APWA (American Public Works Association) UW Chapter Officer Openings

Why join us?

Opportunities to develop relationships with local professionals in the field of public works to not only understand future career opportunities but also get direct leads on employment! We also host resume reviews as well as networking sessions and tours to public works sites like the UW Power Plant and SeaTac International Airport.

The field of public works is vast and includes all aspects of civil engineering, environmental science and engineering, construction management, and public administration. The Washington State chapter of APWA is the 3rd largest chapter in the country and is very active in education, advocacy and networking. Membership in the UW Chapter is alse free!

The UW officers’ primary role is helping organize one or two events per quarter, including educational presentations, field trips, resume workshops and networking events with local professionals. If you are interested in joining us for next year, please fill out this form(tinyurl.com/APWAOfficerForm).

APWA UW Chapter

2018 Building New Global Connections | Croatia Design/Build

This story originally appeared on College of Built Environments website on October 23, 2019. You can see the original story here.

The UW Landscape Architecture Croatia Design/Build program gives students the unique opportunity to make a lasting, physical impact in their host community. Professor Daniel Winterbottom, an expert in the creation of healing and therapeutic gardens, leads the program.

American and Croatian teammates together after final construction of the reflexology path.

With Professor Winterbottom as their guide, students explore the role of restorative landscapes in the built environment through hands-on learning. They study the history of healthcare in Croatia while also exploring the unique culture, food, and architecture heritage of the region. Finally, the students gain practical experience, working together to solve a real-world design/build problem. Last year, students were tasked with creating a new outdoor physical therapy rehabilitation space at the “Prim. Dr. Martin Horvat” Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital.

Located just outside the city of Rovinj, on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, the hospital is among the oldest orthopedic-rehabilitation institutes. It specializes in offering modern hydrotherapy treatments to patients coming from throughout Europe. The close proximity to the temperate waters of the Adriatic Sea allows the hospital to offer both indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy facilities during much of the year. For the students, this means having the opportunity to design a functional, therapeutic outdoor space to serve both patients and staff. The build portion of the program further allows students to become adept with key landscape construction techniques, materials, and project management approaches – skills that often aren’t practically addressed in a traditional classroom setting.

Professor Winterbottom leads a workshop on techniques for hand representation.

For Elizabeth Lange, a Master of Landscape Architecture Student, the most memorable part of the experience was the opportunity to build strong connections and foster teamwork with her fellow American and Croatian classmates.

“Every day it was a lot of work and long days, but it was fun to be with the people in the program and learn new things,” she shared. “I became very close with my classmates because of this program.”

Elizabeth also felt that the unique opportunity to participate in a design/build program was particularly useful for rounding out her educational experience, especially as she prepares to enter professional practice in the near future.

“A design build program forces you to think about your design and the practicality of it,” she explained. “In design school, we don’t normally construct what we design, so the sky is the limit in some sense, but in a design/build that isn’t the case. You can think of grand ideas but then you also have to factor in the budget and feasibility of it in order for it to work in the real world. I think that is an important thing to experience in school going forward.”

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the study abroad experience is the way in which it allows students to frame their own life and experiences in the context of a broader perspective.

For Elizabeth, her time in Croatia gave her valuable personal insights and allowed her to build stronger relationships with others – both key hallmarks of a successful study abroad experience.

“I learned a lot about myself and my abilities during this program through my relationship with my friends and through the relationship of design,” Elizabeth shared.


Photo credits: Rhiannon Neuville and the 2018 Croatia Design Build class.

2018 Design+Build in Dals Langed, Sweden

In collaboration with students from HDK-Steneby, a design and crafts school located in Dals Långed, 15 students from University of Washington’s College of Built Environments, led by Professor Daniel Winterbottom, worked with the local immigrant and refugee community to create a community garden intended to improve well-being, alleviate the stresses of the integration process and connect this group with the broader community. The project goal was to create a deeper level of trust, connection and mutual respect between longtime residents and new arrivals.

