugo House
A workshop that seeks a different approach to design criticism—less judgment and more insight.
Tuesday 4 Jun
by AIA Seattle’s International Architecture Forum, Goethe Pop-up Seattle
6 – 7:30pm
To celebrate the 100th birthday of Bauhaus, Bähr revisits the bauhaus journal as significant written testimony of this iconic movement.
Friday 7 Jun
by CreativeMornings Vancouver
8:30 – 10am
A presentation by Ema Peter, one of the leading architectural and interior photographers in Canada, as part of a series on Wonder.
Saturday 8 Jun
by Historic Seattle, Vanishing Seattle, Seattle Public Library
10:30am – Noon
A discussion of important community places and the challenges faced in making preservation more inclusive.
Through Saturday 31 Aug
by Bill & Melinda Gates Discovery Center
Tu – Sa, 10am – 5pm
See how individuals and organizations are using design innovation to address some of the world’s most critical problems and improve lives.
Through Saturday 25 May
by AIA Seattle
Opening night reception (7 March), 6 – 8pm
Tu – Th, 10am – 6pm
F, 10am – 5pm
Sa, 1– 5pm
An exhibit by Laura Bartunek about rain as a creative catalyst within design.
Through Sunday 23 Feb
by Wing Luke Museum
Tu – Su, 10am – 5pm
First Thursday, 10am – 8pm
Opening night reception: Thursday, 7 March, 6 – 8pm
Uncover the history of redlining and its impacts through individual stories in the Wing Luke Museum's free exhibit.
Through Wednesday 31 Jul
by Goethe Pop Up Seattle
M – F, 1 – 7pm
Opening reception: 14 March, 5 – 8pm
A virtual reality Bauhaus exhibition that uses innovative technology that allows viewers to experience the Bauhaus first-hand.
Through Thursday 18 Jul
Opening Party, 2 May: 5 – 9pm
Gallery Hours: M – F, 11am – 6pm
A survey of 100 record covers by 20 iconic graphic designers from the 1950's
Through Monday 14 Oct
The most significant exhibit to date featuring Pacific Northwest regional style and the most prominent showcasing of MOHAI’s clothing collection.
A Collaboration Between Kemi Adeyemi and Liz Mputu
My work is about creating platforms, specifically digital, for people to acknowledge that offering talents from a nonnormative outlook is to be made alien. By utilizing spaces such as NewHive and Tumblr, I am able to create digital healing centers and expressions centered around the themes of surveillance, the othered body, queerness, and black existence without relating directly to concepts of whiteness. Our exchange (Kemi’s and mine) is about love and respect for one another, a desperate desire to make the work we find vital, and is about the fatigue we feel within the outdated parameters presented to us. Through digital and social media platforms, I am able to construct communities which riff off of energies from others who feel this way.
In 2017 I was invited by Julia Greenway to have my second solo show, at Interstitial Gallery in Seattle. She mentioned it would be attached to a residency at the University of Washington, and while I was immediately on board, the idea of offering my knowledge to graduate students while having never completed a degree at an institution for higher learning was thrilling—in both senses of the word.
But, in stepped Kemi by way of email detailing the concept of the residency program she directs, The Black Embodiments Studio. BES is a critical arts writing residency that connects contemporary artists, curators, and writers within and beyond the academy to explore investigations of blackness; it is a capsule in time, an opportunity to reach out as your most dignified self in experimentation and transparency. My corresponding exhibition hinged upon Kemi’s intentions of enlivening her students with progressive work from unrepresented voices made bold, and this pushed me to create from a place where I was allowed to be my own pupil and professor. Kemi silently challenged me to turn art into lecture and coddled me with reassurances the entire way. Through Kemi’s encouragement, it was made clear that this experience was not a moment of self-aggrandizement by way of a validating academic platform. It was, in reality, a heart-to-heart—an expansion on the conversations being had online by all like-minded individuals and myself, an ethereal body the dialogue could be guided by.
It was the beginning of our collaboration in a more intentional context, but by virtue of our individual pursuits for truth as we knew and sought to define it, our work has always been in harmony. While Kemi’s medium as an academic allows her to manipulate language and bind us to her spells, as an artist, I supply the herbs and chicken bones to our cauldron. Double, double, toil and trouble was written with us in mind, and we’ve shared cryptic anecdotes to our antidotes that confirm the sincerity of our partnership. Our collaboration in these pages is a snapshot of such a witches’ brew. It is inspired by selected visuals from virtual scrapbooks of online content, created by Kemi and others (such as Xaq Koal, an internet friend and digital curator), that reflect my own victories, fears, moments of intimacy, and shitposts. These images, paired with Kemi’s musings and motivated by a shared appreciation for a troll’s tone, together birth the Ouroboros those reading this publication are now bearing witness to.
