UHCDC Spring 2022 Newsletter

Aloha UHCDC ʻohana,

After nearly two full years of post COVID continuous learning and adaptation, we are moving through 2022 with fortitude and thanks. In 2021, UHCDC employed 37 students across three academic departments, providing over $100,000 in student assistantships. These students worked under the direction or advisory of 12 faculty members with expertise in architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, and engineering, on projects that connected their learning to the built environment challenges facing our civic leaders, institutions, and communities. We want to thank 10 public and non-profit partners for entrusting us with these opportunities to advance affordable housing, food sustainability, cultural resilience, climate change adaptation, community outreach, public wellbeing, and education, among other goals. These diverse partnerships earned numerous awards and recognition from academic and professional organizations, reinforcing the value of these collective efforts. We also want to thank our entire team for their enduring commitment to engaged teaching, learning, research, and public impact.

Mahalo and best wishes.


ASLA Hawai’i recognizes UHCDC with the 2021 Mālama ʻĀina award

For its contributions toward promoting the preservation and enhancement of the state’s landscape through innovative public-interest design, UHCDC was presented with the 2021 Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Mālama `Āina award. This triennial professional honor is given to individuals and organizations outside the field of landscape architecture. Learn more about our landscape architecture work in a short two minute video.



Envisioning a new home for the UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language

Brian Strawn and team recently ran a pop-up exhibit at UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language – sharing their work on the proof-of-concept designs for the next phases of the P-20 pathway for immersive Hawaiian Language Education. The 3 phases include new homes for ʻAha Pūnana Leo Preschool, the Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center, and Mokuola Honua Global Center for Indigenous Language Excellence & Graduate Studies Program.

Image by: Brian Strawn



Gathering and applying ‘Ike Kupuna at Kūkaniloko

UHCDC is working with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to refine the Wahiawā Lands Master Plan for the 511-acres surrounding the Kūkaniloko Birthing Stones. Students and staff immersed in ‘ike kupuna (ancestral experiences, knowledge, perspectives, and practices) will apply these teachings of Hawaiian resource management and land use to their conceptual plans and designs.

Image by: UHCDC Kūkaniloko team



Future of Hawai’i’s Housing wins ACSA’s 2022 Collaborative Practice Award

The Future of Hawai’i’s Housing research project led by principal investigators Karla Sierralta and Brian Strawn was nationally recognized with the 2022 Collaborative Practice Award at the ACSA’s annual Architectural Education Awards.

“Established in 1997 by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, this award honors best practices in university-based and community engaged programs. This award was proposed by Thomas Dutton and Anthony Schuman as a means to recognize ACSA’s commitment to community partnerships in which faculty, students and neighborhood citizens are valued equally and that aim to address issues of social injustice through design.”



South Shore climate-adaptation project team makes waves through local and national recognition

The two-year-long research, analysis and proof-of-concept design project, South Shore Promenade and Coastal Open Space Network Study: Resilience and Connectivity by Design, earned two 2021 professional design awards from the Hawaiʻi Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects (HI ASLA) and the American Planning Association (HI APA). Judith Stilgenbauer and her team were awarded with the HI ASLA Award of Excellence in the Analysis and Planning category and the HI APA Urban Design Award for their multi-faceted and forward-looking approach to addressing climate change—including resilience, ecosystem performance, connectivity, and placemaking—through design. Further, the project has been featured in various national and state-level publications and numerous invited presentations.


The Wahiawā Freshwater State Recreation Area Study project team receives professional HI ASLA award

Judith Stilgenbauer and her team were recognized with the 2021 Honor Award in the Research and Communication category by the Hawaiʻi Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (HI ASLA) for their Lake Wilson: Wahaiwā Freshwater State Recreation Area Study and Proof of Concept Design project and report. Mahalo to the Office of Senator Donovan Dela Cruz and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, for their partnership and support for this project.

Image by: Judith Stilgenbauer and team



Engaging the Wahiawā and Whitmore Community

UHCDC is working with the Agribusiness Development Corporation and other state agencies to update the Whitmore Community Food Hub master plan. Stakeholders and community members are invited to share their manaʻo. To learn more about upcoming events, please visit our Project Storyboard website by clicking on the button below.

Image: UHCDC team members supporting a Community Walk-Thru event.


2021 Building Voices: Just Play

A fifth annual Building Voices event welcomed Janette Kim from the California College of the Arts for a hands-on workshop “Game Play as Public Forum,” followed by Kevin Conger and Kate Lenahan from CMG Landscape Architecture for their presentation “Rise up.”  Just Play team members: Priyam Das, Karla Sierralta, Cathi Ho Schar, and Phoebe White have been designing climate equity and resilience games in their academic courses to debut in the summer of 2022!

Image: Hele! game board with team members.



New look, same UHCDC

Check out our website makeover! View our projects and meet the team. Learn more about how we help our public and non-profit partners and provide applied learning opportunities for our students!



We would like to acknowledge the individuals who worked on UHCDC projects during the 2021 calendar year:

UHCDC Faculty, PIs, and collaborators: Roger Babcock, Simon Bussiere, Roger Chen, Ashok Das, Priyam Das, Michael Endres, Daniel Friedman, Karl Kim, Wendy Meguro, Dan Milz, Cathi Ho Schar, Karla Sierralta, Judith Stilgenbauer, Brian Strawn, Phoebe White. Staff: Nicole Biewenga, John ʻEiwa Colburn, Rebecca Denzer, Ariel Dungca, Kara Kimi Makaiau, Charlie Palanza, Jonathan Malu Stanich, Zachary Streitz   Students: Elias Agbayani, Hiu Ki Au, Brandon Keola Annino, Nicole Bowman, Dustin Chang, Kiana Dai, Kaylen Daquioag, Jessa Dela Cruz, Hana Fulghum, Kenneth Guillan, Christina Holcom, Sukhyun Hong, Tammy Keliʻi Kapali, Sandy Kim, Connie Kwan, Renz Laforteza, Creesha Layaoen, Ethan Lee, Moises Lio Can, Eleonor Lomboy, Daniel Luna, Lynn Mayekawa, Beau Nakamori, Vivianne Nguyen, Thien Nguyen, Jonathan Quach, Danielle Restelli, Megan Russell, Glorilyn Salas, Emily Sobolewski-Knight, Bryson Tabaniag, Austin Torralba, Hannah Valencia, Griffin Ward, Hunter Wells, Kanoelani Yadao, Kristyn Yamamotoya. Visiting Professionals: Jill Misawa, Kevin Miyamura, Mark Tagawa.

Mahalo to:

2021 State partners and supporters: Agribusiness Development Corporation, Department of Accounting and General Services, Department of Education, Department of Land and Natural Resources (Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation), Department of Public Safety, Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Office of Donovan Dela Cruz.
2021 University of Hawaiʻi partners: UH Applied Research Lab, UH Community Colleges, UH Hilo, UH Office of Sustainability, UH Office of the Vice President for Administration, UHM College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
2021 Non-profit partners: Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation, Mayors’ Institute on City Design.

UH/UHM leadership and UHM School of Architecture ʻohana for their ongoing support of UHCDC.