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The “waste space” of the parking garage is reconsidered and given form. Its invisibility becomes an experience. And its inherent inefficiencies are used as guides to form social “pockets”.


In 1964 Philip Johnson said: “Architecture is the art of how to waste space”. It was the same year that he completed the New York State Theatre, part of the Lincoln Center, which, under Robert Moses’s totalizing plan for “urban renewal” laid waste to San Juan Hill, home to African American and Puerto Rican communities. For Johnson, waste is not only the extravagance of the theatre, but a fundamental act of architecture. However. Johnson’s quote reveals that infrastructure and social production are connected. That, in order to have the decadence of the New York State Theatre, a space of culture and high society, you also need the waste-spaces of the highway and the parking garage. If garages are the ultimate waste space, can they be redesigned as an architectural art? In applying Johnson’s quote to one of the most everyday spaces of American life, this thesis tries to inject social life into the spaces of parking infrastructure.

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