Retrofitting Washington's Past: An Ethnographic Analysis on Modernist Parcels through Urban Spatial. Discourse
Area of Study
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
For my 2022 summer research project, I collaborated with Professor Gardner of the Sociology and Anthropology department to study, investigate, and analyze Modernist-era units of development in Washington state. Dominating the urban construction of the twentieth century, Modernist architects and planners often relied on large parcels of land for a designated, niche, purpose, yet as society both politically and socially evolved and shifted away from this type of planning, these parcels fit awkwardly into contemporary urban landscape – today, some are bordering on useless, others simply abandoned. My research focused on three Modernist-era parcels found here in Washington state: the former Satsop Nuclear Plant, the now-defunct Northern State Hospital campus, and the grounds of Expo ‘74 in downtown Spokane. Through studying these parcels’ original histories and engaging in ethnographic fieldwork and observation of their current states and uses, I sought to understand how these spaces of the past have been incorporated into the contemporary urban landscapes of our state, what factors led to the most successful retrofittings, and how these parcels have persevered in the postmodernist era.
Agricola Fund Grant
Murphy, Becca C., "Retrofitting Washington's Past: An Ethnographic Analysis on Modernist Parcels through Urban Spatial. Discourse" (2022). Summer Research. 437.
University of Puget Sound
Available for download on Tuesday, November 28, 2023