Gil Kelley is the general manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. He is an internationally recognized urban strategist, having served as chief planner for several West Coast cities (including San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR) and as an independent advisor to cities and governments across the globe. Vancouver, BC is one of North America’s most innovative cities in the field of urban planning. The City recently adopted a Greenest City Action Plan and is currently working on a major comprehensive plan update, called “Planning Vancouver Together.” Kelley will share his insights into how he uses a forward-thinking approach to address challenging planning issues, including equity, climate change, and civic engagement. On November 5, 2020 Gil Kelley spoke to our UDP community- watch his presentation here!
Andris (“Andy”) Vanags was instrumental in the initiation of the design/build program and the creation of furniture studios that have become hallmarks of the Department of Architecture. The furniture program has grown from a 3-credit course introducing students to the study of “making,” to a 6-credit studio that now sometimes includes traveling to Denmark and working with renowned Danish furniture makers.
Each year, students have the opportunity to design and fabricate their own piece of furniture using the facilities located in the College of Built Environments. Students, many of whom have no furniture making experience, are able to learn how to craft and design their pieces using tools in our wood and metal labs, in addition to the laser cutters and CNC routers. Keeping in mind scale, costs, deadlines, and materials, students are expected to complete their furniture piece within the ten week quarter. The pace is quick, with students spending most of their free time outside of studio and on weekends in the shop making mock-ups, sanding, and sketching out ideas.
Prof. Jeffrey Ochsner, author of the 2012 book Furniture Studio, was a longtime colleague and friend of Andy’s. Upon Andy’s recent death (on October 13, 2019, at his home in San Diego, CA) he penned the following tribute, which we share with you below.
As a member of the Department of Architecture for forty years, Andy was a key figure in the development of the department and college culture of craft and making, Andy was born in Latvia, in 1942. In 1944 his family fled to the west, and eventually came to the United States settling in Brooklyn, where Andy graduated from high school in 1960. During the summers he worked as a carpenter. After a term at Pratt Institute, he came to Seattle and soon found work as a member of the team working on the Dyna-Soar space plane at Boeing. In December 1964, he entered the UW Art School in the program in industrial design.
Andy graduated with his BFA in Industrial Design in 1968. During his years as a student, he had been introduced to our shop facilities through shared courses; he also befriended Professor Phil Thiel. When shop director Berner Kirkebo was forced to resign due to illness, the college (through Phil Thiel) offered the position to Andy. He became the shop director in April 1969. Initially Andy was a staff member, teaching just a single class on tools and materials, but once Gould Hall opened, he developed a suite of courses establishing the shops (now Fabrication Labs) as a center of pedagogy. Over time his courses included “Materials and Processes,” “Wood Design,” Light Frame Assemblies,” Technological Foundations” (Arch 300 studio) and others.
In 1977, Andy and Barry Onouye initiated the department’s first design/build offering, a summer course titled ”Playground Construction.” Almost a decade later, when liability became an issue, Barry and Andy redirected the design-build studio to other kinds of projects. (After 1992, Steve Badanes took on the design-build studio and he continues to lead it today.)
In the late 1970s and 1980s Andy made connections with the growing number of studio furniture makers in our region, and, in 1984, he offered the Architecture Department’s first furniture design and fabrication class, initially for only three credits. In 1989 the furniture class became a six-credit studio which Andy, assisted by new shop manager Penny Maulden, taught for the next twenty years. By 1991 the furniture studio was offered to graduate students one quarter, and to senior undergraduates another quarter — the pattern that continues today.
From the very first, the quality of the work in the furniture studio was recognized through the numerous awards received by student projects in professional furniture competitions in the region, and in a national competition in 2004. Five student projects were also included in the book 500 Chairs in 2008.
Andy fully retired from teaching after the Winter Quarter 2009 furniture studio. The furniture program has continued under the leadership of Kimo Griggs and Penny Maulden. Although some of the classes that Andy created have been discontinued, and others have changed with the introduction of digital tools and techniques, the culture of craft and making that Andy developed in his forty years in the department and college has become a significant part of our identity.
In 2018 Andy Vanags was recognized with the CBE Distinguished Faculty Award for Lifetime Achievement. Andy touched many lives and helped shape many careers.
A celebration of Andy’s life will take place in Gould Hall on Saturday afternoon, January 25, 2020. Please watch for more details that should be posted soon.
