UW College of Built Environments E-news
March 2009  |  Return to issue home

College News

Sichuan, China, first BE lab
Sichuan, China is the focus of the first BE Lab.

Inaugural BE Lab Focuses on China
Urban Design and Planning Associate Professor Dan Abramson and Landscape Architecture Associate Professor Jeff Hou will lead the first College-wide BE Lab this spring and summer on the topic of earthquake recovery in Sichuan, China. An interdisciplinary group of UW faculty and students will collaborate with partners at Sichuan University, Chengdu.
         The site is a culturally and historically significant village of the ethnic Qiang minority, in a tributary valley of the Min River, less than two hours' drive from the epicenter of the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan earthquake. Challenges to be addressed include: resilient building reconstruction; ecologically sensitive site design and watershed management; cultural heritage preservation; and sustainable tourism development.  Get more details at: http://courses.washington.edu/belab09/.

Friedman Elected ACSA President
In February, the member institutions of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) elected Dean Daniel S. Friedman, FAIA as its 2010 president. Dean Friedman will officially join the ACSA board of directors on July 1, 2009.
         Founded in 1912 as a nonprofit, membership organization to advance the quality of professional education in architecture, ACSA represents 220 full, candidate and affiliate members, including 134 accredited architecture programs in the United States, Canada and abroad. These institutions represent more than 5,000 full- and part-time faculty members and 24,000 full-time students. In addition, more than 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support for ACSA goals. Learn more about ACSA.

China-US Workshop on Sustainable Development
Urban Design and Planning and the UW China Studies Program are collaborating with King County Department of Natural Resources and the Sustainable Development Training Institute to host the China-U.S. Professional Workshop on Regional Sustainable Development, May 5-9, 2009.
         The workshop will bring together UW expertise in China Studies and in the planning, design and development professions, to serve a cohort of Puget Sound area professionals interested in sustainable development in China, as well as a cohort of Chinese counterparts interested in sustainable development in the Pacific Northwest.  The workshop also will include a charrette in
disaster recovery and mitigation planning, with the participation of Sichuan University partners in the College’s first BE Lab. Get more information at: http://courses.washington.edu/uschina/.

Public Housing Redevelopment Studied
Landscape Architecture Associate Professor Lynne Manzo launched a multi-year $362,000 research project this winter for the Bremerton Housing Authority tol evaluate remaking the Westpark public housing community into a new, mixed-income development.
         The interdisciplinary study, which will be conducted by Manzo in collaboration with Rachel Kleit, associate professor in the UW Evans School of Public Affairs, will identify residents’ service and housing needs, relocation concerns and preferences, and track them over a five-year period to see how residents fare over time.

CM Students Win Awards
Construction Management students led by Department Chair John Schaufelberger won several awards at the Associated Schools of Construction student competition in Reno on February 10-14, 2009.
         UW teams took first place in the multi-family construction competition and third place in the commercial, heavy civil and marine construction (graduate) competitions that included more than 1,300 students from 38 universities. Each student team was given 16 hours to develop plans for the construction of a project and prepare a written proposal before making a 20-minute presentation to the judges.

Portable Classroom Design
CBE’s Department of Architecture was awarded a $2,500 grant by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to fund a seminar and design studio for students to collaborate with architects and other building industry professionals as they examine sustainable design practices and create a prototype for a high-performance portable classroom.
         Associate Professor Rob Peña will direct the study in fall 2009 as students visit relevant projects in the region to gain a firsthand understanding of the complex interconnection between issues that affect the design of low-impact, zero-energy buildings.

Behavior and the Built Environment
Urban Design and Planning Professor Anne Vernez Moudon and students in the Urban Form Lab are working on a number of projects to track people in space and time and evaluate the relationships between people’s behaviors and the built environment. In collaboration with Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, the lab was awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the long-term effects of Sound Transit’s Light Rail line in Seattle on people’s physical activity.

Community Engagement at CBE
Urban Design and Planning Associate Professor Dan Abramson is involving his students in a new community-based initiative to envision the revitalization of King Street in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. ... Students in Landscape Architecture lecturer Luanne Smith’s recent studio analyzed Seattle's Denny Way Corridor with a focus on cultural awareness and the application of ecological processes to urban sites and created site designs for the juncture of Vine Street and Denny Way. ... Seven teams of students in a fall Community, Environment and Planning (CEP) seminar taught by Urban Design and Planning Associate Professor Dennis Ryan and Urban Design and Planning Lecturer Jill Sterrett worked on various community research and design projects, including assessment of Ballard’s community assets prior to neighborhood planning; planning and design for new and existing parks in the Maple Leaf, Pinehurst and Lake City Way neighborhoods; a research project to measure Seattle Parks’ capacity to reach out to diverse communities; and several climate change and sustainability projects.

Environmental Health Focus
The Department of Landscape Architecture has expanded its Urban Ecological Focus to include Human and Environmental Health, which will concentrate on effective strategies for preserving and advancing the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems.

Photo by Dan Abramson

March 2009  |  Return to issue home