The University of Washington College of Built Environments (CBE) prepares students to assume professional roles in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and planning, and construction management. Its 80 full-time faculty members and nearly 800 students engage with communities locally and around the globe to envision built and natural environments that enhance quality of life. One of the College’s ten research units, the Center for Environment Education and Design Studies (CEEDS) brings together a culturally diverse, interdisciplinary group of faculty and students to enhance learning and community well-being through participatory research and design with K-12 schools, government agencies, and grassroots organizations. Although our work focuses primarily on communities in the greater Seattle area, CEEDS has established interdisciplinary collaborations that extend nationally.

History and Accomplishments

Since its inception in 1998, CEEDS has collaborated across the fields of art, architecture, urban planning, social work, and education on projects that range from studying youth and their environment to facilitating community design workshops, creating public art with elementary school children, and holding seminars and conferences for faculty, graduate students, and community partners. From the outset, CEEDS has had an especially strong relationship with the UW School of Social Work, consistently ranked as one of the top five schools of social work in the country, with a growing record of research on the role of place in human well-being.


Goals and Objectives

The CBE offers a rigorous, liberal arts-based professional education to undergraduate and graduate students; trains students to advance sustainability, craft, healthy urban development, and ecological integrity; and encourages strong faculty and student participation in various professional communities to address real-world problems. Within this context, CEEDS builds theory and engages in policy-making related to youth and community development, develops effective participatory research and design methods, and promotes systemic change through the active involvement of youth and adults in community development.