One of the only frameworks we have for understanding blackness in the US is in relation to whiteness. It is perceived as the opposite of whiteness, the inverse of whiteness, the absence of whiteness, as antagonistic to whiteness. When you are a person who is marked by blackness, a whole host of subtle and explicit expectations accompany this framework. Namely, there is a certain kind of intellectual demand that black people be the ones who labor to reveal this very relation of black to white, that we must be the ones who continually map out the ways that whiteness is the violent, structuring condition of our everyday lives. This demand is accompanied by an equally pervasive demand that we take on the labor of generating culture (music, art, writing, sports, leftist political movements, etc.) in a white supremacist landscape that has always profited off of our bodies.
In short, we are tasked with not only challenging the sovereign domain of whiteness but providing alternative visions to it: it becomes our work to produce conceptual content, including online conversations, that push white people forward in the understanding of how whiteness and white supremacy operate/function/survive/thrive. It should go without saying that many of us are tired of this work. Not only tired of the expectation that it is our work to do (it isn’t) but tired of the ways that our creative output is seemingly endlessly framed as always or inherently doing this work—whether we say it is or not.
Some of us are done with it. Some of us are not working for or toward any conversation, revelation, or re-visioning of the “default” (white supremacy in digital drag). We instead craft closed networks, maybe better understood as networks of closed intelligibility, that are made for and in conversation with the systems of desire that accumulate amongst black and black queer people.
These are often diffuse online networks of images, texts, sounds, feelings, and environments where sight lines and horizon points are undeniably black. This does not mean that only black people can access them—it means that they do not extend outward to white nodes or reference points. They do not explicitly converse with whiteness except in that they provide black people access to ways of thinking, feeling, and being that are certainly required to survive whiteness. This thinking beyond does in fact take some work, though. The networks of images, texts, sounds, feelings, and environments serve (must serve?) a kind of pedagogical function: they help us to understand how and where to desire beyond, not to overdetermine desire but to provide support structures for living amidst yet remaining critically skeptical of white supremacy’s structuring of everyday life.
Sometimes this is, of course, desire for another person (but remember that desire is itself a network and does not always accumulate in single or stable end points). Other times it is desire on behalf of another person (e.g., that Kanye will return to his black-ass self). It is a desire for the self and the self’s own well-being, which must be fortified from the very impulse to always pose oneself in relation to whiteness (learning to do simple things like feeling where our bodies are thus becomes necessary). This desire for a blacklife as the only life is basically like learning how to feel some type of way (blk ppl will understand). It is learning how to see, hear, and feel way black. The way to black. Even if it lasts only as long as the time it takes to scroll through a feed before you have to look up again and there you are, everywhere and nowhere.
Over the weekend, I was asked why ARCADE is hosting our upcoming salon. I explained that, in part, it’s because it’s been a minute since we last hosted a salon. But, why this salon? Why would anyone want to sit around and consider the ways that online spaces impact who we are and who we become? Don’t we think about online spaces enough?
As designers build the future right around us, both in the physical world and the virtual world, we all consider the overlap between our physical and virtual identities, as well as question the role and responsibility of design. For me, the overlap between online space and the built environment makes sense. The way that I have come to understand individual and collective identity development is through interaction with the world. The culmination of our experiences, combined with the cultural tools we have for understanding and navigating, quite literally shapes our minds and the way our minds function. Take the way classrooms are traditionally designed, for example. Desks in a row, the rows face the teacher, the teacher stands in front and acts as keeper and distributor of knowledge. The environment is designed for that kind of interaction and power dynamic. What came first: Teacher as knowledge holder and distributor? Teacher as behavior controller? Or the way a traditional classroom looks? As we move through buildings, streets, public and private space, the shape of those spaces impact who we are.
Architects and designers know this all too well.
So when we step through the looking glass and participate in digital space, we go through similar processes of sense-making, learning, and participation. Designers of these spaces, much like designers of other spaces, impact the way that we figure ourselves out – but how much impact? And what then is the responsibility of the designer? And how in the world do designers take theory and concepts and turn them into concrete materials?
That's just a tidbit of what we'll discuss Thursday night, so if you want to talk about things like
What does it mean to design from an idea?
Is an avatar you? A piece of you? Outside of you?
Who controls access to online spaces?
Are designers to blame for the negative effects of online space or is the public to blame?
Does tech save the world?
How do we see subculture in social media spaces?
Thank you to everyone for contributing to ARCADE through GiveBIG 2019! For 37 years, ARCADE has been made possible through the support of our passionate community of design enthusiasts, and your generosity continues to inspire us. And a huge thank you to 501 Commons for supporting Seattle-area nonprofits by organizing GiveBIG this year!
