2013 Award of Honor: Odegaard Undergraduate Library
The Miller Hull Partnership
Photo Credit: Lara Swimmer
2013 Award of Honor: Odegaard Undergraduate Library
The Miller Hull Partnership
AIA Seattle will fill ten open or returning seats on the Board of Directors for the term beginning September 1, 2012. These board members will join a dynamic group of leaders that have worked hard over the past year to engage our members in plans for the future of our organization. In their profiles below, you can learn more about the nominees for these board positions, and their perspectives in AIA Seattle’s priorities: Design, Sustainability, Advocacy, Engagement, and Member Service.
VOTE TODAY and be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates from Peter Miller Books.
Brad Khouri AIA – President Elect
Bradley Khouri AIA is the Principal and founder of b9 architects. He is a member of the Seattle Planning Commission and teaches Architectural Design studios at the University of Washington in Seattle. Brad received his Master of Architecture at Harvard University in 1996. He is active in the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects, co-chairing the Waterfront Committee. b9 architects' work focuses on creating positive change in the urban environment through innovative place-specific modern architecture.
Learn more about Brad here.
Brad Hinthorne AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Treasurer
Brad Hinthorne AIA is Managing Principal at Perkins + Will. After returning to Seattle in 1992, he spent 13 years at a large Seattle design firm as a Principal and Marketing Director. He had his own practice from 2004 to 2011, at which time Hinthorne Mott joined forces with Perkins+Will’s Seattle office.
Learn more about Brad here.
Margot van Swearingen Assoc AIA – One Year Director
Margot van Swearingen Assoc AIA is an Intern Architect at DLR Group. She received her BA in Architecture from University of Washington and hopes to be licensed this year.
Learn more about Margo here.
David Walsh AIA – Three Year Director
Dave Walsh AIA is a Sustainable Building Consultant and a registered Architect with Sellen Sustainability, where he collaborates and consults with Owners, Architects, Engineers and the Construction team to realize high performance buildings and manage high performing building portfolios. Informed by over 20 years of architectural experience, constructability and cost knowledge and as a Seattle 2030 District Board member, Dave helps bridge between the design, construction and sustainability communities. His current work on projects targeting net-zero energy and LEED Platinum provides a unique opportunity to offer visionary ideas while remaining grounded in the pragmatic challenges of implementation.
Learn more about David here.
Rodger Benson, LEED ® AP– Two Year Allied Director
Rodger Benson is Director of Project Development at Mortenson Construction. He was the first chairman of the PRC and is currently a member of the Washington State Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB) Project Review Committee. He received his B.S. in Building Construction, University of Washington.
Learn more about Rodger here.
Troy Thrun, LEED, PE – Two Year Allied Director
Troy W. Thrun is Vice President of Sparling. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is on the Board for the ACE Mentoring Program and recently invited to be a member of the AEA Committee which fosters an effective working relationship between the architect/engineer consulting community and the State of Washington facilities contracting authorities.
Learn more about Troy here.
Brad Khouri AIA
Through my work, I advocate for a more positive urban environment. I have recently completed an infill development behind my house, certified 5-star Built Green, that maximizes density and saved an existing 1904 four-square house that I live in with my wife and 2 ½ year-old son. In the project we sourced 85 year-old cedar for siding, driveable grass for our driveway and courtyard and solar for pre-heat.
A perfect Sunday is time with my wife and son, playing and laughing, eating great food and spending as much time outside. We are close enough to great nature that we often go to Lake Washington or to North Bend for a hike or to see family who live there. Sometimes I have to work which cuts into all the nice activities above!
I ride my bicycle 99% of the time from the Central District to Pioneer Square and occasionally from UW to the Central District. Thank goodness for goretex!
On Design: While we can focus on the great examples in and around Seattle and the opportunities that our unique setting provides, we should also look beyond our region to successes elsewhere. Lectures and panel discussions are a great way of bringing the design community together and exposing the city policy makers and residents to a design dialogue. In addition we should support the strong design community of small firms that may be operating beneath the AIA radar.
On Sustainability: AIA Seattle is already doing a great job educating others on the importance of creating a more sustainable Seattle. Two examples are the AIA+2030 series and the Passivhaus classes. We can work with policy makers at DPD, City Council and the Mayor’s office along with the State and Federal governments to incentivize building performance even further. The existing building stock in Seattle is in great need of innovative solutions that reduce emissions and enhance their building performance. I would also encourage creating more opportunities for the public to be educated by touring completed projects.
