Graduate Profiles

Information about program graduates

Anne Anderson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Washington (1994)
B.S. Civil Engineering, Oregon State University (1991)

Dissertation: Visualization, Communication, and Copresence: Using Building Information Models in Virtual Worlds

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Eastern Washington University, Pullman

Prior to returning to the University of Washington for a Ph.D. in the Built Environment, I worked as a structural engineer and general contractor. My experience in the building industry led me to understand and appreciate the need to improve communication between the various disciplines in the industry, each of whom operated within their own boundaries of knowledge and language. My research interests focus on the use of emerging visualization and communication technologies in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. As part of a National Science Foundation grant, I have studied how geographically distributed teams collaborate in the media-rich environment of a 3D virtual world where building information models (BIMs) may be imported into the virtual space and explored and discussed by the team synchronously. The goal is to determine communication efficiency and effectiveness gained through the shared visualization and nonverbal cues afforded by the 3D environment.


Rahman Azari

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
M.Sc. of Architecture, Sahand Univ. of Technology, Iran (2002)
Registered Architect, Iran
LEED GA (2001)

Dissertation: An Evaluation Framework for the Integrated Design Process of Sustainable High-Performance Buildings

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Texas San Antonio

My broader academic goal is to investigate ways to reduce the environmental impacts of built environments, and to find solutions toward environmental regeneration. I have conducted research and published within this realm on a variety of topics, including environmental life-cycle assessment of buildings, integrated design, energy-efficiency, etc. My doctoral dissertation seeks to understand the integrated design process of high-performance buildings and propose a maturity assessment method for the process.

In addition to my main research interests, I have served as pre-doctoral research associate at the University of Washington in several funded research projects in the field of construction management. These projects address diverse topics such as project delivery systems, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), collaboration in virtual environments, prefabricated modular construction, etc.


Cheryl Gilge

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2014)
M.F.A., University of California—Riverside
B.F.A., University of Minnesota—Minneapolis

Dissertation: Entanglement and experimentation; or, Cultural fascism and Google Street View

Currently: Instructor, Urban Studies, University of Washington, Tacoma

My research is located at the intersection of the built environment, visual culture, geography, urban studies, mediated experience, and the public realm, examined through spatial imaginaries, political economy, political theory, and philosophical and sociological inquiry. My dissertation focuses on Google Street View (GSV) as a visual navigational tool and archive of the urban realm, and the range of users, from academic research to gaming platforms, from artistic practices to sensational curation. As critical engagement, I focus on the newness of the phenomenon in relation to a rapidly changing media landscape, and the unique tensions produced in the larger cultural field. As a visual phenomenon, I highlight the spatio-temporal disjunctions of the interface; examine artistic practices and the role 'wonder' plays in cognition and aesthetic experience. As a research tool, I examine the dangers of knowledge production from this visual approximation of the urban realm. As a political-economic environment, I focus on the insidious confluence of the neoliberal agenda, open-source movement and citizen participation via Web 2.0 technologies, producing what Deleuze and Guattari call 'microfascisms': daily practices adopted at the expense of individual freedom, with the belief in a better future or outcome. The core dissertation argument is twofold: Google as a corporate entity presents a suite of tools that appeal to our desire for efficiency in our daily lives; the user practices display a heterogeneous mix of potential outcomes for knowledge and cultural production. Taken together, I focus on the meaning that is constructed and installed at the social level and the production of meaning that takes place at the individual level to sketch out the tensions that result from these co-constituting practices.


Keith Harris

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2016)
LEED AP (2007)
Master of Engineering, Civil Engineering (structures emphasis), Texas A&M University (2003)
Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering (structures emphasis), Texas A&M University (2001)

Dissertation: The Coordinated City’s Mutation Machine: Capitalism, Sympathy, and Urbanization in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood

At a broad level, I'm interested in the relationship between consumer culture and the built environment. Specifically, my research investigates the multiple forces that shape the urban landscape: economic and political strategies and policy, advertising, discourses about urbanity and the environment, design practice, etc. I am especially interested in the most recent waves of gentrification (sometimes called 'soft urbanism') that have resulted in large-scale and 'luxury' projects that are touted as sites for new modes of urban living. This path of research is obviously a departure from my technical training and requires increasing familiarity with 'theory', discourse analysis, and other qualitative research methods.


