Julie Parrett is an Associate Teaching Professor and the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Department of Landscape Architecture. Julie primarily teaches seminar and studio courses on design, representation,
speculative futures, and a thick reading of urban landscapes as well as teaching in the professional practice sequence.
Julie’s academic and professional work concentrates on speculative thinking and design research of urban landscapes as embedded and dynamic amalgamations of social, cultural, political, and ecological systems, actions, and reactions. Her work explores using design and representation as operational and generative tools for exploring how stories embedded in sites can inform potential futures that facilitate multiple uses and act as catalysts for a dynamic and engaged public realm. At the base of this approach are the fundamentals of design – the physical, material, and spatial qualities created – in the creation of places that are articulate, site specific and well-crafted while remaining adaptive and open.
In both practice and teaching, Julie’s work often incorporates design activism as a foundation for reimagining urban public lands. Recent design studios have explored themes of generative infrastructure, catalytic landscapes and emergent narratives through readings, on the ground investigations, mapping, iterative design, and research in the consideration of the potential for public landscape systems to respond to conditions of climate change, environmental justice, community wealth building and displacement. Similarly, the studios explored the role of landscape architects as facilitators of community collaboration and advocates of community agency.
As a practicing landscape architect, Julie has over 25 years of professional experience working on projects in the public realm including large-scale public sites and urban planning projects as well as intimate neighborhood parks. As Co-Founder and Design Director for the People’s Waterfront Coalition, she combined design activism with design visioning for Seattle’s downtown waterfront by advocating for the removal of a 2-story elevated highway and developing an award-winning proposal for re-envisioning the waterfront as a dynamic urban corridor fostering public life and a functional shore ecology. Her previous professional experience includes the Olympic Sculpture Park (with Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture) and Freshkills (with James Corner Field Operations).
In addition to the University of Washington, Julie taught landscape architecture at the Penn School of Design. She holds a MLA from the University of Pennsylvania, a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia and was a Fellow with CHORA Institute of Architecture and Urbanism in London. She previously served on the Seattle Design Commission and Seattle’s Public Art Advisory Council.