The result of this project—a new public space—should greatly increase the quality of life for local residents, as it fills a need which was not previously supported by any of the existing spaces in Dals Långed: an outside meeting place where people of different ages, cultures and interests can meet and come together.

Course Details

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate + Graduate Studio
Study Abroad in Dals Langed, Sweden
Summer 2018
Instructor: Daniel Winterbottom

2016 Puget Sound VA Hospital

The Garden of Earth and Sky: A Therapeutic Garden for the Puget Sound Veteran’s Affairs Hospital

From the restlessness of working in a hectic environment, to the lingering wait of an unknown diagnosis, the stress of the hospital setting creates need for green refuge. This garden is for all who need a moment of peace and a breath of fresh air.

The Garden of Earth and Sky is a 2016 capstone design build project for the Puget Sound Veteran’s Affairs Hospital.
A team of 28 students designed and constructed the garden over the course of six months. Located in a courtyard near the main entrance and emergency room, the site will serve patients, family, and staff. Many of these patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related symptoms.

The concept of the design is to reorient one’s position in relation to the sky and earth, reconnecting users to the greater natural landscape. Plantings and materials were chosen to reflect the Pacific Northwest landscape through native plants, wood structures, basalt stones and blue stone paving. A seamless transition was created between the garden and hospital, revealed in the seating, paving, and geometry of the site.

The experiences of veterans are both profound and varied, producing a complex range of illnesses that the design group had little understanding of. In order to determine how the garden could address them, information was gathered on multiple levels, including surveys, visual preference boards, and personal letters written by veterans from as early as the Civil War. The team also collaborated with occupational therapy students from the University of Western Michigan, led by Professor Amy Wagenfeld, who were essential in providing guidelines for the design to be comfortable and universally accessible.

The design is centered around two spaces, the Sky Room and Earth Room, which respectively provide areas for socialization and introspection. Plantings help create an escape from the sterile hospital interior. The earth room green wall was additionally conceived as an opportunity for horticultural therapy in a small space, which research has found to be particularly therapeutic for veterans. An opening along the bottom of the wall allows wheelchair users to touch plants without their legs having to be uncomfortably parallel to the wall. As the site is a courtyard space flanked by a series of floor-to ceiling windows along its border, one of the main goals was to use screening to enhance a sense of privacy while also offering a pleasant view from the indoors. The principle of universal design was applied throughout our garden to ensure it could be enjoyed by all. Pathways, furniture, and structures were all designed to be wheelchair-accessible, and careful consideration was made to ensure there were no triggers of mental illnesses within the garden.

The garden was completed in June 2016, with the hope that it will be a respite of healing and beauty in the hospital for years to come.

Read The Seattle Times’ report on the project: VA hospital’s healing garden is a refuge from ravages of war, illness.

2015 Street End Park

11th Ave NW Street End Park

Project Statement:

Working in collaboration with Seattle Department of Transportation Steet End Program and the Ballard community, the Design/Build studio worked to renovate a street end site in the heart of Ballard’s industrial corridor. The project involved creates high quality aquatic and upland habitat, integrates spaces for the community to gather within while enjoying the maritime patterns of the waterfront, and accommodates the industrial business abutting the site. The designs were vetted with the community through open participatory design sessions. The concepts of integrating ecology, supporting healthy social interactions, celebrating history through art, and supporting the economic maritime industry have been seamlessly woven together in the final design.


Additional Time-Lapse Footage

2014 Croatia


September 14th, 2013 – November 24th, 2013

Application Deadline:  April 13 2014
Application located here

Informational Sessions
Tuesday February 18th + Friday March 7th
12 pm in Gould Hall 142

Download the Program Brochure

Download the Program Poster

Program Description
Service: The Summer Croatia Design/Build 2014 Program is a service learning opportunity which brings students to the Psihijatrijska Bolnica Rab on the Island of Rab on the Mid-Adriatic Coast. Students will collaborate with our partners, the residents and therapists at the hospital to design and build some small modest therapeutic spaces within the hospital complex. This project will build upon work that was completed in Fall 2012 and 2013. The hospital contains extensive lavender fields, natural areas and a cluster of wards with courtyards and open spaces. Prior to being a hospital, the site was used for officers at the Rab Concentration Camp during WWII.