The UW Landscape Architecture Croatia Design/Build program gives students the unique opportunity to make a lasting, physical impact in their host community. Professor Daniel Winterbottom, an expert in the creation of healing and therapeutic gardens, leads the program.
With Professor Winterbottom as their guide, students explore the role of restorative landscapes in the built environment through hands-on learning. They study the history of healthcare in Croatia while also exploring the unique culture, food, and architecture heritage of the region. Finally, the students gain practical experience, working together to solve a real-world design/build problem. Last year, students were tasked with creating a new outdoor physical therapy rehabilitation space at the “Prim. Dr. Martin Horvat” Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital.
Located just outside the city of Rovinj, on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, the hospital is among the oldest orthopedic-rehabilitation institutes. It specializes in offering modern hydrotherapy treatments to patients coming from throughout Europe. The close proximity to the temperate waters of the Adriatic Sea allows the hospital to offer both indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy facilities during much of the year. For the students, this means having the opportunity to design a functional, therapeutic outdoor space to serve both patients and staff. The build portion of the program further allows students to become adept with key landscape construction techniques, materials, and project management approaches – skills that often aren’t practically addressed in a traditional classroom setting.
For Elizabeth Lange, a Master of Landscape Architecture Student, the most memorable part of the experience was the opportunity to build strong connections and foster teamwork with her fellow American and Croatian classmates.
“Every day it was a lot of work and long days, but it was fun to be with the people in the program and learn new things,” she shared. “I became very close with my classmates because of this program.”
Elizabeth also felt that the unique opportunity to participate in a design/build program was particularly useful for rounding out her educational experience, especially as she prepares to enter professional practice in the near future.
“A design build program forces you to think about your design and the practicality of it,” she explained. “In design school, we don’t normally construct what we design, so the sky is the limit in some sense, but in a design/build that isn’t the case. You can think of grand ideas but then you also have to factor in the budget and feasibility of it in order for it to work in the real world. I think that is an important thing to experience in school going forward.”
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the study abroad experience is the way in which it allows students to frame their own life and experiences in the context of a broader perspective.
For Elizabeth, her time in Croatia gave her valuable personal insights and allowed her to build stronger relationships with others – both key hallmarks of a successful study abroad experience.
“I learned a lot about myself and my abilities during this program through my relationship with my friends and through the relationship of design,” Elizabeth shared.
Photo credits: Rhiannon Neuville and the 2018 Croatia Design Build class.
The Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative and Co-PI’s Mark Jarzombek and Vikram Prakash are happy to announce its receipt of funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This $1,000,000.00, three year award will allow GAHTC to fund the production of teaching modules, as well as Teacher-to-Teacher Workshops and Global Connections Fellowships. This is the third installment of a grant that was first awarded in 2013 for a total of $3.5 million.
At a time of rapid technological change and professional specialization, we can easily forget that the most important mission of schools and universities is to offer inspiring and horizon-expanding teaching to the next generation. Survey courses play a particularly important role as they open the world to students and help give them critical purchase on their own landscapes and lives. A good survey course balances breadth with depth, but in an ever-expanding world that balance can be lost, meaning that the problem is not just how to teach students, but how to prepare teachers. The GAHTC’s mission is to provide cross-disciplinary, teacher-to-teacher exchanges of ideas and material, in order to energize and promote the teaching of all periods of architectural history in a global way, especially at the survey level. Via our online platform, our workshops, grants and conferences, we support teachers in the class room.
Goals and Implementation
We will therefore focus less on outreach and digital innovation and more on the primary mission of GAHTC, providing member-made quality teaching material free of charge to teachers. We will use the upcoming grant term to round out our library content and work toward a sustainability for the digital platform, through the auspices of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.
We will strengthen the breadth of our library content by focusing on under-represented areas that we feel are important to the discipline, such as gender studies, aboriginal studies, African studies and First Societies.
By focusing on these core goals, we can make sure by the end of the grant cycle that GAHTC’s materials are well curated, easily accessible and known to the broader community interested in global architectural history teaching content. Having a reputable body of material that is easily accessible and known to the community gives GAHTC the best chance to become a lasting resource.
In July, seven new teams were selected as Amazon Catalyst Fellows. The teams are a mix of UW faculty, students, and staff from eleven departments across campus. Each team received funding to pursue a big idea focused on one of this round’s themes: Computational Social Science or Urban Transportation. One winning team features CBE students, Janie Bube, Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture and Emma Petersen, Graduate Student, Landscape Architecture and Colton Brailsford, Undergraduate Student, Community, Environment & Planning
Summary: An off-the-grid LED and solar crosswalk that lights up directly under the pedestrian as they cross to increase awareness and commuter cooperation.
