As anyone with a lick of sense knows, residential buildings are first and foremost for people…and design without consideration of people will never be successful design, because the ultimate result will be no people. So when the Chair of the Downtown Design Review Board [DRB] is quoted saying at a DRB Recommendation Meeting the other night, "We're not here to talk about people, only design", you know the system is broken.
It appears that Murphy McCullough, the chair of the Seattle Downtown Design Review Board and developer community representative to the board, either does not have any understanding about the importance of people in design and the impact that design can have on their lives, their productivity, and even their health... or does he just not care? Either way, this makes him look like a "poster boy" for what's wrong with the Design Review Process in Seattle.
Yes, relative closeness is part of the urban environment, but does the closeness in a particular design allow enough sunlight, and what do you see next to you? Residence to residence (24/7) closeness is very different than commercial to residence closeness; and single family neighborhood closeness is very different, too, because you don't have walls of glass between buildings.
Even the federal government, in their "Smart Cities Plan", understands that "cities are first and foremost for people". If Murphy McCullough doesn't accept that reality and provide leadership toward people-friendly design, he should consider stepping down from his position on the Design Review Board.