Skip to content

Urban Food Center

This studio focused on the urban integration of food production and consumption and its ability to affect transformation of the neighborhood. Urban food production anchored an architectural design process exploring insides vs. outsides, natural vs. manufactured, and public vs. private through the continuous production of drawings and models.

1-6 Urban Food Center, Greta DuBois

7-12 Urban Food Center, Nayana Cardoso

Dwelling in the Sicilian Countryside Anew

Thousands of small cities and towns in Italy have undergone disinvestment and depopulation for over a century now, raising questions about the future of productive landscapes, cultural heritage, urban-rural inequality and social cohesion. 2020 awoke interest in these issues, as remote workers sought out these places and envisioned new alternatives to life in large metropolitan centers. As a resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic appears on the horizon, towns like Palazzolo Acreide are in a race to find innovative sustainable development models to rechart the future of the urban environments and communities. Students proposed an intervention in the urban core of Palazzo Acreide to accommodate a mixed-use program, exploring novel ways to weave life, work and travel. The studio searched for concrete and meaningful ways in which architecture can encourage new ways of living together in the towns of the Sicilian countryside.

This studio rethinks the future of disinvested towns in Southern Italy undergoing changes since the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread experiment with remote work. Students proposed an architectural intervention for Palazzolo Acreide in Sicily after a series of dialogues with community members, politicians, philanthropists and architects. The studio questioned the role that interventions at the building scale can play as catalysts in their urban context, and explored the architectural devices they can employ to achieve this in compelling ways.

Images 1-6 Coexisting with History, Hailey Alling

Images 7-12 Qualities of a Wall, Parker McKean

The Nordic Spirit

The National Nordic Museum was founded in 1980 and is dedicated to the history of the area’s Nordic immigrants. The museum serves as a community gathering place and shares Nordic culture by providing educational and cultural experiences from Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish Americans. Shared values and perspectives serve as guiding principles for the core exhibition experience, tracing themes of connection to nature, sustainability, social justice, and innovation from the earliest anthropological records through contemporary Nordic society.

Originally located in a former elementary school in Ballard, in 2018 the National Nordic Museum moved into a new building designed by Mithun on Market Street.
The area now called Ballard was originally settled by the Duwamish Tribe after the last glacial period. It later became the center of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian
seafaring community.

When the museum originally obtained the property for their new building, they also acquired the lot to the east for possible future expansion. A museum garden currently separates it from the adjacent property. The garden contains a donor’s wall, a sauna that was originally built in the Finn Hill neighborhood near Bothell in 1910, and an old 34-foot fishing vessel. The Nordic Spirit was built in northern Norway in the mid-1800s. Based on a classic Scandinavian design it represents the continuation of an ancient boatbuilding tradition that can be traced back to the fourth century. Built using lapstrake construction, the Nordic Spirit is similar in form and structure to the Viking long ships that carried adventurers from Scandinavia to Iceland, Greenland and North America.

Design Projects
The studio will undertake two design projects during the quarter that relate directly to the Nordic Museum’s short and long-term goals. The first will be the design of a new shelter for the Nordic Spirit, which currently lies under a temporary canopy at the east end of the museum garden. The second will be to design an addition to the Vmuseum on the adjacent property. Besides more exhibit space, program possibilities include an expanded museum restaurant and store, a Nordic innovation
hub, collaborations with other cultural institutions or even a mixed-use building with housing and retail.

The first project will be highly tectonic in nature, focusing on the unique properties of materials, their roles in architectural assemblage and their connections at both literal and figural joints. The second project will build un the first and involve the design of a building that fulfills the functional requirements of a diversity of uses, addresses issues of urban context, programming, life safety, structural design and construction, while at the same aspiring to the creation of an unequivocal architecture.

Images 1-5  Nordic Innovation Center, Alyssa Purnomo

Images 7-12 Nordic Harbor, Lucy Zhong & Geng Chen

Who’s Looking After The Kids?

Studio Description: 

The pandemic has put in high relief the fact that many Americans, particularly women, are reliant on childcare in order to attend work or school. Single and multi-parent households rely on childcare to survive financially, yet care is often provided in substandard facilities.

-How can we reimagine what a joyful and playful space might look like for young children?
-How can we design for different sizes and shapes of bodies in space?
-What is the role of children in the city?

The site is at 3100 Broadway in upper Manhattan, in a neighborhood which is underserved. The Morningside Heights Housing Corporation has agreed to reduce the size of their current parking garage by 50% and have received funding to develop half of the area. Students will have the option to retain the existing structure, or to demolish up to 50%. The project will face the busy street of Broadway, as well as the residential towers of the MHCC co-op.

Images 1-7  Who’s Looking After The Kids?, Elena Zhu

It is designed for both public and private use, taking into account materials and structure. Preschool kids are the main focus of this project. The objective is to create a building that allows the kids to be able to have the chance to make more movement in one space.

Seismic Design Studio

Earthquakes are a fundamental part of life in the Pacific Northwest. Every year, our collective understanding of the geological faults underneath Washington and Oregon improves, giving a more detailed picture of the seismic risks of our region. While unsettling at times, this reality is both a design responsibility and opportunity. Embracing seismic risk as a fundamental part of building design opens up new modes of thinking, and can reveal new possibilities. Seismic design can accommodate new technologies, new design strategies, and new conceptualizations of building themselves. Students will be challenged to consider seismic issues not simply as a problem to be solved, but as a prompt to re-consider many aspects of building design. This studio will consult with current leading professionals in understanding seismic hazards, and produce an innovative, seismically-advanced, building design proposal. This work will require interdisciplinary thinking, and cooperation between geologists, engineers, architects, policy makers and others.

Images 1-5  Kinetic Canopy, Nathan Brown 

Washi Paper Mill

The important question to ask is not “what” but “how.”  – Mies van der Rohe 



A cooperative washi paper mill and workshop in Ballard.


Rules of the game:

1 – construct geo-narratives of site forces at four scales from neighborhood to region

2 – construct a deck of cards based on site analysis and synthesis; deal 8 cards and discard 2

3 – construe the site and program forces as gesture via the cards dealt and touchstone image

4 – construe the poetic logic of structure; add 4 cards from tectonic case studies to complete the hand

5 – join site, program, structure and material in the building, keeping all the forces in play 


Images 1-5  Ballard Paper Mill, Mariele Alarilla 
Images 6-10  Ballard Paper Mill, Luke Barbieri