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Cars vs. health: UW’s Moudon, Dannenberg contribute to Lancet series on urban planning, public health

Automobiles — and the planning and infrastructure to support them — are making our cities sick, says an international group of researchers now publishing a three-part series in the British medical journal The Lancet.

University of Washington professors Anne Vernez Moudon and Andrew Dannenberg are co-authors of the first of this series that explores these connections and suggests several planning alternatives for better health.

“Most of the negative consequences of city planning policies on health are related to the high priority given to motor vehicles in land-use and transportation planning,” said Moudon. “City planning policies supporting urban individual car travel directly and indirectly influence such risk exposures as traffic, air pollution, noise, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, personal safety and social isolation.”

Read the full article from UW Today.

Bringing the UW to Your City

lcy-classTwenty eight miles south of Seattle is the City of Auburn. Native land of the Muckleshoot people and home to 70,000 residents, 28 parks, and a durable central business district, Auburn is the first partner for the University of Washington’s new Livable City Year (LCY) program.

The LCY program dedicates one year to a regional city, and directs multiple undergraduate and graduate classes from around campus to tackle the city’s self-identified needs, assessment projects, and opportunity analyses.

In just the first quarter, students are taking on issues like housing stock, homelessness assessment, business to business collaborations, storm utility efficiency, and cultural mapping. Dedicating thousands of hours to on the city’s projects they will produce their findings and reports to city departments and leaders in an effort to help guide big decisions for their community’s future.

“Our model is based on projects having interdisciplinary and experiential learning components. While working with community partners is nothing new to CBE or UW, we have more than two dozen projects partnered with various city departments, meaning we can respond to a myriad of interconnected community issues, and that reach is new.” Born said.

Beyond the opportunity for the city, both students and faculty from all sides of campus are connecting in ways they never have before. Born also says he and his co-director, Assistant Professor Jenn Otten from the School of Public Health, are seeing Foster School (Business) classes make connections with students from the College of the Environment and School of Social Work, realizing how much their work has in common and sharing knowledge.

“I’ve had a number of conversations with other LCY faculty that have changed the way we both teach,” Born said. “LCY represents many of the great synergies the university stands for—a commitment to high academic standards in teaching and learning and an interest in meaningful community engagement and public service.”

And another benefit for students—professional experience. Born explains that students are working with professionals on real world issues, working in teams and making conclusions that have tangible impact.

Along with leading the LCY initiative, Born is co-teaching with Assistant Professor Rachel Berney an undergraduate course in the Department’s Community, Environment and Planning program. The course, Planning in Context, has student teams working on two LCY projects: one examining the concept of place-making and finding ways to increase residences’ sense of place and community identity, and another developing parts of a draft element of the Auburn Comprehensive Plan that deals with physical, social, and economic connectivity across the city’s neighborhoods.

Currently, there are 11 projects being run through five colleges or schools across UW. In the coming year, Born and Otten are looking forward to welcoming more units into the LCY program, including the Law School and the Evans School for Public Policy and Governance, and seeing what kind of impact the collective group can have on the community. He also acknowledges the wide support he and Otten received when they first pitched the idea to campus leaders and said that he’s proud to see the university living out its values on interdisciplinary collaborations, students learning outside the classroom, and community impact.

Learn more about the Livable City Year program and see a list of classes on their website. We’ll be sharing the outcomes of each quarter throughout the year. Read about Branden Born’s planning research on urban food systems and how decisions are made – who wins and who loses and who is missing from the decision making table.

In addition to the College of Built Environments and the School of Public Health, the LCY program collaborates with UW Sustainability and Urban@UW, and received foundational support from the College of Built Environments and Undergraduate Academic Affairs. The program is also working with non-profit organization Association of Washington Cities. Livable City Year is based on the University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Program and is a member of the Educational Partners for Innovation in Communities Network.

Forging bold climate solutions

Fast-forward 100 years and picture cities and states with boundaries reshaped by the dwindling availability of a precious resource — water. After a century of climate change, ecosystems everywhere face intense development pressures. Plant and animal species have adapted and migrated to new habitats in their fierce struggle to survive.