Education: Undergraduate, graduate and non-matriculated students in landscape architecture, architecture, anthropology, fine arts and other fields may apply. Students will design and build an “interactive landscape.” Students will learn the skills of small site design and construction detailing, management and community participation.

Adventure: Rab is strategically located by Zadar, Rijeka, the Velibit mountains, Island Krk and the Adriatic Coast and is accessible from Zagreb. These sites have re-known vernacular building, historic landscapes, and natural phenomena, which we will explore. Croatia has rich and varied features including Plitvice Lakes National Park, a World Heritage Site. This is the background through which we will explore the culture and history of Croatia.

For more information contact:
Prof. Daniel Winterbottom
Phone: 206.612.1146
Email: nina at uw dot edu


2014 Fisher House

Project Statement:

The gardens at the Fisher House in the Veterans Administration Medical Center offer a place that is familiar and creates a sense of belonging and connection. Residents use the gardens for exercise, children’s play, contemplation, gardening, sensory stimulation and escape, all qualities that the families requested and felt were important to their well-being, and to what would help them endure the stress and uncertainty they face while residing at the Fisher House for medical treatment.



Project Narrative: The Fisher House Foundation provides temporary homes for families of veterans receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers throughout the United States. There are 61 Fisher Houses located on military installations and VA medical centers. The VA Puget Sound Fisher House (FH) serves an average of 50 families per month, with 20 on any given day. Since it’s opening in 2008 FH has hosted over 3,100 families of veterans and active duty military personnel. The house is surrounded on three sides by a parking lot and flanked by the imposing eight story VA Hospital buildings on the fourth side. The setting lacked access to nature and privacy and was profoundly institutional and monotonous.

Residents cope with a multitude of daily challenges including emotional trauma resulting from intrusive medical treatments, post-traumatic stress, and the effects of isolation associated with dislocation to an unfamiliar city. Many family members are overwhelmed with the emotional and physical trauma of a recent diagnosis, disabilities including loss of limbs, paralysis or coping with a terminal illness. Family members provide love and support even as their own support networks are far away, and for many, privacy, contemplation and expressions of grief are possible only within the confine of their bedrooms.

Exacerbating these feelings of loneliness, isolation and grief, are the cumulative environmental effects of extended stays. Hospitals are often pragmatic and bland places with little natural lighting or ventilation. Waiting rooms, corridors, and treatment facilities offer little in the way of atmospheric comfort or stimulation. Evidence suggests that incorporating environments that support emotional and spiritual recovery will increase the quality of the experience and coping ability of the participants. Our goal was to create a counter point to the institutional landscape. The therapeutic natural oasis would provide residents with a sensory-rich alternative environment that gives them a sense of control, where family members can escape from the stress, boredom and uncertainty of their situation.

To understand the physical and emotional needs of Veterans and their family members, the team incorporated an interdisciplinary model by inviting an occupational therapist and a Vietnam era combat medic, currently a patient at the VA to join the team. A series of community focus groups were held with current residents, staff, board members and maintenance personnel. These groups also participated in photo preference sessions, to assess options and stylistic choices for different design elements such as seating, walking surfaces, planting, and passive and active activities. Through these community interactions the team gain insight into what aspects residents missed from their home environments and how they might use the gardens. To complement the original research, students complied information on the needs of people with disabilities, principles of therapeutic gardens, ADA requirements, lighting and other subjects to understand their needs and how to best accommodate the intended users.

Using the results of the research, four teams produced conceptual designs that were presented to a Fisher House Design Advisory Board, that included local practicing landscape architects, residents and staff, and hospital board members. Students synthesized this feedback and synthesized the conceptual designs into a final preferred alternative, presented once again to the Advisory Board. The presentation included drawings, digital models representing each feature, and a 3D scale model of the entire site and water feature. Upon receiving approval the students created a complete construction document set including material takeoffs and cost estimates.

The preferred alterative comprises six different garden rooms. One of the entries into the garden is through the first room, the back patio. This room is a series of paved paths weaving between raised vegetable planters. The planters are at differing heights to meet the needs of the diverse user group. One is designed specifically for wheel chair users. Close to the house, the vegetable garden reinforces a familiar sense of “home” and inspires the residents to garden with a sense of purpose. The fresh produce and herbs are used in the kitchen, and through this process of growing, harvesting and cooking, residents establish deeper bonds and the sense of isolation is diminished. An arbor at the far end of the patio marks a formal entry into the second garden room and frames a view to another arbor and bench swing. The repeating arbor is a landmark that supports orientation for those using the garden for the first time.

When gently rocking on the bench swing, parents watch their children play in the small lawn area, bean tipi or play house. Clear sight lines reinforce a sense of safety in this open lawn area. An alee of katsura trees, flanked by large shrubs leads visitors from the play area to the third room, the highlight of the garden. A small plaza space elicits contemplation. At the center of a floor of spiraling stone and glass mosaic, is a water fountain of basalt and steel. The gentle fall of water invites touch and emits soothing sounds. A flowing bench wall leads to the covered gazebo that faces the fountain and is surrounded by a rain garden with large logs and native plants. This space is inward focused. Users backs are protected by the bench wall, reducing the paranoia and unease found among veterans when their backs are unprotected. The path continues and crosses a small bridge spanning a rain garden. Here the path enters the final series of rooms. The fourth room is the most private space with one single bench surrounded by sensory herbs. Screened from major site lines, it is a solitary place where users can talk one on one, cry or grieve. A path continues around this space and leads to a raised deck that also offers privacy and a view over the final space, the “living room”. This deck space, the fifth room was requested by residents as a place to do yoga and as a venue for performances, celebrations or group meetings. The living room is a large gathering space that is connected to a dining patio and the interior kitchen. This is a social space, with a glider bench and sensory plantings. Its central feature is a sculpture that resembles flowing water and is surrounded with ornamental grasses that gently move in the wind.

The project was designed over a ten week winter quarter and installed in the following spring quarter 2013. In addition to the therapeutic benefits the garden was certified by the National Wildlife Foundation as a landscape habitat that supports a complex web of life, including birds, by using a native planting strategy, with minimal maintenance interventions. The scope of the design was more expansive than time or budget would allow and students responded by developing a fundraising brochure, and working with The Friends of Fisher House to raise monetary and material donations to make the full project possible. This project employed a collaborative design/building process, integrating thinking and making as partnering components while engaging students in community service.

A formal post occupancy study has not been completed but testimonies gathered from the residents indicate it is highly valued and therapeutic.
“This really is a ‘healing garden’. I sat on a bench and I started to cry. I didn’t know I needed to cry but it felt so good when I was done. What a beautiful place! Bonnie
” As I passed into the Healing garden I got a strange, warm feeling. It was a little unsettling. I even wondered if I might be having a panic attack. I continued to walk through the gardens and the feeling lifted. As I walked back toward the Healing Garden I got the same feeling again; but this time I realized the warm feeling was like warm hands surrounding me and I felt calm and protected. When I need peace and calm, when I need to be engulfed by a sense of warmth and love, I know to go to the Healing Garden and spend some time. -Christine
“The grounds and garden are a beautiful rest area for the soul”. -Dee

2014 JCCCW Kintsugi Garden

Project Statement:

Using an urban ecological approach, the JCCCW Kintsugi Garden serves as a community healing garden offering recognition to those that endured the Japanese American Internment Camps, and enhancing the capacity of the JCCCW to fulfill its mission of bringing diverse communities together. The design team collaborated closed with the community to develop a landscape that is functionally versatile, spiritually meaningful, ecologically restorative and a historically symbolic garden.

Projet Blog located here.



Project Narrative:

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ― Leonard Cohen

Located adjacent to a highly trafficked part of the city , the Japanese Community Cultural Center of Washington [JCCCW] stands discrete, containing a bounty of history and meaning. A remnant of Seattle’s Nihomachi, or Japantown, the JCCCW acted as a refuge to those that lost everything in the Internment Camps of WWII. Today it stands as a beacon of perseverance, demonstrating the human capacity to overcome strife. Perpetuating the legacy of Japanese immigrants, the JCCCW continues to engage a vast community in Japanese history and heritage, while fostering the development of intercultural communication. Housed within, art and furniture fabricated in the Internment Camps reminds future generations of the beauty and strength found in one’s self and reflected in the craft.

A alley dissects the two buildings owned by JCCCW. On a side lot where a vast lawn once dominated, a garden dedicated to those who persevere now resides. Within everyone there lies broken pieces, and in order to continue onward healing must occur. The JCCCW Kintsugi Garden acts as a pause, a sanctuary, and memorial. Greeted by warm cedar and foliage along the alley, a curved steel gate stands resilient, offering protection, while framing playful views into the garden. A basalt stone sits at the entry and polished basalt columns stand true within the rain garden beyond, highlighting the natural beauty of materials. Recalling the impressive gardens constructed in the Japanese American Internment Camps, basalt is used throughout in order to reference the historic narrative that provides a basis for the overall design. Upon entering the gates, birdcalls resonate; a habitat quickly developing with the insertion of plant life. Previously, storm water directly exited the site and into the alley. The rain garden, now an essential feature, treats all the stormwater on site, healing via ecological function.

Based in the Japanese tradition of avoiding straight lines, the entry path jogs, creating a sense of procession and journey, ascending the bluestone steps, and supported by a naturalcedar handrail [once again recalling the Internment Camps], one passes the rain garden, a specimen pine, and a mound created from excess cut crowned with specimen cherry trees. Entering the plaza, a shelter rooted in the technique of Japanese basket weaving rises above. The cedar is woven under and over the curved steelribs. The plaza is composed of bluestone pavers surrounding a brass inlay stretching across its entirety. Symbolic of the 500 year-old Japanese practice of mending broken pottery with gold – Kintsugi, the garden’s namesake – the brass embraces the philosophy of recognizing the history and spiritual significance of a material by visibly incorporating the repair into the new piece, instead of disguising it. The result is something more beautiful than the original. Placed between basalt columns that mark Seattle, Washington and Minidoka, Idaho, the brass speaks to the journey to the Internment Camps and beyond. Surrounded by a diversity of Pacific Northwest natives and Japanese inspired plant specimens, the garden encourages healing. Sitting within the site, one can ponder the concert of nature: birds chirping,, leaves rustle and time pasing in its new found sense of life.

Beginning in January 2014, a group of nine third-year Bachelors of Landscape Architecture students delved into the needs and desires of the JCCCW. Joining forces, the two groups struck a balance between two sets of complimentary goals. The JCCCW wished to (1) preserve Japanese/Japanese American culture and heritage, (2) create a large gathering space for special events, as well as daily activity, that welcomes the diversity of the community, and (3) honor Issei, Nessei, and Sansei generations of Japanese Americans. While the students strove to (1) marry Japanese traditions with PNW design sensibilities, (2) create a place of healing for the individual, as well as nature, through urban ecological design, and (3) to embrace what the JCCCW means to the community. The design team collaborated closely with the community to develop a landscape that functions as a versatile, spiritually meaningful, ecologically healing and historically symbolic garden.

Over the course of three months the design team held four community meetings, The first introduced both parties to one another and the second engaged the community to express their design values via the use of preference posters, an interactive word association game, and personal interviews. In the process of analyzing the data gathered, students also investigated precedents throughout Seattle, including Kubota Garden, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, and the Seattle Japanese Garden. Students also researched Japanese art and Japanese American history. In conducting neighborhood analysis, playgrounds exist nearby to engage children and large open spaces offer room to meander – the JCCCW Kintsugi Garden was mean to be unique, to focus on the cultural qualities of its context.

The design team split up to develop four distinct design options from which elements could be chosen. At the third community meeting four schematic options were presented to the client and components from each were to be incorporated though a final synthesis. During the process of integrationa great many decisions had to be made based on the challenging topography of the site, considering the 16 feet of elevation change within a stretch of 95 feet. The design added impervious surfaces to the site and the students had to calculate the size of the rain garden based on the water capacity of the site. Before breaking ground, the design team presented to the community one last time, to assure the design that spoke to their ideals.

During the construction process, eight Masters of Landscape Architecture students joined the nine BLA students. Simultaneously site excavation and shop fabricated by the students began. Figuring out how to construct objects previously designed on paper took time and patience. Students welded shelter and gate supports, stripped bark from cedar limbs, and milled the brass to create lap joints held together with anchoring bolts. Soil was retained with gabion walls, rocks carefully placed and bluestone pavers scribed and cut to fit the brass inlay and the wood entry sign was hand carved. Evocative of the Japanese tradition, craft and materiality defines the JCCCW Kintsugi Garden. In service to the community, students began to build relationships and reveal the connections between individuals. Serving as an intergenerational/intercultural landscape of resilience, the garden shall be cherished by the elderly passing with their shopping bags and the children peeking out of classroom windows to the garden below.

2013 Croatia


August 24th, 2013 – September 24th, 2013

Early Fall Exploration Seminar Program

Program Description
Service: The Summer Croatia Design/Build 2013 Program is a service learning opportunity which brings students to the Psihijatrijska Bolnica Rab on the Island of Rab on the Mid-Adriatic Coast. Students will collaborate with our partners, the residents and therapists at the hospital to design and build some small modest therapeutic spaces within the hospital complex. This project will build upon work that was completed in Fall 2012. The hospital contains extensive lavender fields, natural areas and a cluster of wards with courtyards and open spaces. Prior to being a hospital, the site was used for officers at the Rab Concentration Camp during WWII.

Education: Undergraduate, graduate and non-matriculated students in landscape architecture, architecture, anthropology, fine arts and other fields may apply. Students will design and build an “interactive landscape.” Students will learn the skills of small site design and construction detailing, management and community participation.

Adventure: Rab is strategically located by Zadar, Rijeka, the Velibit mountains, Island Krk and the Adriatic Coast and is accessible from Zagreb. These sites have re-known vernacular building, historic landscapes, and natural phenomena, which we will explore. Croatia has rich and varied features including Plitvice Lakes National Park, a World Heritage Site. This is the background through which we will explore the culture and history of Croatia.

For more information contact:
Prof. Daniel Winterbottom
Phone: 206.612.1146
Email: nina at uw dot edu


2013 New Orleans


June 17th, 2013 – July 26th, 2013

4-6 credits LARCH 498C

Program Description
This course is open to students at all levels and from all disciplines. Led by Professor Daniel Winterbottom, we will be working with the community of Gretna, LA and Jefferson Parish to design and build a “serenity” garden in a public park. This multifunctional “serenity” garden will create a gateway into the community, provide a setting for a historic building which will function as a vistor center, and provide the community with a contemplative place to relax and learn. A reflection of historic and vernacular gardens of the period, this garden will also explore issues of sustainability and community expression. Design or construction experience is not required. All participants will partake in the design, community and building processes. This will be complemented with field trips to natural and cultural places in and around the city of New Orleans.

For more information contact:
Prof. Daniel Winterbottom
Phone: 206.612.1146
Email: nina at uw dot edu