We're Back!

copyright schemata workshop

copyright schemata workshop

We made it. After months of delays and rescheduling, two full days of packing and unpacking, and many subsequent hours of organizing, we’re finally in our new home on Capitol Hill. Slowly, things are coming together—our admins have their new casework, acoustic felt and carpeting are going in, and the next few weeks will get us pretty darn close to complete.

We asked the staff, “What have you most enjoyed about being back on Capitol Hill? What are you most looking forward to now that we’re back? What has surprised you most about being in the new office?” Here are some of their answers:

Will: Being in a vibrant neighborhood with Seattle’s best park a few blocks away. Enjoying lunch on the roof deck. How spacious the office feels.

Margaret T: I like being so close to home and in the middle of Cap Hill – it feels like a community here, and we’re so close to my favorite haunts.  I also like that Cap Hill is not so touristy!

Abby: I’ve enjoyed being able to walk to work. Not only is it a quick and easy commute, it’s fun seeing the neighborhood wake up as I make my way into the office. I was anticipating the open office layout to be very distracting, and I’m surprised by how little that’s been a problem for me.

Mike: Seeing people I know while walking around the neighborhood—that didn’t happen much in the temp location. Being close to our daughter and the CHUC community throughout the day. It’s hotter than I hoped…need to work on ventilation and night cooling.

Joann: I enjoy the natural daylight in the office, the standing desk configuration and being so close to the park. I’m looking forward to exploring the neighborhood and getting to know the local businesses.

Mira: I love being able to walk to work and seeing all the quirky personalities of those on Capitol Hill. I enjoy being together in one big space as one big Schemata family. I look forward to settling in, decluttering, and adding some personality back to our second home! One thing that never ceases to amaze me, despite the transition pains, is how seamless it has been to work on virtual machines.

Sarah: The office moving to the Hill has meant that everyone is starting over together in a new space. As the newest person in the office, this has helped me feel like one of the team faster than if we hadn’t all participated in the big move!

Grace: I like being immersed in the community where I have invested my personal and professional time. Within the walls of our new building I enjoy the sounds of kids playing, neighbors talking and laughing, and the clink of dishes as they get washed or neighbors eat dinner. Outside the gate to the building I enjoy a vibrant business district where I meet my neighbors of the greater Capitol Hill community.

And we’re not done celebrating!

9/16: Stop by any time to enjoy our PARKing Day pop-up parklet, then join us for our Open House

 

See you around!

Schemata Summer Reads

Summer is the time of sitting back with a wonderfully icy margarita and a good book in hand, letting our minds wander off to far off places, meet new characters or learn something new.   Or maybe with the weather we've been having, we can just stick   with our quintessential Seattle mug of coffee.  Here's a round up of the diverse books our staff have been reading this summer.  From memoirs to thrillers to cookbooks and everything in between... maybe it'll inspire you to add something to your reading list?


Christopher's Pick
Midnight at the Pera Palace by Charles King

Mira's Pick
3 Fois par Jour by Marilou 

"Happy City covers a lot of livability issues around not only urban design and resiliency, but goes beyond a typical architectural scope and into supportive social networks and community"

"Happy City covers a lot of livability issues around not only urban design and resiliency, but goes beyond a typical architectural scope and into supportive social networks and community"

"My suggested read out of the 8 books I'm currently reading: Midnight at the Pera Palace is a book about the history of modern Istanbul."

"My suggested read out of the 8 books I'm currently reading: Midnight at the Pera Palace is a book about the history of modern Istanbul."

"A beautifully photographed book of recipes that take a fresh look on Quebec (my home!)'s local cuisine. I follow her food blog and all her recipes are oh-so tasty"

"A beautifully photographed book of recipes that take a fresh look on Quebec (my home!)'s local cuisine. I follow her food blog and all her recipes are oh-so tasty"


Terri's Pick
Dry Bones: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
 

Brian's Pick
Designing Design by Kenya Hara

Erik's Pick
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxa

 "The landscape of the West and modern Native-American culture are included as important aspects of each story.  I started reading the books after getting hooked on the show Longmire now on Netflix.  The writing has kept me reading the books."

 "The landscape of the West and modern Native-American culture are included as important aspects of each story.  I started reading the books after getting hooked on the show Longmire now on Netflix.  The writing has kept me reading the books."

"Been slowly working my way through this one. Kenya Hara is the art director for MUJI. I like it so far because it’s not just a monograph with nice photos of his work, but includes a lot of writing that gives more insight into his design thinking." 

"Been slowly working my way through this one. Kenya Hara is the art director for MUJI. I like it so far because it’s not just a monograph with nice photos of his work, but includes a lot of writing that gives more insight into his design thinking." 

"Just getting into this, but it’s a biography on a German citizen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler."

"Just getting into this, but it’s a biography on a German citizen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler."


Margaret K's Pick
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Joann's Pick
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

"A Virginia Woolf classic about a day in the life of a woman living in post-WWI England. I’m only a few pages in but am curious to see how I end up liking it – so far it hasn’t been the easiest read!"

"A Virginia Woolf classic about a day in the life of a woman living in post-WWI England. I’m only a few pages in but am curious to see how I end up liking it – so far it hasn’t been the easiest read!"

"The story traces the journey of a Hebrew manuscript, called the Sarajevo Haggadah, through time. Through a series of short stories, the reader gets glimpses into the lives of the people who helped create, transform and protect the important manuscript. I enjoyed learning about historical events and periods through these stories."  

"The story traces the journey of a Hebrew manuscript, called the Sarajevo Haggadah, through time. Through a series of short stories, the reader gets glimpses into the lives of the people who helped create, transform and protect the important manuscript. I enjoyed learning about historical events and periods through these stories."  