Students in our McKinley Futures Studio spend one mind-bending quarter pondering scenarios like these, collaborating on potential solutions to a host of challenges that might someday change the way every living thing on the planet coexists.

Funded through an endowment from distinguished Seattle architect and UW alumnus David McKinley and his wife, Jan, this interdisciplinary studio broadens students’ perspectives on how to envision the problems that will test them as they plan, design and build for the future.

“This studio pushes students to think about problems from a larger sphere of ecological influence, to look beyond the boundaries of a particular building site and to engage all the forces that come to play on a city or region,” says Dave Miller, former chair of the Department of Architecture and the professor who leads the studio.

Students like Kameron Selby push themselves to ask critical questions on both abstract and pragmatic levels as they collaborate across disciplines to plot out their vision for ways cities like Seattle or Los Angeles might adapt to a future short on water.

“It was an opportunity not only to design something, but to dig deeper and consider how our ideas might actually play out in the future,” says Kameron, who’s pursuing a dual master’s degree in architecture and landscape architecture. “We created this narrative, something that could be true — how the government reacted, what happened to people. It taught us to push the limits with our critical thinking and decision-making.”

In the era of “New Age Nomads” that Kameron and his studio partners envision, people with scarce access to water would lead migratory lives. They’d take shelter from place to place in structures formed when algae essentially slurps up a sea shell-like byproduct of desalinating water, forming the façades of buildings where these nomads would live for a while before packing up and moving elsewhere.

A type of nuclear energy that doesn’t create toxic waste would power the process of making seawater drinkable. The heat given off by desalination plants could also be harnessed as a renewable source of energy for cities.

“This is such a forward-thinking and creative studio program — one that captivates both students and professors by projecting design concepts into the realm of ‘possible, probable and preferred’ futures,” says David McKinley.

“Jan and I are deeply impressed by the research that’s come out of this studio so far and hope that someday all UW students get such imaginative and informative opportunities to think critically about the future of their disciplines.”

Healing gardens bring Nature in

Surrounded by the sights, scents and sounds of nature, two veterans speak softly with each other seated side by side on a mahogany bench. Moments earlier, each was surrounded by stark white walls in a treatment room steps away inside Seattle’s VA Hospital.

“When you’re dealing with PTSD, this is a beautiful place to come just to take a deep breath,” says Richard Coleman, who served on submarines in the 1970s.

His friend, Vietnam vet Tom Urban, describes the healing garden designed and built by UW landscape architecture students as “my medication.”

Professor Daniel Winterbottom speaks passionately about the therapeutic value of nature to all people, but especially to those who have faced trauma.

“When you are stressed, it is nature that will bring down the cortisol levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and restores our energy to deal with stressful situations,” he explains while sitting amid the sound of falling water, the flutter of birds and dragonfly wings, and the wafting scent of budding blooms in the VA Hospital garden. Above his head, etched into the wall, is one of several plaques: Nature surrounds me with peace, soothes my torn nerves and comforts me.

Gina Kim, who graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture, served as project manager for the 27-student team who created the garden over 20 weeks.

“While this was a culmination of everything we learned it class, it taught us things we could never have learned in the curriculum,” she says. “We had to consider the availability and cost of materials. Some things that might have looked good in design weren’t good ergonomically for the veterans. It was a dose of reality.”

Students conducted focus groups with veterans and VA staff, read letters from vets through the ages, and considered the poetic and sensory effects of their work. Gina called it “humbling.” Her professor called such projects “transformative for students who are just figuring out their place in the world.”

As Gina plans a career in human-centered landscape design, she says she “can’t imagine designing without seeing how real things affect real people. It’s not just aesthetics alone. (The VA project) was colossal in terms of my education. I learned so much from it.”

Professor Winterbottom believes the future holds great promise for even more hands-on work like this that has an impact far beyond its direct beneficiaries.

“As a public institution, the UW can both teach and give back to the community in a very powerful way to benefit both students and taxpayers,” he notes.

Thanks to private funding from generous donors, the VA Hospital is brightening the lives of the 100,000 patients served there each year. Gifts to UW College of Built Environments will continue projects like these, which Professor Winterbottom says “makes students not just better designers but better people.”

