I have started a blog. I am an architect: a creator and builder of things. We are trained not just to design buildings, but build strategies, evolve methods, and patent processes that lead to better outcomes & enrich our lives in some way / shape / form. There is no typical day – everyday is met with a tall order [Come up with a new wallpaper design? No problem. Produce a specification for steel featuring the qualities desired? Sure. Research glass railings? Yes. (you get the idea)]. I believe this is what keeps most of us young at heart [or ages us like a president].
This blog is born out of a long standing interest of mine: neighborhood development. Architecture overlaps and intertwines with urban planning when looking at the larger scale during design to understand how a building and its users will have an impact on the surrounding physical place, but also change the landscape with what businesses are located to serve the new users and how the demographic can change, or how the transportation is preemptively engaged or can be triggered as a reaction to human development. I have always taken my personal time to research development going on around me to better understand how it effects my quality of life and I most enjoy anticipating trends in the real estate market. For example, I visualize a highly desirable area of a city that has been historically underutilized and see how developers strategize to transform them from sleepy & overlooked to a place bustling with the latest hip brunch spot or boutique espresso bar. I love this every bit of this movement and follow it with my eyes and feet. Development is a tricky, mysterious and sometimes confusing thing to wrap your arms around and my job is to make it effortless for you.
Most importantly, I am an investigator and researcher. Architecture as a profession that is highly investigatory, from discovering a new building process or construction method to sourcing a new lighting product or sustainable wallcovering to implement on projects. That is what keeps my excitement and interest, but I also want to fulfill more of that side of my brain with this blog because development changes our roots and our livelyhood. Neighborhoods can be strengthened by citizens becoming aware of how development plays a part in our daily lives – how it changes the density, visual backdrop and demographics we inhabit or experience. I want this to be a resource for anyone and everyone looking to be more educated on their urban self.
This blog starts outside of the obvious downtown neighborhood because most of the current tracking for the Seattle market is already heavily recorded for downtown and South Lake Union (the fast growing portion of the city). It is tougher to find a cohesive documentation of developments closer to the single family neighborhoods north of the lake. Wallingford gets much attention as the only entity in history to vote for higher development at the neighborhood level. To be in favor of that, along with its proximity to the lake have put the spotlight there. However, there is much development happening in Fremont, Ballard, Greenwood and Ravenna that is not being tracked with such vigor. This blog seeks to fill that gap. Because I am a sole entity, it will be a venture that I intend to build upon; I can promise you it will be steady and thorough, but will take time to gather all the data (we have to start somewhere don’t we?). For now, I will start with those neighborhoods and expand as demand dictates. It will be a constantly evolving blog, following the nature of development, but it will be always be high quality research with the mission of providing a resource to Seattle citizens interested in growing their personal awareness of the happenings going on all around us all the time!