April 22, 2013

Hi, I’m Mark Pataky. I’m an explorer by nature and this is the story of my HKS Xchange Fellowship in Dallas, TX.

January 3rd 2013. It was my first day back to work in Miami after the New Year. I arrived to the office with the goal of making 2013 the best year yet! In the break room, there was a flyer for the Xchange and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. In the following weeks with work and project deadlines I forgot about the application deadline. Thankfully, I remembered the day of the deadline and that morning, before work, put together my Xchange application.

In the application, I wrote how I am an explorer by nature. Exploring different cultures, architecture, and new ways of thought are necessary for continuous growth and learning. I was sure that the combination of my passion for architecture, travel and learning would make me the perfect candidate for such an opportunity. I was excited because I knew that being exposed to another office and the culture which shapes that office would spark creative ideas and form a new approach to problem solving, designing, and enhancing the human experience overall.

All three options for host office interested me. Dallas, London, and Shanghai all have so much to offer culturally and professionally. But how would I choose one office? Well, I didn’t, I applied to all three locations and looked forward to immersing myself in the HKS culture wherever I went.

THE NEWS!!! I was selected to participate in the inaugural class of HKS Xchange Fellows. I was assigned to my first choice office, HKS headquarters in Dallas. Having completed graduate school less that a year ago and being with the company for only a few months I was ecstatic to be selected.

Being from the Miami HKS | HADP Studio team and new to the HKS family, I am honored to represent Miami. After visiting HKS Dallas in December for the Christmas party and seeing the office, I thought that this would be a great place to work one day. I also love to build and have built architectural models professionally. During the December visit, I was given a tour of the model shop and later worked remotely with the shop to plan a model. This is another reason why the Dallas office appealed to me: I wanted to further my model making skills by working with Bob and Carl at the HKS Dallas model shop.

Upon hearing that I was selected, I was so excited to deliver the news and thank my mentors in Miami. David Harper, Bill Brown, Chuck Paros and Armando Trujillo. Armando used to live in Texas and was excited to share with me all the local places to visit. We would often discuss architecture and the World War II sketches by Architect Victor Lundy over lunch. We both love to sketch, so it was very thoughtful of him to send me to Dallas with the same ebony sketch pencils Victor Lundy used. And in typical Armando fashion (always hilarious) he also gifted me a pair of colorful striped socks he said were a fashion statement of many great architects and designers. The wonderful people and warm wishes by the Miami office will be missed as I embark on my exploration out West.

Tagged Dallas, Mark Pataky