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Designing With Intention: Three Generations of Black Architects

In the historically white–dominated field of architecture, Black architects have created some of Seattle’s most important landmarks and continue to change the industry. Their work is grounded in guiding principles of community-centered design and empowering underserved communities. Join three generations of Black architects in the Pacific Northwest for a discussion on their work, inspirations, challenges, and hopes for the next generation.

Presented by MOHAI in partnership with AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable, The Black Heritage Society of Washington State, The Nehemiah Initiative Seattle, NOMA Northwest, University of Washington College of Built Environments, and the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development.

View discussion here.

Speakers include:
Renée Cheng, University of Washington College of Built Environments, moderator
Donald King, Donald King Architecture
Whitney Lewis, GGLO
Meredith Everist, Baylis Architects

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2023 National AIA Architecture Awards

UW Architecture connected to four of the sixteen 2023 National AIA Architecture Award winning projects and more!



The AIA Architecture Award is the highest recognition the U.S. architecture profession grants to a recently completed project. This year, as in most, Seattle-based firms won more than their share of awards. This includes two projects by Seattle’s LMN Architects (Scott Crawford, M.Arch 2008/MS Arch 2010, and Sam Miller, MArch 1992, Partners) which received awards for the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School. The Seattle office of Perkins + Will was recognized for the University of Washington Life Sciences Building (Devin Kleiner, MArch 2004, Associate Principal and Project Architect). On the other side of the country, designLAB architects (Sam Batchelor, MArch 2004, Partner) of Boston was recognized for the Worcester Blackstone Visitor Center.

In addition, Seattle-based Miller/Hull (Professor Emeritus Dave Miller, Founding Partner and Brian Court, MArch 2002, Ben Dalton, MArch 2005, Rob Misel, and Sian Roberts, MArch 1992, Partners) won a 2023 National AIA Interior Architecture Award for its Student Success District at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Congratulations to all of these notable alumni and firms!

In Memory of Douglas Kelbaugh, former Chair and Professor in the Department of Architecture (1985-98)

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Douglas Stewart Kelbaugh, former Chair and Professor in the Department of Architecture, on February 18, 2023, at the age of 78. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Kathleen Nolan, son, Casey, and daughter, Tess.

Douglas S. Kelbaugh FAIA was born in Brooklyn NY on January 25, 1945, graduating from Memorial High School in Houston, Texas in 1963. He received his B.A. in architecture Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1968. He then participated in a Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program in Trenton NJ for two years (1968-70). He graduated with his M.Arch. from Princeton in 1972. While in graduate school Doug joined in anti-war protests and peace marches in DC, also building inflatables for events on campus and play structures for the “People’s Workshop”—a Community Design Center in New Brunswick NJ. After graduating Doug worked as a senior planner and architect for the Department of Planning and Development, City of Trenton (1972-78).

In 1978 Doug joined with Sang Lee to form the partnership Kelbaugh + Lee. This firm did numerous projects and received awards for multiple pioneering passive solar buildings and other designs. Kelbaugh’s activities in the early solar design movement were marked by the design of the first Trombe Wall house in Princeton NJ (1973-75). Over the course of his activities in practice, Kelbaugh’s firms won over 15 regional and national design awards and competitions, and their designs appeared in over 100 books and magazines, and in many exhibitions in the USA and abroad. While at Kelbaugh + Lee, Doug began visiting teaching appointments, including lecturer positions at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania. Over time he became convinced that design of urban areas rather than single buildings would make a bigger impact on the issues of global warming and climate change.

In 1985 Doug accepted an appointment as Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. During this time, he was instrumental in bringing a younger generation of faculty into the Department. He also instituted the Department’s student-run publication, Column 5, and initiated a program of design charrettes that took on urban design issues in Seattle. Through the charrette program Doug became involved in the New Urbanism movement. He partnered with Peter Calthorpe, another co-founder of the passive solar and New Urbanism movements, in the firm Calthorpe, Kelbaugh & Associates (1989-98).

Doug’s first books grew out of the design charrette program and reflected his growing commitment to urban issues. In 1989, he edited The Pedestrian Pocket Book (Princeton Architectural Press), a national bestseller in urban design that introduced the concept of Transit-Oriented-Development to a broad audience. In 1997, Kelbaugh authored Common Place: Toward Neighborhood and Regional Design, a book on urban theory, design, and policy, followed by its sequel, Repairing the American Metropolis in 2002.

In 1992, Doug stepped down as Chair of the UW Department of Architecture and in 1998 he accepted appointment as the Dean of the Taubman College at the University of Michigan, a position he held for ten years. At Michigan he continued creating and participating in design charettes, and he brought numerous notable speakers to Michigan leading to his edited book The Michigan Debates on Urbanism: Everyday, New, and Post, published in 2005. He was the co-editor of Writing Urbanism in 2008. From 2008 to 2010 he served as executive director of design and planning for a Dubai-based development company with a portfolio of large sustainable projects in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Kelbaugh co-chaired multiple national and international conferences on energy, urbanism, and design; he spoke to hundreds of professional and community groups and wrote numerous articles on sustainable design. His most recent book, THE URBAN FIX: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands, and Overpopulation, was published in 2019.

