Summer Design Build 2022 in Traena, Norway

We welcome back some of our students who went to Traena, Norway to complete their Design/Build with Daniel Winterbottom and co-instructors Luka Jelusic and Mate Rupic! 

A group of 16 students, some matriculated at UW, left the US in the middle of June 2022 to work on a design/build project on a small island off the coast of Norway for five weeks. Students were asked to create a unique space that could be offered year-round to the local community as a place to gather. They also wanted the space to feature an outdoor kitchen, classroom, community garden and hold community events such as their annual summer music festival. 

Students spent the first week designing and collaborating, leaving the following three weeks for building and implementation. Before beginning the design process, they had a chance to tour the island and visit some local landmarks. They met some of the locals to learn about their lifestyle and hear input on what exactly the community needed. Students, working in groups of four, began conceptualizing and iterating potential ideas and designs for the site. Overall, the group agreed that they wanted to create an area that met the community’s needs while paying homage to Traena’s unique culture, identity and history. At the end of the week, each group presented their proposal to the community and let them select which project they connected with the most.

Building began during the second week of their stay. As always, the proposal would not come out exactly as planned and some aspects would have to be altered so that it was feasible given the small time span and allotted resources. 

Students were led in sketching exercises by Daniel Winterbottom throughout their time there. Students traveled back to mainland Norway to visit Oslo and Bergen for their final week.

Here are some of the process and final images of the students’ amazing work abroad!


  Site Dedication


“The tides rolling into the island bring new people/visitors, new stories and even concerns from the outside world. But at the heart of the island is a community, whose intimate relationships form a resiliency that attracts the wayward and longing for respite to stay while deflecting the negative and worries of the world back out to the sea. That this haven seemingly at the end of the world away is a vibrant beacon of humanity. Our design lies at the center of Traena, and pulls people in formally. That line continues throughout the site consistently redirecting attention towards the central area (to other people in the space) and eventually dissipates or “recedes” back out in the landscape and to sea from where people came.” 

– Grant Guliano MLA, UC Berkeley


Photo credit: Maron Bernardino, Heather Fortunato, Jenna Simpson

Announcing our 2022 WASLA + UWLA Capstone Award Winners

At long last, we would like to thank everyone who submitted their work to the WASLA Awards this year.  We appreciate your participation during such a busy year and spring quarter!   

Congratulations to our National ASLA Student Award winners:  Heewon Kim, BLA Merit Award; Reed Lewis, BLA Honor Award; Hoilok Heather Lam, MLA Merit Award; Sarah Lukins, MLA Merit Award; Erin Irby, MLA Honor Award, and Erynne van Zee, MLA Honor Award. 

We would also like to thank our juries for the many hours they put in thoughtfully reviewing the work.

BLA Jury: 

Carrie Culp, Tori Halligan, Noelle Higgins, Vaughn Rinner

MLA Jury: 

Benjamin Barrett, Curtis LaPierre, Vaughn Rinner, JB Seyfried

Foundation Studio Jury: 

Katey Bean (HNTB), Ted Benge (Swift Co.),
Steve Cecil (Steven Cecil Design & Planning), and Scott Melbourne (MxM)

Advanced Studio Jury: 

Hasti Afkham (LMN), Simba Gu, 

Kim Rooney (Kim Rooney Design), and JB Seyfried (GGN)

Technical Course Jury: 

Kim Rooney (Kim Rooney Design) and Jesse Shan (Swift Co.)

Capstone Jury:
Billy Fleming (Wilks Family Director, McHarg Center, UPenn)

Shannon Lee (Principal, Mithun)

Mary Pat McGuire (Associate Professor, University of Illinois)

And finally, congratulations to our local WASLA and UWLA award winners!!!  We will send along individual jury comments in the next month or so.


Advanced Studios


Stanie Zhang & Claire Li – Post-COVID World – Reconnecting People to Nature

Jack Hyland – Fertile Urban Form: Regenerative Housing for Seattle


Yen-Chia Pan – Mhebu Memorial Design  

Erin Irby, Erynne van Zee, Drew Landis, Adam Koehn – Exchanging Futures: Designing for Climate Responsive Energetic, Economic, & Aquatic Exchanges on the Bellingham Waterfront