Travel scholarships change perspectives


Huddled over his sketchpad, Justin listened intently as renowned artist and UW Professor Emeritus Francis Ching opened students’ eyes to new ways of zeroing in on the most remarkable architectural details worth capturing in his drawing of the Pantheon.

“He wasn’t teaching us how to draw or sketch,” Justin says. “He was teaching us how to see.”

The 10-week travel studio in Rome led by Department of Architecture Chair Brian McLaren stands out as one of the most formative experiences Justin had as a master’s student in architecture at the UW. He’s grateful for the donor-supported scholarships that made the trip possible for him and many other students.

“I never would’ve been able to go if it hadn’t been for my scholarship,” says Justin, who now works as a sustainable design specialist at the Seattle architecture firm GGLO.

Because of limited private funding, some students don’t get these amazing opportunities.

“Every student should have access to these leading-edge experiences,” says Professor McLaren. “The lessons you learn when you venture outside your culture, your comfort zones — they’re invaluable.”
Standing in the City Center of Copenhagen, Joel Miller never would have guessed that a network of beautifully spacious public squares used to be four-lane roads.


Forty years ago, thick traffic jams clogged streets throughout the Danish capital. Today, Copenhagen reigns as one of the most pedestrian- and bike-friendly cities on the planet.

Joel and other students could have learned about it in a classroom lecture or textbook. But during a study abroad trip funded by our generous partners at the Scan Design Foundation, they got to see, hear and really experience answers to their questions about how and why it all happened.

“It was incredibly inspiring to see both how a city could transform like that, and how they pulled it off while facing a lot of the same civic obstacles that we see today in the United States,” Joel says.

Returning to the UW, Joel applied lessons learned in Copenhagen to his travel studio project: a bold proposal to transform the heart of Seattle’s University District with more people-friendly spaces.

Storefront Studio Recognized for Public Service

StorefrontStudio Award 2016Each spring a dozen undergraduate students arrive in a new community with notepads and drawing pencils. They walk the streets, meet locals, and sketch prominent and underutilized spaces and are thinking about how the community could better identify the town’s strengths and find ways to be more inclusive. And with that, the students begin a 10 week studio course that will produce ideas and plans for growth, based on how the community views their identity and opportunities.

Thirteen years ago senior lecturer Jim Nicholls, AIA began teaching the Department of Architecture’s Storefront Studio and in that time, 17 communities and more than 200 students have benefited from the positive exchange of knowledge, ideas, and design.

“For many students, this is their first experience with a real world client group and set of constraints. Set in a community, the students are no longer learning in an abstract or removed setting,” Nicholls said.

The focus of the studio is an investigation into the historic Main Streets of Washington State communities. The students’ design outcomes and recommendations help facilitate discussion and funding for various community generated projects. Like in Snoqualmie, where students analyzed historic preservation and economic revitalization, completed green street strategies and a new Riverwalk network of footpaths.

In recognition of Nicholls’ work, which has taken place in White Center, Carnation, Des Moines, Chinatown, Vashon Island, and Renton, King County is recognizing the Storefront Studio’s impact on the region’s small business districts with the John D. Spellman award for achievement in historic preservation. Presented by County Executive, Dow Constantine the county’s Historic Preservation Program, Nicholls and some of his students accepted the award on Thursday, October 13 in Renton.

“Although individual programs and projects vary greatly depending on needs and interest, every project enhances community resilience, authenticity, and economic prosperity through historic preservation,” Nicholls said.

Snoqualmie residents also viewed the town’s train artifacts as one of their strongest assets, thus the students proposed a new lighting scheme and visual representation of the businesses hosted in the train cars. A community porch, new bus stops and enhanced pedestrian core were also proposed.

“Throughout the project, students meet with the community in a series of town hall style meetings and facilitate meaningful insight and feedback and has been key to our success over the years,” Nicholls said.

See all of the Storefront Studio projects at Read more about the award in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce.

Tomorrow’s innovations in our labs today

Professor Kimo GriggsBy both designing and doing, our students will build a better world.

