This thesis explores the science center as the materialization of institutional ideals for a science-literate society in a building design challenging the role of architecture as a vehicle for communication. This investigation operates with the fundamental motion that architecture is an effective communicator when facilitating the experience of the built environment, rather than relying on its power as a centerpiece. Therefore, I intend to investigate how this built form engages with the landscape, serving as a 'backdrop' that heightens the experience of transitioning between the man-made and the natural landscape condition, while revitalizing the riverfront and serving as a gateway between currently disparate neighborhoods.
The science program allows further exploration of the extent to which the transmission of information exists in the architecture itself, or whether the architecture, with the intention of remaining versatile, again serves as the backdrop, therfore allowing the communication to occur solely through the exhibition design.
To simply state that science affects our lives is a gross understatement. To more succinctly say that it can uniquely and simultaneously impact our lives on both a personal and global level begins to recognize that we simply cannot exist withour being touched by the innovation of science. In an age when the scope and amount of information constantly increases and change as innovation continues.
This thesis explores how the built environment can be designed to serve as the vehicle for a greater social agenda. It will investigate how the science center, as the materialization of a science-based institutional ideal, can answer the challenges science places on our society by fostering social responsibility, and visibly expressing a strong social identity within its community, while maintaining utmost sensitivity to the changing demands of a diversc audience. I posit that social initiatives can be designed to influence people's movements and thoughts. In otherwords, our architecture reflects our society, but architecture can also shape our society. Architecture reflects who we are, but also who we can be.