Blog

The Challenge of the Creative Class – A Follow Up

In 2011, we wrote about Portland’s Creative Class slump, noting that, despite being generally regarded as one of the country’s preeminent “creative class” cities, Portland has failed to translate its reputation for livability into real economic gains. Given the city’s persistent struggles with unemployment, underemployment, and low wages (despite attracting artists, designers, intellectuals, hipsters, and […]

Celebrate Lafayette: Young SERA Designers Win Competition

Occasionally, a group of emerging designers here at SERA will pool their talents and take on an independent design challenge. Such was the case when Krystan Menne, Kristin Slavin, and Jodi Hanson heard about the “[Imagine Downtown] Lafayette, LA” open-ideas competition a few months ago. Not only did this interdisciplinary team of designers dive into this […]

People Love What They Help Create

We have recently referenced some of the exciting augmented reality work we’ve been working on, but did you know that we’ve been using various technologies to engage the public during planning projects since the early 2000s? One of our goals at SERA has been to always communicate planning problems and potential solutions in ways that […]

Can Interactive Tech Lead to Better Design? Part 1

The traditional design process is being rethought with the introduction of new technologies. But what’s exciting to see is the way digital advances in other industries are influencing the way we think in the architectural world. Did you know that the wildly popular video game of the 1990s, Quake, has had a profound impact on […]

Design in a Dismal Climate

“Gray day. Everything is gray. I watch. But nothing moves today.” – Dr. Seuss It all started when I needed a place to eat my lunch. As a strong believer in the lunch break, I noticed that I had been skipping my noontime intermission. Our resilient foodcart owners are still peddling tom kha soup, but where […]

Is Love the Missing Ingredient in Sustainability?

Is love the missing ingredient in sustainability? We think so. In a world of metrics and check lists, are we overlooking that buildings, streetscapes, and interiors are made for people? People who want to thrive, who want to love the way they spend their days. We think that this love translates into care. Care translates […]

Tell Us Your Dream.

With the launch of our revamped website in 2012, we wanted to include something different – a piece that aims to visually capture the ethos and aspirations of SERA. After a number of collaborative sessions, “SERA Dreams Big.” took shape. But more than a stand alone statement, SERA Dreams Big. is intended to spark a dialogue. In […]

Hawthorne Area Civic Ecology: Community Strategies

As practitioners of urban design, we tend to focus on the built environment as the key to sustainability. But as planners, we also know that communities thrive best when the people who live in them have a stake in their success. Civic Ecology is a process that brings these two critical pieces together through a […]

Why Homeownership Still Makes Sense (I think…)

A few months ago I read with great personal interest an article by Emily Badger for the Atlantic Cities in which she contemplates the notion of the end of the era of homeownership and the rise of the “middle class forever renter.” Behind this purported trend are an increasing number of potential homebuyers (at least […]