Exchange students – University of Washington UW

seattle skyline

This is a interview with Logan Hanson who is on exchange from USA – University of Washington to Aarhus school of architecture. He writes about how his school in Seattle is in comparison to Aarhus school of architecture.

My name is Logan Hanson and I go to school at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. USA

How is the education at your school compared to the Aarhus School of Architecture?

My education at the University of Washington is very practical with an emphasis on learning through doing. Students are expected to shape their education through the studio projects. There is a heavy emphasis on the artistic and creative processes of space making in the context of a tectonic understanding of architecture.

Relation between tutors and students?

Studio is held three days a week where the tutors come in to the workspaces to meet with students and discuss progress on projects. These meetings can be the entire class, small group discussions, or one-on-one ‘desk crits.’ Every other Friday, all the students and tutors get together for ‘happy hour,’ which is like Friday bar with kegs instead of bottles.

More/less studio-based or in class education?

The education is more studio based, as there is much more time spent doing studio work than any other subject. Students will also take two or three other subjects per quarter that satisfy requirements or interests within the field of architecture.

More/less project oriented/subject oriented/workshops?

We have project oriented education in which most of the learning is done through the development of projects. In this way, the process can be self guided and the student is free to pursue interests regarding their architecture.

Evaluation – ”crits”/tests/grades?

Evaluation is mostly based on overall performance in the studio and the final “crit.” At the end of the quarter, the studio professors will evaluate the final project in the context of the overall performance of the student. For some classes, tests may also be given to evaluate performance.


Digital or analogue work?

Mixed. The decision to use digital or analogue in the production of models and presentation/study material is up to the student and depends on the situation. Often I like to use analogue design tools during initial design phases before using digital tools to further develop and generate drawings for a project.

What software is used/preferred?

  • Adobe Suite
  • Rhino, Sketchup, AutoCad, Revit (depending on student and project)
  • It is possible to take digital representation/fabrication classes
  • Access to computers witch many programs/licenses

ARCH302_Fujimoto_Matthew_SectionPerspective_0Feat Perspecive 2 [Converted]Examples of Works done by students at UW

Is there any blogs or websites with student projects or works form your school?

What is your impression of the Aarhus School of Architecture compared to your school?

Both schools have a similar spirit for exploration that I find very exciting to be a part of. I would say that UW has a better (or at least more consistent) integration of technical learning.

Strengths and weaknesses of your school?


  • Strong academic spirit
  • Awesome professors
  • Quarters are short for high tempo and lots of variation
  • Many options for classes to shape the education

Weaknesses (potential)

  • Projects are usually individual
  • Projects are usually smaller in scale
  • Less stress on proper documentation of work

Why should students choose to go to your school and would you recommend it?

I would definitely recommend my school for exchange. There is a strong connection between Scandinavia and Seattle with regards to design and education principals. Seattle is a great community to live in and can serve as a hub for urban and nature exploration. The city is closely embedded between the mountains and the sea, and there are so many opportunities within and outside of the university.

Is there a person at your school that students can contact, if they want to get in touch with the school or have questions about it?

Jennifer Dee is familiar with Arkitektskolen Aarhus and may be a good perspective if you are interested in studying at University of Washington


This interview is a part of a project by spARK to collect students knowledge about beeing on exchange. We are hoping to give you the students perspective as to the normal school webpage information.
We will keep posting as the interviews come in.

(All pictures used in this post belong to UW)

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One Comment

  1. Oskar David Mannov Olesen

    13. december 2013 at 17:27

    Great post.
    Do you have any information about spARK? Website etc. I would love to know more about studying abroad as an architect, and projects regarding that subject.

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