Research Portal

August 15, 2023

February 2022 Inspire Fund Awardees: Progress and Products

Five projects were awarded Inspire Fund awards in February 2022. They have completed various stages of work and have provided a report on their progress and products. Below, excerpts from these reports are highlighted to showcase the work that has been “Inspired” in 2022-23.

Rick Mohler: “One Seattle: Leveraging Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan Update to advance housing diversity, affordability, livability and racial equity”

This funding supported products from the Architecture 594 research seminar and Architecture 508 design studio, which tasked students with exploring the potential to increase the quantity and diversity of housing options in five Seattle neighborhoods through the major update to Seattle’s comprehensive plan with input from the OPCD representatives. The Inspire Fund allowed two students from the studio to work with the PI in producing an exhibit of the student work with the intention of engaging the public in the comprehensive planning process and to help them envision what new housing alternatives might look like and how they might lead to neighborhood change. The exhibit included information on the comp plan update process and employs a graphic novel format to make the information accessible.

Chris Lee, Sofia Dermisi, Heather Burpee, Novi Bramono: “Investigating the Health Requirements and Risk-Responsiveness Criteria in Office Building Codes for Mitigating COVID-19 and Future Airborne Diseases”

This funding supported conducting: (a) a literature review from academic journal publications and guidelines from health and professional organizations such as WHO, ASHRAE, AIA, and IFMA using content analysis method, (b) interviews with the professionals, experts, and code officials from the city of Seattle and the State of Washington, and (c) developing a hypothesis for the risk-responsive criteria for building codes. The project team analyzed several factors relevant to the building code’s risk responsiveness from the 18 guidelines and six journals published between 2020 to 2022. 8 factors were explored; space management, ventilation, air filtration, temperature and RH, monitoring indoor air quality, air disinfection, building operation compliance, cleaning & disinfection management.

Based on the literature review an interviews, the project team proposed the criteria for a risk-responsive building code as follows:

Risk-responsiveness factor: building codes should address space management, ventilation, air filtration, temperature, relative humidity, air disinfection, operation compliance, and cleaning and disinfection management. 

Ease of enforcement: building codes should consider the design could be easily monitored and enforced during operation. Several design requirements, such as air filtration level, ventilation rates, temperature and relative humidity, and prescriptive codes over performance-based, fall into this criteria.

Gregg Colburn, Rebecca Walter: “Affordable Housing Book Project”

Funding for this project was used to hire Graduate Research Student Assistants during Summer Quarter 2022 and 2023 (with approved carry-over to Summer 2023).

Branden Born: “Exploring Cross-Border and Cross-cultural Community Development: Politics of the Possible”

With this funding, Professor Born spent a month in Oaxaca to work with Ollin staff and Dr. Nuñez Mendez on three focal topics: 

  1. Planning the continuation of the annual International Assembly for Community Development, 2023 and beyond. These “asambleas” have brought together hundreds of people (about 100 each time) to discuss issues of cross-border (mostly US/Canada/Mexico) community concern. Plans for an assembly hosted in Washington are on hold due to visa backlog times and inconsistency/difficulty in obtaining visas. 
  2. Collect, as possible, data (recordings, photos, notes) from previous asambleas and community visits. Develop a publication strategy and timeline.
  3. Develop new community relationships for cross-institution collaboration and exploration, connect with old collaborators as allowed by varying post-COVID community protocols.

This funding made possible the opportunity for Professor Born to spend time on location working with co-researchers and community partners. The project team had been working together under a set of shared values and aspirations for years, and only recently begun to see the efforts coalesce into solid and growing activities like the assemblies, as well as the contributions from research about community governance and values in rural Mexico.

Rachel Berney, Donald King, Branden Born: “Defining the New Diaspora: Where Seattle’s Black Church Congregants Are Moving and Why”

This funding was used to hire a graduate student to help do a literature/local resource search, assist faculty with the development of an interview protocol and participant selection process, and file for IRB approval. Through Donald King and pastors from four local churches the project sought participants for interviews. While the project team was successful in the literature review, interview protocol development, and IRB approval, they noted that they were unable to recruit any participants for the project through the churches. Regarding recruitment, the project team shared, “We aren’t exactly sure why this is—we believe that due to the multiple requests on the congregations coming from the Nehemiah Project and beyond that the pastors may not have highlighted the interview opportunities, even though we were paying $100 for participant’s time. It’s also possible that the congregants were informed and were not interested in participating.” This funding gave the opportunity for the hired graduate student to learn these and practice new skills during this project work.