Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seth Wachtel receives community award

Seth Wachtel, Professor of Architecture and Community Design at the University of San Francisco, was awarded the Karl Paige & Annette Smith Community Leadership Award by the Quesada Gardens Initiative on Saturday April 16th in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. The presentation took place at the Bridgeview Teaching and Learning Garden, the newest project in Quesada Gardens Initiative’s network of gathering spaces, gardens and art projects.

Wachtel has been central to the development of the new project, located at the intersection of Bridgeview Avenue and Newhall Street, working with community leaders and USF students to design and build a showcase garden and gathering space on a seemingly unusable parcel of city land. He has been involved with Quesada Gardens Initiative since 2006, and has been a key leader in many projects that the grassroots group has undertaken.

“Seth embodies the best of USF’s spirit of community involvement,” said Jeffrey Betcher, Quesada Gardens Initiative’s Co-Founder and Organizer. “He has made it possible for us to turn our community’s vision for itself into practical reality.”

Wachtel is the Director of the Architecture and Community Design Program in the Department of Art and Architecture and is Co-Founder of the Garden Project Living-Learning Community at USF. He has worked in architecture and construction in India, Colombia, Haiti, Israel, Mexico, Nicaragua, Zambia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. His focus is low-cost building and urban landscape in underserved communities, and the development of innovative construction techniques that produce sustainable and aesthetically and culturally appropriate buildings for human environments.

Wachtel runs USF’s Community Design Outreach, International Projects, and Construction Innovation courses which provide students the opportunity to work on real world design and build projects for underserved communities both locally and internationally. He is also a recipient of the USF Service-Learning Community Outreach Award, the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Service Award, and a nominee for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award.

Photo: William Campos

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