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01 Feb


Nakano Associates Merges with Seattle Planning/Design Firm MIG

February 1, 2024 | By |

Nakano Associates has exciting news to share: we have now joined MIG, a multi-disciplinary firm with services including landscape architecture, urban planning and design, and community engagement. Our Nakano Associates team is already integrating with the MIG Seattle office and we are excited to be able to offer our clients increased capacity and a wider range of services.

“We are pleased that the 30-year legacy of Nakano Associates can live on with MIG,” says Nakano Principal Ida Ottesen, now a Principal at MIG. “Our two firms currently work on projects together and we share the same values. MIG is known for inclusive and participatory planning and design that brings diverse communities and perspectives together. We look forward to carrying on our mission of ‘Design for Healthy Communities’ as part of MIG.”

“MIG has worked with Nakano for many years,” says Daniel Iacofano, MIG’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Their focus is a perfect match for MIG’s range of disciplines and services in support of human development. Our values, approach and attention to detail all align perfectly with how we connect with clients and communities.”

This merger has been in the works for a few months and will now allow Jim Yamaguchi, Senior Principal, to fully retire, while remaining staff continue careers with MIG. “Only our address and name will change; with MIG, we will be able to offer our clients increased capacity and a wider range of services,” Ottesen says. “It’s a win-win for both our companies and, even more so, for our clients.”

In addition to Seattle, MIG has offices in Portland, Denver, San Antonio and Brooklyn, as well as throughout California. For more information about MIG’s services, please check out their website at:

14 Oct


Inclusive Playground Community Build

October 14, 2022 | By |

Jefferson Universal Movement Playground (Jump!) Community Build

It is a rare and enjoyable opportunity for us to get our hands dirty and help bring one of our own designs into the real world. Last August we were excited to join the community-build for the construction of Jefferson County’s first inclusive playground in HJ Carrol Park in Chimacum, Washington, known as the Jefferson Universal Movement Playground (JUMP!).

Since 2016, the JUMP! playground has been a community-based effort led by Sarah Grossman and Sarah McNulty, two physical therapists who wanted their students to have a playground they could safely use in the Chimacum School District. Today, the formation of JUMP! is a group of dedicated parents, community members, and pediatric Occupational and Physical Therapists. Nakano Associates joined their efforts as the landscape architect to bring their efforts for an inclusive playground into its final phase.

What is an inclusive playground?

Rooted in universal design principles, inclusive playgrounds strive to be spaces where every child -regardless of ability or disability- can explore and be active. Inclusive playgrounds provide a diversity of motor and multi-sensory experiences so that everyone is welcome and encouraged to play. They also approach children’s needs holistically, integrating ways to stimulate and hone social-emotional, sensory development, cognition, communication, and physical needs.

Community-Build Day

When we arrived at HJ Carroll Park the JUMP! Playground the hardscape was almost complete.  Playground contractors from CME Play were placing finishing touches on river rock rivulets at the entrance of the playground.

The main play structure was being hoisted into place and the slides were in the process of being bolted in. This and other play structures on site were chosen for its ability to accommodate the needs of children of differing physical abilities. This one features a seamlessly integrated wheelchair ramp and landing platform.

Gorgeous orca whale sculptures flank the playstructure so that children can clamber up and down their back and sit on their dorsal fin. We soon got to work moving the mother and calf sculpture, bolted in their footings, hoisted them into place, and set them in after a mini excavator/ dug the footing holes.

The playground’s theme is “Salish Sea” evidenced through different Pacific Northwest ocean iconography ranging from orca whales to sea snails and plankton.

Working together with Chimacum community members, it was exciting to participate in the transformation from design documents into the first phase of construction. We are excited to be part of future community builds, and the groundbreaking! It has been an honor to work with such a passionate, dedicated team and to provide an imaginative playground for all children. For more information on the JUMP! playground, check out their website at

Community, Culture, & Food: A Visit to the Danny Woo Garden

January 28, 2022 | By |

Nakano Associates went on a field trip through the Danny Woo Community Garden in September 2021 to learn about its 50+ year history and the cultural significance it has in Seattle’s Chinatown International District (C-ID). I had the privilege of working as the garden manager after I finished my master’s degree in landscape architecture, and it remains my favorite place in Seattle. This tour was a great opportunity for me to reflect on the garden’s design history in the company of landscape architects.

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11 Jun


Black Lives Matter

June 11, 2020 | By |

Nakano Associates will be closed on Friday June 12, 2020 in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We stand against racism and in support of police reform and social and environmental justice.

07 Mar


Helping Seattle Parks and Recreation Explore Water Reuse

March 7, 2020 | By |

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) recently engaged Kennedy Jenks and Nakano Associates to assist them in exploring opportunities for water reuse in their facilities. Our team assessed the effectiveness of SPR’s existing water reuse and conservation systems, evaluated other reuse and conservation systems that SPR could implement, and determined a high-level implementation plan for the reuse and conservation systems examined to decrease long-term operations and maintenance costs.

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22 Nov


Kenichi Nakano Endowed Scholarship Funds its First Recipient

November 22, 2019 | By |

This November marks the inaugural award of the Kenichi Nakano Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship was established to honor Kenichi’s years of teaching, mentoring and practice in landscape architecture. Every year it will be awarded to a University of Washington Landscape Architecture student, with the first being masters student Matt Grosser.

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29 Mar


12 Nov


Veterans Day 2018

November 12, 2018 | By |

In our continued work on projects that honor and help heal veterans, today we pay special respect and thank these soldiers and their families. Read More

29 Aug


A Case for Urban Edible Landscapes

August 29, 2018 | By |

Backyard gardeners, urban farmers, and community plot garden hobbyist have made a huge wave in the Seattle region, bringing ‘grow-it-yourself’ culture into the mainstream. Read More

28 Sep


Celebrating Kenichi’s Legacy

September 28, 2017 | By |

Join us in remembering Kenichi’s life and work at an exhibit hosted by the UW Landscape Architecture department at Gould Hall on the UW Campus. This retrospective exhibit celebrates the life and career of Kenichi Nakano and shows a portfolio of projects from his more than 40-year career. Read More