We are thrilled to announce that the community contributed over $12,500 to ARCADE through GiveBIG 2019. Your support will go directly toward the continuation of this nearly 40-year-old organization, the publication, the community events, providing opportunities for writers, and being a connecting point between the design community and the wider public. As we reimagine and redesign what we are, we are inspired by the support of our community.
If you didn't get a chance to give to ARCADE via GiveBIG but would still like to contribute, you can donate to ARCADE online via our partner Network for Good.
Again, thank you!
—The ARCADE Team
Join us in driving daring, interdisciplinary discussions about design in the NW and beyond! #GiveBIG to ARCADE today: http://bit.ly/2Vrhw5e
Jeffrey Karl Ochsner
In 1959 a grocery store in Burien won a national AIA Merit Award. The previous year, the store received national attention as the subject of an article in Progressive Architecture, and subsequently it was briefly mentioned in Pacific Architect & Builder. Designed by the office of Welton Becket for the Tradewell chain, the store was notable for its roof of thin-shell concrete saddleback barrel vaults and its all-glass front. Today, while the building survives, it has largely been forgotten. It is still a grocery store, but its award-winning design is no longer apparent.
The Burien Tradewell was intended as the first of several new stores in the chain’s expansion that was planned by Monte Lafayette Bean (1899–1982). In 1939, Bean became the president of the struggling Eba Mutual Grocery stores. Initiating a program of modernization, Monte Bean closed some stores and reconfigured others and chose the name Tradewell Modern Food Stores to signal the new direction. Within a few years, the chain returned to profitability. In the postwar years, Tradewell regularly added new stores to respond to suburban development.
When construction of the Burien Tradewell began in July 1956, Bean called the design “revolutionary.”
The following February, to celebrate the store opening, Tradewell published full-page advertisements in Seattle papers touting the modern architecture, claiming it was “so advanced in design that all of our friends in the Puget Sound Area should know about it.”
The announcements also highlighted the designer, “the nationally known architectural firm” Welton Becket & Associates. Welton Becket (1902–1969) was born in Seattle and received his architectural degree from the University of Washington in 1927. Although he initially opened a practice in Seattle, by 1933 he had relocated to Los Angeles where he entered into a partnership with UW classmate Walter Wurdeman and Los Angeles architect Charles Plummer. Following the unexpected deaths of Plummer in 1939 and Wurdeman in 1949, he reorganized the firm as Welton Becket & Associates. Over the next two decades, the practice was responsible for notable modern works and became one of the largest and best known design firms in Los Angeles.
It is not known why Bean selected California-based Welton Becket as Tradewell’s designer. At the time, architects in Seattle were working with local structural engineers, particularly Jack Christiansen and Peter Hostmark, creating innovative buildings with thin-shell concrete roofs. Still, it’s possible Bean saw Becket’s Los Angeles architecture as more attuned to the emerging car-oriented suburban culture than contemporaneous work by Seattle designers, and Tradewell committed to Becket for its new look. Becket was responsible for the remodel of the Crown Hill Tradewell that opened in September 1956. The Burien store was the firm’s first completely new Tradewell. The partnership Rushmore & Woodman, based in Bellevue, was the local supervising architect; John Rushmore and Jack Woodman were UW architecture graduates of the late 1940s. The structural engineer for Becket’s designs was Richard Bradshaw (b. 1916), an expert in thin-shell and other unusual concrete structures, who was responsible for many expressive designs for leading southern California modernists.
The Burien Tradewell measures 160 by 140 feet; eight saddleback thin-shell vaults, each 20 feet wide, extend from front to back, supported on steel columns and cantilevering 12 feet beyond the glazed storefront to shelter the adjacent sidewalk. The dramatic character of the front elevation was originally further enhanced by a tall pylon sign over the primary entrance. In May 1959, after the Burien store’s design received national recognition, Monte Bean suggested that 30 additional stores based on the Burien design could be built. However, only three were actually constructed: stores in Richmond Beach (1956–57, altered, now Rite Aid), Kenmore (1957, destroyed), and Columbia City (1957–58, destroyed). By mid-1959, Tradewell began constructing new stores with conventional roofs. The Becket office designed one such store in Wedgwood (1959, altered, now QFC), but thereafter received no more store commissions. As noted by local author Rob Ketcherside in a blog post about the Tradewell store, some later locations retained the signature arches over the front walkway but omitted the thin-shell roof. By the end of 1959, Monte Bean had resigned from the company.
Washington-based Tradewell survived as an independent company until 1988. Thereafter, individual stores passed to other owners. Today, the Burien Tradewell is a Grocery Outlet. The tall pylon sign has been reduced in height and a continuous canopy conceals the cantilevered arches over the front sidewalk. Likely few patrons realize this store was once considered a notable example of advanced design.
Thank you to Mithun for cosponsoring ARCADE's website and e-newsletter.
