UW Department of Landscape Architecture Biannual Newsletter, Spring 2010
The Year of Urban Agriculture: Out There and Right Here
In February, Seattle’s new mayor, Mike McGinn, announced that 2010 was to be "The Year of Urban Agriculture". With an inspired and energetic response, first-year MLA students Ginger Daniel and Pam Emerson along with Built Environment Ph.D. student Shannon Tyman galvanized the energy of the BE College with direct support from the Dean’s Office to organize a two-day event on April 15th and 16th to promote community-based urban agriculture. The event included an evening panel discussion with notable landscape architects and designers, thinkers and activists whose professional work currently addresses the role of planning and design in the urban food movement:
- Jason King ASLA CLARB LEED AP, Principal of TERRA.fluxus LLC. and blogger from Portland, Oregon
- Debra Guenther ASLA LEED AP, Principal at Mithun
- Keith McPeeters, Principal at Gustafson, Guthrie, Nichol
- Jeff Hou, Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington.
Following the panel discussion, UW students, faculty, and staff along with community members made their way to Gould Court to launch an urban agriculture design charrette with an abundance of locally-grown food and prepared delectables. The Thursday evening and all-day Friday charrette considered 16 categories of design constraints/opportunities (such as alley space, rooftop space, abandoned lot, etc.), that provided a structure for charrette participants and a means of indexing and organizing design ideas for use by the public. The design ideas will soon be available to the public via weblink posted on the Department of Landscape Architecture’s website.In a separate event on April 28th, 2009 MLA alumna and founding member of Alleycat Acres Gia Clark joined Darrin Nordahl, city designer and author of Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture and Stella Chao, Director of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods to discuss the role and future of urban agriculture on KUOW. If you missed the discussion, it is available on KUOW’s website
BLA Program ranks Third in the Nation
University of Washington‘s BLA Program was ranked 3rd in the nation in the 2010 Dean‘s Survey of DesignIntelligence. DesignIntelligence produces the only recognized rankings for accredited BLA and MLA programs in the United States. The UW BLA program is cited for its design-build program, strong urban focus, and excellent faculty. http://www.di.net/archschools/schools.html
Green Futures Design and Research Lab receives Bullitt Foundation Grant
The Green Futures Research and Design Lab was awarded a grant from the Bullitt Foundation to address water quality pollution in Puget Sound through design. This generous award will match funding from the Russell Family Foundation to redesign stormwater outfalls along Puget Sound to clean, filter, and store stormwater prior to release, and to create rich habitat and vibrant public amenities.
The UW Green Futures Lab (GFL) develops innovative approaches to the ecological planning and design of public space through interdisciplinary research, design and education. Faculty and students advance solutions related to urban green infrastructure -- streets, trails, parks, open spaces, drainages and shorelines - systems that together comprise interconnected networks of the public realm. Such multi-functional networks support successful dense urban settlement, providing facilities that may help to protect climate, preserve biodiversity, foster equitable health and improve quality of life. The GFL works with communities to envision their sustainable futures, exploring solutions that incorporate low-impact development strategies, community space, habitat restoration, low-carbon energy and pedestrian and bicycle mobility.
It has been a busy year for the Green Futures Research and Design Lab and spring is keeping up the pace. If you haven’t visited our new space in Gould 242 please come visit. We are still growing into our space and will be developing material demo’s and displays for green roofs/walls, permeable pavers, lighting, constructed soils and so much more. Plus, our library has a great collection of research and reference materials that can inform your design work.
Some of the publications you will find include the recent Neighborhoods for People, Seattle Toolkit 2010 developed by Katherine Wimble and Eric Scharnhorst while interning for Gehl Architects. This guidebook is a reference tool to help create quality public space at the neighborhood scale. Most importantly it outlines methods to evaluate existing spaces and behavior, and to identify strategies to encourage public life. This document will be followed shortly by the second installation of the Public Space Public Life studio for the North Rainier Town Center, due in June.
When you visit the lab, you will meet two visiting scholars: JuanJuan Liu from Huzhong University of Science and Technology who is researching urban agriculture, and Antje Backhaus from the University of Copenhagen who is researching urban stormwater management. Please stop by and say hello and ask about their work!
