Landing right off the heels of the AIA national Women's Leadership Summit this past September, Portraits of Architects came as a great opportunity to honor women architects in the PNW. As a recent transplant from Iowa, I couldn't think of a better way to honor those who've helped to make my career possible, and learn a bit about my new home in the process. Curated by The AIA Women in Design committee, Portraits of Architects brought attention to the "achievements and history of female architects in the Pacific Northwest." The 24 portraits celebrate and tell the story of FAIA-honored women in Seattle, each of which was composed a volunteer artist or architect.
I was selected to draw Jane Hendricks. Though I've yet to meet Jane, I was fascinated to learn a bit about how she's navigated the profession, especially when it comes to multi-disciplinary work.
"Elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2012, Jane Hendricks is an award-winning principal with more than 25 years of experience on work ranging from master planning and programming studies to the construction of institutional and commercial projects. Most recently she has honed a unique expertise in master planning for many of the community colleges and universities throughout the Puget Sound area. Jane holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. She has been published for her expertise in sustainable design and is involved in numerous professional associations including the Society of College and University Planning." (SRG Partnership)
Overall, the objective of the exhibition is to raise the level of discussion surrounding the role of women in architecture and leadership on both local and national scales, something I'm familiar with thanks to Iowa Women in Architecture. As you can imagine, learning the stories of the 24 honorees alone was incredible. However, learning the compositional strategies of those who composed a portrait was equally as exciting. Watercolor, graphite, digital media, encaustics; the various methods were vast and engaging. The exhibition brought together quite the cross-section of individuals, and I delighted to take part.
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