City Design Bellingham: A Visioning Workshop For Our Urban Villages

Reposting from Bellingham Urbanists as part of Bellingham Design Week

Bellingham's population is projected to double in less than 30 years and it's critical that our city grows in a way that's good for both people and planet. With that in mind, what will Bellingham look like in 2030, 2040 or 2050? Will backyard fences and car-centric development continue to drive the urban sprawl that eats away at our agricultural lands and wilderness areas? Or will we prioritize climate-positive, walkable urban villages where diversity and inclusion create thriving communities? As residents of Bellingham, it's up to us to work with our elected officials in creating the best possible future for our city, but first we must envision that future. So join us on Tuesday, May 14th for a fun and collaborative evening exploring the possibilities of what an urbanist future for Bellingham might look like.

The workshop will begin with a short introduction followed by an overview of potential projects that range from protected bike lanes to high speed rail and from alley revitalization to iconic skyline projects. Attendees will then select a project to work on and form into workgroups of 3-6 people. Once the groups are set, then it's time for each to dive into their respective projects for approximately 90 minutes. We'll wrap up the evening with workgroups sharing their results and with each presentation, the vision for what Bellingham's future might look like will come into focus a little more.

Please also RSVP on Eventbrite:

If you'd like to connect with other attendees on social media, you can find the event on Facebook at

Introducing Terrell Carter, Localgroup Research Fellow

Localgroup Studio and Bruna Press + Archive are pleased to introduce our new Research Fellow in Critical Design, Terrell Carter. Brought on to support the Vienna Model project, Terrell is conducting research regarding what social housing in Bellingham might look like if Bellingham were to adopt Vienna's social housing approaches to architecture, development, and planning. 

Originally from the San Juan Islands, Terrell has a long-held love of design, community, and place-making. This love propelled him to enter Deep Springs College, a self-governing educational community in California, followed by studies at Yale University, where he got an undergraduate degree in Humanities, focussing on antiauthoritarian responses to modernist architecture in the 1960s. After completing his degree, Terrell travelled broadly, by nesting in Beijing, Vancouver, Sitka, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Paris.


Terrell keeps his perspective global while focusing on the local by working as our research fellow.  When he's not in the studio, you can find him practicing improv with Momentum Improvisation Lab, volunteering at the Pickford Film Center, or teaching elementary students about bicycle safety. 

We are so excited about Terrell's fellowship and appreciate his very thoughtful and insightful engagement with the Vienna Model and its potential connections to housing in Bellingham. Come see Terrell introduce and lead discussions on our upcoming screenings listed below. 

April 16 (6:30pm-7:30pm)   Documentary film screening: How to Live in Vienna (2013)

This 49 minute video essay gives an overview of Vienna's housing development from the late 19th century until today. The movie is produced as a cultural journey to selected housing projects showing their urban and social circumstances.

RSVP on Meetup or Facebook

April 25 (6:30pm-8:00pm)   Documentary film screening: Urbanized (2011)

A documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

RSVP on Meetup or Facebook



Showcasing the Creatives of Bellingham

We love this video showcasing the energetic design community here in Bellingham, created by the talented Miriam Gootherts! Very pleased to have Localgroup Studio recognized for our contribution to building (creative) community. You definitely want to watch this one full-screen!


Localgroup Studio featured at Bellingham Entrepreneurs

Localgroup Studio is pleased to be recently featured over at the site for Bellingham Entrepreneurs, a non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to building the early-stage entrepreneurial community and ecosystem in Bellingham.  After softly opening to the public in late March with our first Design Drinks + Talks event, we are excited to make more connections within the local community and to announce our official opening to the public as a creative coworking space. Thanks to Rhys Faler at Bellingham Entrepreneurs for announcing the opening of our design-supportive, shared office in this very thoughtful introduction to the Studio's space, mission, and culture.

To summarize some key points in the article, we firmly believe in supporting the creative work of our community and hope to grow the ambition, volume, and critical nature of Bellingham's design discussions by creating space for connecting, whether locally, regionally, or internationally. To this end, the Studio hosts periodic social and educational events like Design Drinks + Talks and Data Visualization classes. Outside of regular office hours, the Studio is committed to using design to create meaningful civic engagement with projects that benefit the community and environment. Localgroup currently provides space for activities by groups operating in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and the greater Cascadia region, including's peer mentoring program, Cascadia Deaf Nation, the Bellingham chapter of FairVote Washington, and What Now Bellingham.

Alan McConchie is the founder and head of Localgroup Studio. He was born in Bellingham and raised in the Fairhaven neighborhood. He recently relocated back to the city after living in San Francisco, where he is Lead Cartographer at Stamen Design, an internationally recognized data visualization and map design studio. With Stamen, he has taught classes with clients such as the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Facebook, and Pinterest. He has also taught data visualization and online mapping courses to Facebook, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and the World Health Organization.