Caitlyn Salters has worked in the Architecture field as a designer for over six years. Her work has spanned from multi-family housing to high-rises. From her rich experience at Auburn University’s Rural Studio’s community-based affordable housing design/build program, she brings a strong conviction that architecture should be of its place, environmentally and aesthetically, and that design should be for everyone.
Caitlyn has led Third Place Design Cooperative’s BIM Management for the last two years, using Vectorworks. She strives to provide creative solutions for BIM file structure and organization in the firm’s housing-focused work.
Caitlyn Salters (she/her) | Associate and BIM Manager at Third Place Design Cooperative
CURIOSITY in design is…
Practicing design is filled with constant learning, as well as collaborating with others. Curiosity is also vital to understand what will best serve the community or client you are designing for. Designers are asked to create with client and community needs in mind, which in many cases are different from your own history and perspectives. One needs curiosity to pursue these needs with an open mind and understanding.
How do you use CURIOSITY in your work?
I think curiosity and architecture are inherently linked. In this profession there is always a new design strategy to learn, a new project specific issue to solve, and a new material to utilize. Curiosity is vital to learn and adapt to new information and to collaborate as a team. I use curiosity to fuel my growth in the field and to help find the best solutions for each project.
My favorite thing about my city is…
My favorite thing about Seattle is how it is at the forefront of many important issues that we are facing in this country. Whether it is climate change and energy policy, access to affordable housing, or the development of public transportation, being an architect in this city is an opportunity to affect change in any of these areas and more. My second favorite thing is how many great bakeries with good croissants there are!
Tell us about a project that you completed that you are most proud of.
At Third Place Design Cooperative, I completed my first affordable housing project that I had been a part of from early design through completion. Sunset Oaks Apartments is a sixty-unit, three-building development for the Renton Housing Authority serving the workforce housing needs of the Renton Highlands. Being able to work towards providing sixty families with stable housing was incredibly rewarding, and working on these project types motivates me every day. In addition, being able to learn so much about the design and construction of affordable housing was a great opportunity.
How should community influence design?
Community input in design is vastly important. At Third Place Design Cooperative, we specialize in collecting input and feedback from the community to use in our design process. We strive to have multiple meetings with the community to really listen to and understand their wants and needs and incorporate them into the design. In addition, it is important to provide opportunities for community within design by advocating for and providing gathering and amenity spaces, public open spaces, mixed-use building typologies, or supportive service spaces as a part of our designs. These principals at TPDC are what interested me in working here. Providing opportunities for community and design to intersect is one of my favorite parts of the job.