Social Change in the Built Environment with Rico Quirindongo

Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast
Episode 22

Rico Quirindongo

Director of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development

“We can achieve social change and social justice through the built environment, and the artist community is a huge part of that.

– Rico Quirindongo

This episode of Dot Dot Dot brings together rich storytelling and evidenced-based research to explore the gap between urban development and community needs. Rico Quirindongo, civic design expert and Director of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development, reflects on past projects in which art and culture were critical for sparking community resilience, empowerment, and pride. He also discusses strategies to address gentrification and promote generational wealth building, particularly in areas where BIPOC communities have been displaced or disenfranchised. The episode offers unique perspectives on the role of art and placemaking in the built environment, emphasizing the need for authentic community engagement to create prospering places that benefit us all.


About Rico Quirindongo: Rico Quirindongo is the Acting Director of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development. Before his appointment in 2021, Rico worked for the international architecture firm DLR Group as the Civic Design Leader for the Northwest Region. For the past 25 years, Rico has been working to revitalize and reimagine Seattle historic landmarks and neighborhoods. He believes that through proactive design, vision, and multi-agency collaboration, opportunities for social change can be realized through community-invested civic projects. Rico is an acclaimed expert on inclusive and authentic engagement in civic projects. He has provided expertise on such notable projects as The Northwest African American Museum, the Climate Pledge Arena, and Midtown Square in Seattle’s Central District.

Rico was chair of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority Council, a Downtown Seattle Association board member, and American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle Chapter President in 2012-13. He was recognized by AIA National as a Citizen Architect in 2020 and is a Northwest and Pacific Regional Representative on the national AIA Strategic Council.


About Dot Dot Dot: The NINE dot ARTS Podcast

Dot Dot Dot is the continuing conversation around art and placemaking in the built environment. Hosted by NINE dot ARTS CEO Martha Weidmann, episodes explore art, culture, community, and more with a range of reputable business leaders. Tune in biweekly to learn how an original art experience can boost your business and make a social impact. Download the 2021 State of the Art Report to learn more.

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Martha Weidmann

Martha Weidmann

CEO & Co-Founder