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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

2018 Building New Global Connections | Croatia Design/Build

This story originally appeared on College of Built Environments website on October 23, 2019. You can see the original story here.


The UW Landscape Architecture Croatia Design/Build program gives students the unique opportunity to make a lasting, physical impact in their host community. Professor Daniel Winterbottom, an expert in the creation of healing and therapeutic gardens, leads the program.

American and Croatian teammates together after final construction of the reflexology path.

With Professor Winterbottom as their guide, students explore the role of restorative landscapes in the built environment through hands-on learning. They study the history of healthcare in Croatia while also exploring the unique culture, food, and architecture heritage of the region. Finally, the students gain practical experience, working together to solve a real-world design/build problem. Last year, students were tasked with creating a new outdoor physical therapy rehabilitation space at the “Prim. Dr. Martin Horvat” Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital.

Located just outside the city of Rovinj, on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, the hospital is among the oldest orthopedic-rehabilitation institutes. It specializes in offering modern hydrotherapy treatments to patients coming from throughout Europe. The close proximity to the temperate waters of the Adriatic Sea allows the hospital to offer both indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy facilities during much of the year. For the students, this means having the opportunity to design a functional, therapeutic outdoor space to serve both patients and staff. The build portion of the program further allows students to become adept with key landscape construction techniques, materials, and project management approaches – skills that often aren’t practically addressed in a traditional classroom setting.

Professor Winterbottom leads a workshop on techniques for hand representation.

For Elizabeth Lange, a Master of Landscape Architecture Student, the most memorable part of the experience was the opportunity to build strong connections and foster teamwork with her fellow American and Croatian classmates.

“Every day it was a lot of work and long days, but it was fun to be with the people in the program and learn new things,” she shared. “I became very close with my classmates because of this program.”

Elizabeth also felt that the unique opportunity to participate in a design/build program was particularly useful for rounding out her educational experience, especially as she prepares to enter professional practice in the near future.

“A design build program forces you to think about your design and the practicality of it,” she explained. “In design school, we don’t normally construct what we design, so the sky is the limit in some sense, but in a design/build that isn’t the case. You can think of grand ideas but then you also have to factor in the budget and feasibility of it in order for it to work in the real world. I think that is an important thing to experience in school going forward.”

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the study abroad experience is the way in which it allows students to frame their own life and experiences in the context of a broader perspective.

For Elizabeth, her time in Croatia gave her valuable personal insights and allowed her to build stronger relationships with others – both key hallmarks of a successful study abroad experience.

“I learned a lot about myself and my abilities during this program through my relationship with my friends and through the relationship of design,” Elizabeth shared.

 


Photo credits: Rhiannon Neuville and the 2018 Croatia Design Build class.

2018 Design+Build in Dals Langed, Sweden

In collaboration with students from HDK-Steneby, a design and crafts school located in Dals Långed, 15 students from University of Washington’s College of Built Environments, led by Professor Daniel Winterbottom, worked with the local immigrant and refugee community to create a community garden intended to improve well-being, alleviate the stresses of the integration process and connect this group with the broader community. The project goal was to create a deeper level of trust, connection and mutual respect between longtime residents and new arrivals.

The result of this project—a new public space—should greatly increase the quality of life for local residents, as it fills a need which was not previously supported by any of the existing spaces in Dals Långed: an outside meeting place where people of different ages, cultures and interests can meet and come together.


Course Details

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate + Graduate Studio
Study Abroad in Dals Langed, Sweden
Summer 2018
Instructor: Daniel Winterbottom

Students draw from Canadian context

For one week in mid-June, students explored the similarities and differences between US and Canadian urban environments as they visited three Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa.

The field study was led by Fritz Wagner, Professor Emeritus in the departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design & Planning and Dr. Regent Cabana, an Affiliate Professor (from New Orleans). They led a group of students from academic disciplines including urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, and real estate.

The experience helped students to gain a better understanding of economic, political, social, cultural, and urban issues within the Canadian context. They met with a number of professors from regional universities, government officials, and other urban experts who gave lectures and walking tours.  The course examined similarities and differences between US and Canadian cities while investigating current urban issues confronting communities in French-speaking Québec and Ottawa. Students studied the physical layout of cities, urban design, urban growth, central neighborhood revitalization projects, local governance, and historic preservation.  Students were required to keep a daily journal and write a comparative paper on a topic related to urban issues encountered in Canada.

 

What Seattle Can Learn from Denmark about Community-Owned Housing (The Urbanist)

MLA student Roxanne Glick went to Copenhagen, Denmark to study their community-owned housing model. She brought what she learned from her time living in Denmark and studying their housing system back to Seattle. Roxanne shared some of her discoveries with The Urbanist. Below is an excerpt from her article.

Inspired by the community ownership movement, I travelled to Denmark last fall to learn from a country known as one of the most cooperative in the world. A third of housing in Copenhagen is cooperatively-owned and the non-profit sector houses a fifth of Danes. I saw the benefits of community ownership but also how the struggle to create it has been forgotten and it has been almost entirely defeated by neoliberal policies in the last 18 years.

To my dismay, I found that Denmark is now considered a ‘post-welfare’ state, rapidly instating overlapping racist and neoliberal policies while housing prices have become unaffordable for many. During my time there in November, I witnessed the government passing neo-apartheid housing policiescalled the “ghetto package.” The package applies harsher, discriminatory laws and threatens demolition to poor and ethnically “non-Western” non-profit housing neighborhoods officially labeled “ghettos.” The “ghetto package” is not only racist, it leverages racist public opinion to undermine the non-profit housing associations sector’s self-determination.

But just as I am grateful that every Dane didn’t judge me for American political leadership, I found that many Danes still have open hearts and communitarian values. Through living in two communities and many interviews, I had the opportunity to learn about the vestiges of community-owned housing in Denmark before it’s lost from living memory.”

Read the full article in The Urbanist.

Roxanne’s travel was supported by the Valle Scholarship. Learn more about this opportunity.