"It's currently doing its premier run at London's West End, but the script will be available on July 31 (Harry's Birthday) for those of us unable to make it across the pond for a live performance. I reread the HP series almost every summer and am so pleased to have some new material to supplement that journey!"

"It's currently doing its premier run at London's West End, but the script will be available on July 31 (Harry's Birthday) for those of us unable to make it across the pond for a live performance. I reread the HP series almost every summer and am so pleased to have some new material to supplement that journey!"


"It’s the author’s fourth book in his Civil War series, and describes William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea.  It details Sherman’s decisions, the battles as his troops cut through the heart of the South, and explains the important role this march played in bringing an end to the war. An excellent read for history buffs."

"It’s the author’s fourth book in his Civil War series, and describes William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea.  It details Sherman’s decisions, the battles as his troops cut through the heart of the South, and explains the important role this march played in bringing an end to the war. An excellent read for history buffs."

"A bit of  "light" reading about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and terrorism in recent times."

"A bit of  "light" reading about the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and terrorism in recent times."

"Ella was reading a kid-friendly version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in her Cricket magazine and I was compelled to revisit the rest of these tales of far-off places."

"Ella was reading a kid-friendly version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in her Cricket magazine and I was compelled to revisit the rest of these tales of far-off places."



What books are you looking forward to reading this summer? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Cheers!

-The Froggers

Congress for New Urbanism

CNU 24 was held in Detroit this year, and it has been many years since I attended (CNU 9 in New York City). I appreciated CNU’s attention to designing for the public realm and potential for building community, but I stopped attending because it did not seem relevant to me due to its dogma of traditional design and fakery of the architecture. In returning after almost 15 years, I felt that the organization had grown up. While the founders still clung to traditionalist ideals and privileged ideas about their role and who they served, I found that the newcomers brought added dimensions of self-development, equity, and the importance role that Right-of-Way (ROW) design had in placemaking.  I learned about some inspiring and innovative organizations that are leading the food justice movement – Keep Growing Detroit, Detroit Labs, and Detroit Dirt – a full cycle that is empowering people to grow food. Keep Growing Detroit’s mission is for Detroit to become a food sovereign city. Detroit Labs helps residents create value added products from the food produced in Detroit, and Detroit Dirt is taking food waste from corporate cafeterias to create rich compost to replenish the soil and give the residents of Detroit a chance to become self-reliant. Amazing organizations doing amazing work.

Renaissance Center from the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

Renaissance Center from the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

CNU24 was also the first time in almost 19 years that I was in Detroit. When I was working at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, I spent almost 10 months in Detroit – commuting weekly to conduct interviews with General Motors staff to program the uses that would move into the Renaissance Center as GM consolidated to a central World Headquarters. It was a huge move to help re-energize downtown Detroit…which I was uncertain about. But I was pleasantly surprised to see how much the city had evolved. I was in awe of the beautiful architecture that survived years of blight and vandalism, and that a patron had decided to relocate his corporation to Detroit and refurbish the Central Business District. The streets were grand – on the scale of Chicago’s boulevards. They were beautifully planted and super clean. The investment in architecture was balanced with an investment in jobs – scores of people were employed to patrol and clean the streets as well as staff the public open space. Their presence was welcome and demonstrated a high level of community investment.

Campus Martius courtesy of Grace H Kim

Campus Martius courtesy of Grace H Kim

Campus Martius was an open space worthy of study – a green space with a bandstand, tables and chairs surrounding the space, a fountain, a beach with cabana-like food/beverage service coming out of a shipping container. Adjacent to that in vacated ROW, there were 4 basketball courts, ping pong tables, and other games available to any and all who wanted to use them. There were staff checking out balls and paddles. And the space was well utilized.

the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

the Cut courtesy of Grace H Kim

Another great public space was the Dequindre Cut Greenway. This abandoned rail line was recaptured as a recreational trail. The below grade corridor was landscaped with benches and lighting and graffiti artists were welcomed in to give it life. The 1.5 mile trail connects the north end of Lafayette Park to the Riverwalk, providing several miles of public trails within the city center.

courtesy of Grace H Kim

courtesy of Grace H Kim

The food was great, and the shopping was also. For those who want to play up the decay of Detroit…stop it.  It doesn’t exist. Go visit, because Detroit is seeing a renaissance.

Places to stay – Aloft Hotel at the David Whitney, Cadillac Westin. On a budget? Holiday Inn Express or Airbnb in Lafayette Park - 1600 Antietam

Places to eat – Wright and Co., Katoi, Small Plates, La Rondinella.

Places to shop – Shinola and John Varvatos. And oh, they just opened up a Filson’s.

Joining JUST

A few weeks back, Schemata Workshop obtained its JUST label through the International Living Future Institute. The JUST Program acts as a “nutritional label” for companies that are interested in a transparent workplace that places high value on social equity. It’s a voluntary program that allows an outsider to view the ways in which a company treats its employees, where it invest profits, and how it gives back to the community.

While the program itself has been on our radar for the last few years, it wasn’t until about 6 months ago that we made the final push to add Schemata to JUST's database. Sustainability, social equity, and community service have been the cornerstones of Schemata Workshop since its inception, so, in many ways, taking part in the JUST program is a logical move toward our goal of greater transparency and disclosure.

We view the label as a benchmark: a screenshot of the current state of Schemata Workshop. There’s room to grow. The application and review process have been incredibly helpful in evaluating our policies and laying out a framework for refining areas we see as needing improvement. There are also results of which we’re incredibly proud. Here is proof positive that our dedicated staff is living and carrying out our collective values in, what we hope, are important and meaningful ways.

 

You can learn more about the JUST program and how to get involved here.

Cheers!

-The Froggers