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DLR Group Principal Quirindongo Named Citizen Architect

Rico Quirindongo
Rico Quirindongo
SEATTLE, WA — DLR Group Principal Rico Quirindongo, AIA, said he has a bit of “a board-commitment addiction.” Over his two-decade career he has given his time to pro-bono work for numerous nonprofit organizations, led the AIA Seattle board, and has worked with city officials on numerous urban renewal commissions. He currently serves as a Board Member for the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority Council, a nonprofit organization chartered by the City of Seattle to preserve and protect the market's buildings, increase opportunities for small and marginal businesses, and provide services for low-income people.

As a young Project Architect, Quirindongo led the conversion of a century-old school building into 36 affordable housing units. He engaged the Seattle Landmark Preservation Board to reach consensus regarding the design, and also collaborated with the Urban League, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the local transportation authority to create a shared access easement.

During his five-year term with the Historic Seattle Council, Quirindongo was a part of the city’s conversation about adaptive reuse and restoration of city buildings. He assisted in developing a memorandum of understanding guiding the development of Seattle’s Washington Hall as a new cultural institution, and worked with grassroots nonprofit organizations to create arts and cultural programming at the hall.

As a current member of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority Council, Quirindongo works with the City of Seattle in its efforts to develop and implement future waterfront projects. As Council Chair, he oversaw the creation of MarketFront, a $74-million project that included 40 senior housing units, 10,000 square feet of retail space, 300 parking spaces, and 10,000 square feet of public convening spaces.

As AIA Seattle President, Quirindongo regularly advocated at the state and federal levels for industry priorities and helped create AIA Seattle’s partner nonprofit Design-In-Public, an organization focused on improving design within the public realm.

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Quirindongo also regularly speaks to elementary, high school, and college students about architecture, design, and advocacy. To the youngest students — and their parents — Quirindongo explains what an architect does, and how the industry impacts communities. With college students, Quirindongo emphasizes the value and importance of their voices in shaping the future of cities and communities, and their own careers.

Quirindongo also is working within his own firm to inspire future citizen architects. He currently leads an initiative at DLR Group called Design Agency, which is a platform to enable staff to engage in their local community, invest in advocacy, and identify needed pro bono programs at the neighborhood level. Rather than “waiting to be asked,” Design Agency envisions how architects looking toward proactive problem-solving and design leadership within cities and neighborhoods.

“I believe architects are change-makers,” Quirindongo said. “I want all of my colleagues — and the residents of all Seattle neighborhoods — to recognize that, regardless of their station, we all have agency to champion and affect social change through design.”

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