This summer the lab will work on four local projects that will add to the litany of applied green infrastructure projects. The GFL will develop the City of Renton’s Long Range Park Plan in partnership with SvR Design, and work with Skagit County to develop a smart growth plan that utilizes green infrastructure. The GFL will also collaborate with fellow UW researchers, Rich Horner and Sally Brown, to develop new design solutions for the end of the pipe stormwater systems. Design solutions will compliment source control efforts and provide new approaches to existing stormwater infrastructure. The Green Roof team will also be hard at work studying the survivorship of native plant species, especially as temperatures peak this summer. Be sure to visit the green roof at the botany greenhouse to see how green roofs can support urban agriculture. Thanks to a partnership with the UW Farm for making this happen. We look forward to some tasty, healthy treats!
For more information about any of these projects please stop by Gould 242 or visit the website or email email@example.com.
A Greenroof for a Greenhouse
The Green Futures Lab, in partnership with the Botany Greenhouse, has been constructing a green roof on top of a shed building at the University Botany Greenhouse, adjacent to Stevens Way. Using donated materials and being assisted by students and trainees from a local roofing union chapter, the roof was completed at the beginning of spring quarter. Divided into three sections, the roof displays native plantings, food plants, and traditional sedums. It has been designed and constructed as a display of the potential and diversity for green roof technology applications as well as for a learning tool for students university wide.
Danielle Pierce, MLA‘09 was featured in uweek article about the greenroof.
STUDENTS + STUDIOS
New Seats on Campus courtesy of LArch 332
At the end of the 2009 Autumn Quarter, MLA and BLA students completed their Materials and Methods coursework with professors Daniel Winterbottom and Ben Spencer by installing eight new and innovative seating areas on the UW campus. The bench projects have been well received by the University community and were highlighted in University Week by Catherine O’Donnell on January 7th. To read exciting details of the students’ work, please read O’Donnell’s article. To visit the benches on campus, please see this location map
A Healing Garden for the VA Puget Sound Fisher House
In partnership with the Fisher House and Puget Sound Office of Veterans Affairs, third-year BLA students guided by Associate Professor Daniel Winterbottom and lecturer Nin Truong worked tirelessly through rain and cold this spring to design and build a healing garden for veterans and their families seeking services at the Seattle VA. The new Healing Garden is intended to be a place of respite as well as a replicable model for other VA facilities. A dedication of the new garden will occur at the Fisher House on Thursday June 10th. Learn more about the Fisher House Healing Garden
BLA students enter KERB18 International Design Ideas Competition PlastiCity FantastiCity
During the winter quarter, BLA students enrolled in Iain Robertson’s design studio Cultural Landscapes participated in the inaugural International Design Ideas Competition sponsored by KERB18 that challenged the current vernacular designs and sameness of cities in search of new concepts for the future. The LArch 403 students based their design concept on the assertion that the ideal city is drawn from the native form of the landscape and is inclusive of the natural world. The students paired a design process to their concept by employing sand, clay and wood chips to demonstrate how their future city would respond to and evolve from landform. Materials used in the concept model were selected for their symbolism and ability to represent the city’s potential for resiliency. Lichen from Tiger Mountain references the city’s regionalism and life cycling. Cedar wood chips gathered from the construction of a ceremonial canoe embrace the cultural aspects of the city. Glass demonstrates the directive to recycle existing use into new form and strategic planning. Learn more about the PlastiCity FantastiCity competition
Third-year BLA student Aaron White reports on his Practicum with the Danny Woo Gardens
Danny Woo Gardens is a special and unique community garden located in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District. Now over 35 years old, the garden provides land for 80 gardeners. These individuals are mostly Asian and elderly, and utilize the land to its full potential, growing vegetables and other food crops throughout the year. These gardeners, untold volunteer hours, and numerous projects in concert with the College of Built Environments have helped shape the garden into what we see and enjoy today.
