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.
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
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.
Associate professor Tyler Sprague and senior architecture student Sierra Miles discuss the Benjamin McAdoo Research Collective, which seeks to share and cultivate appreciation for the work of Benjamin F. McAdoo, the first registered Black architect in Washington. | Seattle Times
The UW Department of Architecture is pleased to announce that Master of Architecture student, Daquan Proctor, was awarded the WRNS Studio Foundation Scholarship in January 2022.
The WRNS Studio Foundation scholarship and advisory program seeks to cultivate a thriving higher education scholarship program that will encourage more Black students to pursue careers in Architecture, by providing multi-year educational financial support and enhanced access to enduring professional relationships. Recipients will be assigned an advisor from WRNS Studio for the duration of the awarded scholarship term to help establish contacts and build relationships within the field.
Architecture Chair and Professor Kate Simonenwas asked by Governor Inslee to host a substantive discussion as he continues to develop policies and charge working groups to achieve better carbon futures. In Gould Hall on December 6, Governor Jay Inslee met with approximately twenty building professionals, think tank leaders, and researchers. Professor Simonen framed the discussion on how we can achieve lower carbon in construction, including with building materials from lower emissions manufacturing. The Governor also toured the campus with President Cauce. Following the meeting, he expressed that he is “thankful for this group of collaborative and intelligent minds to continue the fight against climate change.”
Prof. Simonen is the director of the Carbon Leadership Forum, whose goal is to eliminate embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure by inspiring innovation and spurring change through collective action.
“There’s a tremendous economic opportunity for Washington to be a leader in supplying low–carbon materials,” noted one of the stakeholders in attendance. “It’d be great to bring in workers and manufacturers that can put a face on and speak to that opportunity.”
“It was great to be sitting next to the Governor and in the room with [Rep.] Davina Duerr discussing embodied carbon policy options for Washington State,” said Simonen. “We had a productive discussion about both demand and supply side strategies.” Following the meeting, Inslee expressed that he is “thankful for this group of collaborative and intelligent minds to continue the fight against climate change.”
We are saddened to share the news that Wang Chiu-hwa, one of Taiwan’s most prominent female architects, passed away on June 14 at the age of 96. Wang came to the University of Washington from China in 1946 and graduated with her BA in 1947.
At that time, the UW did not yet offer a postgraduate degree in Architecture, so after graduating, Wang went on to earn her M.Arch at Columbia University. She then practiced in the US until 1979, with projects completed in New York, Cleveland, and Detroit. She came to Taiwan in 1979 and continued a successful career in practice and teaching at Tamkang University. She was often called the “Mother of Libraries” in Taiwan, for her work in modernizing the library design in Taiwan since that time. Stemming from her love of learning and education, Wang earned this nickname not only for the many libraries she has designed but also for pioneering the earliest modern, open-stack university library in Taiwan.
Wang has described architecture as “an indispensable part of a complex built environment, full of human emotions and social significance, transcending form and function, beauty and practicality.” She has also said that “as a designer, you must concern yourself first and foremost with the well-being of the majority, not just the interests of a few wealthy people.” (See Taiwan Ministry of Culture, The Mother of Taiwanese Libraries, Wang Chiu-hwa.)
In 2020, President Tsai Ing-Wen presented her with the Taiwan National Award for the Arts, which is the highest honor for the profession in that country.
Much of Wang’s archive now resides with M+, a new museum of contemporary visual culture based in Hong Kong. This acquisition marked the beginning of M+’s efforts to uncover the histories of women architects, whose work often lacks documentation and research. Wang was a key honorary founder of Women in Architecture Taiwan. It was one of her wishes to encourage women architects to do great work in the field.
You can learn more about Wang’s remarkable career and contributions to architecture here:
With great sadness, we share the news that UW Professor Emeritus Daniel M. Streissguth passed away on Saturday, November 20, at the age of 96.
Prof. Streissguth made significant contributions not only to the University of Washington Architecture department but to our greater region as well. Starting as a student and rising to a professor and designer, Dan’s enthusiasm and passion never wavered. He was as committed to his craft as he was to his students. Dan’s kindness and friendship knew no bounds; he was an integral part of the CBE community. As Dan led the design for our own Gould Hall we are grateful to always have a permanent reminder of his impact and legacy. He will be dearly missed.
