Announcing the 2020 Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Queena Yi, Assoc. AIA, the 2020 recipient of AIA Seattle's Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship for her proposal, "Cohousing: A New Senior Housing Alternative."

Cohousing is not a new idea, but it is often thought of as a housing solution for young families, digital nomads, hippie communities, or for young frequent travelers. Current senior living offerings are often too expensive and lack the communal element that treats aspects of loneliness and isolation. Cohousing projects designed and geared towards seniors and their needs could solve these issues as an alternative solution to the overpriced luxury senior living options that exist today.  Existing senior housing options often do not fit the needs of the community they are attempting to serve. By visiting some of the first existing senior cohousing projects, I hope to illustrate it’s inherent benefits and possibilities. I hope to provide insight into how these communities are formed, how they are funded and how they succeed, illustrating that senior cohousing is a viable and better housing option.

As this year’s recipient of AIA Seattle’s Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, Queena will travel to London, Paris, Oakland, CA and Portland, OR to document senior cohousing projects that were the first of its kind in their perspective cities. These projects were chosen to understand the complexities of starting a new cohousing community in varying urban environments. Interviews of community members and documentation of the projects will be conducted to gain a full understanding of the formation of these communities, their funding models, and the design of the architecture.

View Queena’s proposal here.

smiling, sandy-haired woman in black sweatervest, in front of green trees Queena Yi, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is an architectural designer with over six years of experience and is anticipating licensure this year. Her previous work experience at Katerra and Perkins + Will, where she managed senior housing projects and a WeWork | WeLive project, provided the foundation for this Travel Scholarship proposal. Previous to pursuing a career in architecture, Queena worked for over a decade at various startup tech companies in San Francisco and Seattle. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California at San Diego and an M.Arch from the University of Washington. During her studies at the UW, Queena received a Scan Design Fellowship to study at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen for one year. Her time in Copenhagen provided the groundwork for her thesis project, Memento Mori | A Non-Sectarian Memorial Site in Seattle, which was later selected for the AIA 2015 Emerging Professionals Exhibit. Queena has been active in the design community by participating in the UW PAC, Design in Public, and Seattle Architecture Foundation at various capacities.

Queena will be recognized, along with our 2020 Fellows and Honorees, at the President’s Dinner hosted by AIA Seattle in June, final date TBC.