After making the 26 hour drive over three days with Pops, I became a Seattle resident in May. Stops before Seattle included Mitchell, SD; Butte, MT; Billings, MT; and Coeur d'Alene, ID. In a way, I've made myself my own experiment by renting a 400 SF apartment in the Cascade neighborhood (associated with South Lake Union to most). After having worked on several micro units in Des Moines and at ISU, I'm pleased to report I've rearranged my apartment once in the last six months. More studies to come...
I started as an Intern Architect with DLR Group in June. I've been assigned to projects primarily in DLR Group's corporate and retail sectors. So far, this includes the Seattle office's first mixed-use project, University Place, and Google's Kirkland campus. You can find a few more details about the mixed use project here: University Place. The link also gives you a glimpse of the design review process here in Seattle, something I continue to be most curious about.
The studio has a great vibe composed by artist's lunch lectures, cross-office design shares, renewed emphasis on making with the introduction of equipment like laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC routers, drones, etc., in-house construction 101 sessions, an in-house mentor program across all disciplines, and public events and projects that directly engage the development of the waterfront (where DLR Group is located):
Over 40 cranes are currently operating in the city, and I feel as though i have small construction lessons daily. I'm fortunate to be able to walk to and from work, something that keeps me engaged with what's going on around me almost all of the time. However, it's also a bit daunting to be contributing to a city undergoing such extreme transformation daily. With 15,000 people moving to the city each year since 2010 (charts), several neighborhoods are subject to intense development. I'm constantly conflicted as I morally identify with those working to preserve the identity of the neighborhoods, yet I'm one of the 15,000 causing the shift.
A development map for your reference: original 'cool' map, the city's version of said original 'cool' map
A good portion of my daily commute on foot includes a series of hills that could challenge any Bay Area native on a good day. I've learned two things. It is impossible to scale these hills, whether ascending or descending, in a graceful manner. What once were shoes suddenly become flippers, and often times hands forget how to work parallel to one's body. I have a new appreciation for how buildings meet the ground. How these projects manage to uniformly adapt to a near 37 degree angle along an entire city block is something I continue to be most curious about (waiving my Iowa flag here).
I have a restaurant list rollin' 68 locations deep, I've started to uncover the jazz scene bit by bit, I don't have a car, I compost as it's required (which is great), my trash can officially became my recycling receptacle my second week here, smoked salmon is EVERYWHERE, I've gone kayaking, I've watched all of Grey's Anatomy to better understand the city through aerial shots circa 2005-2015, I became an official REI member, I've graduated from Starbucks, I'm reading more than ever, and I'm officially addicted to the Netflix Fireplace 4K: Classic Crackling Fireplace for your home.
2016 is already BIG. More updates to come.
- jazz enthusiast