A tribute to Dan’s life can be found on this page:
The AIA Seattle Honor Awards for Washington Architecture is a nationally-recognized program that provides an important opportunity for the design community to share and celebrate its achievements, both among practitioners and with the community-at-large. The 70th Annual Honor Awards for Washington Architecture was held last week, and gave us all plenty to celebrate. Their first-ever virtual live event revealed and celebrated 20 award winners and the greater design community. Among the awardees were a sizable number of UW Architecture alumni, faculty, and PAC members. We are pleased and proud that this community maintains such strong ties with our department and its students.
A partial list of the UW community’s awardees can be found below, and the complete awards catalog is now available online at this link. (If you were among the awardees and we missed your name, give us a shout.)
Congratulations to all who were recognized for their stellar design work in our region!
Honor Awards Committee
Award of Honor
Burke Museum of History & Culture
Olson Kundig: Tom Kundig, Julia Khorsand, Oliver Landa
Wagner Education Center, Center for Wooden Boats
Olson Kundig: Tom Kundig, Alan Maskin
Energy in Design Award
Miller Hull: Ron Rochon. Brian Court, Matt Kikosocki, Steve Doub
Award of Merit
Blakely Elementary School
Mithun: Brendan Connolly
New Orleans Children’s Museum
Josh Distler, Susan Olmsted
Byrd Barr Place
SHKS: The Byrd Barr Place project has involved a team including David Strauss (UW Affiliate Associate Professor), Andreas Baatz (UW grad), Alan Corrao, Theresa Freeman, Adam Hutschreider, and Pia Westen.
Ainsworth + Dunn
Weinstein AU: Ed Weinstein, Kirsten Wild, Emily Aune
In its August 10 issue, the New York Times Style Magazine presented a special feature, 15 CREATIVE WOMEN FOR OUR TIME. “Whether in the realm of art or design, food or fashion, these talents have stayed true to themselves and, in doing so, have pushed the boundaries of their respective fields.”
One of our 2013 alumni, Mariam Kamara, was one of the women recognized. “Since completing her Master of Architecture at the University of Washington (and a thesis project on gender and public space) in 2013, Kamara has built her practice on layers of narrative. Her buildings read as missives from the people who inhabit them: about their history, the ways they move through space, and their needs and aspirations, all gleaned through careful observation and conversation. Constructing clear geometric forms almost entirely from three locally produced materials — cement, recycled metal and unfired earth — Kamara shapes space from the inside out, using environmental and cultural cues to generate her designs.”
In 2017, Mariam was recognized in the GOLD category of the Department of Architecture’s inaugural Alumni Awards. We were honored to have her return to campus as a speaker in our Spring 2019 Lecture Series. Her lecture, titled “Decoding Context: Material, Sustainability and People-Focus Architecture,” can be viewed online here.
We are thrilled to see one of our graduates receive this widespread recognition. Congratulations, Mariam!
Handwashing is a proven strategy for reducing transmission of the Coronavirus. However, not everyone has access to handwashing facilities, especially when cafes and restaurants are closed due to the pandemic. This is especially true for those experiencing homelessness.
Seattle has responded by opening rest rooms in city parks and other locations and by contracting with private vendors to provide mobile handwashing stations across the city. However, these stations are subject to vandalism and are very expensive to maintain because they are closed loop systems. In other words, the water supply and the waste water need to be constantly replaced and removed respectively as the stations are not connected to either a water supply or drainage outlet.
In April, Elizabeth Golden was contacted by Tiffani McCoy of Real Change, a support organization for those experiencing homelessness, who was soliciting ideas that would both expand the number and reduce the cost of handwashing stations throughout the city. Elizabeth enlisted the help of Rick Mohler and Jeff Hou (Landscape Architecture) to develop a handwashing station that would be connected to an existing water supply thus eliminating the need for constant refilling. Brice Maryman (UW MLA ’03), a Principal with MIG, was recruited to help solve the problem of managing the greywater from the sink.
The team devised a design comprised of off-the-shelf components that would connect to a hose bib on public or private property and manage the grey water onsite. The design consists of a stock utility sink with an auto shut-off faucet (so that the water cannot be left on) and soap dispenser that drains into a standard livestock watering trough filled with soil and water loving plants – a combination handwashing station and rain garden.
