HKS Idea Fellowship

In 2016, HKS invested in a new research program: The Idea Fellowship. Open to all HKS employees, the fellowship funds research that’s born in designers’ curiosity and grounded in our design philosophy. We awarded three winning teams 365 days and 800 hours to devote to research that began with the question, “What if?”

Here are the findings of the inaugural class of HKS Idea Fellows.

01. Workplace Design for the Next Wave of Knowledge Workers

This international team of HKS designers based in London, Shanghai, Chicago and Washington, D.C. posed the question: “What if we knew what Generation Z will want from the future workplace?” To answer this question, the team undertook an extensive review of existing literature, and then surveyed 450 Generation Z respondents. Insights from this research provide HKS design teams with data to inform the workplace of the future.

Team: Angela Ramer (Dallas), Elise LaPagia (London), Lisa Adams (Chicago), Josh Tooill (Shanghai), Donna Sharpe (D.C.)

Click here to view the presentation. 


02. Optimizing Outpatient Clinics through Design

Designers in our Detroit and Chicago HKS offices asked: What if we thought differently about outpatient clinics, and measured the impact of our design? By conducting a yearlong analysis of a new HKS-designed outpatient clinic in Sylvania, Ohio, this team of Idea Fellows learned that standardization leads to measurable savings in time and money for outpatient clinics—and even improves patient satisfaction.

Team: Tyler Schwede (Chicago), Steve Jacobson (Chicago), Camilla Moretti (Detroit), Lisa Adams (Chicago), Anne Rezac (Chicago)

Click here to view the presentation. 


03. Holistic Workflows

Digital Integrations, Material Investigations & Design Methodologies

A team of two architects in our Washington, D.C. office wondered: What if we researched the effects of advanced digital technologies on the architectural design, delivery and construction process? Can we improve a project’s performance by bridging the gaps between architects, engineers, manufacturers and contractors through the use of technology to create more holistic workflows? To test their findings, they designed a conceptual project, the Pavillon de l’eau.

Team: Kevin Vandeman (D.C.), Daniel Inocente (D.C.) 

Click here to view the presentation. 


The Idea Fellowship Committee

Kate Renner – Committee Chair, Upali Nanda – Research Director, Melissa Hoelting – Coordinator, Angela Ramer – Research Liaison, Giyoung Park – Research Liaison, Jonathan Essary – Research Liaison, Tyler Schwede – Past Fellow and Leah Ray – Communications

The Oversight Committee

Tom Harvey, Billy Hinton, Rand Ekman, Jeff Stouffer, Ann Kifer, Heath May, Kate Davis, Jason Schroer, Ana Pinto-Alexander, Trip Boswell and Upali Nanda