Description: Crossing a street is often a fraught affair for a pedestrian when there is no traffic light, even when they are at a crosswalk. Will drivers see them? And even if they do, will they stop? A cross-disciplinary team of graduates and undergraduates is designing and building the SENSOL Modular Crosswalk, a hybrid solar and LED crosswalk. The hybrid system will power luminaires embedded in a temporary, modular speed bump like structure. This will improve safety and visibility without permanently changing roadways. The SENSOL crosswalks will be triggered when feet, wheelchairs, or bicycles pass over them, illuminating their exact location, visible at both a distance and up close by cars, bicycles, buses, and other pedestrians.
As the world builds the equivalent of an entire New York City every month, reducing the carbon emissions of materials is an imperative.
The Carbon Leadership Forum, in partnership with a coalition of more than 30 forward looking and innovative building industry leaders announce that they have taken on a long-elusive goal – measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of building materials. The result is the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (“EC3”) tool, an open source tool for architects, engineers, owners, construction companies, building material suppliers and policy makers to compare and reduce embodied carbon emissions from construction materials.
Between now and 2060 the world’s population will be doubling the amount of building floorspace, equivalent to building an entire New York City every month for 40 years. Most of the carbon footprint of these new buildings will take the form of embodied carbon — the emissions associated with building material manufacturing and construction. As a result, owners, designers, engineers and contractors are turning their attention to building materials and seeking information on these products so they can make informed, smart choices. This task has been fraught with problems – from the lack of data to data too complex to evaluate.
In response to this problem, Skanska USA and C Change Labs conceived of a solution that would enable the building industry to easily access and view material carbon emissions data, allowing them to make carbon smart choices during material specification and procurement. Initial development was jointly funded by Skanska and Microsoft, who determined that an open platform would provide maximum impact for the industry and society at large. To accelerate development of this solution, the Carbon Leadership Forum incubated the project with strong leadership and additional financial support from Autodesk, Interface, the MKA Foundation and the Charles Pankow Foundation, lead sponsor and grant manager. Subsequently, more than 30 other industry-leaders joined in.
“Our mission is to accelerate the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce embodied carbon,” said Kate Simonen, director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington. “The EC3 tool is a great example of what can happen when our passionate and collaborative network comes together around a need.”
Industry sponsors include: Grant Administrator: Charles Pankow Foundation; Pilot Partners: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Microsoft Corporation,
Perkins and Will, Port of Seattle, Skanska USA, Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc., and Webcor; Association Partners: American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the BlueGreen Alliance; and Material Partners: Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, BASF Corporation, CarbonCure Technologies, Interface, Inc., Kingspan Group, and USG Corporation.
Additional support is provided by Technology Partners including Autodesk, Climate Earth, Sustainable Minds and Tally; EC3 Tool Methodology Partners: Arup, Brightworks Sustainability, Central Concrete Supply Co., Inc., Climate Earth, Katerra, KieranTimberlake, LeMessurierr, LMN Architects, National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., Owens Corning, Thornton Tomasetti, Urban Fabrick, WAP Sustainability and WRNS Studio. View the full list of collaborators at www.carbonleadershipforum.org.
The EC3 Tool: A Closer Look
Increasingly the building industry and owners are becoming aware that materials matter and are seeking ways to evaluate the emissions associated with making these materials, but they have not had a reliable or efficient way to compare them. As a result, while awareness and a desire to enact change have been high, few have found an avenue to effectively examine and evaluate the available material choices. The EC3 tool, an open-source tool, simplifies this complex problem and will allow users to easily see the embodied carbon impacts of the materials before consumption. Now users will have the information they need to make more informed decisions on embodied carbon, allowing them to enact positive change. Details on the EC3 tool will be made available November 2019. Collaborating partners will be demonstrating the product at Greenbuild, November 19-22, 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.
For more information on the Carbon Leadership Forum and the EC3 tool, including links to our partners’ announcements visit www.carbonleadershipforum.org
Visit www.buildingtransparency.org and register to have access to the EC3 tool. The tool will be released November 19, 2019.
List of all collaborators, including spokespersons, media contacts and quotes, available upon request.
