Schemata News

Schemata Expands...Again

2011 was a record year for Schemata Workshop.  Not only did we hit our all-time high for gross revenue, we also grew to our largest size and added our first administrative staff.  We ended the year with 9 people in Seattle and 1 in Portland.  And we were elated!


As we start 2012 we are surprised by our need for additional capacity so soon.  Fortunately, we learned that a former employee who had been working in Copenhagen for 13 months was moving home.  Her interest in affordable housing and transit along with her strong graphic design skills are just a small piece of what she brings to Schemata.  Her commitment to bicycle friendly urbanism is undoubtedly attributed to her recent stint in Copenhagen (she was there for a year previously in Architecture School) and will likely inform her contributions to our projects.  I'm confident that her shared values with Schemata Workshop and the clients we serve will translate to developing projects that are thoughtful, deliberate, and bring a sense of delight -characteristics of what the Danes would refer to "hygge".  We are excited to welcome back Emily Woods!

Emily moved to Seattle after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2008 with a Bachelor of Architecture & Minor in Sustainable Environments. She is passionate about design and its effect on urban liveability, with particular interest in innovative housing concepts, bicycle-oriented planning, materiality, and detail. Emily has just returned from her second year living in Copenhagen where she worked in online marketing and graphic design, and has previously worked at firms in Seattle and Portland.

We are also excited by our growth in physical space.  For the past 6 months, we have joked that Schemata Workshop had the greatest density of architects in Seattle.  Meaning that the sf/capita was incredibly low.  Fortunately, our Sound Transit work had 2 staff out of the office at any given time so we had been able to desk share.


But in the spirit of previous expansions (I've said that we're waging a battle of inches...or in reality, a battle of 40-50sf at a time), we negotiated an additional 150sf from the neighboring tattoo parlor and now have room so that each person can have their very own desk (I know, sounds luxurious, doesn't it?)  So next time you are in the hood, look closely at the center bay, beyond the neon flames...and you will likely see happy architects working away.  Stop in, say hello, and get your nickel tour of the highest density architecture firm west of the Mississippi!  (Actually, if you know of any firm denser, please post and let us know!  This is not a title we wish to keep.)

Schemata Workshop is winner of AARP Livable Communities Award

[caption id="attachment_938" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="Daybreak Cohousing"][/caption] Last Friday, Schemata Workshop was recognized by AARP and the National Association of Home Builders for thedesign of Daybreak Cohousing.  We received the Livable Communities Award in the Architect category and we are thrilled to receive this honor.

[caption id="attachment_941" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="Daybreak Cohousing Private Home"][/caption]

Daybreak is an intergenerational cohousing development of 30 homes in Portland, OR.  Construction was completed in late in 2009.  The 1, 2, and 3-bedroom homes are fully independent, but they also share 7,000sf of common area (called the Common House) that includes a commercial kitchen, large dining room, childrens play room, library, laundry facilities, workshop, indoor bike parking for 90 bikes, 2 guest rooms, yoga studio, and craft room.  From the window of each kitchen residents have direct sight lines to this Common House.  All the homes are connected to one another via an exterior walkway that allows the life of the community to be seen and experienced daily.  The walkway also serves as sun shading for the south facing windows.

[caption id="attachment_939" align="aligncenter" width="700" caption="Daybreak Cohousing"][/caption]

A description of the project as well as photos and a video can be found at

It is notable that 2 of the 5 awards were granted to cohousing projects.  I wonder if this is a tipping point for cohousing - will it truly inform a new paradigm for the American Dream?  One that is not defined by the single family house with 2-car garage and white picket fence, but instead a dream that is depicting seniors and kids working in community gardens, or unrelated adults preparing a community meal, or helping one another with errands in a physical setting that reinforces community interactions and shared resources...all the while enabling residents to maintain the privacy of their individual homes.  Now that's an American Dream that I could aspire to!  (And I know there are still a few homes available for sale if it appeals to you as well!)

Thanks to our design team (noted in previous blog post about Daybreak, but bears repeating)!  Swenson Say Faget Structural Engineers, Lando Associates Landscape Architects, MGH Civil Engineers, Urbsworks, Maria Cahill, Melissa Medeiros, and Liz Fekete!  And to our most excellent General Contractor - Gabe Genauer of B&G Builders.

related articles:

(We know that an interview was aired on a number of Oregon and Washington radio stations, but if you find more links for news articles, please let us know!)

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here's a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That's about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 54 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 244 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 792mb. That's about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 3rd with 75 views. The most popular post that day was National Parking Day Capitol Hill.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for melrose market, montreal library, bakhita gardens, golconde pondicherry, and montreal waterfront.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


National Parking Day Capitol HillSeptember 2010


Golconde Dormitory in Pondicherry, IndiaSeptember 2010

1 comment


Montreal's Grand BibliothequeAugust 2010

1 comment


Volunteer Park CafeSeptember 2010



Capitol Hill's first TOD project - open 6 years in advance of Broadway StationJuly 2010


Networking - Womens Business Exchange

WBE Featured Member - Grace Kim

Almost 2 years ago, I attended a networking breakfast.  I didn't think it would be for me, but to humor a professional contact I'd made at a party, I went.  And I was blown away by the speaker.   And I've been back ever since.   Past speakers have been Jensine Larsen of World Pulse, Jennifer Jefferies - author of 7 Steps to Sanity, Jan Levy of Leadership Tomorrow, and Sally Jewell - CEO of REI.

Women's Business Exchange is a great organization that supports women in business.  True to their website:

"Life is not just about work, or running a business. You also have to find a way to balance spending time with your family and making time for yourself.

That’s why WBE is much more than just a business networking organization—though plenty of that goes on here too. It’s about making connections, creating a sense of community, supporting each other, and learning to be the best you can be."

I am proud to be their featured Member of the Month.  Check it out! .  And if you want to come to a breakfast (1st Thursday of each month), I'll see you there!