January 27, 2016

BE News – Winter 2016

Dean’s Message

Dear CBE alumni and friends,


This month we welcome our esteemed alumnus, James Cheng ’70 who will deliver the annual Dean’s Distinguished Lecture. Mr. Cheng’s designs have had a significant impact on the expansion and culture of Vancouver, BC and earned him international acclaim. I hope you will be able to join us on Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00pm in Architecture Hall for the event.

Students in each of the departments have been busy in studio, including Professor Jim Nicholls’ Architecture 570 graduate students, who spent the last couple of weeks building their designs in Gould Court. The College has also announced Professors Ken Yocom from Landscape Architecture and Gundula Proksch from Architecture, as the faculty leaders for the annual McKinley Futures Studio. Focused on smart cities and urban productivity, the students will study, develop and propose concepts around resilience and self-sustainability.

Finally, I’m sad to share with you a recent passing of a renowned alumnus, Jennifer Taylor ’69. Ms. Taylor is credited with facilitating contemporary architectural dialogue between Australia and Asia. She taught at a number of universities around the world, wrote several books and received the Marion Mahoney Griffin Award from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for her distinctive contributions to the field. Her obituary was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Thank you again for your continued support and interest in our teaching, research and practice.

John Schaufelberger, Dean

john_schaufelberger sm crop (1)





Architecture is More Than Buildings

Jim-Fairmont-headshot-scan-cropped-21may09-(1)When architect James Cheng ’70 was studying at UW, he says a number of important things were happening in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, in the community and throughout the country. All of which helped influence the designer he is today.

The first was the visionary of the faculty. Directed by Professors Lee Copeland, Herman Pundt and others, Cheng says they encouraged students to focus on place and acknowledge the humanism in our environment. The second was the movement to save the Pike Place Market, which many College faculty helped champion. Finally, outside the region was Earth Day and design with nature movements, which Cheng says shifted peoples’ perspective to be more aware of the environment.

“We were introduced to a very balanced program and because of the cultural changes, we realized architecture is more than just buildings. That set the tone for our generation,” Cheng said.

Since graduation, Cheng has spent the majority of his career in Vancouver, BC, where he’s designed more than 50 structures for the city’s skyline. His contributions to Vancouver’s urban identity has earned him an equal number of design and cultural awards, including the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor, and Canada’s Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. “Vancouver is unique with its mixture of European, Asian and American influences. The city is geographically restricted by water and mountains and have thus developed a distinctive urban-centered tradition,” Cheng said.

Some of Cheng’s most well-known Vancouver structures include the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the Shaw Tower and the city’s tallest building—the Living Shangri-La. For each project, Cheng begins thinking about the key perspectives he learned at UW—the role of nature, the community’s distinctive cultural idioms and visualizing how people will engage with the space. From his perspective, these ideas are what will continue to be the biggest challenges for design professionals in the future.

“When people come out of their apartments they interact and become part of the culture, therefore these spaces are equally important. No matter how dense the city becomes, people still need to see the sky and feel the sun,” he said.

Looking to the future, Cheng sees the last 10 years and the next 20, as a time of significant transformation, specifically for professionals who started with a T-square and have been introduced to 2D CAD and now 3D CAD programs.

“It’s key for architects and other built environments professionals to be experts in the spaces we’re trained. However, as projects and communities become more complex, it’s crucial for us to utilize the skills of other professionals we work alongside—environmental experts, engineers and planners,” he said.

Cheng believes one way to achieve collaborative success is to establish a common language for all the disciplines that work together and focus on training students to work collaboratively with varying fields from the moment they start learning.

“UW gave me the fundamental skills to be prepared for future challenges that were not foreseeable when I studied in the 1970s. This is now more important than ever,” Cheng said.

The College of Built Environments welcomes James Cheng as he delivers the 2016 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture, Wednesday, February 24, 2016 in Architecture Hall Room 147 at 6:00 pm.

Students Will Design Veterans Healing Garden

Veterans GardenThis winter and spring, students in Professor Daniel Winterbottom’s Landscape Architecture Capstone Design/Build Studio will transform an unused courtyard at the Seattle VA Hospital into an accessible healing garden for veterans, their families and caregivers. Supporting the studio is the Veterans + Friends of Puget Sound, a group dedicated to advocacy and support of former service members.

“Hospitals, by nature are places of high stress. When compounded by medical conditions from the physical and emotional trauma of combat, it’s critical to provide calming spaces that can lower stress and anxiety,” Winterbottom said.

Throughout the two quarter class, students will focus on deep exploration of design for ecological and human healing, gathering and retreat. Students will spend the first quarter meeting with veterans, their families and staff to hear and learn about their ideas, needs and challenges, and what the garden will mean for them during their time at the hospital. The second quarter will be dedicated to building and installing the approved design, which will be dedicated in June.

“A therapeutic garden is designed to maximize effective interactions with the environment and increase the users a sense of well-being. This space will help transform the hospital into a more compassionate place of healing,” Winterbottom said.

Annually more than 100,000 people visit the Seattle VA Hospital, including service members from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The garden will be the first space at the hospital dedicated to meditative reflection.

Veterans + Friends of Puget Sound have raised more than $40,000 to fund this project. If you would like to support this year’s Design/Build Studio, visit the UW Giving page and search: Landscape Architecture Design/Build Program Support Fund.

Panel Discussion: The Future of Seattle

Future of SeattleThis quarter the UWAA Lecture Series is focusing on Seattle’s history and future. After the fifth and final lecture, KCTS9’s Enrique Cerna will lead a panel featuring CBE alumnus and sustainable development innovator Eric Carlson, ’70, ’76, labor-leader David Rolf, education advocate Trish Millines Dziko, and social benefit entrepreneur Ruby Love.

The group will analyze big questions like, what will Seattle look like in 20 years? How can we ensure the city remains livable? And will things that people enjoy about Seattle today still be here in the future?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Kane Hall – Room 130
UW Seattle Campus
Register here


Annual Construction Conference

CERC2The Center for Education and Research in Construction will hold its third annual New Frontiers in Construction Conference. This year’s topics include: Safety and Health, Asset Information Exchange, Sustainability in Construction, and Lean Construction.

Friday, March 4, 2016
9:30am – 5:30pm
Center for Education and Research in Construction
7543 63rd Ave. NE – Magnusson Park, Building 5 Bay B
Seattle, WA 98115
Register Here

Tailored to address the construction industries emerging needs, the conference will bring together academic partners, industry leaders and government representatives from around the region to exchange knowledge, share research findings and discuss pressing issues. Keynote Speakers include Professor Renée Cheng from the University of Minnesota and Markku Allison, founder of SCAN Consulting.

Hire CBE Students!

2015 Career FairCome meet the next generation of talented built environments professionals! Join the more than 40 construction, architecture, landscape, planning and real estate firms and government organizations who attend the College of Built Environments annual career fair. Share your organization’s work, culture, achievements, internship program opportunities and application process.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
10:00am – 2:00pm
Gould Hall – UW Seattle Campus

Registration forms are due by Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Email questions to: becareer@uw.edu.

In The News

Peter Orser, Director for the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies joins Curbed Seattle’s Local Expert Series to talk highlights, trends and what the future of architecture and real estate will bring in 2016.

Seattle’s Neighborhoods
Seattle’s Best Buildings
Seattle Real Estate