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Gould Gallery showcases students’ work and the power of design

University of Washington Magazine

gould galllery
Viewers inside Gould Gallery enjoy a closeup view of design solutions to social problems.

If the University of Washington had an arts row, 15th Avenue Northeast would be it. Moving from north to south, we have the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Henry Art Gallery and finally the College of Built Environments’ Gould Gallery. Emerging elegantly from Gould Hall’s Brutalist gray concrete exterior, the gallery features works of societal impact.

“The Gould Gallery provides a unique opportunity to showcase the powerful influence of the built environment on the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. By highlighting the critical role of the built environment in these issues, we aim to inspire others to take action and make a positive impact on the world around us,” says Renée Cheng, the college’s John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Dean. The diverse array of exhibitions includes everything from student work to renowned traveling exhibitions—something the college didn’t have a place for before the 1,300-square-foot space officially opened in 2015.

Here, design disciplines tackle the big questions. “How can sketching in landscape architecture become a prompt for design activism?” was one of the questions addressed at the recent “Sketching as a Witness” exhibition. Architecture students in the Mexico City study-abroad program were challenged to create a zoning proposal that addressed affordable housing, access to public resources and increasing density while also sustaining the region’s identity, community and history. Society’s most urgent needs are being solved through the lens of design.

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