With an approved design and cost estimate in hand, Tiffani sought a host for the prototype design. She found one in the ROOTS young adult shelter in the U District and its Executive Director Jerred Clouse. The team then got to work specifying, procuring and assembling components, specifying and procuring plants and soil and developing instructions and informational graphics for the installation. The prototype was installed in the alley outside ROOTS between NE 42nd and 43rd Streets on May 19. The installation will be monitored, refined and replicated at sites throughout the city and beyond.
December 2020: Elizabeth Golden shared the news that the Seattle Street Sink was awarded $100,000 in funding by the Seattle City Council’s amendment to the Mayor’s 2021 budget. This will fund the installation and maintenance of over 60 sinks to be distributed citywide. It will also fund a student to conduct a citywide analysis to determine areas of greatest need. Congratulations to the team!
Keeping our Community Connected During COVID-19 via Social Networking: New ways to stay connected, build community, and share inspiration during the Spring 2020 Quarter
As COVID-19 continues to challenge the way we have been working, the Architecture department will utilize our social media accounts & website as a way to connect and showcase how our community is embracing the new changes. As the circumstances forces our community to be physically separated, it is important to utilize technology as a resource for folks to stay informed on what other studios are working on, community events, cyber-pin ups, digital happy hours, and the likes.
The department will be coordinating with studio instructors to document the work of our studios in a new blog featured on our website and continual posts on our Instagram. We encourage you to use the hashtag #uwarchitecture2020
Please email any ideas or other content to firstname.lastname@example.org check the department website often for updated content!
With the announcement of the switch to online learning platforms at the University of Washington beginning Monday, March 9 2020, the Department of Architecture, like all units in the university, has had to make immediate adjustments to our teaching. While the options for most classes have been relatively simple, essentially moving all teaching to Zoom as well as using Panopto through our online Canvas platform, our design studios have presented some unique challenges. In addition, we are entering the final week of our academic quarter, which had made our response all the more important.
One thing to note is that although we can have no face-to-face meetings with students, all of our buildings and facilities remain open. This means that students can, if they choose, continue to work in their studio spaces as they complete their projects this quarter. The UW has also purchased an enterprise license for Zoom so that all students and faculty have access to this platform from their laptop computers. In short, we are all becoming Zoom experts!
As a result of our current circumstances, desk critiques have become Zoom meetings, with faculty setting up regular studio hours (MWF, 1:30-5:30 pm) and students Zooming in for input. Please check out the following UW News story and video of Professor Rick Mohler, who is teaching a research studio this quarter along with Brad Khouri of b9 architects in Seattle. The studio is investigating the issue of housing density and equity, where students are formed into groups that collaborate on research-based design projects in a specific neighborhood in Seattle. You can read the story and see the video HERE.
Our final reviews will be handled in a variety of ways, but one of the suggested platforms is for the studio instructors and critics to use a UW room with a video screen and for the students to Zoom in for their scheduled final review. The reviews will be next week, beginning March 16, so we will post something about this then.
We hope that this is useful to others thinking about similar plans. Feel free to reach out with questions!
Food, Water, & Energy: Finding the Nexus in Urban Food Systems
University of Washington architecture professor Gundula Proksch launches the Circular City + Living Systems Lab
By Gundula Proksch
Updated June 18, 2020: Read about the CCLS in TAD!
As urban populations grow globally, twenty-first-century cities must address complex challenges, including ensuring food, water, and energy security, while reducing dependence on non-renewable resources. Climate change, environmental degradation, and social inequity exacerbate these problems and have increasingly far-reaching impacts. Many of the challenges faced by our global community are interconnected, straining all sectors of the food-water-energy nexus; though they are often studied, managed, and regulated separately. The nexus framework supports an integrated interdisciplinary approach, which conceptually links multiple resource use practices and complex urban infrastructure systems to understand interrelations, potential synergies, and trade-offs. To respond to these critical challenges of today and tomorrow, we need effort and momentum from multiple disciplines reaching across the boundaries of research and practice. Built environments researchers and practitioners have to question current assumptions and develop integrated methodologies that simultaneously mitigate environmental pressures, develop alternative economic strategies, expand sustainable food systems, and support social equity.
To solve current sustainability challenges, we need interdisciplinary collaborationsthat work across scales, boundaries, and sectors towards systems integration.
In response to these challenges, Associate Professor of Architecture Gundula Proksch is excited to launch the Circular City + Living Systems Lab (CCLS), a new interdisciplinary University of Washington based organized research unit within the College of Built Environments. The lab investigates transformative strategies for future cities, bringing together the principles of the circular city – to keep resources in use, eliminate waste, and support the regeneration of natural ecosystems– as well as the still underutilized potential of the living systems in cities – such as green infrastructures, organic waste management, and urban food production. Together, these two lenses offer a holistic approach to systems integration at multiple scales.