Hoda Homayouni

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Design Computing, University of Washington (2007)
B.S. Architecture, University of Tehran (2004)

Dissertation: Aligning Contractual, Technological, and Organizational Elements to Achieve Higher Performance buildings: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Approach

My research interests include High Performance (HP) buildings, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and inter-organizational collaboration among project teams within Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. As my Ph.D. research, I used a methodology called fuzzy sets Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to create a framework for analyzing interdependencies within contractual, organizational, and social elements that foster inter-organizational collaboration and BIM implementation within HP projects. I also used this framework for creating typologies of successful HP projects based on their collaboration techniques and use of BIM technologies.


Jiawen Hu

Ph.D., University of Washington (2015)
M.S. Landscape Architecture, Peking University (2009)
B.A. Law & Economics, Peking University (2007)

Dissertation: Coming Home to the Land: Natural Farming as Therapeutic Landscape Experience in Chengdu Plain, China

My interest in how the physical world encompasses our daily life led to my master’s study in landscape architecture, during which I focused on the importance of the social context—i.e. economic, legal, psychological, and epistemological aspects—of the built environment that constitute the driving forces of physical forms, as well as the human experience and interaction with space and place. My current research involves human spatial strategies for psychological and spiritual well-being, especially the experience of therapeutic landscapes in the context of contemporary China, where stress and the feeling of rootlessness overwhelm modern urban life. I am also researching how space and place can contribute to the existential quest and what conflicts or different interpretations are involved in how we experience places.


Kuang-Ting Huang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.S. Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (2003)
B.A. Architecture, Tunghai University (2000)

Dissertation: Remaking Chinese Planning as a Profession: Growing Demand and Challenges

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan

Due to my involvement as planning practitioner in a series of participatory planning and cultural landscape preservation projects in Taiwan, I am interested in the evolution of planning profession and its consequences, particularly from a comparative perspective. In order to expand my views of how planning is practiced in different social and political contexts, I investigated into a case of urban planning in Southeastern China (Zhenjiang City in Jiangsu Province), presented in my thesis A Case Study of Heritage Conservation and Old City Renewal in China: Zhenjiang City and Xijin Ferry Historic District. Through the process, I gradually expanded my interest from planning practice to its institutionalization and got interested in seeking the common ground among the different political entities in East Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Following the current academic concerns with the East Asian developmental states, I will focus on the institutional change of the planning profession and explore its political embedded-ness in the process of state transformation. Thus, my dissertation would begin with empirical-based studies (using qualitative case studies to develop a comparative framework) and then go back to the case of China, questioning how the professionalization of planning is consistently held in check not only by the socialist state in the pre-reform era but also by the capitalist one in the reform era.


Shu-Mei Huang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.Sc. in Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (2004)
Exchange student in Tilburg University, Netherlands (2003–2004)
B.Sc. in Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (1997)

Dissertation: Carescapes: Transnational Urban Redevelopment of The Post-Colonial Hong Kong.

Urbanizing Carescapes of Hong Kong: Two Systems One City was published by Rowman & Littlefield’s Lexington Books imprint in 2015.

My research is driven by a broad array of interests in transnational urbanism, geographies of care, and linkages between migration and urban redevelopment. My current work concerns mainly the new trends of urban redevelopment in East Asian cities in relation to shifting landscape of care and housing provision and how that contributes to remaking of urban citizenship. I am working on my dissertational project with focus on urban renewal and polarizing housing/care provision in Hong Kong during the post-handover era. I have been participating in planning practices in Taiwan since 2004. In recent years, I write independently for popular publishing and citizen media in Taiwan and Hong Kong. I am looking forward to bridging discussion about changing community and urban space across the Pacific Rim.


Namhun Lee

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.S. Construction Management, University of Washington (2003)
B.E. Architectural Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Korea (1998)

Dissertation: A Framework for Developing New Visualization Schemes for Construction Project Performance Monitoring

Currently: Assistant Professor, Central Connecticut State University

What convinced me to join this Ph.D. program is its interdisciplinary nature. I believe that major advances in research and discovery will be made at the interfaces between disciplines. I am interested in information visualization that applies AR (Augmented Reality) technology and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) concept to the CM (Construction Management) domain. Construction information visualization provides better understanding of ongoing construction projects to project participants. Using information visualization system, project team members are able to better analyze actual project status in the dynamic environment, make more informed decisions, and take timely corrective actions for a project's success. My research focuses on Intelligent Construction Information System, Augmented Reality in Construction, and Innovative Games and Simulations for Construction Education.