On Advocacy: Get involved! It takes effort to make positive change. In order to encourage others to participate in advocacy they need to be personally motivated. Let’s identify issues that need the most attention and reach out to members whose have a direct or related interest.
Brad Hinthorne AIA
After nearly 25 years in the profession, my most memorable projects are those that have clearly enabled the client to realize their mission or vision through planning and design. Among the most rewarding have been the True Family Women’s Cancer Center for the Swedish Cancer Institute, which opens in May 2012, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the Burien Library and City Hall for King County Library System and the City of Burien. I have two teenage boys who are very active, so the notion of discretionary time is not part of my life for a few more years.
On Design: Recognition of great design has evolved considerably over the past decade in Seattle driven by a wave of relative economic prosperity. We are now hopefully coming out of a deep recession and are about to embark on the next wave of civic, public, and private development where entire portions of the City will be reshaped around transit, the development of the Central Waterfront, the Stadium District, South Lake Union, Pioneer Square, and other smaller neighborhoods. The AIA does a terrific job of encouraging and supporting the dialogue around the importance of good design and strong urban design. It is incumbent on all AIA members to continue to play a leadership role in furthering the dialogue as we continue to shape the vibrant and sustainable community to which we all aspire.
Margot Van Swearingen Assoc. AIA
When I was a small child I was either drawing (on rainy days) or building something in the backyard. Treehouses and mud & stick sculptures were my areas of expertise. As I got older, those interests just expanded in scale and media (not so much into the mud and sticks anymore).
I recently heard someone say that they assumed an Architect’s life was like a Kettle One Vodka commercial. In other words, they believed Architects led a super chic lifestyle filled with money, travel, rooftop parties, and models; funny, but incredibly inaccurate for the majority of Architects! I don’t know that the public understands what Architects do, which is unfortunate as so much of what we do is for the public.
On Design: Were I not in the profession, I don’t know that I would have any idea what was happening with the design and architecture in our community, and particularly why it matters. Not for lack of interest, but for lack of information. It would be exciting for the AIA Seattle to facilitate public information and dialogue by promoting public exhibitions and discussions. For example, I could see an AIA Seattle sponsored displays in the middle of Pacific Place, AIA Seattle design shares in wide-open public places featuring the year’s Honor Award winning projects, etc. Let’s get design outside the storefront and put it directly in the public path!
On Membership: As I’ve become more involved in the AIA over this past year, and particularly due to my participation on the AIA Seattle Membership Committee, I have become aware that even amongst our professional peers there’s a misunderstanding about what the AIA does and the value it provides for its members and for the profession at large. The AIA Seattle is our local touch-point. Seattle events are the time we get to interact directly with the AIA and see the value of our memberships in our personal connections and careers. However, the State and National levels have enormous impact on our profession’s future and yet I’ve found that most people have no idea what the State and National levels do, and therefore don’t see the value. I would love to see the AIA Seattle help dispense information (specific, salient examples) about what the State and National levels are doing to both our members and our potential members.
David Walsh AIA
In retrospect, the choice of becoming a sustainable building consultant was more of an inevitable intersection than a defined destination. As someone who loves the built environment but also needs to preserve and experience nature as a way of maintaining balance, being a sustainable building consultant allows me to align my values with my day-job. It’s exciting to collaborate with the design and owner teams to help move sustainability from aspirations to built reality.
I’ve always felt that the there is a significant gap between the public’s view of an architect – that cocktail party moment of “oh, you’re an Architect!” -- and the reality on the ground. The last three years have perhaps widened that gap, with the economy both putting stress on the profession and redefining how the public and Owners engage Architects in the process of realizing buildings. AIA Seattle is uniquely positioned to communicate not only the enduring value of Architects but also how the profession is an essential element to support and collaborate with the public and Owners alike to realize quality design
I’ve been lucky to have worked and studied in Germany and Switzerland, both of which are keenly aware of the importance of design, and in many respects, are pushing the boundaries of sustainability. I’ve learned that good design requires a broad-based cultural, political and financial infrastructure for it to thrive. A community that expects design excellence and durable construction as the norm, agencies that set a uniformly high bar of performance and investors that take the long view are all ingredients for successful and enduring architecture
On Sustainability: When it comes to sustainability, it’s later than we think. We’re past due on fulfilling, at a city scale, the goal of designing, constructing and operating low carbon buildings. Architects, along with other members of the project team, have the power to set buildings on a course either towards or away from high performance and sustainability. From the basic design decisions of orientation, building form and program organization to the selection and integration of buildings systems and sustainability strategies, architects determine the sustainable “DNA” of buildings and, over time, the sustainable “DNA” of our cities. Through sustainability-focused forums and workshops, AIA Seattle can continue to do the good work of focusing the profession on the strategies that “move the needle” of sustainable performance in a meaningful way.
