Mithun Selected to Lead the University District Conceptual Plan

Date Posted: 04.01.2024

Press Release

SPOKANE, Wash., April 1, 2024—The University District Public Development Authority (UDPDA) is thrilled to announce the selection of Mithun as the lead designer of the University District (UD) Conceptual Plan. Mithun is a multi-disciplinary design firm headquartered in Seattle that received the 2023 AIA Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architects. Through renderings and illustrations, Mithun’s integrated team of urban designers, landscape architects, and architects will help reimagine the UD’s 770 acres to reflect the vision outlined in the community-informed U Vision 2044 Strategic Priority Plan: A thriving and sustainable hub of innovation, environmental health, and community activity.

“We received exceptional, high-quality proposals from prominent local and international architecture firms,” says Juliet Sinisterra, UD CEO. “We are excited to work alongside Mithun’s team to design a conceptual plan that is the physical embodiment of our values—including implementing sustainable, regenerative urban design that supports lasting community prosperity, and environmental health and biodiversity such as clean air, water, tree canopy, and pollinators.”

The University District is a catalyst for growth in the region and is home to six higher education institutions, two medical schools, and numerous small businesses and nonprofits. The District Conceptual Plan will inform future land acquisition, public infrastructure design, shoreline restoration and access, brownfield mitigation, and innovations in energy and waste management.

“This project represents a remarkable opportunity to reimagine how we plan for and develop urban communities—and will serve as an exemplary model nationwide,” says Mithun partner Erin Ishizaki. “We are excited to collaborate with UDPDA and to contribute to the innovative work well underway to reinforce a healthy urban landscape and inclusive economy for decades to come.”

Over the past several years, the UD conducted numerous community events to gather input from workers, families, neighbors, business owners, and other community members about what the District should look like which resulted in the U Vision 2044 Strategic Priorities Plan. Mithun will prioritize this input and continue to gather community feedback as the project progresses.

Additional team members participating in the District Conceptual Plan process include Biomimicry 3.8, the world’s leading bio-inspired consultants applying nature-informed, ecologically-generous systems to the built environment to enhance the health and well-being of the communities they serve; and Baumgartner Urban Systems Strategy (BUSS), a leader in urban decarbonization and solutions that bridge built and natural systems for sustainable, resilient, and equitable outcomes for campuses, communities, and cities.

About the University District (UD)
The UD is a place where business and education grow together to create a collaborative, healthy, and prosperous region. The University District uses its unique connectivity to create shared community wellness and vibrancy by developing the infrastructure and programming that enable a globally recognized hub of education, innovation, research, and health care. Find out more at

About Mithun
Mithun is an integrated design firm dedicated to creating positive change in people’s lives. The firm’s team of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers, and planners work in a wide range of typologies and scales—with a focus on urban environments and places where people live, work, and learn. The firm is nationally recognized for excellence in design and sustainability; honors include the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Firm Award as well as awards from the American Planning Association (APA), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and Urban Land Institute (ULI). Learn more: