And it’s up! The amazing Aaron Bourget, videographer extraordinaire, has created an incredible video that captures all of our fun and hard work with Design Your Neighborhood at the South Park Community Center.

You can check out that video here.

This video accurately shows how hardworking these young adults demonstrated inside and outside of the classroom. I am so incredibly proud and thankful for everyone’s part in making this happen.

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Please stay connected as Design Your Neighborhood will return this summer!



The Grand Finale at South Park Community Center

There is no doubt in my mind that Saturday and this Design Your Neighborhood was anything but a huge success, in terms of transformation of our project room and of the amazing youth I had the privilege to work with.

These last three months have been filled with lessons, both personal and practical, fieldtrips, a seemingly endless supply of granola bars and oranges, and lots and lots of paint. And now it’s over. But what have been our biggest takeaways during our time together?

At the grand celebration and unveiling of the teen room at the South Park Community Center, after some mingling and excited chitter flurrying around the room we gathered inside where SAM’s Sarah Bloom began with opening remarks. Following a brief presentation by Satpreet of the overview of DYN’s purpose, before pictures, and the design process, the youth did group presentations and spoke about their influences on the room, how many of them felt Olson Kundig was their favorite fieldtrip, and some even spoke on their encouraged desire to pursue a career in design.

Afterwards, alongside Gwen, I was honored to present our parting gifts to these young adults, which including the toolkits given to them in the beginning, a certificate of completion from Seattle Parks & Rec, a coloring book and dual tipped coloring pencils, and personalized business cards designed by Satpreet.

The transformation pictures as you will find below are sure to blow your mind. As Chris Landingin, the amazing carpenter from Batt + Lear  who helped the youth transform the looming hulk of a cabinet into a dynamic mobile desk and storage space noted (and I’m paraphrasing here): A lot of amazing work was done by such a small group — I couldn’t agree more, Chris.


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You should be as proud as all of us are for the hard work and long hours you put in. You were all so incredibly meticulous and thoughtful down to the smallest of details. We look forward to see where life will take you after this program and how you will find elements of design in your everyday lives and think critically about your life and the world around you. Thank you for your time and dedication to this project!

Thank you to our partners Olson Kundig, Seattle Architecture Foundation, and FLOR for donating carpet tiles. Additional thanks to the artists at Bemis Building, Schemata Workshop, Chris Landingin, Tracy Tyau, South Park Community Center, Cherryl Jackson-Williams, volunteers from SAM, and to all in attendance Saturday.

Please stay connected for a video to follow shortly from our videographer, Aaron Bourget, and when Design Your Neighborhood returns this summer!


Who’s House? SOUTH PARK!

With everything just about completed, there’s one last vital thing left to be done and that’s get our party on. We’d love it if YOU came to the grand celebration of Design Your Neighborhood where the final transformation of the youth’s hard work will be revealed and the teens will be individually presenting to YOU about how this project has or will affect their lives and futures. We hope to see YOU there! Details are provided below.

2016 DYH Invite Flyer_SAM


Home Stretch

As we enter the last week with the teens we’re wrapping up our last touches to the room down at South Park.  The room is a completely different space, and for the better, according to the center’s staff and regular frequenters who have seen how this room has been transformed in these last few months. The painting on the walls is complete, Chris has helped us build a new cabinet/table, and the youth’s presentations are prepared. Adding a few extra days into our normal weekly schedule, we will lay down the carpet pattern chosen by Cheyanne, complete painting of the cabinet and piano, install blinds, and assemble the last few Ikea furniture items.

No pictures this time. You’ll have to see the complete product THIS Saturday. More information to follow soon.


Field Trip to the Seattle Architecture Foundation

Taking a break from painting, we piled into the van for our last field trip of this session to journey to a familiar place. You all might recall how a few weeks ago we came to the Center of Architecture and Design for the opening celebration of their recently remodeled space. This Saturday, this space hosted “Urban Gardens” a four hour long thought provoking workshop created by the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

Learning Objective: Designing Housing:

Designing housing is not only about designing buildings–it’s also about creating a healthy landscape for all residents!

After a brief presentation on gardens the teens got a chance to meet and work with other young designers from various parts of Seattle to design a [rooftop] garden for a building in Capitol Hill. The teens broke up into groups of four and after hours of brainstorming, diligently making to scale pieces of various shrubbery and benches, and creating 3D models they presented their well thought out ideas.

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Ideas ranged from incorporating fish bridges to a rock climbing wall. Practically all of the ideas were proposed to be enjoyable for the community and not just the inhabitants of the building. Their models were also eco-friendly, promoted activity, and some good old R&R. Well done, teens!

Big thanks to the Seattle Architecture Foundation, Schemata Workshop, the Center of Architecture and Design and all the wonderful volunteers that worked so individually with our youth. We hope to be back again soon!

Mira, one of the facilitators of the workshop from Schemata Workshop also wrote a blog post. You can find that here and feel free to navigate around the blog and see what else Schemata is up to these days!



The 1, 2, 3’s of Transforming South Park

Step 1: Prep

Step 2: Paint

Step 3: Skip around and celebrate because the ugly mural everyone hated is officially GONE!

A big thanks to our volunteers from SAM, Chris who has been hired as the carpenter to work with the class to make a design that will transform a cabinet into storage and a table, Tracy who has been giving amazing instruction during this painting process, and the teens for being incredibly productive and ahead of schedule for prepping and painting the room. We’ll need just a few more hours to complete the painting and from here on out it’s our last workshop, buying furniture and décor, and finally our community celebration in just a few weeks!

Learning Objective: Work on room and decide on final project