On the Profession: As owners look towards different project delivery methods beyond the traditional design-bid-build, AIA Seattle should be focusing on the architectural profession’s response and adapting to these changes. With the right collaborative partners around the project table, other forms of project delivery such integrated project delivery or design-build can realize benefits of cost control and compressed schedules without sacrificing quality design. I’d like to see AIA Seattle focus on ways architects can iteratively and constructively collaborate with builders throughout the project life so that owners receive the best quality design without constructability or budget disconnects.
As a young boy I preferred building things out of wood in our garage to playing with toys in our recreation room. Creating the places where people live, work, and learn with collaborative teams of smart people has always been especially inspiring and rewarding for me. The majority of the projects I've been involved in will long survive me and will continue to serve generations beyond mine in a meaningful way. It doesn't get any better than that!
I really enjoyed working on the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center project. We had to assemble a team of 23 firms to pursue and build the facility. Relationships I built during the design / build pursuit and during the actual design and construction of the facility will last me a lifetime. I strongly believe in that kind of working environment, striving to meet a common project goal through collaboration, and mutual respect for your team partners.
My wife and I lived in Iran for 3 years in the late 70's, during the Shaw's final years of his reign. That time changed our perspectives on life in many ways but the biggest single thing we learned was that, in spite of its flaws, we be are extremely fortunate to have been born in the greatest country on earth.
On Advocacy: I would like to see the Seattle Chapter take a more proactive role in influencing the form and function of alternative project delivery methods in our state. AIA's voice could be stronger in Olympia in areas that influence the business of architecture. There could also be more collaboration with organizations like DBIA, CPARB, PRC, and NWCCC. These bodies all have an influence on architecture practices and a collaborative focus on areas of common interest would benefit the members of AIA.
On Engagement: Through my past involvement with the Workforce Development Council I've come to the conclusion that everyone in our industry has to be focused on bringing the best and brightest young minds into our respective professions. There is no substitute for sustained relationships with our K-12 educators. The opportunity to be creative and shape the built environment is very compelling for many of our youth. It's our job to be sure they're exposed to the opportunities available to them and to encourage them to pursue them. I'll be interested to learn what AIA is doing, or has done in the past, to recruit our future industry leaders.
I became interested in the building industry at any early age through my father who, as an electrical engineer had his own lighting design business up in Vancouver, Canada. As a teenager, working in his firm during the summers, I learned to appreciate architecture and the impact that lighting had on the user’s experience of the space.
I’ve had the good fortune to work on a number of very interesting projects and I list my favorites as those that make a strong cultural connection with the community. Locally the Museum of Glass was a fun combination of exhibit space and of course the iconic cone of the working hot shop but perhaps most enjoyable to date was the Comcast Arena in Everett. Through a tough and public competition I led Sparling’s team working with LMN Architects. A wonderful arena for both professional sport and public use, a highlight of the project process was the owner vs construction team hockey game I was lucky enough to participate in just days before the first professional game was scheduled to be played.
On Design: The architect’s role is changing as the industry reacts to a number of different delivery models. The industry is going down many different paths in an effort to provide the best value to owners. I think this is a significant challenge to the architecture and design community as a whole as we try to deliver the same (or greater) level of design and service, while the expectations change. To be nimble enough within these delivery models to achieve the financial success is a major concern for most firms over the next few years.
On Engagement: Encouraging a range of other professional organization participation into the industry and AIA is vital to the growth of the architectural design community. The design process is more of a collaborative effort that it has ever been in the past and this trend will continue. The complexities of technology systems within a building for example continue to expand and those architectural firms that embrace this concept will see the benefits of a better design. Encouraging broader dialog in terms of working together will strengthen this partnership and create more vibrant, living and adaptable spaces.
On Member Service: Never has it been a more difficult time to be a young architect in the industry. The AIA has a difficult but important responsibility to find new ways to connect those architects that are out of work with firms looking for help. Be it locally, regionally or nationally I believe the AIA can and should be a nexus for those discussions to occur.
Good design makes a difference