Help ARCADE get a head start on our GiveBIG fundraising as we look to reach our most ambitious goal yet: raising $20,000 to bolster our publication, website, events and partnerships.
You can donate through ARCADE’s GiveBIG page between now and Wednesday, May 8. Your gift will be processed on May 8. Whether you give $10 or $100, know that your contribution is integral to ARCADE’s work.
Your gift will go directly toward redesigning the organization so that we can continue to be an essential link between the architecture, design, and arts community and the wider public. As we reimagine our organization, we'll invite you and the wider public into the design process to ensure that we are meeting your goals for ARCADE.
Thank you! You make ARCADE's work possible!
—The ARCADE Team
"As a publication that consistently examines timely, complex issues as they intersect with design and the arts, ARCADE is an imperative voice and resource for the Pacific Northwest community and beyond. While so many publications have folded or turned into click bait as of late, ARCADE's persistence for 35 years shows that the organization's dedication to sparking intelligent and thoughtful dialogue is something we've needed all along--and continue to need now more than ever."
— Arts writer Erin Langner, from Issue 36.1, ARCADE at 35: A Retrospective
Saturday 1st Jun 2019 – Sunday 2nd Jun 2019
10am – 2:30pm
Put on by ARCADE, Hugo House
This workshop will seek a new approach to design criticism—one with less judgment and more insight. Writers will learn to develop narratives that open up alternative ways of understanding and relating to the designed world, from buildings to works of industrial art. No prior design or architecture experience required. Come with an interest in understanding and writing about the designed world around you. This class has a lunch break. ARCADE produces a publication and programs inspired by the myriad forces and disciplines that shape design.
About the Instructor
Ayad Rahmani is a professor of architecture at Washington State University where he teaches courses on design and theory. He is the author of two books, the last on Kafka and architecture titled Kafka’s Architectures, published in 2015. He writes widely on subjects related to art, architecture and literature, currently as the architecture critic for the Moscow Pullman Daily News. He is currently working on a new book on Frank Lloyd Wright and Ralph Waldo Emerson, examining the American project through the lens of architecture and literature.
Script from Painted Dreams Season 1, Episode 3:
As much as I try to show a new identity via style, the best way to measure change is a body over time. This is me dancing a month ago. Here is me dancing as a child. Artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge says, “When you consider transsexuality, crossdressing, cosmetic surgery, piercing, and tattooing, they are all calculated impulses—a symptomatic groping towards the next phase.” P-Orridge says that “. . . in school, peer groups, you’re a boy so you have to hang out with the boys and do boy things and so on. The key point about this structure is that it’s fictional.”* Soaps are notorious for allowing different people to embody the same identity. Ridge Forrester of The Bold and the Beautiful, once played by Ronn Moss, is now Thorsten Kaye. General Hospital’s Carly Benson has been Sarah Joy Brown, Tamara Braun, and Laura Wright. The Wikipedia list of soap character recasts seems infinite. Duration facilitates change.
Change. Change. Change . . .
Many know two actors played Simba in The Lion King: Jonathan Taylor Thomas as adolescent Simba, Matthew Broderick as adult. But that doesn’t include Simba’s singing voices: Joseph Williams and Jason Weaver. And should we include Mark Henn and Ruben Aquino, Simba’s animators, who literally drew his body into existence? When the plot moved to Broadway, Simba became Scott Irby-Ranniar and Jason Raize. In the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Lion King 1 1/2, Simba is Matt Weinberg.
. . . groping towards the next phase . . .
And what about the millions of people who’ve been told “you are Simba” by online personality quizzes? All equally Simba, passing through one body, a single vessel. If Simba can write his own narrative and be this many people, I can be whoever the fuck I want.
Just as an artist might say their medium is sculpture or painting, I’d say the medium of my YouTube series Painted Dreams isn’t “video art” or “essay film,” but soap opera. And if The Bold and the Beautiful is streamable for free on CBS. com, then Painted Dreams, as its mirror, must be equally accessible.
Painted Dreams, a comic and empathetic queering of soap opera history, imagines what would happen if, instead of traveling the world, the narrator of Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil stayed home and watched All My Children with their grandmother. To me, the work has three target audiences: the art community, of course; but also the soap-watching community; and the trans, gender nonconforming, questioning community. Like many others, I first delved into gender variation via YouTube holes, which felt lonely but safe, often finding myself deep in a FRONTLINE trans/GNC documentary from the ’90s or an obscure local radio interview with Laura Jane Grace.
Ideally, Painted Dreams participates in that same democratic YouTube conversation, while simultaneously undermining preconceptions about what forms the online serial can take. While many video artists post their work to Vimeo or show only in galleries, I want Painted Dreams to live in a space where it can be stumbled upon.
*Genesis Breyer P-Orridge as quoted in The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art. Dominic Johnson, interviewer. Macmillan International, 2015.