The Future of Oceans

Jan 8th 3pm
The Chapel, Fort Warden State Park
Port Townsend, WA

Seattle-based architect Mark Johnson, whose award winning firm focuses on designs built for climate change, will be the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s (PTMSC) first lecturer of 2023 at its “The Future of Oceans” speaker series. His talk, focusing on “Architecture as a Tool for Action,” will be held Sunday, January 8, 3 p.m., at The Chapel at Fort Worden State Park.

In keeping with the PTMSC’s desire to ensure the Future of Oceans series is accessible to all, the event is free to all comers. Of course, donations are welcomed and appreciated.

Johnson’s talk will delve into current initiatives, strategies, and opportunities that building designers are employing to combat climate change.

“Architecture is the result of design and engineering of a place that does something, fulfilling both practical and expressive requirements,” said Johnson. “We know that buildings contribute up to 40 percent of global carbon emissions. Our spaces and built places must become part of our climate future.”

A licensed architect in Washington and Oregon, Johnson has delivered numerous sustainable projects to public and private clients. He brings a place-based integrative approach to his work as a design collaborator, creating places to live, celebrate, reflect, and learn. Johnson’s work with cultural institutions, municipalities, and communities has allowed him to develop a sustainability of place with a keen eye toward architecture and landscape as a system.

Johnson attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture. He founded Signal Architecture in 2013 following 18 years of professional practice. Johnson has also served the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments in several capacities, including studio instructor, associate professor, lecturer, and thesis advisor. Community leadership roles include board member of the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, vice-chair of the 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee, and commissioner of the Seattle Design Commission (2018-present).

Johnson and his firm, Signal Architecture, have received numerous awards, the most recent being a 2022 American Architecture Award for the redesign of the Fort Worden Building 305 Art and Education Center.

Oceans lecture series has explored the frontiers of ocean research and emerging technologies while confronting the human capacity to understand and sustain healthy oceans. Each year attendees are challenged and informed with thought-provoking presentations. The series is made possible by the generous support of the Darrow family

For more information about the lecture series, visit

About the Port Townsend Marine Science Center:
Founded in 1982, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the Salish Sea. The PTMSC provides place-based, people-powered, handson learning for all ages including exhibits, school classes, youth camps, citizen science programs, and a lecture series. The PTMSC offers two public facilities at Fort Worden State Park, an aquarium (on the pier) and a museum (on shore), and a visitors center and store in downtown Port Townsend.