Member Reflection: Better Housing Together

By LiveMover Aiden Forsi

LiveMove had the pleasure of hosting the illustrious Kaarin Knudson at our Planner's Pub on February 13th. A group of 30 turned out at the Sam Bond's Foundry location to eat pizza and listen to Kaarin describe her background, her current work, and her aspirations for the future.

Kaarin is a principal and partner at LARCO/KNUDSON, a firm she co-founded with Sustainable Cities Initiative Co-Director Nico Larco. Kaarin is also a professor at the University of Oregon, involved with both the architecture and planning departments. She received her Masters in Architecture and her Bachelors in Journalism degrees from the University of Oregon, spending five years in the publishing and communication world between receiving those degrees.

Her new firm will focus on sustainable urban design. She is in the process of developing a textbook on the topic, the "last she'll ever do," and showed us a sneak peek at the framework they have developed to promote environmentally-sound, socially-equitable growth.

Kaarin spoke at length about the housing crisis, and her involvement with Better Housing Together. She shared the facts and figures that place Eugene as the second-most housing constrained city in the US, and illuminated the issues that have caused the crisis, as well as several ways we could solve it.

Though Kaarin started her career in and is known for her architecture and design work, she was quick to say that though design has a "soft power" that can slowly transform cities and communities, that the pressing issues (housing, sustainability, etc) should be the context for all our work, and that the details, however important, have to serve the larger context first. 

We are exceptionally thankful that Kaarin shared her time with us, and blessed to have such a strong advocate here in Eugene.