“Urban agriculture offers a more sustainable alternative to untenable anthropogenic activities and current industrial agricultural practices, including the use of synthetic fertilizers, overuse of fresh water resources, and combustion of fossil fuels, which harm the environment by accelerating the disturbance of global biogeochemical cycles.”
Synthesizing expertise from architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, data science, urban planning, economy, biology, and ecology, the CCLS leverages research and design methods to investigate synergetic systems which apply circular economy principles and integrate living systems into the built environments toward sustainable urban futures. These approaches produce and circulate resources within the food-water-energy nexus and make cities more adaptive and resilient while facing climate change.
The lab’s current work focuses on project CITYFOOD, an international, interdisciplinary research project within the Sustainable Urban Growth Initiative (SUGI), co-funded by the Belmont Forum, European Union, and National Science Foundation. CITYFOOD investigates the potential of integrating and scaling up aquaponic food production systems into cities as an innovative approach to producing sustainable urban food and helping to mitigate urban environmental challenges. Aquaponic systems optimize flows of food, water, energy, and waste while minimizing resource needs. CITYFOOD connects and contextualizes this research across disciplines, engaging biologists, engineers, architects and urban planners. The project bridges theoretical academia with practice, putting both communities in active conversation with one another. This transdisciplinary approach is increasingly gaining traction as a research methodology with the means to generate effective real-world solutions. Results from the project CITYFOOD contribute to the ongoing conversation around urban agriculture, making a case for sustainable food systems in the built environment.
“Ambitious, ongoing innovation by the design community to help address proliferating environmental challenges… cannot be just an ideal, but must become a realized priority.” -“Building an Ecosystem: Integrating Rooftop Aquaponics with a Brewery to Advance the Circular Economy.” 2020. In Open: Proceedings of the 108th ACSA Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 12-14, 2020, Washington, DC: ACSA Press. (forthcoming)
Students in the College of Built Environments who are interested in sustainable urban futures, integration of urban agriculture in built environments, and applying principles of circular economy to design have an opportunity to work directly on these issues by participating in Professor Proksch’s courses: the seminar Arch 536 Designing with Living Systems in Winter 2020 and the Arch 508 Integrated Building Systems for a Circular Economy research studio in Spring 2020. Interested CBE Students are encouraged to participate in these collaborative course offerings or apply directly for research opportunities with the CCLS to continue their study on integrated food systems and alternative economies in the built environments.
For more information, visit the Circular City + Living Systems Lab or contact Professor Proksch at email@example.com
Gundula Proksch is a licensed architect, and associate professor in the Department of Architecture and founding director ofthe Circular City + Living Systems Lab (CCLS), an interdisciplinary research group investigating transformative strategies for sustainable urban futures. She is a leading scholar in the field of integrated urban agriculture and green infrastructure and draws on a decade of applied research. Her 2017 book Creating Urban Agricultural Systems: An Integrated Approach to Design is the first source book on how to approach urban agriculture from a systems perspective.
Historically, Seattle has protected industrial lands from other forms of development seeking to preserve well paying blue collar jobs. The combination of the housing crisis and expanded light rail development through industrial areas has brought attention to the need to reconsider zoning practices.
During the Autumn 2019 quarter, an interdisciplinary group of Built Environments students participated in a studio boldly envisioning transit oriented development and the future use of Seattle’s industrial lands. Co-taught by Associate Professor Rick Mohler (Architecture) and Affiliate Instructor David Blum (Urban Design and Planning), the studio considered the creation of a new neighborhood in the Interbay area, northwest of downtown and connected via future light rail stations. Students worked in groups to imagine and develop visions for this new neighborhood, with proposals ranging from the restoration of tidal plains to the creation of hybrid land-use mixing residential and industrial building types. This studio challenged students to work together to imagine innovative and feasible concepts for Seattle’s future neighborhoods.
The final review of the studio was attended by a range of prominent Seattle officials including former Governor Gary Locke, State Representative Gael Tarleton, and Seattle Office of Community Development’s Sam Assefa, who all responded enthusiastically to the students’ ideas. The work of the studio has gained media attention through the reporting of KUOW and The Urbanist.
