Kate Simonen

Assistant Professor, Architecture



Kate Simonen is licensed as both an Architect and Structural Engineer and teaches structural and architectural design and seminars on high-performance building systems. Kate has over 15 years of professional experience with built projects of diverse types and methods and ten years experience leading an independent practice, now known as Operation Architecture.

Kate’s research agenda stems from unresolved questions originated from her practice experiences-most recently as a founding partner of Parco Homes, a ‘green’ prefabricated housing company. Current research interests include: high performance building systems, quantification of building performance, life cycle assessment, digital design and manufacturing, design processes and collaboration.

Working with a diverse group of industry professionals and academics, Kate has organized the Carbon Leadership Forum, an industry/academic research collaboration focused on linking the science of life cycle assessment to industry best practices in order to help enable quantifiable reduction to the carbon impact of the built environment with a focus on reducing the impact of material manufacturing and building construction.

Prior to joining the University of Washington in the fall of 2009, Kate was a member of the architecture faculty at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she taught technology and design, coordinated the technology curriculum and was the original architecture faculty lead for the 2009 Solar Decathlon entry ‘Team California’ which won third place overall and first place in architecture and communication.

Kate received a Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder with an emphasis in lighting design.