Applied Research Consortium


ARC firms bring important research questions on cutting-edge concepts and best practices in the built environment fields; support emerging scholars and practitioners in leading this research; and create a professional community for the cross-fertilization of ideas and discussion of shared priorities across our sector.

7 Directions

7 Directions is a Native-owned and operated firm that focuses on the intertwined aspects of sustainability and culture. Our designs attempt to create contemporary buildings that use less energy, less non-renewable materials, and that are highly responsive to the local climate. We achieve this through a rigorous design process that follows LEED guidelines and that incorporates energy modeling to determine optimal building orientation, materials, and systems. 

We develop designs that incorporate the fundamental elements of the culture of our clients. Our firm achieves this through cultural research and an interactive design process that involves community members directly in the design and incorporates their knowledge of their culture.

Our work is currently featured in Unceded: Voices of the Land, a touring exhibition of contemporary Indigenous architecture that premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2018; From Earth to Sky, a 2021 documentary about Indigenous architects; as well as several books, including the series Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture.

Our firm name, 7 Directions, reflects the spirit of our work and philosophy. The name represents a concept shared by many tribes of the Seven Directions: the four cardinal directions, plus up towards father sky, down towards mother earth, and inward into each of our hearts.

Contact: Daniel Glenn  

DLR Group

DLR Group LogoDLR Group elevates the human experience through design. We understand the profound impact that education has on individuals’ futures and embrace our responsibility as designers to society and future generations by creating spaces and environments that foster structured learning and social experiences and celebrate diversity and inclusivity. We embrace each unique campus culture by using our 360-degree engagement process to fully understand users who will be impacted – including students, faculty, administration, staff, and visitors.

Contacts: Jim Beckett and Bonnie Sandborn  


GGN is a Seattle based landscape architecture firm founded in 1999 by Jennifer Guthrie, Shannon Nichol, and Kathryn Gustafson. Our firm’s 45 employees have backgrounds in landscape design, architecture, art, engineering, and ecology. GGN offers extensive experience in designing high-use landscapes in complex, urban contexts.

Contact: Keith McPeters  


Mithun is an integrated design firm dedicated to creating positive change in people’s lives. As a national practice with offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, we are a unified design studio with an open and collaborative spirit founded on a process of inquiry and listening. We are committed to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) as key expressions of our mission of Design for Positive Change.

Our team of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers and planners creates seamless experiences that are unique expressions of each client, community and place. We work in a wide range of typologies and scales – with a focus on urban environments and places where people live, work, and learn.

Building upon a rich history of research at the firm, Mithun R+D seeks to advance design knowledge and its application through internal embedded project research, external partnership opportunities and intellectual research pursuits.

Mithun is an internationally recognized leader in sustainability, combining exemplary design with a focus on building and site performance, human health and social equity. Our work has been recognized with hundreds of peer and industry awards including six AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten project honors and ranking among the nation’s top design firms.

Contacts: Dave Goldberg and Katie Stege 


NBBJ helps their clients drive innovation by creating highly productive, sustainable spaces that free people to live, learn, work and play.  Their global network of “renaissance teams” includes more than 800 researchers, strategists, nurses, architects, planners and interior designers who generate ideas that have a profound and lasting impact.

Contact: Ryan Mullenix


Turner Construction is a North America-based, international construction services company leading in diverse market segments. The company has earned recognition for undertaking large, complex projects, fostering Building Information Modeling (BIM), innovation, sustainability, embracing emerging technologies, and making a difference for its clients, employees, and community.

With 10,000 employees, the company completes $14 billion of construction on 1,500 projects each year. Turner offers clients the accessibility and support of a local firm with the stability and resources of a multinational organization.

Turner Construction ranks No. 1 on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2021 Top 400 Contractors list.

Contact: Renzo DiFuria


ZGF LogoZGF is an award-winning architecture, interior design and urban planning firm with offices in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and Vancouver, Canada. Since its founding five decades ago, the firm’s focus has always been integrating beauty, materiality and craft with stewardship of the natural and built environments. Their intentionally diverse portfolio spans healthcare and research facilities, academic buildings, mixed-use developments, corporate campuses, cultural centers, transportation facilities and ecodistricts.

Contacts: Todd Stine and Victoria Nichols