Ellen Shakespear

Department of Architecture

Instruments of Service

This thesis explores the gap between architecture’s obligations, as defined by the AIA, and its traditional instruments of service. We begin with an investigation of the Seaport, one of the most rapidly changing neighborhoods in Boston. We use this site as an opportunity to understand how architects and planners offer their services to a project that champions a new future for the city.

Against this backdrop, we propose a new method and attitude of practice, which we tested for a period of nine months in Boston and Cambridge. We converted four underused sites into artist and community space, and our involvement spanned from site identification to policy recommendations to daily operations. This thesis documents parts of that practice. Overall, this thesis is a suggestion and a real world test of one way architects can operate as instrumental shapers of the future of their city.

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