Kristen Fraumeni

Case Studies

FBI Innovation Center at Redstone Arsenal

Case Study

FBI Innovation Center at Redstone Arsenal A Training Ground for the Cybersecurity Crimefighters of the Future

Huntsville, Alabama

The Challenge

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is expanding operations at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama with new facilities dedicated to attracting and developing a rising generation of technically advanced agents — a “graduate school” for the cyber crimefighter. The FBI envisioned a 240-acre Science and Technology District with a central building for cybersecurity crimefighter training and education plus offices that would support its critical mission to protect Americans now and into the future.

The Design Solution

HKS and its design-build partner at Clark Construction Group committed to creating the FBI Innovation Center as a signature centerpiece for the new campus. The three-story building includes classrooms, offices, digital laboratories, and an attached training center. Together, these facility functions enhance the FBI’s capacity for research and development as well as its operational, tactical, and technological capabilities.

Early in the design-build process, the HKS team devised a plan to decouple the workplace and training components of the building, ensuring that each was distinct yet unified with the other for a cohesive design. The academic and workplace building is clad in glass and metal panels, and offers a welcoming environment for agents, trainees and government officials. The practical training facility has a unique metal fin design and acts as a forward-looking extension from the primary building.

In addition to designing the Innovation Center, HKS also worked with landscape architects and civil engineers to amend the FBI’s master plan so that adjustments would support better building integration into the overall campus. As construction on the main building proceeded, the team worked closely with Clark Construction Group to adjust design elements, ensuring critical program features could be realized in keeping with the latest FBI security standards.

The Design Impact

The Innovation Center is designed to optimize energy performance, limit impact on environmental resources, and provide a healthy environment for those who learn and work there. FBI is a nationwide leader in the adoption of Design-Build Done Right® —the best practices of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) — and with these practices, the Innovation Center sets a new standard of design excellence. The building is designed to attract and retain top talent for the FBI including young professionals who desire contemporary training and workplace amenities. As a home and training ground for a new wave of cybersecurity crimefighters, the building will play a large part in helping the FBI protect Americans throughout the 21st century.

Project Features


5th & John Life Science Building

Case Study

5th & John Life Science Building 5th & John Brings Delight to Seattle Uptown Neighborhood

Seattle, WA

The Challenge

Lincoln Property Company selected HKS and local Seattle firm Compton Design Office to design a core & shell building to house biological lab and office functions that would also provide a future hub of neighborhood activity and reflect the eclectic nature of its surrounding context. The project site is adjacent to the Seattle Center, home of the famed Space Needle and origin point for the city’s monorail, which runs parallel to the property. The building massing and façade design respond to both the kineticism of the train’s movement and are emblematic of the progressive optimism embodied by the Seattle Center.

The Design Solution

Observing the train’s elevated path as an implied boundary extending through the district, the concept of the “Datum of Delight” was developed to describe this virtual line between the space of the ground-level experience and space of the contextual built environment above. The Datum introduces elements of surprise, excitement, and inspiration to the site by differentiating the types of experiences that occur both above and below. Through the medium of the Datum, the project responds to the rich culture of spectacle and arts in Uptown and enhances the pedestrian experience along 5th Avenue and John Street.

From this, the project’s primary design focus is the creation of delight; the development of unique and memorable experiential conditions for both the pedestrian who engages with the site directly and the observer who interacts visually from a distance. At ground level, the design responds to the rich culture and eclectic nature of the Uptown neighborhood, providing active open space with opportunities for neighborhood residents and visitors to connect, enhancing the pedestrian experience along 5th Avenue and John Street and celebrating an exceptional site tree within an expansive public space. Above the datum, the façade responds to the context of the site through a distinct massing and curtain wall design that expresses the vibrancy of the neighborhood and responds to the activity and speed of the adjacent monorail line. The façade further illustrates an active response to the monorail’s presence through a kinetic light installation to create an enduring phenomenon in the district and a natural extension of the progressive spirit of the Seattle Center.

The façade design is also an integral part of the project’s strategy to reduce energy loads while maximizing user comfort and views relative to solar orientation through strategic shading, fenestration depth and density. This aids in minimizing the load on the existing power grid in concert with other choices such as using renewable energy sources, eliminating the use of natural gas fuel and specification of an energy-saving mechanical system.