Check out the studio’s research, designs, and proposals in PDF format here.
(Note: that the file may take a few minutes to download depending on your connection.)
Last spring the Barry Onouye Endowed Studio explored the relationship between architecture, tensile structures, and dance. Assistant Professor Tyler Sprague and Endowed Chair Sigrid Adriaenssens from Princeton University co-taught the studio focusing on the use of nets to create a distinct space in the atrium of Gould Hall that became the environment for a performance by four professional dancers. In discussing the studio last spring Professor Sprague stated:
“This studio has addressed not only the structural behavior of tension systems, but also the active engagement of public space through dance. Tension structures are highly adaptable, responding to weight and force through changes in form. Previously concealed reactions are revealed in dramatic ways. With dance partners from both the UW and Princeton (Rebecca Lazier), we are in the process of designing a large-scale installation as our final project with a culminating, professional dance performance.”
Graduate student Princess Cole worked with Professor Sprague to produce two videos showcasing the performance from last spring.
Barry Onouye Endowed Studio Spring 2019 Studio Summary
Barry Onouye Endowed Studio Spring 2019 Full Performance
Additional images and information on the studio available here
A blog about the studio from the perspective Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens is available here
The Barry Onouye Endowed Studio offers students and the community exciting new ways to study the relationship between structure and the built environment. This spring the studio will focus on the possibilities of cedar construction in Japan and the United States.
The 2020 Barry Onouye Endowed Studio, with our invited chair Mitsuhiro Kanada, will explore the culture and use of a material common to both American and Japanese contexts: cedar wood. Cedar has powerful significance as part of a natural landscape, as a cultural material, as a part of communal life, and carries a long tradition of craft on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. As such, cedar can become a language of a cross-cultural conversation linking different places across time, and contributing to our broader understanding of architecture, structure, culture, technique and material processes. The work in this studio will bring these larger themes in to the design, fabrication, treatment and connection of cedar elements into large scale structures.
Each year, the ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) gives Architectural Education Awards to recognize faculty for their excellence in architectural education and research.
The Department of Architecture is pleased to announce that Professor Vikramditya Prakash has been awarded an ACSA Distinguished Professor Award, and the team of Barbara Rodriguez and Catherine De Wolf, led by Associate Professor Kathrina Simonen, has been awarded the Technology | Architecture+Design (TAD) Research Contribution Award for their work “Benchmarking the Embodied Carbon of Buildings”.
A full press release of the award can be read here.
The Distinguished Professor Award recognizes individuals that have had a positive, stimulating, and nurturing influence upon students over an extended period of time and/or teaching which inspired a generation of students who themselves have contributed to the advancement of architecture.
The Technology | Architecture + Design (TAD) Research Contribution Awardrecognizes researchers and leaders in the field of architecture who have made significant contributions to the application of technology in architecture and design. (TAD) is a peer-reviewed international journal dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in the field of building technology, with a focus on the impact, translation and integration of technology in architecture and design.
Click on the link to read the full article, “Benchmarking the Embodied Carbon of Buildings“, authored by Kathrina Simonen, Barbara X. Rodriguez Droguett, & Catherine De Wolf. Further information about the team’s work and the Carbon Leadership forum can be found here.
Congratulations to Vikram and Kate on this recognition of their remarkable achievements and contributions to the field!
The Department of Architecture is pleased to share the news that several of our students and studio faculty were recognized at the 2019 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Student Design Awards.
Citation, Honor, and Merit awards were given to the following:
Design for Reassembly: A Flexible Response to the Demand for Housing
to Noor Awad Ingrid Pelletier Andrew Brown Kelsey Pierson Savek Butorac Kylie Poon Griffin Irving Hector Saldivar Weston Hambleton Kyle Smith George Lee Haley Wilson Amal Moussa Ephrem Yared & Tam Nguyen
for The Toolbox
to Adam Bichir Elena Cortez Elana Darnell Mark Delpierre Yuting Feng Juan Granados Borreguero Jess Kuntz Steffen Pawlosky Nick Portman Kristin Ramsey Anton Sagun Daniel Vu Lorryn Wilhelm & Zixiao Zhu
for Cook + House – Markethall & Cookhouse Public Access at Pier 48
M. Arch. student Caleb Killian has been selected for the 2019 Ghost Residency (internship) where he will apprentice from September – June under Brian MacKay-Lyons at this studio in Nova Scotia (Mackay-Lyons was the recipient of The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 2015 Gold Medal and the Royal Institute of British Architects International Fellowship).
