AIA Seattle DRT + Sawhorse Revolution Collaboration

Diversity Roundtable (DRT) committee started collaborating with Sawhorse Revolution in 2018. Recently, they completed their 2nd built project- Danny Woo Garden Shed.

AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable (DRT) committee attracts, retains, and empowers individuals of underrepresented backgrounds in the profession of architecture through scholarship, community service, and activism.

Sawhorse Revolution is a non-profit that teams professional carpenters and architects with high-school-aged youth to design and build real structures for their own communities.

In late 2019, through ongoing talks Sawhorse Revolution established a partnership with InterIm CDA, a community organization under whose purview is Danny Woo Garden. The community was in need of a garden tool shed, which is where DRT & Sawhorse’s collective expertise came to play. The crucial part of the process was the involvement of WILD youth program since mentorship is of essence to their three organizations.

This design/build program was originally planned to be an in-person program; due to COVID_19, it was transformed into a virtual design program for Fall of 2020. Thirteen WILD youth, seven mentor architects (members of DRT), builders, educators, and InterimCDA staff, contributed to nine-week virtual design programming and mentorship. They learned about the Danny Woo community, the Chinatown-International District’s past and present architecture and design, and how to work in-and-for the community. Danny Woo Garden was started in 1975 as a community effort to revitalize the international district. With 1.5 acres of space in the heart of Seattle, Danny Woo Community Garden provides over 100 garden plots for elders of Asian descent, as well as 77 fruit trees, garden sheds, staircases, and more.

Finally, Sawhorse partnered with 13 youth to build the project in an in-city summer camp in 2021, led by Sawhorse Revolution staff and a team of dedicated volunteers and builders. On October 20th together with community members, the organizations held a public celebration as an official completion and opening of the project.

Photos courtesy of Lauren Greathouse.

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