What role might robotics play in designing and building tomorrow’s structures?

How did the tools used to construct buildings hundreds of years ago evolve into the tools we use today — and how can they lead us to invent new tools for future innovation?

In what ways can we meld conventional tools with digital design technology to devise creative ideas that can change the world?

The answers to these questions and more are being discovered by students in the UW College of Built Environments’ Fabrication Laboratories. Evolved from the traditional wood and metal shops of the past, our contemporary Fabrication Labs are vibrant centers of experiential learning and student-driven research.

“These are places where students both design and make things, so they are forced to deal with the consequences of their designs in very real ways,” explains Professor and Associate Dean Kimo Griggs, faculty advisor to the labs. “Once they’re in the working world, if they want to do something new or better or innovative, knowing how things are made helps them come up with ideas that can be produced efficiently, individually or on a mass scale. And it’s those kinds of ideas that can change the world.”

Thanks to the opportunities they have to stretch their curiosity and develop their skills in the Fabrication Labs — something we do differently than the majority of other universities — our students graduate with a richer and more nimble ability to practice their craft, Professor Griggs says.

“Students come to understand that they’re part of a continuum, using tools that have been developed incrementally through the years,” he points out. “They learn that they can contribute to the next innovation by mimicking what’s been done before but with different tools, coming up with fresh ideas, trying out cutting-edge methods and then using the strategies they learned here when they enter the workplace.”

Donors play a critical role in keeping the labs up to date with high-quality tools and equipment. One example is a recently purchased robotic arm.

“We may add tools to the labs without knowing what students might do with them, and then train them and let them tell us what those tools are good for,” says Professor Griggs. “Our students are the innovators and experimenters.”

Wendell H. Lovett, 1922 – 2016

Contributed by Prof. Jeffrey Ochsner

Architecture Professor Emeritus Wendell Harper Lovett (1922-2016), who taught at the University of Washington for almost half a century, died on September 18, 2016; he was 94. He is remembered by his many students and colleagues for his passionate commitment to architecture.

Wendell was born and raised in Seattle. He entered the University of Washington architecture program in fall 1940. By 1942 his student work showed his growing interest in the new directions of modern architecture. After military service during the Second World War, he graduated in 1947 with his B.Arch., also receiving a medal for excellence in design. Wendell went on to MIT where he earned his M.Arch. in 1948; one of his MIT student instructors was Alvar Aalto. On his return to Seattle, Lovett joined the Bassetti & Morse, where he remained for three years rising to the position of Associate. He also joined the faculty of the Department of Architecture as an instructor in fall 1948. Lovett was appointed as Assistant Professor in 1951, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1960 and Professor in 1965. As a young faculty member, Lovett was known for his fierce advocacy of the modern movement and for his encouragement to students to use new technologies in their design projects.

Lovett left Bassetti & Morse to open his own firm in 1951. His first widely recognized project was the house he designed for himself and his family in the new Hilltop planned community in Bellevue. Completed in 1951, this project showed the influence of Mies and of the Case Study houses in California. It was published in Architecture d’Aujourd’hui and received a design award in 1953. Throughout his career, Lovett’s work would win many accolades and receive national and international publication.

From 1959 to 1961 he was a partner in The Architect Artist Group (with Daniel Streissguth, Gene Zema, Gerard Torrence and Spencer Moseley) in the design of the Nuclear Reactor Building on the University of Washington campus (destroyed, 2016); Lovett is generally recognized as the lead designer on this project.

Lovett was always interested in product design as well as architecture. His earliest effort in this direction was the “Flexi-Fibre” chair (later “Bikini” chair) dating from 1954, which was displayed in Milan. In 1966 he created two metal fireplace designs, the “Firehood” and “Toetoaster,” for the Condon-King Company. These were later mass-produced and are now in widespread use.

