AIA Seattle Announces 2017 Travel Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Garrett Nelli Assoc. AIA, the 2017 recipient of AIA Seattle's Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, for his proposal, "Public Interest: Redefining the Architect’s Role in and Responsibility to Society."

Public Interest Design, a growing field within the profession, is repositioning architects to critically address the social, political, and environmental issues of the 21st century through a community engaged design process. This shift advances the notion that architecture is not only a product, but a process that instills the tools and awareness for individuals to improve their condition. As this year’s recipient of AIA Seattle’s Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, Garrett will travel to Los Angeles, New Orleans, rural Alabama, Haiti, Burkina Faso, and Italy to catalog how the built environment can proliferate positive societal change. This research proposal showcases six non-traditional practices expanding and redefining the role of the architect to include social activist, engaged facilitator, environmental steward, political advocate, among others, in order to meet the complex needs of the public. The selected projects offer unique perspectives on how to promote meaningful public engagement and present new methods for the profession to design for Seattle’s communities.


nelli_headshot_squarejpgGarrett Nelli Assoc. AIA
, LEED AP BD+C, is a designer at NAC Architecture in the process of completing licensure. His professional work includes medical facilities, K-12 educational facilities, residential and student housing. Garrett’s work focuses on articulating spaces that promote sustainability while encouraging rich community interaction. He believes architects have the potential and responsibility to address the broader issues of a global society through thoughtful design solutions. This passion and core ethos have manifested in the designs of an Infant Rescue Center in Burkina Faso, in collaboration with Architects Without Borders – Seattle, as well as a design-build led by the University of Tennessee addressing the lack of clean drinking water in rural Appalachia. During his studies, Garrett spent time abroad at the University of Arkansas Rome Center broadening his appreciation for the history and culture, which laid the foundation for his profession. He is currently working on Wing Luke Elementary, a new elementary school located in the diverse Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

Garrett will be recognized, along with our 2017 Fellows and Honorees, at the President’s Dinner, hosted by AIA Seattle on Saturday June 3.


AIA Seattle’s Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship seeks to expand the experience and leadership opportunities of young professionals, encourage cross-cultural dialogue in the profession, and share knowledge from architecture practice around the globe with members in the Puget Sound. Through a $5,000 grant, the scholarship supports travel for the purposes of research.

Support the Travel Scholarship by making a contribution today!

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