The population of multiracial and multicultural individuals in the United States has steadily risen, but few public spaces have been designed to represent them or express their identities. Individuals in this group can find themselves feeling isolated from spaces because they feel like “imposters’ or that they have to choose only one part of their identity to belong. How can we create public spaces that encourage people to express all parts of their multiracial or multicultural identity in a way that is inclusive, educational, and encourages cultural exchange? Through research of existing design methods and practices, this project addresses how public spaces can be created to include multiracial and multicultural individuals. I provide design methods and practices in four categories: cultural exchange; cultural education; safety and inclusion; and expression. These methods are compiled into a set of guidelines and best practices to guide designers through the creation of multiracial and multicultural spaces. These guidelines fill the gap between white and other mono-cultural spaces to create public spaces where multiracial and multicultural individuals can find belonging in. As a product created for designers, these guidelines bring the multiracial and multicultural identities into conversations and processes that they would not normally be a part of. This project reflects my own desire to see my multiracial and multicultural identity and others like me reflected in public spaces and serves as an example of why spaces like this are important and why representation matters.
Academic Year: 2019
Universities are increasingly expected to integrate sustainability best practices throughout their planning, operations, academics and engagement. Universities should also consider their sustainability impact beyond institutional boundaries to advance community and global sustainability goals. What’s needed is a framework for university sustainability planning that aligns established institutional metrics, with the latest community, city and global sustainability metrics. This project presents a replicable framework for universities to integrate campus, community, city and global sustainability metrics. The framework uses the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) as a foundation for university planning and aligns that with the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Cities and Communities, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The framework integrates the metrics of STARS, LEED, and the UN SDGs to benchmark key performance indicators and advance sustainability goals. This framework will facilitate more efficient data driven decision making and resource allocation, while supporting globally focused sustainability research for universities. A final report will detail the methodology of this framework for universities to use in their sustainability planning.
Workout While Waiting: Installing Fitness Equipment at Bus Shelters
People in Seattle who use public transportation as their main mode of transportation accumulate a great amount of time waiting for public transit. Seattle’s adult obesity rate has also nearly tripled since 1990. Could one solution to Seattle’s obesity problem be found in the waiting time of bus riders? This project examines the feasibility of turning bus shelters into exercise zones. Specifically, this project was designed first to gauge interest of having simple and accessible exercise equipment installed at a University of Washington station bus stop, and, second, to find out which equipment passengers would want to see installed. This project required research on health, exercise, and bus ridership, as well as looking at case studies, surveying bus riders, and surveying gym users at the UW Intramural Activities Building. 80% of the people surveyed for this project were in favor of installing exercise equipment, and the two most popular devices people wanted were a pull up bar and assisted rowing and pushup machines. Findings from this research are summarized in a report that also includes a series of recommendations and next steps.
In cities where there is a growing population such as Ridgefield, there is an opportunity to help foster a sense of place in new and existing residents. This project and paper examined how a walking tour helps residents connect with their community, making a place more than just a location. This project was a two-part process that involved research about walking tours and the effects that they have had on the surrounding community members and then using the information in order to justify and create a walking tour of the City of Ridgefield. I conducted a literature review that looked at how a sense of place ties into a walking tour and focused on the positive impact it has on communities. In order to understand the importance of a walking tour and how it can be beneficial to a city it required looking at case studies from various cities and best practices. This helped solidify the project of developing a walking tour for the City of Ridgefield. The second part of this project involved researching about the City of Ridgefield and the unique features that it has and creating a walking tour for the city. This part of the project involved interviewing stakeholders, visiting the site, and designing a guide. This guide is in the form of a pamphlet and will be distributed amongst the citizens with the intention of helping residents connect with the city they live in.
Seattle Homeless Housing Guidelines
The city of Seattle and King county has declared a state of emergency in 2015 for the crisis on people experiencing homeless. Since then, the contributing factor to stop the growth and lowering people living unsheltered on the streets has been never ending. As the problem becomes more transparent we see that affordable housing, job loss, addiction and employment gaps are the main contributing factors to homelessness. The issue here is that our secondary option for housing people have not been as successful as the City has planned it to be. Due to the lack of planning and guidelines for these housing units, majority of these individuals rather live on the street then to stay in these homes. Which is why for this project, the methodology will focus on inducting interviews, site visits, and guideline/case studies review. By looking at tiny homes villages, Black homes, and Desc housing I hope to highlight issues with homeless units and its health issues, Requirements for housing, exploration on its funding and how people feel about these homes. Which is why we have to ask ourselves, what factors make these units fail? And how can we create a plan or guideline to resolve these problems? The main focus for this project is housing units that can provide people facing homeless with long-term, free, properly designed housing for certain individuals. By looking into examples in Seattle and narrowing down to just three projects, the report will consist of a guideline on how to plan and design from the issues for people facing homeless.