As explained by Professor Emeritus Grant Hildebrand, Lovett was profoundly influenced by his year teaching at the Technical University of Stuttgart, with Professor Rolf Gutbrod, with the support of a Fulbright grant, in 1959-60. Lovett’s attention to the architecture of “enclosure” and “containment,” and toward spaces that he would later call “stop” spaces and “go” spaces, grew from this experience. His subsequent work moved away from an emphasis on transparency and technology and toward a focus on enclosed spaces, framed views and protected places. Hildebrand subsequently explained Lovett’s work after the mid-1960s in terms of “prospect and refuge.” This approach to design is evident in Lovett projects such as the Lauren and Ann Studebaker residence, Mercer Island (1969-71), Gerald and Jo Frey residence, Bellevue (1971-72), Max and Carol Scofield residence, Mercer Island (1974-76), Charles Simonyi residence, Medina (1986-89, and later), Cutler-Girdler residence, Medina (1995-97), and others. The Simonyi and Cutler-Girdler residences were later documented and analyzed in the book, A Thriving Modernism: The Houses of Wendell Lovett and Arne Bystrom, co-authored by Grant Hildebrand and T. William Booth and published by the University of Washington Press in 2004.

Lovett received recognition for his designs throughout his career, including numerous design awards. His work appeared in a variety of publications including A+U, Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Architectural Record, Architecture Minnesota, Arts & Architecture, Domus, GA Houses, Process: Architecture, Toshi Jutaku, and others. Lovett was also included in the film “Modern views: A Conversation on Northwest Modern Architecture.”

Lovett was elected to Fellowship in the AIA in 1978; he received the AIA Seattle Chapter Medal in 1993. In 2004, Lovett’s name was added to the “Roll of Honor” on the frieze of Architecture Hall Auditorium in recognition of his contributions to the profession and to architectural education. When Lovett was nominated for the Chapter Medal colleagues noted: “In a career spanning several decades, Wendell Lovett has had a significant influence on fellow practitioners. In his work — which includes numerous award-winning and thought-provoking residences — he has consistently and rigorously pursued an aesthetic of excellence and expression of form appropriate to means and place. His practice has demonstrated the value of thorough resolution of every detail. He has also influenced generations of Northwest architects through teaching and a lifetime of publication based on his work.”

In over four decades at the UW, Professor Wendell Lovett was an inspiring teacher for several generations of students. He will be remembered for his commitment to modernism, the quality of his designs and his expectations for student achievement.

Note: The BE Library holds a small Wendell Lovett collection, including models of seven houses, a Bikini Chair, his Hilltop house dining table, and (in the exhibition case) assorted items from his office including drafting tools and desk paraphernalia.

Read the Seattle Times’ obituary.
Cutler-Girdler House; photo is by Gregg Krostad.

Image published in A Thriving Modernism: The Houses of Wendell Lovett & Arne Bystrom (UW Press, 2004) by Grant Hildebrand and T. William Booth.

Gervais Reed residence
Architect: Wendell Lovett
Built: 1957
Location: Hilltop neighborhood of Bellevue, WA
Date of photograph: 2008

Wendell Lovett designed the house and many of the furnishings for UW Art History Professor, Gervais Reed, and his wife Connie, who lived here from 1955 until 2012. It was located in Bellevue’s Hilltop housing tract, a subdivision formed by a group of UW faculty and other professionals in about 1950. Hilltop was an experiment in cooperative land purchasing and management that continues to the present. The Reed House marked a bold new formal direction for Lovett, reflecting his study of Modern architecture in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Europe, particularly Italy.

University of Washington and City of Auburn launch first Livable City Year partnership

The University of Washington has begun a yearlong partnership with the City of Auburn, under the new Livable City Year program. UW students and professors will work with the City of Auburn to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability throughout the upcoming academic year.

In this inaugural year, UW faculty will lead classes to work on 15 to 20 projects identified by the City of Auburn. Students will provide tens of thousands of hours of study and production toward specific projects identified by Auburn, while benefiting from the opportunity to apply classroom lessons to real-world problems.

“This partnership represents the very best kind of UW student experience by creating opportunities for community engagement, practical problem-solving and interdisciplinary study,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce. “The UW could not be prouder to partner with the City of Auburn through the Livable City Year program to combine education with making positive change in a Washington community.”

To learn more, read the full article from UW Today.