Finally, M. Arch student George Lee received an Honorable Mention for his project, THE SEATTLE WATER-ING HALL, in the 2018-2019 AISC/ACSA Steel Design Student Competition. George’s faculty mentor was Boris Srdar.
Congratulations to all of our talented, hardworking students and faculty on receiving this recognition!
The Department of Architecture is honored to announce that M. Arch 2013 alumna Mariam Kamara has been selected as a laureate by the Awards Committee and the Board of the Prince Claus Fund. The Prince Claus Fund was established in 1996, named in honor of Prince Claus of the Netherlands. It receives an annual subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Fund has presented the international Prince Claus Awards annually since 1997 to honor individuals and organizations reflecting a progressive and contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development. Recipients are mainly located in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This year the laureates are all women or women-run organisations. Although the Fund did not emphasise gender in its requests for nominations, the nominations received reflected a trend of exemplary women making strides in their fields. (Read about the 2019 Prince Claus Laureates here.)
As noted by the Awards Committee, “Mariam Kamara uses architecture as a means to serve communities and improve lives. Although she acquired a Master’s degree in computer science and worked for seven years in IT, she became convinced she could achieve more for people through architecture and went back to school to become an architect. Her first built project in Niger was a housing complex designed to serve the city’s expanding population. It drew inspiration from pre-colonial traditions, rejecting high-rise towers in favour of compact 2- and 3-storey homes that offer both intimate, private spaces and communal areas. Kamara works closely with local professionals and craftspeople, adapting local building materials to create sustainable solutions. Her designs for public spaces give women in this dominantly Muslim culture more freedom of movement.”
In 2017, Mariam was recognized in the GOLD category of the Department of Architecture’s inaugural Alumni Awards. This past May, We were honored to have her return to campus as a speaker in our Spring 2019 Lecture Series. Her lecture, titled “Decoding Context: Material, Sustainability And People-Focus Architecture,” can be viewed online here.
We are thrilled to see one of our graduates receive this prestigious international recognition. Congratulations, Mariam!
The Hip Hop Architecture Camp® uses hip hop culture as a catalyst to introduce underrepresented youth to architecture, urban planning and design. Last week, the University of Washington was delighted to host to the camp here in Gould Hall for the very first time. M. Arch student Kenneth Nti served as a camp volunteer, and he had this to say:
This past week it has been an honor to volunteer with the Hip Hop architecture camp.
The diverse groups of kids coming from a number of schools and cities have not only learned about an occupation that means so much to the city, they have also had the opportunity to truly discover the strength that lies within not just the built environment, but also the design field as well.
This week they’ve participated in deciphering music lyrics from popular artist, highlighting song structure and rhyming schemes to then transform into physical staple models that resemble density blocks.
With the help from other graduate architecture students and local professionals, they then took their models into Tinkercad, a design program that would allow them to replicate their models and eventually produce a 3d printed model.
Our thanks to Kenneth for the great photos, and for your time volunteering!
The Daily UW picked up the story, and Kate shared some helpful information and links for those wishing to learn more. She also encourages young people to consider a career in climate science if they’re interested in making a difference and having opportunities for leadership early on.
“One of the most exciting things around the climate crisis is that there’s a lot of exciting and essential work to be done,” Simonen said. ”And there’s not enough experts to do that work.”
Kate is the director of the Carbon Leadership Forum, a professional community of manufacturers, designers, builders and academics focused on reducing the carbon ‘embodied’ in building materials. You can read more about their important work on their website.
“Sharon Sutton is a trailblazer – the first African American woman to be promoted to full professor of architecture, the second to be elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and the first to be appointed president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. In a fascinating long-form interview with Sarah Akigbogun, Sharon reflects on action and rebellion in the 1960s, the poisonous effects of income inequality, and the urgent need for disruption in architecture schools today.”
Emeritus Professor Sharon Egretta Sutton was interviewed recently by Parlour, a research based advocacy organization working to improve gender equity in architecture and the built environment professions. Click here for the complete interview.
The 2019 Neighborhood Design/Build project “The Toolbox” was designed and constructed for a program at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School that teaches students how to grow plants, understand global food systems, and care for the native ecosystem. The high school students in the program pass their skills and knowledge back to the local community through regular plant sales, hands-on projects, and dedicated community service.
