The Hackable Box

The local economic effects of the recent pandemic, coupled with the mass abandonment of large retail space due to its sheer scale as well as larger economic trends, have left shells of large buildings across America. Reappropriating big box stores provokes the need to rethink the anchor organization beyond the prototypical methods of retail planning and create a new activity center. This thesis sets forth a community membership organization and a new system for the aggregation of small to mid-scale business entities as a startup incubator.

A system of architectural components establishes a prideful aesthetic appeal and a bundle of service infrastructures as a framework for engagement and spatial adjacencies.  Outside this systematized component architecture, the infrastructures provide a decentralized network of collaborative place-making, or hacking, for the community to infill collective civic resources and amenity common spaces. This hacking system allows for local residents to investigate other integrative social projects by combining pluralistic uses of big boxes that benefit the community. Furthermore, it creates a situation that provides access to a social hack where the results are unpredictable and malleable.
Faculty Advisor:
Malcolm McCullough