New book ‘Cities that Think Like Planets’ Imagines Urban Regions Resilient to Change

As human activity and environmental change come to be increasingly recognized as intertwined phenomena on a rapidly urbanizing planet, the field of urban ecology has risen to offer useful ways of thinking about coupled human and natural systems.

On the forefront of this discipline is Marina Alberti, whose innovative work offers a conceptual framework for uncovering fundamental laws that govern the complexity and resilience of cities, which she sees as key to understanding and responding to planetary change and the evolution of Earth. In her new book, “Cities that Think Like Planets”, Alberti describes a science of cities that work on a planetary scale and that links unpredictable dynamics to the potential for innovation. It is a science that considers interactions – at all scales – between people and built environments and between cities and their larger environments.

To learn more through an interview with the author, read this article from UW Today. The new book has also been featured on NPR.

Exploring Artistically Significant Landscapes

Fall in the Quad, University of Washington Seattle campus, October 2013. Photo by Katherine B. Turner
Fall in the Quad, University of Washington Seattle campus, October 2013. Photo by Katherine B. Turner

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Thaisa Way has been appointed chair of the Dumbarton Oaks Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies. Way, who has been a Senior Fellow with Dumbarton Oaks since 2011 will serve a one year term.As one of six Senior Fellows, the group serves as advisors to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks in relation to the Garden and Landscape Studies Program.

As chair, Way will play a guiding role in the fellowship selection process and work with Senior Fellows to foster and nurture scholarship in urban landscape histories. “We provide opportunities for scholars to come and fully immerse themselves in their studies, in one of the world’s best landscape libraries and rare books collections,” Way said.

The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is a research institute in Washington D.C. overseen by the Trustees of Harvard University. The Garden and Landscape Studies program was established in 1972 to support advanced scholarship in garden history and landscape architecture. Dumbarton Oaks is one of the few institutions in the world with a program devoted to garden and landscape studies that is targeted at both humanities scholars and landscape practitioners. The program encompasses the analysis of culturally and artistically significant landscapes from around the world, spanning from ancient times to present day.

In her role as a Senior Fellow, Thaisa Way will curate a collegium on histories of drawing in landscape architecture, focused on urban landscapes in fall 2017. Previously, Dr. Way was the lead for the spring 2015 Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Symposium “River Cities: Historical and Contemporary.”

Along with Thaisa Way, Dumbarton Oaks Senior Fellows include: John Beardsley, Dumbarton Oaks; Sonja Dümpelmann, Harvard University; Georges Farhat, University of Toronto; Kathryn Gleason, Cornell University; Gert Gröning, Universität der Künste Berlin; Ron Henderson, Illinois Institute of Technology.

For more information contact Allie Rock in the College of Built Environments Advancement Office at: or Thaisa Way at:

UW College of Built Environments Chosen for National Architect Association’s Design and Research Consortium

The University of Washington College of Built Environments and School of Public Health have been selected as part of a national initiative seeking to translate research on how design impacts public health into architectural practice.

The two UW schools have been selected to join the American Institute of Architects’ multi-school Design & Health Research Consortium. Over a three-year period, the institute and the Architects Foundation will provide support for the new members, promoting local and national partnerships and the sharing of knowledge.

The UW team is led by Andrew Dannenberg, affiliate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and urban design and planning, and Heather Burpee, research assistant professor of architecture.


UW Alum Wins First Place in NASA 3D Printed Habitat Competition

NASA – the US space agency that announced the discovery of flowing water on Mars this week – has chosen a winner in its contest to design proposals for 3D-printed housing on the Red Planet.

The Ice House has been awarded first place in the NASA-run 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, receiving a prize of $25,000 (£16,500) from competition sponsors NASA and America Makes – the country’s national additive-manufacturing innovation institute.


CERC Hosts VR Hackathon

The Seattle VR Hackathon was held this past weekend in the University of Washington’s Center for Education and Research in Construction. The event consisted of two simultaneous competitions, the AEC Hackathon and the Virtual Reality Hackathon organized by Damon Hernandez, Greg Howes and others from the local AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) and VR communities. Only being able to choose to one event, I shadowed the UW’s VR guru, Tom Furness, as he judged the virtual reality projects that emerged from the two-day hackathon.