I have had the opportunity to work with the garden since the summer of 2009 when I was offered a practicum position to design and build a children’s garden at Danny Woo. That summer we did lots of heavy lifting by building a 100- foot long retaining wall that supports the children’s garden. During winter quarter, we held a charrette with local children in the district, designed the master plan and structures, and obtained permission from the International District Review Board to build the project. The construction of the chicken coop and tool shed continued throughout the winter months until the end of February, and is now ready to pass on to the children. Landscape Architecture so often tied into telling stories, and during my practicum at Danny Woo I am proud to have helped write the introduction to the children’s garden. The next chapter is held in suspense as I look forward to seeing where the children take the story from here.
The Danny Woo Garden is located at 221 6th Ave. S
MLA Students off to EDRA and Denmark to present conference papers
A special congratulations and good luck to third-year MLA students Katherine Wimble and Michael Lewis whose work has been recognized and accepted for conference presentations. Katherine will co-present with Associate Professor Nancy Rottle at the 41st Annual Meeting of EDRA (Environmental Design Research Association) in Washington, DC, June 2-6, 2010. Katherine and Nancy will discuss their research and paper entitled, “Policy, Process and Public Space: Engaging Diverse Voices in Neighborhood Planning” on Saturday June 5th from 2:00-3:30pm. Michael Lewis will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark in mid-June to present a paper based on his thesis at the “As Found: World in Denmark Conference 2010.”
Congratulations to ASLA and WASLA award winners
WASLA Honor Awards
- Wan Fong Wu, 1st year BLA - "Regrade"
- Tera Hatfield, 1st year MLA - "The Odd Couple - Strangers in a Strange Land"
- Myles Harvey, 1st year BLA - "Falco peregrinus - Sturnus vulgaris"
- Linda Pham, Meng Cai, 3rd year BLAs - "Redefining the Edge"
- Katherine Wimble, 3rd year MLA - "The Knot - Kubota Gardens"
- Michael Lewis, 3rd year MLA - "Situated Meaning"
- Sarah Ferreter, 3rd year MLA - "Delighting in Light - an Explanation of the Illuminated Nightscape"
- Monica Thompson, 1st year BLA - "Puddle Wonderful"
- Wan Fong Wu, 1st year BLA - "The Merging Marsh at Magnuson Park"
- Leslie Batten, 2nd year MLA - "Intertidal Cycles"
- Rachel Miller, Dan Jeon, Mike Walton, 2nd year BLAs - "Strawberry Hill Youth Park"
- Spencer Drown, 3rd year BLA - "Make Your Mark"
- Lori Tang, Kristi Park, Brian Monwai, 2nd year MLAs - "Front Porch Swing for Terry Hall"
- Rachel Miller, Nicole Simon, 2nd year BLAs - "Cedar Avenue Park"
- Nick Boyce 2nd year BLA, Lauren Ehnebuske Day, Michelle Harvey, Zack Stevenson, Corinna Welzenbach 3rd year MLA - "Grounding Community: Urban Farming at Yesler Terrace"
- Meng Cai, 3rd year BLA
- Sarah Ferreter, 3rd year MLA
- Linda Pham, 3rd year BLA
- Jason Medeiros, 3rd year MLA
A Big Apple for Streafield
At the end of his final lecture in LARCH 353, The History of Modern Landscape Architecture Professor Emeritus Streatfield was presented with a large hand-drawn Apple rendered in color. The back of the Apple was inscribed by many students with appreciative remarks. This was a big occasion for Streatfield since he will not teach this class again. He has taught this class ever since he developed it in the late 1970s; it is one of the earliest classes created in this country on this subject.
"I take great pride in receiving this Apple. This is one of the most wonderful gestures of appreciation that I have ever received from students and was a splendid conclusion to decades of living with this fascinating material," he observed.
In this spring issue of our newsletter, we congratulate and celebrate the recent awards and recognition honoring the hard work of our faculty.
