Faculty and Staff

Kathryn Merlino

Kathryn Rogers Merlino is an Associate Professor of Architecture in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington.  As co-founder and current Director of the Center for Preservation and Adaptive Reuse,  Merlino engages with students, faculty and the community about issues surrounding adaptive reuse, sustainability, and historic preservation. She teaches courses on architectural history, theories of preservation and building reuse, vernacular architecture and architectural design studios as well as taught in study abroad programs in Denmark, France and Italy. She is adjunct in the Department of Landscape Architecture and on faculty in the Jackson School of European Studies.

Her recent book, Building Reuse: Sustainability, Preservation and The Value of Design (UW Press, 2018) looks at historic preservation and adaptive reuse through the lens of sustainability, arguing that all buildings – including both everyday ‘non- historic’ as well as ‘historic’ – are a critical part of our sustainable future both culturally and environmentally. The book further offers a compelling argument for re-positioning adaptive reuse, if grounded in an ecological perspective, at the center of saving older and existing buildings. Merlino has worked on projects with the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, State of Washington and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Green Lab  (now the Research and Policy Lab) and has presented her work at dozens of conferences, community groups and universities.

Informing her work are research grants that investigate how building reuse and historic preservation can be sustainable both at the building and urban scale; policies around unreinforced masonry buildings; and tracing building demolition patterns, demolition policies and waste streams. One project, funded by the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation is looking at ways to communicate how historic preservation rehabilitation projects can be high performing, sustainable and historic. Another project, funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Green Lab, is developing metrics for measuring urban grain of existing, older neighborhoods, and seeks to illustrate how older fabric can contribute to more vibrant city neighborhoods.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Washington, Kathryn practiced in the Seattle area for several years and worked with Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects (now Olson Kundig), where she received several awards for projects designed with the firm. She received both a Master of Architecture and a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia in 1999. Merlino has published in several publications such as The Public Historian: A Journal of Public HistoryPacific Northwest QuarterlyPlaces: Forum of Design for the Public Realm  as well as book chapters and several peer-reviewed conference proceedings.  She has presented at dozens of history, architecture and historic preservation conferences, at universities and at community and public forums internationally, and has worked as an historian and historic preservation consultant in the Seattle region.  She recently sat on the Board of Directors for the Vernacular Architecture Forum and the King County Landmarks Commission, and the Washington State Advisory Council on URMs, among others.

Manish Chalana

I engage urban planning through the lenses of urban design, historic preservation, urban & planning history and equity & social justice. I have degrees in Architecture (B’Arch –Mangalore University; M’Arch from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi), Landscape Architecture (M’Larch from Penn State) and Urban Planning (Ph.D. from University of Colorado). Besides my appointment in Urban Design & Planning at UW, I am adjunct in the Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and a member of the South Asia Program in the Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS). Before teaching at UW, I taught as a graduate student/ lecturer in the University of Colorado and Pennsylvania State University. I have worked in India with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation of India (HUDCO). Additionally I consult on international projects mostly around historic preservation. I am one of the two founding directors of the Center for Preservation and Adaptive Reuse (CPAR), which strives to connect academia to practice of historic preservation. I am also affiliated with both the Graduate Certificates in Urban Design and Historic Preservation and both the PhD programs in our College; PhD in the Built Environment; and the Interdisciplinary PhD in Urban Planning.

I have offered a variety of courses ranging from study abroad; lectures; seminars and studios. I teach graduate seminars in American Urban History and Introduction to Historic Preservation. Additionally I teach Urban Form and Communication and Analysis in the MUP core curriculum; and the Race and Social Justice Seminar. My studios have typically been on urban design and historic preservation topics engaging sites in the Pacific Northwest. For my study abroad classes, I have brought students for a quarter long programs to Chandigarh, India (co-led with Prakash) and a month long exploration seminars to the Kumaon region in the upper Himalayas to study topics of urban design, planning and preservation. I have also co-taught study abroad classes in China and Japan along with my colleagues Dan Abramson and Bob Freitag on topics of hazard mitigation and cultural resilience, among others. My students have appreciated my teaching and I have been twice honored with the CBE’s Lionel Pries Distinguished Professor Award.

I am interested in topics of diversity and social justice in the context of historic preservation and urban planning. I engage these topics in my teaching and through my service. As a member of the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee (HPAC) of the 4Culture, Cultural Services Agency for King County I mentor the diversity intern who works on uncovering systemic biases in the listing of historic sites in King County to the exclusion of under-represented minority communities. I have served on the UW Diversity Council’s Campus Climate Committee, which encouraged me to start our own department’s Diversity Committee (with Branden Born) that has worked for the last 10 years toward creating a welcoming environment for the underrepresented minority students in the College of Built Environments. Additionally, I have volunteered to serve on a committee of the National Council of Preservation Educators (NCPE) to understand the diversity of students enrolled in preservation programs in the country to better understand the accessibility and openness of the programs to underrepresented minority students.

I publish on topics of urban design, planning history and preservation in a variety of journal including Future Anterior, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of American Planning Association, Journal of Planning History and Planning Perspectives. I have co-edited a book on the topic of urbanism in Asia (along with Jeff Hou) – Messy Urbansim: understanding the “other” cities of Asia. I am currently working on another edited volume (along with Ashima Krishna) on the status of preservation practice in India due out in 2018.

Neile Graham

David Strauss