Working alongside students, teachers, administrators, and the board for the horticulture program, the Spring 2019 Neighborhood Design/Build Studio was hired to design and construct a storage and workspace area on an undeveloped corner of the site.
The program described a need for an alternate solution to the high school’s previous storage strategy, which consisted of a large shed which was very dark, narrow, and disorganized. The bottle-neck nature of this shed resulted in wasted class time where students waited long periods of time searching for and retrieving tools. The program also had two storage sheds on the other side of the fence which held flats for plants and small to large pots. The school planned for these to be better organized once a new storage solution was built. In addition to storage, the program expressed interest in having a covered workspace with room for about 10 students, which would act as a potting workstation. The workspace would be used for their annual plant sale, where hundreds of visitors came to purchase goods from the garden – a major fundraising event for the horticulture program.
In response to the client needs, the university students of the studio worked together to present “The Toolbox” scheme to the high school stakeholders. The scheme aimed to break down the volume of the existing shed in order to allow for more light and ventilation, as well as prevent bottle-necking with better vertical organization. As such, the team proposed three structures: a shaded work area flanked by two shallow sheds. By building three structures that were each under 120 square-feet, the need for permitting was by-passed. The central covered workspace is flexible to act as an additional planting station for most of the year, with the ability to adapt to a check-in and purchase area for the annual plant sale. The scheme was enthusiastically received by the committee, and given the approval for construction.
Simple construction techniques and local materials were used throughout. The spaces are day-lit through a smoked corrugated polycarbonate roof and clerestories in the sheds, which also provide natural ventilation. Salvaged wood was used for the central worktable and formwork, and concrete was mixed and poured on site. The wall panels and roof trusses were prefabricated in the studio and trucked to the site for assembly.
At the end of this project, the Design Build students came out with a variety of practical skills. These skills involved more than just operating tools. The processes of setting up a site, mass-producing components, and erecting straight walls helped to build the structures and the confidence of the students themselves.
Congratulations to the talented team who brought The Toolbox to life!
When my longtime editor at Kinfolk moved to Harvard Design News and invited me to contribute there, I was happy to do it. I was even happier when one of my first tasks was to write about Brutalist architecture. Having spent more than 20 years working and teaching in Gould Hall, a very fine example of Brutalism, I had plenty to say.
This short essay is partly about Jeanne Gang’s adaptive re-use studio at Harvard this semester, but it is more generally about countering the many complaints leveled against concrete institutional buildings of the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
The Department of Architecture is excited to congratulate atelierjones for being awarded two USDA/USFS grants as part of two collaborative teams relating to Mass Timber. These grants are the result of the firm’s multi-year design, research and teaching on the topic.
The first grant is to assist a multi-disciplinary team with conducting fire testing in Sweden, in conjunction with the American Wood Council, to determine parameters around the degree of visibility and exposure of mass timber in buildings. The second grant was jointly awarded to Urban Visions, Swinerton Construction, DCI and McKinstry. atelierjones will be collaborating with these partners to conduct applied design research on mass timber/hybrid floor assemblies within an office environment.
atelierjones was also awarded a grant last month from The Nature Conservancy to assist in building modeling for LCA analysis in conjunction with our partners in the UW COE/School of Environment and Forest Sciences.
All of this work has strong foundations in research and collaboration. Additionally, the two design studios, lead by Susan Jones, founder of atelierjones, were critical in the development of this research. The studios were conducted here at the UW Department of Architecture, including faculty and students, with collaboration from Construction Management and SEFS/COE over the last six years.
To learn more about the US Forest Services’ grants for Wood Innovation, follow the link below:
As we approach the final weeks of the Spring quarter, the work of our 2019 Barry Onouye Endowed Studio is coming into its final stage.
As with previous Onouye studios, our work highlights the intersection of architecture and structural design. With a central theme of PERFORMANCE, this year’s studio (offered with Endowed Chair Sigrid Adriaenssens from Princeton University), has focused on tension-based structures, ranging from hanging nets to tensioned membranes. With a generous donation of nets and ropes from Diamond Nets in Bellingham, our studio has the unique opportunity to design and install at full-scale.
This studio has addressed not only the structural behavior of tension systems, but also the active engagement of public space through dance. Tension structures are highly adaptable, responding to weight and force through changes in form. Previously concealed reactions are revealed in dramatic ways. With dance partners from both the UW and Princeton (Rebecca Lazier), we are in the process of designing a large-scale installation as our final project with a culminating, professional dance performance.
