Blog

Design Through the Lens of Biomimicry

The wisdom of nature and its delicate beauty has long influenced art and design. It changes with the seasons, adapts to sunlight, temperature and rain, and has done so for thousands of years. Nature adapts to the earth’s cyclical processes, and so can our buildings. Enter Biomimicry, the concept of consciously emulating nature’s genius by […]

The ‘Whys’ Behind Housing Design at SERA

In recent years, SERA’s Housing studio added many new faces to our team, including a new Oakland studio to serve clients in The Bay Area. With new talent and expanded geography, the time felt right to revisit some of the goals our studio set a few years back. I saw a unique opportunity for a […]

Making Our ‘Sustainable Action Celebration’ An Online Success

Every year near Earth Day, SERA hosts a firm-wide celebration in honor of our sustainable workplace culture and project accomplishments. As Chair of the Sustainable Action Committee (SAC), my vision for the celebration this year included a physical timeline of SAC’s 15-year history, an unveiling of our 2020 Sustainability Action Plan, and collaborative break-out sessions to […]

No Surprise Guests: Using Nature to Curb Contagions in Hotels

In our previous entry, we talked about the pervasiveness of harmful chemicals in our environments, and how the practices of Green Chemistry are leading to creative, healthier solutions. In this entry, we’ll be sharing how another sustainable design movement, Biomimicry, can reduce the transmission of viruses and harmful bacteria in high-turnover spaces such as the […]

Joint Forces HQ Wins National Design-Build Award

The Major General George White Headquarters in Salem, Oregon, demonstrates that a joint forces building can be seismically safe, secure, sustainable – and award-winning. This month, the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) awarded the project a National Design-Build Merit Award, also making it eligible for a National Award of Excellence! SERA partnered with Fortis […]

Catch us at Design Week Portland!

The 8th annual Design Week Portland is next week, and again this year you can find our thinkers and designers in the mix of fantastic exhibits, discussions, parties and open houses across town. We hope to see you at the following events, so register now, before they fill up. And don’t forget to tag us @seraarchitects! […]

Graphics Bring the City to Storyline

The recently completed Storyline apartments, with its 14 levels, has a gorgeous panoramic view of central Portland. With a dynamic downtown location to inspire the vibe, I was brought onto the project team to design the environmental graphics for the building’s many public spaces. The art direction: to bring in a Portland-specific story that unfolds […]

New & Improved EMU Named Students’ Favorite Place

University of Oregon students picked the Erb Memorial Union as the No. 1 place they feel belonging on campus, and shed light on their favorite spaces in the newly-updated student union building. The findings are in a study by the university’s Office of Assessment and Research, conducted to gauge how students feel they fit in within […]

Implementing Biophilic Design at Living Future unConference

Join SERA this May for Living Future’s unConference, where we’ll be presenting “Biophilia – from Theory to Culture to Action.” In an ongoing, grassroots effort at SERA, our staff is exploring biophilic design – simply put, how environments with natural characteristics impact health and wellbeing – and how it can enrich projects, support cultural values, […]

Anyone Can Design in Virtual Reality

In the Pixar movie Ratatouille, Chef Gusteau’s motto was “Anyone can cook.” Food critic Anton Ego initially viewed that sentiment with disdain but eventually came to the conclusion that “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” In the architectural world, there are a number of barriers preventing […]