Additional embodied carbon resources:
- Watch short video: Bill Gates on manufacturing emissions
- View World Green Building Council report ‘Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront’ released September 23, 2019
About the Carbon Leadership Forum
The Carbon Leadership Forum, built on a collective impact model, has amassed the largest network of architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, policy makers and academics to reduce the carbon impact of materials in buildings. Together, we have developed an extensive body of research and resources necessary to inform and empower our members, while building a robust collaborative network – the Embodied Carbon Network – that is inspiring and connecting our members to enact change. This has resulted in member-led initiatives, including the recent structural engineers embodied carbon challenge (SE 2050) and the development of the EC3 Tool. For more information visit: www.carbonleadershipforum.org.
Director, Carbon Leadership Forum
Media Contact, Carbon Leadership Forum
Download the PDF
Press Release announcing EC3 tool – Sept. 23, 2019.pdf
Several University of Washington schools and offices will team up to research how organizational practices can affect the interagency collaboration needed to keep the “internet of things” — and institutional systems — safe and secure.
Cooperating in the work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will be the UW College of Built Environments, College of Arts & Sciences and Jackson School of International Studies as well as UW Facilities and UW Information Technology.
Devices connected to the internet of things, now becoming standard components in new buildings, can increase energy performance while reducing costs. But such highly connected sensors can also bring potential security vulnerabilities.
And though technical solutions to such security concerns exist, implementing them can be impeded by differences in communication and work cultures between workers in information technology, and operations and maintenance. These challenges, together with a policy environment that rarely regulates internet of things devices, can increase risks and leave buildings vulnerable to attack.
The NSF in August awarded a grant of $721,104 over three years to the Communication, Technology and Organizational Practices lab in the College of Built Environment’s Construction Management Department to study how organizational policies and procedures can help — or hinder — the needed collaboration between information technology and operations and maintenance professionals. The lab is housed in the department’s Center for Education and Research in Construction.
Several UW faculty, staff and administrators are involved in the research. Co-principal investigators are Laura Osburn, a research scientist in the Center for Education and Research in Construction; and Carrie Dossick, professor of construction management.
Jessica Beyer, lecturer, research scientist and co-director of the Jackson School’s Cybersecurity Initiative also is an investigator, as is Chuck Benson, director of the UW’s new risk mitigation strategy program for the internet of things.
The three-year project will use the investigators’ expertise in communication, collaboration, cybersecurity policy and internet of things practices to study two critical areas:
- How operations and maintenance and information technology groups currently share their knowledge and skills to improve security for the internet of things; and
- How public policies and an organization’s own rules on privacy and security impact how information technology and operations and maintenance teams collaborate
The team will work on these issues through ethnographic research of university cybersecurity efforts, interviews with information technology and operations and maintenance professionals and case studies of cybersecurity efforts in the built environments of higher education.
A graduate research assistant and undergraduate students from the Jackson School’s Cybersecurity Initiative also will be involved in the work.
The aim is to better understand how elements of organization, practice and policy interact and affect collaboration in keeping the internet of things safe and secure — and to provide clear examples of how such elements might help or hinder the necessary collaboration to implement smart building technologies.
The interdisciplinary nature of the project is an important part of the approach, Osburn said.
“What’s most important about this project is finding ways to help technology experts from different departments and different disciplines work and communicate better together so that they can keep our buildings safe and make sure that the data that internet of things devices are collecting stay secure.”
Learn more at the project website.
NSF grant #1932769
“Using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.”
These are the qualities of students recognized through the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program, considered one of the most prestigious national awards for students of landscape architecture.
The College of Built Environments is proud to recognize two graduating students as Olmsted scholar nominees: Fatema Maswood (MLA) and Nick Zurlini (BLA). Fatema, in particular, deserves special recognition as one of six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists.
Each year, faculty from accredited landscape architecture programs across the country nominate students with exceptional leadership potential for Olmsted Scholar recognition. Two independent juries select winners and finalists from a group of over 80 Olmsted Scholars.
Fatema was recognized by faculty and the independent juries for her approach to design and design research that uncovers overlooked narratives, critically engages political questions, and translates design processes and methods to a broader public as tools for education and mobilization. Fatema’s research explores disaster resilience and stormwater management grounded in traditional ecological knowledge, considering approaches for a decentralized water harvesting network in her mother’s native city of Tunis, Tunisia.