The Design Impact

The decision to provide a 3,000 sf (278 sm) outdoor amenity space at grade allowed the design team to add an additional 0.5 FAR (13,500 sf, or 1,254 sm) to the building area while also providing the neighborhood with a new community focal point and space for engagement and activity.

The project is being submitted for LEED Gold certification and was designed as an all-electric powered facility to minimize its carbon footprint on day one, providing a solar-ready infrastructure at the roof to transition a portion of its energy supply to solar panels in the future. The inclusion of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) mechanical system provides additional savings on energy use.

Project Features


Keck Medicine of USC Newport Beach Oncology Clinic and Infusion Center

Case Study

Keck Medicine of USC Newport Beach Oncology Clinic and Infusion Center Newport Beach Gets Enhanced Oncology Care with New USC Keck Medicine Center

Newport Beach, CA, USA

The Challenge

Keck Medicine of USC sought to expand access to its oncology services in Orange County. It leased a newly built two-story medical office building in the heart of Newport Beach, located on a narrow site backing up to a residential neighborhood. With a curved glass façade, the key driver was to design a quiet and restful environment with soothing ocean views for patients and their families during infusion treatment.

The building would be renovated into a comprehensive cancer treatment that specializes in a wide range of cancers and blood disorders and serves a one-stop-shop for infusion patients, with an on-site blood draw laboratory and infusion pharmacy where patients receive coordinated and personalized treatment plans. The challenge was to plan and design a robust cancer clinic program within an existing narrow building to deliver world-class treatment services.

The Design Solution

The Newport Beach location was designed to cater to both patients’ physical health and mental well-being. Recognizing the community’s desire for privacy and personalized care, the patient-centric facility features private patient suites, a concierge service, and individualized treatment plans.

The clinic and treatment spaces were carefully planned to maximize functional space and efficiencies. Level 1 contains the main check-in with exam rooms, physician offices, laboratory, and pharmacy. The pharmacy’s hood vents dictated its location, which drove the layout of the entire floor. Level 2 has spacious semi-private infusion bays offer ocean views with room for guests. Brace framing was used to help minimize the number of columns along the curved glass façade. Nurse stations were designed to provide optimal views to the infusion bays. Adjustable height worksurfaces were used throughout the workspace and physician offices to allow staff to work in a comfortable environment.

To put patients at ease, the space feels airy, bright and coastal with plenty of natural light, soothing artwork and clear sightlines for staff. The design has a nautical theme using rich woods, blues and neutral tones. Waiting areas on both levels feature oversized abstracted pieces that are reminiscent of reflections on the water. Wood planks on the  ceiling mimic a boardwalk in the harbor. Light wood tones and neutral finishes provide an excellent background to enhance the views and artwork.

The Design Impact

The Newport Beach location gives residents of Orange County access to the most effective and advanced cancer therapies available, in a comfortable and soothing environment. Patients can receive customized treatment at the same location, reducing stress and improving clinical outcomes.

With accessible screening services, a higher percentage of Newport Beach residents received timely diagnoses. A notable percentage of residents enrolled in clinical trials, contributing to advancements in oncology care. The convenience of local services combined with Keck’s premium care has led to high patient satisfaction rates.

A continuous educational outreach program helps local residents be more proactive about their health, leading to a more health-conscious community. Seminars, health fairs, and workshops on cancer prevention, early detection, and recent advancements in treatment are organized for residents.

 USC Keck Medicine’s initiative in Newport Beach underscores that community-specific health care approaches are pivotal. By understanding the unique needs of Newport Beach residents, Keck successfully brought top-tier oncology care to their doorstep, blending convenience with excellence.

