Kiwi House  |  Charrette  | Public Art  |  Ecolab

1999 - 2002

In a city associated with poverty and homelessness, Tukwila's elementary schools serve a high proportion of racial minorities, immigrants, and children who qualify for free/reduced school meals and speak 60 world languages—an ideal site for a CEEDS partnership.

CEEDS began a four-year relationship with the Tukwila School District just as the district was breaking ground for two new buildings––one at Tukwila Elementary School and another at Thorndyke Elementary School.

Both buildings were being built on existing school property, offering a full view of the construction sites from classroom windows.  The district superintendent, Dr. Michael Shapiro, engaged CEEDS to help teachers capitalize on the construction activities.

Over the duration of the partnership, four projects developed that involved university students in the district's elementary schools as instructors, researchers, designers, and builders. They included:

A House and Neighborhood for Kiwis
Sites of Learning Design Charrette
Tukwila Elementary School Public Art Project
Thorndyke Elementary School Ecolab Project

The partnership offers a model for university faculty and students to assist K-12 schools in maximizing the educational benefits of constructing a new facility, while also using those schools as laboratories for their own learning.  It not only addressed the university’s goals of interdisciplinary collaboration and K-12 partnering, but it also helped prepare university students for informed public service.

The partnership was funded by the Office of the Provost, College of Built Environments, College of Education, Department of Landscape Architecture, Public Art Curriculum, and the Tukwila School District.