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Dean’s Dialogue Discussion Series Summary: Applied Research

On Wednesday, April 24th, over 25 people gathered in Architecture Hall, or joined the discussion via Zoom, to discuss the topic of applied research as part of the Dean’s Dialogue Discussion Series launched by the College of Built Environments’ new dean, Renée Cheng. Participants in the meeting comprised of faculty, students, and professional advisory group representatives from CBE’s five departments (Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Real Estate, and Urban Design & Planning) as well as from the University of Washington’s Office of Research and Urban@UW.

Dean Cheng welcomed participants to Wednesday’s meeting and began the conversation with a question: How would an applied research consortium work at CBE?

While there are many forms of research that are well supported by the university, applied research done in collaboration with industry or community partners can be challenging. At the same time, research is needed to close the knowledge loop in the built environment since many issues can only be addressed by aligning goals among industry, community and academic partners.

What does a collaborative applied research model look like? How do we ensure that valid research questions can originate from either academic home or practices? By what mechanisms do we work effectively together, bringing the best from each other’s’ expertise and cultures? How can we engage students in this work to position them as leaders of future practice?

Participants in the meeting discussed how an applied research consortium in the UW’s College of Built Environments could close the broken knowledge loop. Communities are coming across problems they can’t solve on their own and the UW has academic ideas and research on how these communities can work with partners to solve these problems. We can work to fill this gap by delivering ideas and solutions for communities to test and put to practice. Key areas of the discussion centered around how the consortium would be constructed, ways to include industry partners, non-profits, local governments, and how to maintain students at the core of the research.

You can review the discussion here (closed captioning available):

Upcoming Dean’s Dialogue Discussion Topics:

(All at 7:30am, all in Architecture Hall Room 042 except the May 1st event, light breakfast will be provided)

*Wed, May 1st: What does it mean to have a strategic approach to equity diversity and inclusion? *The Dean’s Dialogue Discussion on May 1st will take place in Gould 102.

Wed, May 15th: What would it mean if every CBE graduate, staff, faculty knew how to collaborate, really collaborate?

Wed, May 22nd: When we talk about CBE’s research having more impact, what do we mean and how do we measure it?

Please RSVP to Susanne Adamson at if you plan to attend any of the above sessions so that she can plan for refreshments.

OR Join the Livestream (Zoom)

Same link for all five meetings:

Dial-up is also available:

+1 669 900 6833 US – West

+1 646 876 9923 US – East

Meeting ID: 407 331 2015