Project Features


Build Your Network at the HKS-Sponsored 2023 ULI Fall Meeting

Build Your Network at the HKS-Sponsored 2023 ULI Fall Meeting

The Urban Land Institute — the world’s oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts — will host its annual Fall Meeting from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, 2023, at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall. The four-day event will feature 21 development tours and more than 50 concurrent sessions highlighting the real estate industry’s best projects and most influential decision makers. Please join global design firm and premier-level sponsor, HKS, by registering for the Fall Meeting here, and don’t miss the following events:  

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park: Designing an Authentic Los Angeles Expression Tour

Monday, Oct. 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT

Full ULI members are invited to tour HKS-designed SoFi Stadium in Inglewood and Hollywood Park, a new commercial mixed-use development that, once completed, will feature 2,500 new residences, 25 acres of public park space and will be home to the National Football League’s West Coast headquarters.  

Welcome Reception 

Monday, Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. PT | The Belasco Theater, 1050 S Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 

Help HKS kick off this year’s Fall Meeting with a networking reception at the historic Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles.  

Opening General Session: Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2024

Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT | Los Angeles Convention Center, West Exhibit Hall B 

Dan Noble, CEO and President of HKS, will give opening remarks at the Meeting’s first general session recapping ULI’s latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate® publication and further explaining how emerging trends will affect the real estate market in 2024.  

SoFi Stadium: Influencing the Future of Design with Resilience and Impact 

Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT | Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall, Concourse: 151 

Mark Williams, Global Sector Director of Venues at HKS, will join a panel to discuss SoFi Stadium’s and Hollywood Park’s innovative designs and positive impacts on the city of Inglewood. 

Urban Land: CMNTY Culture Campus Brings Design Innovation to the Music Industry

Gaylord Pacific Hotel and Convention Center 

Case Study

Gaylord Pacific Hotel and Convention Center  Transforming a California Waterfront Into a World-class Business and Leisure Destination 

Chula Vista, California

The Challenge

The city of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego sought to transform the Chula Vista Bayfront into a world-class destination for residents and visitors through a resort-style hotel and convention center and robust public amenities and park spaces. The HKS project team wanted to honor the spirit of Southern California and enrich guest experience with access to nature but also aimed to apply sustainable design initiatives. Located on brownfield land and surrounded by industrial sites, the site required sensitive design solutions to promote wildlife and reduce the footprint of the development to increase the landscaped zones. 

The Design Solution

The resort hotel and convention center combine to become the centerpiece and catalyst project of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan. The 1,600-room hotel rises 22 stories tall with breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Laguna Mountain Range to the east and south and downtown San Diego to the north.  

The convention center is a 477,000-square-foot (44,315-square-meter) facility featuring multiple restaurants and lounges, meeting rooms, elevated ballrooms and the largest exhibit hall in California. A 4.25-acre (17,199-square-meter) water park features waterslides, a lazy river, wave pool, water playground, surf simulator and multiple resort-style pools. 

The new hotel also features a large-scale, all-glass atrium that highlights the natural beauty of Chula Vista’s Bayfront while maintaining Gaylord Resort’s signature features. The atrium is home to an array of water features, a translucent polymer roof and elaborate glass wall system with large folding doors that will provide spectacular views of the bay. Extensive daylighting and natural ventilation enhance the site’s access to nature but also serve as sustainability measures.  

To further ensure connectivity and accessibility to the wider Chula Vista Bayfront area, Gaylord Pacific offers public amenities including a landscaped esplanade, plazas along bike paths, fine and casual dining with snack stands, lawn game activities, public art and public access to pools. Guests and visitors will also be able to enjoy shopping and dining amenities, waterfront viewing terraces, water features and more.  

The Design Impact

The project is the first phase of a major development of underutilized land into a luxury waterfront destination and is intended to promote further development of the overall masterplan while protecting natural wildlife and sanctuaries with careful regulation and land use. This will increase public access to nature while boosting the economy of the city in a respectful and calculated manner. When completed, 40% of the overall land area of the development will be parks, promenades, bike trails and other amenities open to the public.  

Project Features


Cosm

Case Study

Cosm Amplifying Experience with Shared Reality

The Colony, TX & Hollywood Park, CA

The Challenge

To design venues that offer fans a revolutionary way to experience sporting, entertainment and cultural events through shared reality.

The Design Solution

Cosm is an immersive entertainment, media, and technology company redefining the way the world experiences content through shared reality. HKS designed two venues for Cosm in The Colony, Texas, and Inglewood, California. They are scheduled to open in 2024.

