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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

September 1, 2010 at 5:08 PM

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Kids dream up cities in architecture class

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

Dorataylor083110m.jpg

Sketched Aug. 31, 8:47 a.m. [Click sketch to view larger]

Dora Taylor teaches the kind of summer camp I would have loved as a kid. Not the running-and-jumping-into-the-woods type of camp, but the drawing-cutting-and-building experience kids get out of her architecture classes.

I met Taylor Tuesday afternoon at her Capitol Hill house, where her living room has been transformed into a classroom for the past year.

As she was getting ready for her students to arrive, the soft-spoken architect talked about a recent project where kids dreamed up a Seattle intersection in the Central District, a real one they looked up on Google Earth: E. Union St. and 23rd Ave.

For one corner, they came up with a two-story building with a yoga business on the second floor and an ice-cream parlor on the first floor. "While their moms were in yoga, they would go eat ice cream," explained Taylor. For the other corner, they planned a nursery and a store that would sell locally-grown fresh fruit and vegetables.

Town planning is more than putting buildings out there, said Taylor, who practiced architecture for 16 years before starting her classes for kids full time. "It's about understanding the needs of the community," she said.

Taylor is one of ten successful applicants getting a temporary new work space thanks to Storefronts Seattle, a community program that aims to revitalize the Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods bringing creative enterprises to empty retail spaces.

Of more than 140 applicants, Taylor and other nine candidates were selected for 3-month rent-free residencies that were announced last week and start Thursday.

Stay tuned for more sketches from Taylor's class and from another applicant awarded one of the spaces, the Seattle Pinball Museum.

Links
More information about Taylor's classes on her website.
Storefronts Seattle on Facebook.

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