Designers are always responding to their environments, by embracing natural phenomena or seeking to work around them. The influence of our natural environment on Pacific Northwest design has always been strong, from materials choices to form and function. 

A new exhibit at the Center for Architecture & Design explores the most ubiquitous Northwest condition of all: Rain. 

As the recipient of this year’s Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, sponsored by AIA Seattle, Laura Bartunek Assoc. AIA explores the concept of rain as a creative catalyst within design through her exhibit, Because it Rains. Bartunek asks the question: What if we designed to collaborate with the weather, rather than defend against it? How can our buildings respond collaboratively to the weather, rather than trying to shut it out?

Bartunek’s travels were carefully planned to experience a wide range of built environment responses to rain, from rain infrastructure to spaces that use rain as a material. Traveling to Florida, New Mexico, Kauai, London and Norway, she experienced and studied the individuality of rain through the lens of architecture.

This beautiful, experiential exhibit includes richly detailed illustrations and architectural research models, asking and inspiring us to think differently about our weather.