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2006 Night Market Eventscape

From selling food and clothing to public performance and entertainment, night markets represent an ephemeral yet persistent urban phenomenon in East Asia. In the Pacific Northwest, “night market” as a popular form of leisure and shopping experience and as a way of community revitalization has emerged in Vancouver and Richmond, BC, and more recently in Seattle. The phenomenon reflects the growing presence of Asian American community in the region and its translocal cultural practices. In Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, a community-driven effort has been made to develop a night market as a regular activity in the district. The night market would create a gathering place for the community as well as catalyzing economic development in the district.

Supported with a grant for internationalization of undergraduate curriculum from the UW Office of Undergraduate Education and International Programs and Exchanges, the studio investigated the cross-cultural landscape of night markets in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, it collaborated with the WILD (Wilderness Inner-city Leadership Development) Youth Program to develop designs that would support the planned night market in the Chinatown-International District. Envisioned as temporary site installations, the designs provide functional support for the night market event as well as helping to interpret the stories embedded in the immigrant communities of the district.

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