AV Goodsell is a designer and project manager with Reformd, a web design and development studio in Seattle. She specializes in project management and designing sustainable organizational practices & systems. Prior to Reformd, AV served as AIA Seattle’s Program Manager, helping envision and implement its educational programs. She has extensive experience working in the nonprofit sector, including at Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gage Academy of Art, and New York’s High Line park. A lover of reuse projects and public space, AV is actively involved as a volunteer with Friends of Waterfront Seattle and the Pike Place Market Foundation. She has a Masters in Arts & Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and a joint-BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and Community, Environment & Planning from the University of Washington.
Q: Design Change is…
A: Thinking beyond yourself and what you know and seeking out others for ideas, inspiration, and their constructive criticism.
Q: What’s the big opportunity for design in Seattle?
A: The obvious one – the Seattle Waterfront.There is a tremendous opportunity to experience design in ways we never thought possible for our city there.
Not as obvious, our public transit hubs. With the new light rail and streetcar stations popping up, there’s a chance to create really happening center points for our neighborhoods. Beacon Hill is really starting to have one. Why not revisit the old model of the urban plaza and really make it great for these hubs? Plus why not experiment more with small urban interventions? You know, more pop-ups and temporary art installations, like what was happening near the REI or pre-Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. And food!
Q: Seattle will be…
A: Overpriced, but awesome! Actually, with all these new people coming in from around the country, Seattle has the opportunity to really diversify and reflect that in all its neighborhoods. I live on Capitol Hill with my little family and it’s crazy how much it’s changed in the last decade. Some of it is good change, some not good. I’m hopeful that more people will back initiatives to rethink our design review process and by including more community organizations in design decisions will help maintain and help with placemaking. I studied urban design and planning, so I’m biased on how change is inevitable.
Q: If design education could change, how do you want it to?
A: I’d want design education to change by being directly hands on. A lot of design programs rely on mock-ups or case studies, some actually go into the community and design something needed for them. We need more of that.
I can’t rave enough about the University of Washington’s Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, where they are actually placing students to serve in communities while learning in the classroom on the same subjects. Doing service learning was a huge part of my undergrad college experience and it really opened my eyes to what was happening out in the real world. It was also a way to get to know the community I was serving and to learn from some very wise people. Having that chance really inspired me to think how design is about and for people, whether I’m designing a site or an event. No matter the format, knowing your audience is everything.
Q: Where do you go that gives you the most inspiration for design?
A: Two things inspire me for design: 1) Taking very long walks throughout the city (any, really). You know, the kind of day-long walk where you stop at many places, eat, observe, eat some more, take a lot of photos. 2) Being outdoors. More walking and thinking!
Learn more about AV’s work:
Twitter – @audiovisualg
Email – email@example.com