Earlier this spring, EDRA (the Environmental Design Research Association) announced the 2010 Great Places Award Winners. Co-sponsored with PLACES Journal in cooperation with Metropolis magazine, these awards "recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design." Of the four award categories (Design, Planning, Research and Published Books), the UW Department of Landscape Architecture won in two! The 2010 Great Places Award in Design was awarded to Garbage to Gardens, Guatemala City, Guatemala presented to Associate Professor Daniel Winterbottom with students of the Guatemala design/build studios. Department Chair and Associate Professor Jeff Hou and Associate Professor Julie Johnson with colleague Laura Lawson of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign received a distinguished Great Places Book Award for Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens. Jeff, Julie and Daniel will be accepting the awards at a ceremony as part of the EDRA conference in Washington DC this June. To read more about the awards and winning projects, please see EDRA’s website
Associate Professor Designate Thaisa Way was honored this spring by the Foundation for Landscape Studies who awarded her book, Unbounded Practice: Women and Landscape Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century the John Brinckerhoff Jackson 2010 Book Prize. Named in honor of one of the founding figures of American landscape studies, the J. B. Jackson prize is awarded to a distinguished book published in the English language within the past three years by the Landscape Studies Foundation in New York City. See the Foundation’s website for more information.Department Lecturer and 1998 BLA Alumnus Nin Truong made headlines in the May 5th issue of the International Examiner. The article entitled, "Designs that Matter" profiles the extensive talent and community contributions made by Nin through his diverse portfolio of work. See IE’s interview with Nin and read Abe Vu’s story of our entrepreneur extraordinaire online
Chair and Associate Professor Jeff Hou received a grant from the Worldwide Universities Network for a collaborative research project titled “Immigrants, Place and Cross-cultural Understanding” for which he will serve as the lead. Working with partners at National Taiwan University, Pennsylvania State University, University of California, Davis, and University of Sheffield, University of Sydney and University of Wisconsin, Madison, the project’s results will be presented at a symposium tentatively titled “Transcultural Cities” in Seattle in Winter 2011. Hou also serves on the organizing committee for the 7th Conference of the Pacific Rim Community Design Network in Awaji, Japan this September.
Assistant Professors Ken Yocom and Ben Spencer have received funding for their Green Roof Research Program from the Roof Consultants Institute Foundation. The grant will enable them to purchase the required equipment and staff the research for up to a 9-month period. Stay tuned for the results in the next issue of our newsletter!
Professor Emeritus David C. Streatfield assisted landscape architect Ann Christoph of Laguna Beach as the consultant historian on the reconstruction of Sicilian Court at Scripps College, Pomona, California. This small private all-women liberal arts college is one of 4 undergraduate colleges affiliated with graduate schools that comprise the cluster of Claremont colleges and is widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful small college campuses in the country.
Photo: Ann Christoph, 2009
Scripps College was founded by Ellen Browning Scripps in 1926. The design of the inward focused campus placed a series of dormitories, each "giving the appearance and atmosphere of a beautiful home," around large geometric quadrangles organized around a series of cross axial vistas reinforced by avenues of deciduous trees. In addition, a series of small courts in the dormitories and classroom and administrative buildings serve as foci for the emphasis on beautiful domestic and communal spaces as the sound basis for an independent education of young women. Each is distinct, reflecting a clear understanding of differing functions and events along circulation sequences. This well considered orderly spatial design and the richly varied series of intimate spaces resulted from the close collaboration between the architect Gordon Kauffmann and the landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout. The seemingly effortless integration of architecture and landscape has led many scholars to consider Scripps to be Huntsman-Trout’s masterpiece. Sicilian Court lies between Denison Library and the administration building and was completed in the early 1930s. It was named after the 16th century Italian wellhead at its center, which was believed to come from Sicily; it was later discovered that it originated from an estate close to Florence. The court originally functioned as a social space where tea was served every Wednesday afternoon, a tradition that still continues in another court. In more recent years the court became a part of the major entrance sequence into the library and in 1980 was re-designed in an undistinguished modernist manner completely at variance with the original design.