Kuei-Hsien Liao

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012))
LEED Accredited Professional (2004)
Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania (2003)
Bachelor of Arts in Economics, National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan (1996)

Dissertation: The Dynamics and Resilience of River Cities as Coupled Human-Natural Systems

Currently: Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Many riverine cities across the globe have long histories of fighting the rivers for development. As a means to prevent the city from flooding, flood defense infrastructure (including river engineering works and the stormwater drainage networks) has become an integral part of urban river dynamics. At the expense of the health of the urban rivers, current flood infrastructure fails to even provide safety. This reveals how poorly we understand the dynamics of rivers and watersheds, and also calls for a re-examination of the fundamental assumptions behind the design of modern hydrological infrastructures and even cities.

Many environmental problems humans face today derive from our ignorance of the complex nature of the systems we are dealing with. Modern cities continue to suffer from flooding because we treat the river as a simple hydraulic system and use a simple solution to deal with flooding: getting the water out of the way as soon as possible. Flooding, however, is a subject of synergistic effects of both human and natural factors. It is important to recognize that the river in the urbanized watershed is not totally "natural," in the sense that it is a phenomenon emerging out of complex interactions between natural and human processes—it is a coupled human and natural system.

My dissertation research is toward understanding urban rivers as coupled human and natural systems and urban flooding as a complex phenomenon, exploring the feedback loop among urban flood-defense infrastructure, flood disasters, perception of floods, and river health. I am also investigating spatial strategies that could reduce flood disasters and enhance/restore the health of urban rivers. Essentially, I intend to conduct interdisciplinary research that integrates urban design, ecohydrology (environmental flows), and flood management.


Joshua J. Miller

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2010)
M.U.P. University of Washington (2005)
B.A. Community, Regional and Environmental Studies, Bard College (1997)

Dissertation: Cyborg Love, Critical Mass and Possibility: Enacting the Right to the City

Currently: Program Manager, Cascade Bicycle Club

I've had a long and abiding interest in what I like to call "human/land interactions," in objection to the dichotomization of human and nature. This human/land interplay is a critical nexus for issues of ecology, human justice, interspecies justice and therefore land use planning and the design of the built environment. I have several current research interests including: regional planning, bicycle transportation planning (the subject of my master's thesis), the relationships between behavior and environment (the topic of my thesis research on bicycle transportation in Gothenburg, Sweden), visual elements of representational theory and environmental justice. I have used a combination of quantitative (e.g. GIS and statistical analysis) and qualitative (e.g. historical and visual) methods in past research and continue to employ that hybrid approach in my present work. My work has also combined visual methods with the more conventional academic medium of words. Most of the visual representations that I have incorporated into my academic writings are either photographs or diagrammatic sketches including: conceptual models, functional models and graphic renderings of place and space. Presently I am engaged in a new effort to work with and study film and video media. My work has been strongly informed by a Lefebvrean approach to understanding the production of space.


Ashish Nangia

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2008)
M.A. École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville, Paris, France (2003)
B.Arch. School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India (1999)

Dissertation: Re-locating modernism: Chandigarh, Le Corbusier and the global postcolonial

Currently: Assistant Professor, Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture

I have written extensively on histories of architecture in South Asia prior to starting my Master's program in Paris, France. My Master's dissertation linked the processes of national identity and architectural modernity in the Le Corbusian city of Chandigarh, India. Exploring archives at the Fondation Le Corbusier, Paris and at the City Museum, Chandigarh, I constructed a syncretic narrative of postcolonial modernism at Chandigarh that drew influences from histories of modern architecture as well as critical and theoretical understandings of postcolonial thought.

From 2000 to 2003, I guest lectured at schools of architecture in India, served as an invited jury member on architectural design theses in France, and built several architectural projects in Chandigarh, India.

My doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington lies within the architectural history canon that posits a multi-centered conception of architectural that conceptualizes modernity as a fragmented narrative Within this conceptual framework the dissertation analyses Le Corbusier's Chandigarh by tracing/extending the roots of the city's history into the 19th century, by positing alternate and equally valid modernisms that develop concurrently with Le Corbusier's CIAM plan, and finally by chronicling the city's leap "beyond" modernism into the 21st century. To this effect my theoretical investigation is grounded in scholarship as varied as the Subaltern studies project, Gayatri Spivak's critiques of postcolonial thought, and Claude Lévi-Strauss's structuralism, Roland Barthes and Joseph Campbell's re-invention of modern mythologies.

I have presented my doctoral research in professional conferences at the University of Paris (2005), the University of Berkeley, CA (2006), the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2007, 2008), at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Annual Meeting (2008), and at the University of Washington (2005, 2008).

At the University of Washington I have taught a history/theory section to Graduate students in Architecture, led a pre-architecture section on Design Drawing, and guest lectured in the Architecture, South Asia, and Art Departments on topics ranging from the architecture of the Indus Valley Civilization to the Modernist City.

In 2007 I was part of a research team on urban studies funded by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington In 2008 we are applying for increased funding with a more ambitious agenda that includes a two-day conference and publication.


Paula Patterson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2003)
B.F.A. (photography), University of Utah (1992)

Dissertation: The Architecture of the Poetic Image: the visible and the invisible in the sacred architecture of Sigurd Lewerentz

Currently: Founder, BKNYdesign

My research examines the poetic image as found in the sacred architecture of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz in relation to the late writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Lewerentz was born in 1885 and practiced architecture in Sweden from 1911 until his death in 1975. His work is largely comprised of cemeteries and funerary chapels and is most noted for two churches; St. Mark's (1960) and St. Peter's (1966), realized in the final years of his life. Together with Gunnar Asplund, he submitted the winning proposal for the 1914-1915 competition for a new cemetery to be built outside of Stockholm on the site of a former gravel quarry. In 1994, Skogskyrkogården, or Woodland Cemetery as it is has come to be known internationally, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lewerentz went on to complete some eighteen proposals for cemeteries throughout Sweden, nearly half of which were realized.

My dissertation is theoretically grounded in phenomenology, a movement within Continental Philosophy contemporary with Lewerentz's work that was motivated by a desire to show that our experience of concrete phenomena lies at the center of our knowledge and understanding of the world. Its specific focus is the argument made by Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible (1964) that meaning and ideas are given only through concrete phenomena. This runs counter to notions favored throughout the history of Western Philosophy that traditionally give eidos or ideas priority over phenomena. Lewerentz's approach to architecture manifests a remarkable affinity for the ideas set forth by Merleau-Ponty and together their work offers a compelling body of evidence for the argument that imagination plays an essential role in the generation of meaning.


Julie Poncelet

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
MSc.Pl. Urban Planning, University of Toronto (2001)
B.A. Human Geography & Urban Studies, University of British Columbia (1999)

Dissertation: A Community-Based Grassroots Organization in the South Bronx as a Catalyst for Youth Organizing and Activism: Analyzing the Dynamics of a Transformative Youth Program

Currently: Adjunct Faculty, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

During my studies at the University of Toronto, I worked primarily on urban design issues and youth participatory planning processes, integrating the two in my current issues paper on Skateboard Park planning and designing. After completing my Masters in Urban Planning, I worked at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission as a policy planner in the Strategic Planning and Policy Division. At the Planning Commission, my work focused primarily on public open space, parks, and recreation. I was also involved with the School District of Philadelphia's capital budget program.

My current interests remain focused on urban youth, participatory planning, and open public spaces. Specifically, I hope to explore the cultural conflicts that arise from the use, design, control, and identity of urban spaces. I am interested in the production, preservation, and meaning of public space as it relates to urban youth. Central to my current studies are the issues of behavior, marginality, regulations, and rights relative to public spaces. In my professional experiences as an Urban Planner I encountered few instances in which youth were actively sought to participate in the development or revitalization of public spaces. Most policy-makers seem to have a limited desire to understand the reasons for conflict and the meanings of space to youth. I want to better understand the spatial dimensions of cultural conflicts of youth and public spaces.


Jayde Lin Roberts

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2011)
M.A. China Studies, University of Washington (2004)
B.A. Architecture, UC Berkeley (1993)

Dissertation: Tracing the Ethos of the Sino-Burmese in the Urban Fabric of Yangon, Burma (Myanmar).

Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation Among the Sino-Burmese was published by the University of Washington Press in 2016.

Currently: Lecturer, School of Asian Languages & Studies, University of Tasmania

My Ph.D. research explored the locality/ies of identity in the translocal Chinese diaspora, focusing specifically on the Chinese-Burmese in Yangon (Rangoon) Chinatown, and in Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar. What is the relationship between the overseas Chinese sense of identity and their sense and construction of place?

As a Chinese-American who was born in Taiwan and grew up in Southern California, the confusion and potential of transnational and translocal interactions have been potent forces in my life. These forces not only affected me individually, compelling me to question my own identity, they are constantly manifesting themselves in the built environment. How and why do cities or districts take on new forms or acquire new identities? What are the forces behind these changes?

Before returning to school in 2002, I was a simultaneous and consecutive interpreter (Mandarin and English) in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and a facilitator for participatory and team building processes.


Ozge Sade

B.Arch. Istanbul Technical University (2002)
M.S. History of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University (2005)
Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)

Dissertation: A Fragmented Memory Project: Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums in Turkey, 1960–1980

Currently: Instructor, Bellevue Community College

My general field of interest is the history and theory of modern architecture. In the Built Environment PhD program, I have been exploring new ways to understand modern architecture through interdisciplinary perspectives. Critical of the conventional historiographies of modern architecture that produced discourses based on the Western male architect as the heroic creator, I am developing ways to understand the built environment in relation to the complex processes of creation with multiple participants. Cultural criticism, feminism, and cosmopolitanism constitute the theoretical basis of my studies. In addition, I am interested in the links between the critique of modernity in the postwar period and the transnational conceptions of the contemporary construction scene.

My doctoral dissertation is an interdisciplinary project engaging in museum studies, cultural studies, and the history of the built environments. It focuses on the provincial museums in Turkey. I analyze these peripheral modern structures in relation to the identity discourse and the politics of remembrance. Instead of looking for the confirmation of dominant historical narratives on monumental central museums, I seek to explore the 'hidden' memories that were left out of modern historiographies by analyzing provincial museums.


JeongWook Son

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2011)
M.S. in Civil Engineering (Construction Management), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)
M.S. in Architectural Engineering (Construction Management), Yonsei University, Korea (2004)
B.S. in Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, Korea (1999)

Dissertation: An integrated model of evolution of project teams in large-scale construction projects

Currently: Assistant Professor, Ewha Womans University, South Korea

My primary research agenda relates to "understanding the impact of organizational dynamics on project performance from a complex system viewpoint." In large-scale projects, no single organization has a complete knowledge of all processes and the success of the project rests in the effectiveness of teamwork. However, collaborative practices of project stakeholders during construction projects have not received much attention even though they have been found to have a substantial impact on project performance. In this regard, in my doctoral dissertation I have focused on understanding how organizational dynamics in large-scale construction project teams can affect project planning and control processes and ultimately project performance. I developed an agent-based simulation (ABS) of project teams which is powered by game theory, social network analysis (SNA), and human-behavior models.

I am also interested in developing ways to enhance construction education through information and communication technologies (ICT). Construction education has mostly relied on one-way transference of instructors' knowledge to students through traditional media such as textbooks and lecture slides. However, practical knowledge could be more effectively acquired in experiential situations. ICT, such as virtual 3d video games, can help create and experience semi-experiential situations in classrooms. Accordingly, I developed a 3d video game, called Safety Inspector, where students train themselves for safety issues in a virtual construction site. Students who assume the roles of safety inspectors in the game explore a virtual site to identify potential hazards and learn from the contents of feedback created by the game as a result of students' input.