Our final performance is scheduled for June 11, beginning at 1pm in the Gould Hall atrium. Please come by! You can also visit Sigrid’s blog to find out more about the project and the research behind it.
The Interior Designers of Idaho (IDI) have been hosting a furniture competition in Boise for 27 years. The Furniture Studio in the UW Architecture department has a long history of participating and bringing home awards from this event. This year we showcased seven new pieces from the 2018 Spring and 2019 Winter undergraduate classes, as well as one in the Professional category. Once again, we a had very strong showing and brought home 5 new awards in 2019.
On the morning of April 26th, Roark Congdon and Steven Withycombe hit the road for Boise with a fully loaded box truck. Before long, mechanical issues forced them to turn around and get a new vehicle. After a few extra hours of reloading, they were off again… this time for real, and it was smooth sailing and excellent weather all the way to Idaho.
Saturday evening was the IDI Chair Affair gala, hosted just outside downtown Boise. Sonny Han, a current UW senior and new alumnus of the Furniture Studio, joined Roark and Steve for the festivities. There was a great turnout, a delicious buffet, and some very creative pieces of furniture on display.
When it came time to present the awards, our showing was undeniably impressive:
Two Honorable Mention awards went to Ganesh Shrestha‘s Walnut Work Table, 2019, and Veronica Restrepo’s Walnut Lounge Chair, 2018.
Most Functional Design was won by Ingrid Pelletier, 2019 for her Round Steel table, with removable storage underneath.
Josiah Wu, 2019, brought home the trophy for Best Craftsmanship for his steel and leather lounge chair.
Best Undergraduate Piece went to Sonny Han, 2019, for his Danish/Asian-inspired walnut dining table.
Best Professional Piece was awarded to Steven Withycombe, for his Rolling Liquor Bar.
It was a great trip, and we are very proud of our students and the hard work they put into their designs. Congratulations to the student/faculty team!
Each year, the Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students from Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma in all areas of study who are making the most of their time at the UW. The Husky 100 actively connect what happens inside and outside of the classroom and apply what they learn to make a difference on campus, in their communities and for the future. Through their passion, leadership and commitment, these students inspire all of us to shape our own Husky Experience.
In honor of their many contributions to the University of Washington, each member of the Husky 100 is eligible to receive exciting benefits, and to participate in a range of activities and opportunities offered by the UW’s on- and off-campus partners.
This year’s students represent a range of disciplines within the College of Built Environments. We are delighted to share the news that David Cox has been selected for a 2019 Husky 100 award! David is an undergraduate student in our department, and utilizes his experience as a Green Beret to strive for excellence and create meaningful architecture.
The other Husky 100 students selected from CBE are Yishan Guan, an international undergraduate student studying Construction Management and working to advance women and minorities in the field, as well as Catarina Ratajczak, an undergraduate student in the Community, Environment, and Planning program who strives to connect her background with agriculture in creating useful green spaces in urban settings.
Congratulations to all the students selected for the 2019 Husky 100 award! To learn more about their experiences, please visit the Husky 100 page.
In a graduate materials and construction course taught by Senior Lecturer Jim Nicholls, students are challenged to rethink the relationship between the study of tectonics and the object itself. In a recent exercise, students have been exploring the potential of the concrete masonry unit (CMU). What are the potential applications of a cast object within a fixed dimension? Students have pursued this question through iterations of conceptual research, model explorations and finally, 1:1 construction prototypes. For a more complete explanation of the work, please see Masonry Design Magazine‘s recent story!
The University of Washington Department of Architecture has a long list of notable alumni working on exciting projects that push the limits of the built environment. UW alumni Masayuki Sono, founding partner of Clouds Architecture Office in New York City, continues this tradition by designing architecture for outer space. After winning a 2015 NASA sponsored competition to design habitats for Mars colonization, Clouds A.O. was asked to take this concept and apply it to the space research facility for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The resulting design is the futuristic Avatar X Lab suspended 18 meters above a man-made crater meant to be an exaggerated representation of the moon. High tech materials help to keep the structure light weight while a bridge connects the building to the edge of the crater symbolizing the crossing of thresholds that space exploration represents. The Avatar X Lab will be part of a greater research campus located in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan focusing on innovation and application of technology in space. More information about this project can be found here.