Driven by the desire to have a meaningful impact on both urban and natural landscapes, Rico works with organizations to positively influence communities through design. Since beginning his career in 1996, he has developed a keen awareness of the special requirements needed to make public and non-profit projects a success.
"Designers are beginning to move in the true direction of Citizen Architect, taking on the social issues that will shape the future for our children, our cities, our communities and our planet; social change through design."
Rico has extensive experience and knowledge in the adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and as project manager and architect for the Northwest African American Museum, he became well versed in the intricacies of historic renovation. Rico believes that existing buildings provide a rich context for our daily lives and that maintenance of this building stock, both in preservation and in adaptive reuse, is the ultimate expression of sustainable architecture.
"Be it carbon neutrality, affordable housing, or equity, we have the opportunity to see a vision for a better tomorrow through the lens of design."
In 2013, Rico became a steering committee member for AIA Sustainable Scan, a national committee tasked with increasing architect’s role in reducing our national carbon footprint and energy consumption through high building performance design. Rico is also a founding board member of AIA Seattle’s strategic initiative, Design in Public, and helped plan and develop the new Center for Architecture and Design in Seattle. As a council member of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, Rico chairs the MarketFront Committee connecting the Market to the Seattle Waterfront through a gateway development of new market space, housing, and public open space.
In 2017, Rico was appointed by the Mayor’s office to serve on two committees: the One Center City Advisory Group and the Key Arena Advisory Panel, both focusing on community development, density, and transportation issues in the City of Seattle downtown core and feeder neighborhoods. Previously, Rico was a President of the American Institute of Architects Seattle Chapter, a mayoral appointment to the Historic Seattle Council, and a founding member of the National Organization of Minority Architects Northwest Chapter. Rico sat on the AIA+2030 national steering committee, a committee born out of AIA Seattle that has seen to it that 24 cities nationally are providing curriculum to designers and engineers to help them meet the 2030 Challenge.