UW Ranks Fifth Globally in Scientific Research

Continuing a recent string of noteworthy accolades, the University of Washington held its place at No. 5 in the world on the National Taiwan University Ranking of Scientific Papers, which was released Friday. The ranking is based on performance of scientific papers in three major categories — research productivity, research impact and research excellence.

“One of the major ways we contribute to the health and prosperity of our world is through research and scholarship. Given the excellence of our faculty, it is no surprise that a ranking based on research productivity, impact and excellence would place us at the top. They truly deserve this honor,” said Ana Mari Cauce, UW interim president.


Partnering With Public Health

Planning Students 3sm
Students Recommend More Green Spaces for Delridge Community
Each year the Department of Urban Design and Planning and the School of Public Health offer an interdisciplinary course (UrbDP 536) that focuses on a Health Impact Assessment project. Taught by Professors Andrew Dannenberg, M.D., MPH, and Fritz Wagner, Ph.D., the class examines the health impacts of a local proposed project or policy. As an interdisciplinary course, Wagner and Dannenberg say the course allows students to work with peers from other disciplines, governing partners and some of the community’s most vulnerable populations, who generally are not able to participate in neighborhood development initiatives.

During Spring 2015, the class worked on a proposed plan by the Seattle Department of Transportation and Department of Planning and Development for the Delridge Corridor Multimodal Improvement Project in West Seattle.  In June the class submitted its final report to the city with 15 priority recommendations focusing on seven key areas. The proposal suggested a stronger focus on public transit, bike lanes and street improvements; extended community engagement with traditionally underrepresented groups; prioritizing safety improvements to pedestrian used routes; mitigating construction impacts; increasing green spaces and public art; zoning changes to ensure development includes affordable housing; and committed monitoring of public health for this community. To see the full results of the study, visit the Seattle Delridge Corridor Multimodal Improvement Project Report.


Master of Occupational Safety and Health

Safety on the jobsite is a big deal. As construction projects continue to become more complicated, and concerns about the health impact of materials, tools and worker’s bodies become more central to employers, a need has developed for a role which integrates project management with occupational safety and health.

To fill this gap, Professor Ken-Yu Lin and Professor Edmund Seto, M.D. from the School of Public Health have teamed up to develop a new Master of Science track – Construction Management in Occupational Safety and Health (CMOSH). In designing the program, the professors identified the spaces they felt specialized training was vital, including a strong exposure to science, total worker health and hazard assessment and control.

Besides the construction management fundamentals, CMOSH students will learn how environmental exposures threaten human health and about how toxic chemicals effect biological systems. They will also study basic epidemiology for classic occupational diseases such as asbestosis, silicosis, hearing loss, and lumbar disc disease, which are common in construction.

As professionals, the graduates will be able to provide proactive measures and advices starting as early as the design phase to ensure the safety and health of the construction taskforce throughout the project lifecycle, including demolition.

The program also includes a one quarter internship where students will practice their skills in the field. Professor Lin says it is particularly important for these specialists to be able to observe field practices and identify opportunities to improve construction safety and health.

Designing for Mars

Mars_Ice_HouseIn September, NASA announced the winning submission to the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge to be Ice House. Designed by UW Master of Architecture alumnus Masayuki Sono, ’96, a founding partner of Clouds AO in New York City. Partnering with SEArch, Masayuki explains the concept proposes the primary material for the structure be the planet’s water supply, thought only to exist in the form of ice until a few weeks ago. The Ice House design is made up of two ice pods, one inside the other to insulate inhabitants from the Mars’ extreme climate. Astronauts would live within the inner pod, which is also surrounded by a vertical greenhouse. Using a 3D printer, Mars Ice House is built with translucent ice that shields the crew from radiation. For the submission, the team was asked to create a space that would accommodate four astronauts, use 3D printing techniques and incorporate elements already existing on Mars.

Maskayuki is also known for his design of the University of Virginia Art Museum, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA and for the Staten Island 9/11 First Responders Memorial on Staten Island, NY.