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Student Experience


BE Interdisciplinary Studios
Winter 2018 – “Designing for Community Resilience”, taught by Rachel Berney, Urban Design and Planning, and Julie Johnson, Landscape Architecture

Autumn 2017 – “Sustainable Planning, Design and Development Strategies of Transit-Oriented Design,” taught by David Blum, Urban Design and Planning; Al Levine, Real Estate; and Rick Mohler, Architecture

Winter 2017 – “Dynamic Neighborhoods: Rainier Valley Studio”, taught by Kathryn Merlino, Architecture, and Manish Chalana, Urban Design and Planning

McKinley Futures Studio
Each year, the McKinley Futures Studio invites two CBE faculty members to co-host a course dedicated to a specific region or topic related to the future. Students are tasked with producing projects that generate research-based hypothetical design scenarios and are challenged to consider larger problems facing society—health, the environment, the economy, science, and technology. Since its launch these studios have focused on: Cities on Water and Smart Cities and Urban Productivity. This intensive quarter requires students to consult with, and be critiqued by, experts outside of the design fields—lawyers, environmental experts, healthcare providers, and business leaders. They use the perspectives and feedback to develop potential solutions, and present their findings and proposals at an end of year critique.

Spring 2017 – “Restructuring the Future City”, taught by Rick Mohler, Architecture, and Julie Parrett, Landscape Architecture

Spring 2016 – “Smart Cities and Urban Productivity”, taught by Gundula Proksch, Architecture, and Ken Yocom, Landscape Architecture

Spring 2015 – “Cities within Cities”, taught by Dave Miller, Architecture, and Ben Spencer, Landscape Architecture

Spring 2014 – “Cities on Water”, taught by Daniel Freidman, Architecture

Furniture Studio–Architecture

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.

Neighborhood Design/Build Studio–Architecture

The Neighborhood Design/Build Studio is an award-winning studio offered by the Department of Architecture where students design and build small community projects for Seattle-area nonprofit groups. Architecture graduates and undergraduates in their final year gain experience with clients, public agencies, material and assembly details, and hands-on construction while working to benefit people in the greater community. The studio receives funding from the Department of Neighborhoods, local business community, and the Howard S. Wright Endowment fund.

For more information about the current Neighborhood Design/Build project and to see past projects, visit here.

Design Build–Landscape Architecture
In many academic design programs the tendency is to separate the technical (building) curriculum from the design (studio) courses. In this program students are asked to consider design through the “application of building” and adapt their designs based on actual experience and scale. Our program philosophy is that the art of landscape architecture is not complete without the act of building and that through their involvement in both design and construction, students develop a balance between the conceptualizing and the making of their design. They gain an understanding of the design process as circular, from idea, to building and back to idea. In this process, the ideas, hands, tools and materials come together; design opportunities are discovered and explored.

Store Front Studio–Architecture

The Storefront Studio is an outreach design studio, focusing on small towns in Washington State. It is offered as an undergraduate studio, the last in the sequence of studios, or as a vertical studio combined with graduate students. The focus of the studio is an investigation into the historic Main Streets of Washington State communities.

Student designs facilitate discussion on, and funding for, a mix of community-generated projects in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Although individual programs and projects vary, every project enhances community resilience, inclusivity and authenticity, through historic preservation, economic revitalization, complete street/green street strategies, and enhanced public parks and infrastructures.

For more information about the studio, please visit the Storefront Studio website.

College Resources

Digital Commons, Gould 007
Laser Cutter, Gould 350
ArchNet, Architecture G051
Student Loaner Program
Equipment Check-Out
Room Reservations

International Opportunities

Scan | Design

Student Organizations + Groups

Built Environment Student Council (BESC)
College Equity Council
Landscape Architecture Diversity Council
Architecture Diversity Council
Urban Design and Planning Diversity Council
Design Activist Collective
Design as Protest

Competitions + Awards

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University Resources for Students