Matt Hutchins is a co-founder of CAST Architecture. (Courtesy of Matt Hutchins)

We are very excited to be joined by activist architect Matt Hutchins at the November edition of our monthly speaker series. He will help us understand the multiple land use and housing issues we are facing and how they can help us become a more affordable, equitable, and climate responsive city. Hutchins will be speaking on Monday November 14th from 6:30 – 7:30pm via Zoom.

There is a lot going on in Seattle right now that will shape how it will look and feel, where it will grow, and who will get to live here for decades into the future: The Seattle Comprehensive Plan update process is underway and will determine if we grow by doubling down on existing Urban Villages or look to our city’s vast single family neighborhoods by ending exclusionary zoning. Due to grassroots pressure and city council action, Seattle is currently — and chaotically — studying ways to reform or limit the cumbersome Design Review process and make our system of creating housing more equitable.

Mayor Bruce Harrell has floated bringing back micro-housing as a more affordable housing option and a way to build more housing in a city that desperately needs it. And this is all happening in the context of an ongoing housing affordability and homelessness crisis and the region just coming out of one of the longest smoke seasons we have ever experienced, a taste of what’s to come if we don’t do everything we can to fight climate change.

As one of the founders of CAST Architecture, Hutchins has spent more than 20 years working to increase the vitality of the city and the environment through the thoughtful design of housing, vibrant urban spaces, inclusive community design, and advocacy for more open space and abundant housing. As a certified Passive House architect, he has striven to design deep green buildings that are resilient to smoke pollution and extreme weather events.

He serves on the Seattle Planning Commission, on the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors and as co-chair of the Public Policy Board. He has co-chaired AIA Seattle’s Housing Task Force, organized many public programs on urban design, housing, and accessory dwelling units (ADUs). He was named AIA Seattle’s Volunteer of the Year in 2020. He is a former Southwest Design Review Board Member, and Groundswell NW Treasurer. In 2017, he co-founded MOAR (More Options for Accessory Residences), a grassroots organization that helped pass Seattle’s landmark ADU reform. Seattle Magazine named Matt one of the 35 Most Influential People in 2019. He has taught design at the University of Washington and Arizona State University.

The line opens at 6:25pm. Note that we moved our talk from our normal second Tuesday timing due to the conflict with Election Day.

Watch the video from the talk:

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Article Author

Patrick grew up across the Puget Sound from Seattle and use to skip school to come hang out in the city. He is an designer at a small architecture firm with a strong focus on urban infill housing. He is passionate about design, housing affordability, biking, and what makes cities so magical. He works to advocate for abundant and diverse housing options and for a city that is a joy for people on bikes and foot. He lives in the Othello neighborhood with his fiance and kitty.