Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Welcome back!

As we now begin the 2018-2019 academic year, we are delighted to welcome an impressive incoming class of undergraduate and graduate students. I am writing this brief note to reflect on recent activities and accomplishments and speak about some of the events, curricular innovations and educational opportunities for the coming year.

Recent accomplishments include MArch graduate Buddy Burkhalter being one of ten students acknowledged in the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten for Students, 2017-2018 Student Design Competition for his thesis project Energy Commons (faculty advisors Louisa Iarocci and David Strauss). Our students also garnered four prizes at the 2018 Boise Chair Affair sponsored by the Interior Designers of Idaho. These students were Bryan Washko (Best Student Design, faculty advisor Kimo Griggs), Erin Childs (Best Craftsmanship, faculty advisors Penny Maulden and Steve Withycombe), Anqi Liang (Honorable Mention, faculty advisor Kimo Griggs) and Sierra Morin (Honorable Mention, faculty advisors Penny Maulden and Steve Withycombe). The most recent award is MArch student Guanzhou Ji being given an Honorable Mention in the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2018 Steel Student Design Competition for his Arch 500 studio project Dynamic Force on Context (faculty advisor Wyn Bielaska).

In looking toward 2018-2019, the Department of Architecture will hold its second bi-annual Alumni Awards Event on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Please save the date! The primary focus of the evening will be on the significant accomplishments of the awardees, who will be announced in early January. In 2017, we honored two Distinguished Alumni, Lee Copeland (BArch 1960) of Mithun Inc. in Seattle and Steven Holl (BArch 1971) of Steven Holl Architects in New York; and three Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD), Scott Crawford (MArch 2008, MSArch 2010) of LMN Architects in Seattle, Mariam Kamara (MArch 2013) of atelier masomi in Niamey, Niger, and Suk Lee (BAArch 2008) of Steven Holl Architects. This event was supported by many individual and firm sponsors whose contributions funded our new Alumni Awards Endowed Scholarship.

With regard to our academic programs, this will be the second year of our revised Master of Architecture curriculum. This change will apply to our incoming 2 and 3-year MArch students, with full implementation by 2019-2020. The curriculum changes will facilitate the streamlining of core courses while allowing for a curriculum that enables college-wide breadth. Our goal is to facilitate the continuing evolution of our MArch program through a greater focus on issues of collaboration, integration and research. An important element of this change is the addition of a non-thesis option, which we are calling a Research Studio. We strongly believe that the creation of a non-thesis culminating experience and the enhancement of the existing independent Thesis will allow students to gain increased exposure to research and collaboration activities that will serve them in their future careers.

New educational opportunities for this year include the appointment of Sigrid Adriaenssens of Princeton University as the Barry Onouye Endowed Chair for the 2018-2019 academic year. Professor Adriaenssens will give a lecture and co-teach a graduate studio and a course on structural architecture with Assistant Professor Tyler Sprague during spring quarter. Given her interest in hanging structures we are likely to see some innovative constructions Gould Court! In addition, I am happy to announce that during winter quarter 2019 Zena Howard, Managing Director of Perkins + Will North Carolina Practice will co-teach a graduate level studio with Affiliate Professor Donald King. Other studio offerings include a third year of collaboration with Perkins + Will’s Seattle office through an advanced graduate studio taught by Research Associate Professor Chris Meek during spring 2019.

In closing I want to thank our faculty, staff and students for their efforts in making the UW Department of Architecture such a vital and positive learning environment.

All the best for the new academic year!

mclaren signature

Brian L. McLaren, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
UW Department of Architecture