Research Portal

February 22, 2021

Inaugural CBE Inspire Fund awardees announced

This winter quarter the College of Built Environments launched its new CBE Inspire Fund. Designed to support CBE research activities for which a relatively small amount of support can be transformative, in mid-February the college awarded the first 6 grants. Projects supported by the CBE Inspire Fund hail from 4 departments within the college and tackling topics such as food systems, mapping cultural spaces, and energy justice.

The CBE Inspire Fund is the first research funding opportunity offered by the college, for the college. The fund was created to enable smaller projects, work that is traditionally underfunded, and that done by scholars who are members of groups currently underrepresented in our college. The Fund prioritizes projects that are centered in the arts and humanities disciplines; engage with community partners in substantive ways; and/or could benefit from ‘seed funding’ with view to a larger source of funding.

Inaugural awardees include: 

Holding Space: Mapping Cultural Spaces in Seattle’s Black, Brown, and Indigenous Communities

Rachel Berney (Urban Design and Planning), along with Jess Zimbabwe, AIA, AICP, LEED-AP, Urban Design and Planning Instructor & Environmental Works ED, are working with CEP students, the City of Seattle’s Racial Equity Lab, and community members in Seattle’s Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to map cultural spaces in an interactive way to allow communities to use the maps for organizing, advocacy, and a living memory repository. The project focuses on community-based research–research for the community and knowledge produced by and for the community. Access to the organizing and advocacy tools created by this project can transform Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities’ ability to combat cultural spaces’ displacement. Other partners include: Shuxuan Zhou, Ph.D., City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights, Racial Equity Lab Director, will serve as a voluntary senior advisor. Kayla Chui and Kaleb Germinaro, Ph.D. Students in the UW College of Education will serve as advisors. Advisors will provide feedback on content and approach. Alexa Abrahamian and Andrea Sebastian, UDP CEP Program students, will conduct interviews, data analysis, report writing, and create an interactive ethnographic map related to the findings as their CEP Senior Project.

Mapping Energy Equity

Michael Gilbride‘s project, in partnership with eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG), will work with students to take publicly available information about buildings in Seattle and energy performance and mapping how building energy use is distributed in Seattle. By combining this information with demographic and socio-economic data, the team can understand how the building energy use varies from neighborhood to neighborhood and at an urban scale. Project partners include Chris Meek (Architecture), as well as ARCH graduate students and those on the DSSG to be determined.

Community Health: Capital Hill and Cal Anderson Park

Keith Harris (Urban Design and Planning / Landscape Architecture) and the research team on this project will work in partnership with the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Cal Anderson Park Alliance, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), and Black Star Farmers to provide a more robust vision of an “activated” park. This work comes in the wake of the summer 2020 protests, CHAZ/CHOP, the subsequent tent encampment and sweep by the Seattle Police. SPR has sought to “re-activate” the park to make it safe, secure, and welcoming to all. However, their interventions are only directed to a small segment of the park’s users, and do not contribute to SPR’s goal of honoring the events of 2020. The community partners seek to: map health and service assets located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, establish a baseline understanding of needs based on the social determinants of health for Capitol Hill, and determine how Cal Anderson Park could serve as a hub for connecting those in need to such services. Project partners include researchers: Shannon Tyman (Doctoral Candidate, BE PhD), Aisling Wade (CEP undergraduate/BSF & UW Farm volunteer), Jude Brown (Landscape Architecture undergraduate); and consultants: Jeff Hou (Landscape Architecture), Justin Hamacher (HCDE/UX Designer), Eli Wheat (College of the Environment/UW Farm), Mackenzie Waller (Landscape Architecture), Kelley Pagano (Landscape Architecture/BSF volunteer).

Faculty Success Program, National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

Ann Huppert‘s award will go toward supporting her research and writing on the discrepancies between the reality of architecture as a collaborative endeavor and our understanding of this creative process that remains rooted in a narrative that arose in the Renaissance, when the architect came to be defined in distinction from the builder.

Investigating Energy Justice in Washington State

Hyun Woo “Chris” Lee and BE PhD student Yohan Min will undertake a study that involves combining the socio-economic census data collected from the American Community Survey (ACS) with electrical permit data (PV and EV) collected from cities’ open data portals via rigorous data- mining process. Then, a series of statistical factor and clustering analyses will be performed for each city, as well as inter-cities, to identify underserved and vulnerable communities in terms of energy justice, and to investigate their associated socio-economic characteristics.

Benjamin McAdoo Research Collective

Tyler Sprague will work with a CBE student, UW Libraries, and Department of History faculty, among others, to research, publicize and discuss the important career of Black architect Benjamin McAdoo (1920-1981). One of the most prominent modernist architects in the region, McAdoo had a long and successful career in Seattle, designing many signature residences, developing a modular housing prototype for the US Government, traveling as a cultural ambassador, all while remaining a leader in the civil rights movement in Seattle. The primary goal of this project would be to bring his life and work to academic and public audiences, and reflect on the complexity (both racial and social) his career offers to the modernist history of our region.