Among his many accolades, he was Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Fellow of the Congress for a New Urbanism, and in 2016 was awarded an AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education—the highest award given to an educator by the two organizations with only one Topaz award given each year. In announcing this award, Kelbaugh was praised for the “transformative impact he has had on architectural education” by Harrison Fraker, Dean Emeritus at University of California at Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Fraker also noted that during his time as the University of Washington, Kelbaugh “demonstrated a more activist role for schools of architecture in their cities.”

Following retirement, Doug returned to Seattle in 2020. He taught the class “Climate Change, Architecture and the City” in the UW College of Built Environments during Autumn Quarter 2020 and was schedule to give a lecture, “Architecture, Urbanism and Climate Change” on Thursday, February 16, 2023.

Through the course of his thirteen years at the University of Washington, Douglas Kelbaugh championed sustainable urban design and placemaking, transformed our curriculum, and strengthened relationships between faculty and local practitioners. His impact on the people and culture of the Department of Architecture is immeasurable and he will be sorely missed.

Northwest Nordic Troll Project

Come and meet Environmental Artist and Activist Thomas Dambo to hear about the upcoming Northwest Nordic Troll project!

Tuesday, February 7 @ 5:30
Gould Hall Court

The Northwest Nordic Troll Hunt is a public art project that will feature tea series of giant hand-built trolls by internationally acclaimed environmental artist, Thomas Dambo from Denmark. The trolls will be built during the summer of 2023 on publicly accessible sites across the greater Puget Sound region. Fashioned entirely out of recycled materials, the art installations turn trash into treasured trolls who tell a tale of protecting nature and honoring our land. This is with a focus on understanding human impact on life in the water, salmon, and orca protection, as well as advocating for environmental protection of the watershed.

See some of his work in action here:

2023 Alumni Awards – Call for Nominations!

The Department of Architecture at the University of Washington is pleased to announce the return of the biannual Alumni Awards!

After a hiatus in 2021 due to COVID restrictions, we are soliciting nominations for notable alumni who have made significant contributions in two distinct categories.

The Distinguished Alumni Award honors an alumna or alumnus whose career achievements in the profession of architecture and the broader community have made a significant contribution to the built environment of the Puget Sound region and beyond. The recipients of this award are individuals who have had a distinguished career as evidenced in the excellence of their built work, the significance of their impact on the community, and the generosity of their commitment to the education of architects.

The Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award recognizes the accomplishments of an alumna or alumnus of the UW Department of Architecture within ten years of their graduation. The recipients of this award show great promise for expanding the impact of the profession of architecture through creative forms of practice and civic engagement.

This third cycle of the alumni awards is being conducted under the theme of “an architecture for the public good.” Our hope is that this will encourage nomination of graduates who have been active in proposing and executing projects, and pursuing models of practice, that establish a strong connection between architecture and the broader public.

Nominations will close on Monday, 6 February 2023 @ 6:00 pm PST

Click here to submit your nomination today!

For more information, please contact Brian McLaren.

Past Awardees

Distinguished Alumni Award
2017 | Lee Copeland and Steven Holl
2019 | Tom Kundig and George Suyama

Graduate of the Last Decade Award
2017 | Scott Crawford, Mariam Kamara, and Suk Lee
2019 | Jess Blanch, Jake LaBarre, and André Taybron

UW Architecture Jack Travis Reception and Lecture

Jack Travis established his namesake design studio in June 1985. To date the firm has completed projects for clients such as film director Spike Lee, actor Wesley Snipes, John Saunders of ABC sports and fashion retailer Giorgio Armani. Currently Travis is working on the flagship exhibition for the Museum of Black Civilization in Dakar, Senegal. Jack Travis encourages investigation into Black history and culture where appropriate in his work, and includes forms, motifs, materials and colors that reflect this heritage.

Please join us for a reception and lecture from architect and designed Jack Travis this Friday, December 2nd. The reception will take place 5PM-6PM in Gould Court followed by the lecture in Gould 332 from 6PM-8PM. Please RSVP here.

Rick Mohler awarded the AIA Seattle Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement

UW CBE Associate Professor of Architecture Rick Mohler has been awarded the AIA Seattle Gold Medal, the highest award that AIA Seattle can bestow on one of its members. It recognizes distinguished lifetime achievement in architecture, including design and professional practice and service to the profession, the community, education and the arts.

Rick was recognized for his promotion of just, policy-driven cities, shaped by principled design, addressing all scales of urban experience through teaching, action research, professional practice, and community engaged scholarship and service. In doing so, he has strengthened connections between the academy, profession, government, and community. Through his own practice, work with other firms, and independent collaborations, Rick has been recognized thirty-seven times in local, regional, national, and international design awards programs and design competitions. Over the past few years he has received a 2019 R+D Award from Architect magazine, a 2021 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award, a 2022 Place Design Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), a 2022 AIA Small Projects Award and, in 2021, was elevated to Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for achievement in education and practice. Rick is a former member of the AIA Seattle Board of Directors, former Co-Chair of the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board and is currently Co-Chair of the Seattle Planning Commission.

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Governor Inslee visits Architecture in Rome studio

Governor Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi paid a surprise visit to the UW Rome Center on Tuesday, November 8th during a layover in Italy on their way to the Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. He met with faculty and students in our Architecture in Rome studio program, and engaged them in a lively conversation about the important role that architects will play in helping to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change in the future.

Grazie for joining us, Gov. Inslee!

Governor Jay Inslee with students and faculty of the 2022 Architecture in Rome Program.
Governor Inslee with faculty members Jennifer Dee, Sonia Cohan and Peter Cohan