Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside

Kristi Park is the owner of Biodesign Studios, a landscape, urban design, and public art studio based in Seattle and Bellingham.

“For me, public art has always been more of a side hustle. Much of our work as a studio focuses on landscape design,” said Kristi. But after seeing a call for art installations inside the public spaces at a new Mercy Housing Northwest community, Kristi jumped at the opportunity to support the work of an organization she has long supported.

Her journey with Mercy Housing Northwest began years earlier with students and residents at Sterling Meadows Apartments. Guiding and working alongside residents, she helped them tell their stories through art. “I believe art breaks up the monotony and presents one of the greatest opportunities for place-making,” said Kristi.

For her project at Trailview Apartments in Bellingham, Kristi knew she wanted to do something special. Working alongside residents in the community, she dreamed of creating a digital collage with hand-crafted artwork from students in the Mercy Scholars program.

“For the digital collage, I relied on the in-house experts who call Trailview home. I asked to capture images, drawings, and paintings reflecting their community,” said Kristi. “The best part of my job is meeting and working with people. I love community collaboration, and that is reflected in the art of Trailview.”

When you walk into Trailview, the angel-wing-shaped collage is the first thing that greets residents and guests. On each floor above the ground floor (residential floors), a different vista is the first thing that greets you when stepping off the elevator.

“My goal was to bring vibrancy to the space. In Bellingham, we are so lucky to be surrounded by so much natural beauty. From views of Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay, I wanted to bring the great outdoors inside,” said Kristi.

Kristi’s next project for Mercy Housing Northwest will include a giant corner art piece for Millworks near the Port of Bellingham.