By blending digital and physical experiences, Cosm venues offer fans a unique energy and vibe by fusing innovative design with immersive technology. The architecture serves to ground viewers by connecting them to their physical location with views to nature and the outdoors.

Applying design research, HKS architects partnered with Cosm to determine that a toroidal dome would provide elevated viewing experiences for a larger number of fans in the dome, the primary gathering space at Cosm venues.  The environment creates an unparalleled viewing experience for fans participating in events remotely.

The Design Impact

Design that amplifies the benefits of shared reality will enable Cosm guests to experience the best seat in the house, remotely. The shared physical and digital experience will democratize access to global events and provide educational and cultural opportunities for surrounding communities.

The Colony, TX
The Colony, TX

Project Features

Hollywood Park, CA
Hollywood Park, CA
Hollywood Park, CA

Confidential FinTech Regional Office

Case Study

Confidential FinTech Regional Office Culture through Community

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Challenge

In the dynamic world of financial technology, maintaining a competitive edge demands relentless innovation. Our client recognized the impact its real estate strategy could make and determined diverse talent would be critical to its ongoing success. By entering the Atlanta market, it could capture the emerging tech talent in the region.  

However, this endeavor went beyond just finding a space; it was about cultivating community, culture and connections. The client wanted to create a workspace centered on the employee experience in a holistic way that prioritized physical and mental well-being and supported individuals as well as the collective community.  

The Design Solution

Working carefully with the client and its stakeholders, HKS aimed to promote the client as a beacon of high-tech innovation while fostering inclusivity in the design and cultivating community internally and with the city of Atlanta.  

To support these outcomes, we identified opportunities within the programming to push the boundaries of their future home, creating flexible spaces that accommodate a variety of users on demand. We leveraged our in-house Advisory and Research teams to bring the best hybrid work outcomes to the table to craft an informed, authentic and innovative approach. 

The client connected to its community not only through physical spaces that can support guests but made a positive impact on the local economy through art integration and sourcing from a range of local artists. Each floor boasts bespoke programming to encourage users to move throughout the space and find the right fit for the right activity. Open collaborative social moments are balanced by moments for reprieve in focus rooms, a quiet banquette or wellness room. Inclusivity and neurodiversity and are honored with gender-neutral bathrooms, residential-inspired settings featuring indirect light, lighting controls and cozy focus rooms easily accessible throughout. 

In the reception area users are greeted by music, while a large, high-resolution LED screen is a mechanism for full brand immersion. A staffed coffee bar and private booths with custom Neka King murals further invite people into the space. A corridor leading to co-create rooms showcases fine art. There’s a space for everyone, backdropped by the panoramic views of Atlanta’s historic Piedmont Park that bridges the gap between the indoors and nature. 

Past the reception area is a unifying staircase that leads down to the rest of the office floors where the stairs are nestled among built-in seating and live plants. At the top of the stairs, a large AV system creates a space for casual entertainment or company announcements, but also serves as a quiet oasis when needed. Beyond the stairs, a casual tech bar adjacent to a hand-painted mural by Corey Barksdale anchors the floor, and communal pantries act as social hubs and unofficial meeting places. On the opposite side of the floor, a game room offers a space for teams to challenge each other and bond. 

The project’s workspaces have intentional contrast to the warm atmosphere of the communal spaces, relating back to the grit of the city. Paying homage to Atlanta’s character, the workplace neighborhoods are anchored by large graphics connecting back to a specific area in the city. Tech-enabled huddle and project rooms can flex into larger meeting rooms and support hybrid attendance with digital scribe tools.  

The Design Impact

The carefully crafted project has helped the occupants thrive within a space that prioritizes people through an inclusive experience. Our design established new ways of integrating technology for hybrid teams that have only been speculated and thoughtfully deployed at scale to support teams.  

The design transcends aesthetics and embodies qualitative design measures with biophilic elements, healthy material selections, mechanical interventions, daylighting controls and smart building features that help achieve LEED Gold status. 

