Readers of Portland Architecture know that I've long been a fan of architects and firms developing their own projects. And Wednesday night brings a chance to hear from one of the Northwest's true pioneers in that endeavor: Steve Badanes.
Badanes is an architect and educator widely known for his practice and teaching of design/build. He is currently a professor at the University of Washington's department of architecture, where he holds the Howard S. Wright Endowed Chair in the College of Built Environments.
After receiving a Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University in 1971 and seeking an alternative to conventional practice, Badanes and partners Jim Adamson and John Ringel founded the Jersey Devil design/build firm. The firm has designed and built a wide variety of projects over the ensuing three decades. Their work has been the subject of two books, Jersey Devil Design/Build Book (1985) and Devil’s Workshop: 25 Years of Jersey Devil Architecture (1997).
In that time, Badanes and Jersey Devil have inspired a whole generation of Northwest architects who appreciate not only the do-it-yourself manner of Jersey Devil's work, but the excellent skill of design and craftsmanship. Badanes and the Jersey Devil team love to get their hands dirty, building nearly everything themselves. This isn't just design/build or even self-developed architecture, but a broader notion of the architect as master builder.
Badanes is also an expert on energy-efficient building techniques and speaks on the social responsibilities of architects and the role of architecture in building communities. He is currently in the process of working with the new MFA students to design and build their own studio spaces in the MFA building on the East side. This lecture will provide the first public opportunity to see the new space.