Tyler S. Sprague

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2013)
M.S. Civil Engineering (Structural Emphasis), University of Washington (2006)
B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley (2003)

Dissertation: Expressive Structure: The Life and Work of Matthew Nowicki

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Washington

See Tyler Sprague’s faculty page at the Department of Architecture


Nan-Ching Tai

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2010)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2002)
B.S. in Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering, National Taiwan University (1996)

Dissertation: Role of Light in Real and Pictorial Spaces: A Computational Framework to Investigate Scene-Based Luminance Distributions and Their Impact on Depth Perception

Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Tamkang University, Taiwan

After completing his master's degree, Nan-Ching Tai practiced at local architecture firms and began to teach architectural graphics and design courses at UW Department of Architecture. He has a passion for freehand sketching and has been promoting sketching analytically as an effective native visual language tool to learn from the encountered built environment. He sees computer graphics as an advanced common visual language that can communicate an imaginary space with everyone involved in the design and construction process. He is committed to modularized digital technology to form a pipeline network that allows different modules to form suitable workflow for each particular design task. While working on his Ph.D., Tai developed a computational framework to generate a pictorial space that reflects the perceptual reality, and utilized it as an alternative environment to conduct perceptual study on space perception that is otherwise restricted from the physical environment. His research interest includes: High Dynamic Range Imagery, Lighting Simulation, Faithful Representation in Computer Graphics, and Space Perception in Real and Pictorial Spaces. He is currently a full-time assistant professor at Tamkang University.


James Thompson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment (2016)
M.Arch, University of Minnesota (2010)
B.A., Art and Pre-Architecture, Colby College (2006)

Dissertation: Becoming an Architect: Narratives of Architectural Education.

Generally, my interests relate to the field of architecture’s ongoing attempts to define itself and imagine future modes of practice. This led me to the realm of design education, the chief time and space for disciplinary enculturation. My dissertation,Transformative Learning & Student Agency in Architectural Education: A Narrative Approach, explores learning in architecture, broadly conceived. Using in-depth interviews and narrative analysis, I aim to access and examine how graduate students make sense of ‘becoming an architect.’ Specifically, I am interested in how aspiring architects develop and transform over the extent of a particular professional curriculum. My broader aim is to contribute to our growing empirical understanding of learning in architecture, thereby informing teaching and educational practices.

Another area of interest is how democratic, critical, and utopian theory can be used as analytical techniques in architectural criticism. This builds on recent attempts to recapture architecture’s social and political commitments, largely abandoned when design gets reduced to technological or aesthetic processes. It also suggests radically modifying the traditional approach to researching and teaching architectural history.


Amber Trout

Ph.D. in the Built Environment (2014)
M.P.H., Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University
B.S. Microbiology, California State University, Long Beach

Dissertation: Neighborhood Networks and the Decision-Making Processes in a Distressed Social-Built Environment: A Case Study in Lake City (Seattle), Washington

Prior to joining the Ph.D. in the Built Environment, Amber Trout was a project manager at the University of California, Davis for the Small and Medium Commercial Building (SMCB) Indoor Air Quality field study. The SMCB field study aimed to understand the characteristics of the SMCB population in the many climate regions throughout the State of California; data on ventilation and indoor environmental quality in SMCB provided a snap shot on the current State of California's indoor environmental quality. Amber received her master's in Environmental and Occupational Health from Drexel University School of Public Health. She worked with the Delaware Valley Green Building Council to reach out to the School District of Philadelphia to compare indoor environmental quality data to highlight the performance of their current 'green' school as future support for the placement of more 'green' schools in low-income neighborhoods to enhance the learning environment and community for their students and the students' families. While attending Drexel she was awarded the Association of Schools of Public Health Grant to host a panel discussion for Public Health Week—"Your Health, Your Home, Your Neighborhood"—to explore the connection between climate change and the human health effects. Through the incorporation of presentation from academia, local high school students, and the community, matters on climate change and sustainable were able to go beyond school walls.

Her current research interests involve how neighborhoods can affect the individual's psychosocial behavior and the use of smart growth to address built environment/social justice issues through community connectivity.


Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2012)
M.Arch., University of Washington (2002)
B.S. in Architectural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2000)

Dissertation: Evaluating human visual preference and performance in an office environment using luminance-based metrics

Currently: Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Oregon
Director, Energy Studies in Buildings Lab

Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg teaches classes in daylighting, simulation techniques for integrated design, and design to graduate students and design professionals in Idaho and across North America. Van Den Wymelenberg opened the UI-IDL in 2004 for the University of Idaho in Boise and has successfully secured/completed grants for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, United States Environment Protection Agency, Idaho Power Company, Renselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center, the Battelle Energy Alliance, and the New Buildings Institute and several others totaling over $4,500,000. As part of the Pacific Northwest Integrated Design Lab Network, Van Den Wymelenberg has consulted on over 450 new construction and major renovation projects with architects and engineers regarding daylight and energy in buildings since 2000. He has authored over 25 peer-reviewed papers related to energy efficiency, daylighting and human comfort and has presented at over 60 conferences including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, LightFair International, Passive Low Energy Architecture, Office Ergonomics Research Council, American Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and at the regional chapters of the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Illuminating Engineering Society, and the United States Green Building Council. In support of his dissertation research at UW, Van Den Wymelenberg won the 2008 Richard Kelly Grant from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and in 2007 the Robert Thunen Memorial Scholarship from the IESNA, the Edison Price Fellowship from the Nuckolls Fund for Educational Lighting, and the Lighting Design Alliance Scholarship from the International Association of Lighting Designers. Van Den Wymelenberg was a member of the BetterBricks Daylighting Lab in Seattle that was honored with the Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices by the State of Washington. He serves on several committees including Chairing the IENSA's Daylight Metrics Committee, he is also Chair of the Governor's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Task Force in Idaho, and represents the University of Idaho in the Center for Advanced Energy Studies' Energy Efficiency Research Institute.


A. Meriwether Wilson

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2009)
M.E.S. Coastal Resources and Anthropology,Yale University (1984)
B.A. Zoology & Botany Major; Minor Anthropology, Duke University (1981)

Dissertation: Environmental Change and Built Environments of the Marine Nearshore

Currently: Honorary Fellow, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

I pursued the Ph.D. in the Built Environment through the "Sustainable Systems and Prototypes" track. My research examines the influences of built environments on marine and coastal systems, and explores how human-created interventions can be ecologically positive rather than degenerative for long-term coastal-marine functioning. Examples include marine restoration opportunities that arise through the revitalization of urban waterfronts, and planning and design horizons to mitigate impacts of anticipated climate change in coastal-marine areas.

My interest in "built-environment" solutions as an avenue to enhance the functionality of marine ecosystems is an evolution from my career horizon of the last twenty years. I have worked as a coastal-marine ecologist, planner and policy strategist for various multi-national initiatives organizations (World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO, et al.) in over 30 countries, and remain an active member of the World Commission of Protected Areas. In spite of major strides in the marine conservation arena, most coastal and marine habitats are increasingly degraded and fragmented by human influences; therefore, it is urgent that we re-think and re-shape built environment paradigms to complement conservation efforts.

My course of study is collaborative between the College of Architecture, Urban Planning (BE) and the College of Oceanography / School of Marine Affairs, through which I am pursing both the Ph.D. in the Built Environment and a Graduate Certificate in "Interdisciplinary and Policy Dimensions of the Earth Sciences."


Chiaoyen Yang

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2014)
M.S. Building and Planning, National Taiwan University (2002)
B.A. Land Economics and Administration, National Chengchi University, (1998)

Dissertation: Cultural Resilience in Asian Heritage Preservation: the case of Lijiang (China) and Bagan (Burma)

Currently: Taipei, Taiwan

My research interests are: cultural preservation and development in ethnic communities; community development, urban planning, environmental laws and policy, especially in Asian cities; community development studies; environmental protection and international network studies.


Ken Yocom

Ph.D. in the Built Environment, University of Washington (2007)
M.L.A. Landscape Architecture, University of Washington (2002)
B.S. Vertebrate Zoology, Eastern Washington University (1996)

Dissertation: Urban habitat assessment project: an analysis of the existing instream habitat conditions of Seattle's urban streams

Currently: Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, University of Washington

My current work analyzes the interactions between natural processes and urbanizing environments. More specifically, I study the environmental impacts of development on water resources from an historical perspective. I believe in looking to the actions of the past to understand the patterns and processes of the present and future. In the Pacific Northwest, the past century of development has drastically altered the quantity, quality, and timing of natural hydrologic regime. Consequently, current development patterns are inadequate for the viable co-existence of humans and sensitive salmon populations, and there is a dire need to create alternatives that mediate impacts on salmon and stream infrastructure. I am attempting to quantify these changes over distinct periods of development to further understand the patterns and forms of human habitation. My studies are grounded in science and history, providing a basis for informing design and management alternatives. See his faculty page for more information.