For Artists / Opportunities

AIA, Seattle/ Seeks Researcher on Immigrants and Refugees in Washington State

Submission fee

For more information visit:


The American Institute of Architects Seattle is soliciting letters of interest from researchers and research institutions to assist with an upcoming exhibit titled Sanctuary.

The American Institute of Architects is a partner in Seattle’s Center for Architecture & Design, which hosts public exhibits on design and the built environment.  We are in the planning stages for an exhibit titled Sanctuary that will open December of 2018.

While the term “sanctuary city” is a modern concept specifically related to immigration policy, the need to design cities as places of safety and refuge is as old as cities themselves. Sanctuary will explore design for safety and sanctuary through a design ideas competition, poster and graphic arts.  The exhibit seeks to answer the question: what are the design strategies that make cities a refuge for all residents, even the most vulnerable?

The exhibit will include several distinct elements:
- Design ideas competition entries from around the world, envisioning design solutions to promote the concepts of safety and sanctuary
- Graphic design survey of poster arts that welcome immigrants and refugees
- Washington-specific context including demographic, socio-economic and spatial data, personal narrative and design examples from immigrants and refugees, and the political context of sanctuary cities in our state

To get a sense of the scale and caliber of past exhibits, please visit the gallery website.

The Sanctuary exhibit offers an opportunity to educate the public and design community about the opportunities and challenges facing immigrants and refugees in our region, and current and future demographic trends that may inform our region’s strategies to create welcoming and safe cities, places, buildings and public information systems. The researcher or research institution will provide broad context, place-specific data and individual narrative as a framework for the Sanctuary exhibition. The researcher will work with our exhibit designer to graphically communicate collected data, personal narratives and images.

Scope of Services
Deliverables may include:
• Demographic and historical data and contextual information.
• Personal narrative, allowing our exhibit audience to hear directly from our region’s immigrants and refugees their lived experience as it relates to the design of our cities, places, buildings, and information.
• Interpretive text to be integrated throughout the exhibit, helping to create the overall narrative for Sanctuary.
• Graphic and multi-media collateral, potentially including maps, photographic evidence, timelines, etc.

• April-July: Research conducted, with monthly reports to exhibits team.
• August: Delivery of research materials
• August-September: Collaboration with exhibit designer
• November 26th: Exhibit installed
• December 6th: Opening Reception

Interested researchers or research institutions should have demonstrated knowledge of, and direct connection to, immigrant and refugee communities in the Puget Sound Region, and a track record of high-quality research on this topic.  Background or interest in architecture or design, and experience with exhibit design a plus.

Research fee
The exhibit budget includes a $2,500 research fee.  Additional funding may be available for production of graphic and multi-media materials as part of the exhibit.

To apply
• Letter of interest
• CV including relevant training and experience
• Publication or research sample
• Optional: letter of reference from an established organization working with immigrants and refugees in Puget Sound

Please submit all information in a single PDF by March 30, 2018 to

Questions about the gallery or CfAD exhibitions? Please Megan Harmon at or 206.448.4938

Eligible media

Design, Non-Profit Orgs.