In 2004 The Scripps College Landscape and Architecture Blueprint, a planning study of the campus funded by a Getty grant intended to assist historically important campuses, identified maintenance and repair needs and opportunities for the restoration of re-modeled spaces. This analysis concluded that new patterns of circulation to and uses within the library had increased the desirability of reconstructing this court and Valencia Court, on the other side of the Library. The reconstruction was completed in December 2009. The research underlying the reconstruction involved analysis of documents in the Special Collections Library at U.C.L.A. and in the College archives. Archival photographs were among the most critical documents and were important in re-establishing the original paving layout, the stone and the plant species used. There were no planting plans, since Huntsman-Trout was an intuitive designer who rarely developed detailed planting plans. This project was immensely enjoyable for Professor Streatfield, since he knew and admired Huntsman-Trout, having toured the campus with him in the late 1960s and interviewed him on two subsequent occasions shortly before his death. He believes "that Edward would be pleased," that his original design has been so faithfully re-instated."
Department Chair and Associate Professor Jeff Hou served as editor of the newly published (April 2010)
Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities. The publisher, Routledge, the Taylor and Francis Group describes the book:
In cities around the world, individuals and groups are reclaiming and creating urban sites, temporary spaces and informal gathering places. These ’insurgent public spaces’ challenge conventional views of how urban areas are defined and used, and how they can transform the city environment. No longer confined to traditional public areas like neighbourhood parks and public plazas, these guerrilla spaces express the alternative social and spatial relationships in our changing cities.
With nearly 20 illustrated case studies, this volume shows how instances of insurgent public space occur across the world. Examples range from community gardening in Seattle and Los Angeles, street dancing in Beijing, to the transformation of parking spaces into temporary parks in San Francisco.
Drawing on the experiences and knowledge of individuals extensively engaged in the actual implementation of these spaces, Insurgent Public Space is a unique cross-disciplinary approach to the study of public space use, and how it is utilised in the contemporary, urban world. Appealing to professionals and students in both urban studies and more social courses, Hou has brought together valuable commentaries on an area of urbanism, which has, up until now, been largely ignored.
New Rain Garden in Ballard -- Alumnus David Minnery, MLA ’08 sees his thesis come to life at Adams Elementary School. See King 5’s video news coverage online
Congratulations to Noriko Marshall, MLA ’08 for receiving "Honorable Mention" in Alley Art Project’s design competition: Green Alleys. This competition challenged designers to imagine new possibilities for the underutilized and often overlooked alleys in Pioneer Square. Also recognized was Justin Martin, MLA ’08 for a scheme developed with SvR Design Group. Winning and featured entries available online
Paul Lander, MLA ’90 is the new chair of the ASLA Water Conservation PPN and is looking forward to bringing more resources and connectivity to the network. In November, the LA department at CU-Denver convened a meeting of professionals interested in gaining a better understanding of water issues in Colorado. For much of the intermountain west, water supply is the key interest, but water quality concerns are relevant in any region of the country. In addition, Paul recently gave a lecture to graduate students on the relationships between landscape and water that we see in the Western U.S. UW Students, faculty and alumni are encouraged to contact Paul with any interests in water-related topics. He can be reached in Boulder, Colorado at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Willard, BLA ’85, is serving as Chair of the Roadside Maintenance & Operations Committee of the Transportation Research Board, which is a national committee comprised of approximately 20 individuals representing DoT operations, academia, and the transportation industry.
Anna Bastin McKee, MLA ’92 has returned from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where she studied ice coring science, ice sheet landscapes and climate change. A National Science Foundation Artists and Writers Grant funded Anna’s travel in December. Anna is currently preparing artwork generated from her experiences for a gallery exhibition scheduled for November. To preview some of Anna’s work and read about her project and travel experience, please see her blog
Martin Frederickson, BLA ’01 has traveled to Morocco and will spend two years serving as an Environmental Educator and Community Development Agent with the Peace Corps. Follow Martin through his blog
Meghan Montgomery, BLA ’04 launched a new business in 2010 called Cultures East which specializes in architectural and cultural travel to Southeast Asia. She also recently got her Landscape Architecture license in New York where she continues to practice.
Please share your news with the department and alumni by emailing JoAnne Edwards. Stay in touch with Alumni and the UW Department of Landscape Architecture with our LinkedIn Group, Group name: University of Washington Landscape Architecture