Bryant Callahan, Cyrus Deloye, Dominique De Gracia The Commodore Step

Foundation Studios


Jessika Gill – Blurring the Lines between Passage & Plaza

Natalie Weiss – Familiarity in Flux


Meredith Grupe – Amplify: Pioneer Square’s Visual and Performing Arts Hub

Malka Hoffman – ARMILLA: Channeling and Inhabiting Landscapes Beyond the Binary

Erin Wiseman – Dynamism in Flux

Jessika Gill – Aphid Soap Opera: Spring in Puget Sound

Leila Jackson – Unsettling Discovery Park: Reimagining the Periphery as a Site for Social and Ecological Resilience 

Technical Courses


Rhys Coffee – Stormwater Steps


Ginger Plaster & Ava Ross – Lake City Forest Haven

Capstone Awards – Thesis 


Jocine Velasco, “Unsettling Prairies: A Critical Reimagining of Fire Management in Cities”

Ry Yahn, “Claim, Reclaim, Unclaim: Foregrounding Place-Based Solidarities in the Eco-Cultural Revitalization of a Post-Mining Landscape on the Klamath River”


Alexandra Burgos, “Reframing Farmworker Justice: Decolonizing Land Stewardship”

Jake Minden, “Cutting Out: Queer Assemblages for Alternative Design Futures”

Luyu Zeng, “Building Climate Resilience in Seattle’s Urban Forest with a Community-centric Approach”

Congratulations, graduates!

On June 10, 2022, CBE held our first in-person commencement ceremony in three years. Check out the story and more photos here:


Some of our BLA + MLA Graduates (2021 + 2022) at Seattle Center.


Professor Thaïsa Way Retires from the Department of Landscape Architecture

Thaisa Way

In June 2022, Professor Thaïsa Way will be retiring and redirecting from the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington as she pursues her work at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections, a research institute of Harvard University. Since joining the faculty in 2007, Thaïsa has served as educator, mentor, and friend to many – consistently encouraging all of us to look to the past to help frame and inspire the future. Throughout her career, Thaïsa has critically interrogated the Western canons of urban and landscape history to both broaden the reach and diversify the voices of histories that have shaped our designed landscapes and cities.

She is well known for her publications and lectures on feminist histories in landscape architecture and public space in cities drawing from her first book Unbounded Practices: Women, Landscape Architecture, and Early Twentieth Century Design (University of Virginia Press 2009) which was awarded the J.B. Jackson Book Award in 2012. She followed with another book, From Modern Space to Urban Ecological Design: the Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag (University of Washington Press 2015), exposing many under-explored narratives of post-industrial cities in relation to the practice of landscape architecture and has since collaborated on several edited volumes and monographs, as well as many scholarly journal and professional publications. As part of her work, she was named the 2015-2016 Garden Club of America Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome advancing a project, Drawing Histories of Landscape Architecture, before returning to UW to establish the drawing seminar and workshop series in the Department of Landscape Architecture which invites artists and creative practitioners to explore drawing as a creative, but more importantly critical practice for advancing design thinking and investigation.

Thaïsa exploring the design archives at Longue Vue Gardens, New Orleans.
Thaïsa exploring the design archives at Longue Vue Gardens, New Orleans. Photo: Longue Vue Gardens
Thaïsa Way had a foundational influence on my time in the UW Landscape Architecture Department. She encouraged me to build my MLA degree around my interest in landscape history when I wasn’t sure that such a path was possible. She demonstrated daily through her teaching and research the need to center history and historiography in the design process, highlighting with verve and style the continued relevance of key people, places, philosophies, and technologies. She created the space and opportunity for me to take risks, make discoveries, and engage broadly with the professional world. In short, Thaïsa has always exemplified the best qualities of a professor and a mentor, and I feel so very grateful to have studied with her.Betsy Anderson, NPS - Landscape Architect, MLA '14
Thaïsa and Rich Haag at Gasworks Park
Thaïsa and Rich Haag at Gasworks Park Photo: courtesy of TCLF


Throughout her time at UW Thaïsa continually revealed her commitment to community building and service. In 2018, Thaïsa was elevated to American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) Fellow, and has served as a member and chair of the jury for the ASLA professional awards, a design reviewer, history consultant, and collaborator for numerous projects, all with the intention to build stronger democratic and equitable practices to improve our public realm.

