Drawing in Design

Drawing is a means of thinking and conversing. The Department of Landscape Architecture has joined forces with Seattle firm GGN to launch a series of weekend workshops, which focus on representation in design.

“Drawing is a language that expands and enhances our visions for the future of our landscapes and as such calls for a robust and rigorous investigation and exploration.”

Thaisa Way, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Drawing in Design project leader

These workshops pose questions and facilitate a dialogue around how we draw, what we draw, and how we read drawings. Each sessions informs design as process and development and shapes how our communities understand and respond to design ideas and visions.

Upcoming Lectures

April 5, 2019. Janelle Johnson, Omni  Ecosystem, Chicago

Janelle hails from Champaign, IL, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture degree from Purdue University with Distinction, before going on to the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Master of Landscape Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation.  Janelle has 10 years of experience in site planning and design.

Her experience spans across the public and private sectors, with projects ranging from residential estates to public parks. Her interests lie at the intersection of design and preservation, where her design approach uses the cultural and historical influences of the site to inform her design sensibility. Janelle particularly enjoys working on projects that impact the built environment on a social and cultural level.

Her career grew from her interest in physically creating something with her hands. She finds no greater satisfaction than conceptualizing, designing, and fabricating an object, product, or landscape. When away from her desk, she spends her time sewing, crafting, playing board games, and traveling.


March 31, 2019. Pin Up with Kona Gray
While there is not a re-scheduled public lecture the Drawing Workshop with Kona Gray (EDSA) will convene for a Pin Up on Sunday, March 31 at 1:00 PM. You are welcome to join us for this discussion of drawing and thinking in design

You can read about Kona’s work in this piece from Medium: Design Manifestos: Kona Gray of EDSA.

Past Lectures

Graphic Design and the Third Dimension
Michael Bierut, Pentagram

Michael Bierut is a partner in Pentagram (New York), teacher at Yale School of Art and Yale School of Management, and author of Now You See It and Other Essays on Design. He spoke at the University of Washington campus in Seattle on October 5, 2018, presenting a talk titled “Graphic Design and the Third Dimension.”


Drawing is the Entrance of Thought
Ron Henderson, L+A Architecture

Ron Henderson is a landscape architect and the director of the Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program and professor at IIT in Chicago. He practices through his studio, L+A Architecture. He spoke at the University of Washington campus in Seattle on April 6, 2018, presenting a talk titled “Drawing is the Entrance of Thought.”


Drawing Zoom
Alma Du Solier, Hood Design

Alma Du Solier is a landscape designer and architect with twenty years of experience in the practice of design. She is currently the Studio Director at Hood Design in Oakland, California. She spoke at the University of Washington campus in Seattle on January 19, 2018, presenting a talk titled “Drawing Zoom.”

Drawing What You Can’t See
Shannon Nichol, Keith McPeters, David Malda, GGN

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) is a Seattle-based landscape architecture that received the Firm of the Year distinction from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2017. Three GGN designers spoke at the University of Washington campus in Seattle on November 17, 2017. Shannon Nichol, Keith McPeters, and David Malda all presented a talk titled “Drawing What You Can’t See.”


Drawing as Speculation
Teresa Galí-Izard, ARQUITECTURA AGRONOMIA

Teresa Galí-Izard is a principal of the landscape architecture firm ARQUITECTURA AGRONOMIA. She is also an associate professor and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia. She spoke at the University of Washington campus in Seattle on April 28, 2017.


Drawing Pictures In Your Mind
Alan Maskin, Olson Kundig

In February 2017, the department hosted Alan Maskin ’88 and his associates from Olson Kundig. With Maskin, the students learned to draw what they imagine. Students from landscape architecture, architecture, real estate, urban planning, and construction management heard about Maskin’s approaches to drawing and design. Maskin emphasized the influence and legacy of Emeritus Professor Frank Ching on his work. Students spent time on specific drawing exercises and gradually shifted to the grand landscape of the imagination including reimagining downtown Seattle. In teams, the students created three vibrant murals of a possible future for green and blue Seattle.


Drawing What You See
Michael Vergason, Michael Vergason Landscape Architects

Michael Vergason’s workshop  focused on drawing what the artist sees. Vergason shared with students his drawing history and journey to find inspiration. Landscape students spent the weekend using Japanese format notebooks with accordion pages, to draw trees, bridges, and courtyards. They explored historic sites through drawing through plans, sections, and perspectives.