Nick attributes his nomination in part to the landscape architecture faculty who serve as both role models and mentors to him. Through his studies, he has found a passion for the design process and for the landscape architecture as an academic discourse and as a profession.
Fatema and Nick represent a strong history of Olmsted Scholars from the University of Washington. The College of Built Environments’ Department of Landscape Architecture has seen four other past finalists and two award winners, David de la Cruz, MLA ’17 and Leann Andrews, MLA ’13, Ph.D. ’18. The Olmsted Scholars will gather in November with this year’s group of Scholars and leaders from practice, academia, and industry at the LAF Benefit in San Diego.
The Deans List is an interview series with the leaders of architecture schools, worldwide. The series profiles the school’s programming, as defined by the dean — giving an invaluable perspective into the institution’s unique curriculum, faculty and academic environment.
For this installment, Archinect spoke with current University of Washington College of Built Environments dean Renée Cheng. A licensed architect with years of experience working at firms like Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners and her personal practice, Cheng-Olson Design, Cheng has specialized in researching the application of new technologies within the design and construction process while also helping to pioneer innovative project delivery approaches. In our interview, Cheng shares how these approaches can be applied to the wide-ranging curriculum of an integrated design program.
Dean Cheng speaking at a recent Women in Construction symposium in Seattle. Image courtesy of McKinstry.
Briefly describe CBE’s pedagogical stance on architecture education.
The University of Washington’s (UW) Department of Architecture sits within the multidisciplinary College of Built Environments (CBE) that includes the specific disciplines most central to the built environment: architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, construction management, and real estate. The Department of Architecture recently completed a major revision of the professional degree program to further emphasize research, collaboration, and integration. These three themes are reflected in the other departments as well, creating a college with unique disciplinary strengths that can collaborate effectively.
What insights from your past professional experience are you hoping to integrate or adopt as the dean?
Running my own firm, as well as working in architectural firms large and small, has given me a healthy respect for the hard work it takes to run a firm today, as well as unbounded optimism for how architectural profession can become more relevant, resilient, and equitable.
My research and teaching experience has focused on emerging practices, everything from technologies like parametric design to organizational systems like lean and/or equitable practices.
I’m also interested to see how far we can carry the focus around collaboration, asking what it would mean for all of the faculty, students, and staff to be effective collaborators.
With these experiences in mind, I am applying some practices of inclusion and values-based decision-making to understanding the processes of the college. I’m also interested to see how far we can carry the focus around collaboration, asking what it would mean for all of the faculty, students, and staff to be effective collaborators.
All of this is related to the research practices program that I started at the University of Minnesota. I am in the process of growing that model and network here at the UW with the multiple disciplines of the college. At UW, for example, we are starting an applied research consortium with a group of founding members we hope to announce before the start of the next academic year.
WASHINGTON – June 19, 2019 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the University of Washington are releasing three new chapters of “Guides for Equitable Practice” today.
“Architects can do great things, if we work together to lead the changes we need to secure a better future for our profession, without regard to race, socio-economic background, gender, physical ability, native language or sexual orientation,” said AIA 2019 President William Bates, FAIA. “The guides are a one-of-a-kind resource that can help architects build a greater understanding of one another, which is the foundation to creating the meaningful changes we want to see in the architecture profession.”
Newly released chapters of the guides cover strategies for attracting and retaining talent—for individual firms and the profession as a whole—using equitable recruitment and retention practices; skills for equitable and inclusive negotiations; and insights for how mentorships and sponsorships can make workplaces more diverse and inclusive. Last year, AIA released the first three chapters of guides, which explored intercultural competence, workplace culture, and compensation. AIA will issue three final chapters later this year.
Guides are developed using current research on gender, race and culture in the U.S. They include perspectives from architects on what equity, diversity and inclusion mean as well as moral, business, ethical and societal cases that can help individuals, architecture firms and others build equity in their organizations.
“Guides for Equitable Practice” are one component of the AIA’s broad commitment to work with members to overcome inequities and advance the profession. In 2015, AIA formed the Equity in Architecture Commission to address broader concerns about the equitable practice of architecture. The development of the guides was one of the Commission’s eleven recommendations adopted by the AIA’s Board of Directors.
In 2017, the commission’s work was assumed by the AIA Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee. The committee is tasked with helping implement the commission’s recommendations and tackling other equity, diversity, inclusion and workforce issues.
Learn more about AIA’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives online.