I am incredibly grateful for the confidence and generosity Thaïsa has shown in me as a mentor, advocate, and teacher. I am continuously in awe of her willingness and ability to share the spaces she creates. This model of leadership—stepping forward to advance what is considered landscape history and stepping back to allow others to thrive in that space—continues to inspire my career and will continue to bring positive change to both landscape practice and history. Sara Jacobs, UBC, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. '20
A group of people standing and kneeling in front of drawn images
“Drawing Pictures In Your Mind” drawing workshop at Olson Kundig with Alan Maskin, March 2017. Photo: Ryan Patterson

With a strong commitment to the public university, Thaïsa was an adjunct in the Department of Architecture at the CBE as well as in the Department of History in the College of Arts & Sciences and in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Thaïsa served as Chair of UW Faculty Senate, as well as Chair of the Senate Committee on Planning and Budget from 2016 to 2019. She led the project to curate the Faculty in 2050 report as well as to envision the Liberal Arts in the 21st century. Engaging with faculty, staff, and students across the university and the region, she sought to strengthen the role of the public university and higher education in the public realm and in the stewardship of our democracy.

Faculty, staff, students and service providers gathered in wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, Intellectual House
Faculty, staff, students and service providers gathered in wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, Intellectual House, for a full day of discussion and brainstorming on the topic of homelessness and affordable housing. Many had never met each other before. November 2016. Photo: Urban@UW

Always invested in connecting people and ideas, Thaïsa founded Urban@UW in 2015 as an opportunity to bridge the diverse perspectives and research by faculty and others on cities from across the University and beyond to establish common ground from diverse perspectives. Building on collaborations with faculty from across CBE as well as the Humanities, Social Sciences, and professional schools, Urban@UW sought to redefine how the university contributes to our collective futures. Thaïsa led the program as Director until 2019 when she took a leave of absence from the UW to pursue an opportunity as Director of the Garden and Landscape Studies Program at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C., a research institute under the stewardship of the Trustees of Harvard University. In the next phase of her career, Thaïsa will be continuing to advance her work with Dumbarton Oaks in an effort to support, mentor, and advance the scholarship of emerging and established historians and educators in pursuing a more diverse and inclusive approach to understanding the history and future of our built environments.

A group of people standing with three in front holding a street sign that reads "Marjorie Sewell Cautley Way"
At the installation of the Street Sign for the newly named “Marjorie Sewell Cautley” in Sunnyside, New York Photo: Friends of Sunnyside
There is no one like Thaïsa when it comes to building bridges between the humanities, sciences, and landscape history, between designers and design historians, between urban studies and landscape architectural history. Her time at UW allowed Thaïsa to hone both her transdisciplinary research methods and her leadership skills. These have prepared her to shape Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies program into an exciting and impactful academic community—one that is uncovering the fundamental but often overlooked ways that the constructed landscape reinforces power and privilege as well as the unrecognized ways that marginalized groups appropriate landscapes and public spaces, and in doing so, assert their presence and claim their space in society. Elizabeth Meyer, UVA, Professor

We thank Thaïsa for all that she has provided to our students, our department, college, and university community.

Thaïsa Way and her daughter at the summit of Mt. Rainier
Thaïsa Way and her daughter at the summit of Mt. Rainier, July 2017

Ken Yocom reappointed as Chair of Department

Ken Yocom, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture has been reappointed to another 3-year term. His appointment begins June 16, 2022, and runs through June 15, 2025.Headshot of Ken Yocom in a black jacket and blue shirt

Yocom, an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and as an adjunct in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, has led the LA department since 2017. During his tenure, the department has refined and developed its strong reputation for community-engaged design work and student-centered teaching. He also led the College’s efforts resulting in the first-ever cohort hire of interdisciplinary scholars and expanded the department’s teaching and research with Indigenous partners.

“Ken has been a very collaborative leader in his department and as a member of the senior leadership in the college, he continues to help lead us into the future, most recently managing our first-ever faculty cohort hire,” said Renée Cheng, John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Dean of the College of Built Environments. “Since I’ve arrived, it’s been a pleasure to see how he works with and for the students and faculty in his department. We are excited to see what innovative initiatives he will continue to bring to the department and our college.”

Yocom is trained as an ecologist and landscape architect with professional experience in the environmental consulting and construction industries. He graduated from our MLA program and earned his Ph.D. from the Program in the Built Environments, where he researched nature and societal relations through the contemporary context of urban ecological restoration practices.

Spring Design Build and Celebration at Kline Galland

On June 7, 2022 Kline Galland celebrated the completion of this year’s Design Build with a dedication ceremony officiating the space as the Marty Bender Family Garden. Under the guidance of Professors Daniel Winterbottom and Amy Wagenfeld, 18 BLA and MLA students engaged community members to design a therapeutic courtyard garden for this skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle. Read more about this project in the Daily Journal of Commerce and through Kline Galland.