The Benson Hill Neighborhood Integrated Utility Greenway
Humans thrive when they feel connected to nature and their surroundings. Providing green space and creating a sense of place identity are two issues that cities often have to address. My project explores how by becoming what is known as an integrated utility greenway, the undeveloped green space under an overhead power line right-of-way in the Benson Hill neighborhood of Renton, Washington can be redesigned as an opportunity to address these matters, as well as additional goals identified in carious planning-related documents. Through an iterative research and design process, I’ve prepared an existing conditions inventory and analysis report, developed a series of conceptual recommendations that I’ve illustrated graphically, and constructing a guiding matrix for implementation. The design concepts are represented through digital diagrams and illustrations made using Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, and mapping software. The accompanying implementation matrix cover information and strategies related to potential future application and execution of the recommendations with specific considerations being made for the local agencies, municipalities, and other pertinent entities likely to be involved. The preliminary scoping and design materials produced through this process are meant to inform relevant governing bodies and other interested parties about why this project is worth pursuing through official channels. This greenway would not only provide numerous new amenities to the Benson Hill community but would also create a place uniquely identifiable to Benson Hill that residents could form a sense of belonging and attachment to.
Homeownership & Wealth
Housing inequality is one of the most significant challenges facing future generations of Americans. The average homeowner in America has a net worth 36 times greater than the average renter. My senior project sought to illuminate the forgotten causes of this disparity and consisted of two distinct parts. First, I conducted a policy analysis reaching back to the 1920’s that identified and documented deliberate and explicit federal, state, and local policies blocking minority groups from homeownership. This analysis resulted in a cohesive narrative spanning 100 years of race-related exclusion in housing. Second, I studied potential solutions that would actively narrow the wealth gap between property owners and those denied access. After months of research I concluded that more than any other option, Community Land Trusts (CLTs) best balance the need for decent, dignified housing with the wealth accumulation benefits of homeownership for lower income people. Equipped with my historical narrative of inequality and deep appreciation for the benefits of CLTs I intend to help create the East King County Community Land Trust. The EKCCLT will offer homeownership opportunities to low-income people in wealthy suburbs of Seattle, east of Lake Washington.
Agreement and Dissent
A central question of group decision-making, and thus of community planning and politics, is how to balance democracy and efficiency. The status quo struggles with this balance, but so may consensus processes. While negotiating toward unanimity protects the right of minority views that would otherwise be consistently overruled, it also potentially allows anyone to stymie a decision being finalized. This project seeks to understand the applicability of consensus to various institutional settings. I ask, what institutions might benefit from its adoption and which would it generally worsen? What best practices would help it be most successful? To answer these questions, I researched the dynamics and contexts where consensus decision-making has been or still is practiced, to determine what makes it succeed or fail. I also interviewed peers and the public about their views on and expectations for consensus practice, and finally formed proposals for its expanded use, as well as some recommendations for how to make it work and where and when to avoid it. My recommendations are illustrated with case studies s taken from juries and event planning and consider to various levels the applicability of consensus to redistricting, land-use zoning, and the workplace.
Being Yourself at Your Most Vulnerable
The LGBTQ population are at many disadvantages when it comes to health and healthcare. LGBTQ are at higher risks of certain physical ailments, substances abuse, and mental health disorders then the general heterosexual population. The issue we see are many LGBTQ people feel that they are unable to feel welcome in healthcare settings, and with their healthcare providers due to the fear of rejection and discrimination. Since like all people, doctors do have biases whether conscious or not. The goal of this project is to compile a set of recommendations that can be used to help healthcare providers assure LGBTQ people they are safe in their clinics. I also have created a pocket size checklist of aspects to look for in a doctor’s office such as pride flags, among other aspects to help reassure LGBTQ people they are accepted and will be cared for. Through a series of in person interviews, surveys asking both LGBTQ members and their allies, and doctor office visits is where these recommendations and checklist will come from. This is an important step in helping combat the current health disparities we are seeing in the medical field towards LGBTQ people.
One Day My Story Gon’ Pay
My project aims to look at the barriers that Latino/a students face in higher education, including low high school and college graduation rates. In order to look at some of the barriers that prevent Latino/as from attaining similar levels of education as other Americans, I interviewed 10 Latino/a students about their experience with education so far. The main part of my project will look at my life as an example of some of the barriers Latino/as face in completing their education. Although I do not represent all Latino/as, I have a unique perspective even among Latinos that I feel can contribute to the field of Latino/a studies. My final piece will be my own autobiography. I hope that I can learn something substantial about myself while doing this autobiography. In addition, I hope others can look at me as an example that anyone, Latino/a or not, can compete their education regardless of their pathways.