Project Features


Rana Makarem

Case Studies

Awards

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CMNTY Culture Campus

Case Study

CMNTY Culture Campus A Love Song for Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, USA

The Challenge

CMNTY Culture Group (CMNTY pronounced as community), a new independent music and media company, seeks to improve access and equity in the entertainment industry for aspiring musicians, recording engineers and creative artists. To support this important mission, CMNTY Culture envisions a mixed-use campus with creative offices, studios, performance venues, and public event spaces — right in the heart of Hollywood.

The Design Solution

Every aspect of the CMNTY Culture Campus design is inspired by music and community connectivity. A high-performance façade wraps around the building, mapping a composition like a music notation staff. A grand exterior staircase invites the public to ascend through an atrium with native plants and fresh air, leading people to an outdoor rooftop amphitheater. At the building’s northeast corner, the façade dips, orienting the building around the amphitheater and framing views of the Hollywood sign in the hills beyond.

At over 460,000 square feet, CMNTY Culture Campus will nurture a thriving music industry scene with engaging venues, state-of-the art studios, and offices that foster collaboration among new talent and established music artists, students and teachers, and producers and creators.

The recording studio program is foundational to the CMNTY Culture Campus program. It includes world-class music production facilities and a hospitality component offering artists the opportunity to live on site during the recording process. The recording studio lobby provides access to six professional studios, a flexible production space and an artist lounge. Recording studios are strategically organized along ‘the hallway,’ a circulation route inspired by the historic instances of serendipitous hallway collisions between artists who partner to push the boundaries of music.

CMNTY Culture Campus offers an attractive co-location experience for creatives adjacent to the center of the music and entertainment industry. A variety of office floor configurations provide options for office tenants to flex and grow their teams while being a part of the campus culture with direct access to recording musicians, students and patrons. HKS partnered with landscape architecture office Hood Design Studio to create dynamic outdoor spaces on every office level that promote healthy working and nature-based restoration. The Highland office lobby, visible from the building’s exterior, also allows passersby to catch a glimpse through a recording studio window so they can feel as though they are a part of the creative process.

The building is designed to be an exciting and accessible place that engages its surrounding community to participate in activities on site. A covered plaza situated across the street from Hollywood High School — a historic regional magnet school — welcomes students to the campus. The plaza connects to a community auditorium that will host educational lectures by top recording artists, local entrepreneur and venture capital events, performances by professional musicians and students, and serve as an important “third place” for the neighborhood. The plaza, a café, and retail space provide amenities for building users and neighborhood residents as well as pre-show and post-show gathering places for patrons of performances.

The Design Impact

CMNTY Culture Campus bridges the history of Hollywood with the future of entertainment, offering the industry a creative home while creating a new paradigm for the design of office buildings, event venues and creative production facilities. The project is a love song for Los Angeles that pushes the envelope of what a creative campus can be and how it can give back to its community.

Project Features


Laura DiConti

Case Studies

HKS Nurses Provide Unique Perspective to Health Care Design

HKS Nurses Provide Unique Perspective to Health Care Design

Michelle Jutt always wanted to be a nurse.

“I’m just a natural caretaker,” Jutt said. “It’s what I was born to do.”

But she never expected her career path to lead to an architecture firm.

Jutt is a Partner and Global Practice Director, Advisory Services at HKS. She is also one of seven nurses employed by the firm.

Why would a global design firm hire seven nurses? Because they provide valuable expertise as advisors, strategists, medical planners and company leaders. May is National Nurses Month and HKS is celebrating the contributions of its nurse employees.

Why would a global design firm hire seven nurses? Because they provide valuable expertise as advisors, strategists, medical planners and company leaders.

In addition to Jutt, other nurses at HKS are Principals Jennie Evans, Global Development Director of the firm’s Communities sector, and Sarah Campbell Holton, Strategic and Operations Healthcare Planner. Senior Managers Laura DiConti and Lisa Sgarlata; and Managers Ana Hutchins and Shawna Langworthy, all with the firm’s Advisory Services group, are also nurses.

The nurses at HKS have worked in specialties ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics, in diverse geographic regions, in inpatient and outpatient environments covering the entire continuum of care. Together, they bring a total of 188 years of nursing experience to the firm.

“There’s so much creativity that comes from a band of nurses working together,” said Evans.

From left to right Michelle Jutt, Jennie Evans, Sarah Campbell Holton, Laura DiConti, Lisa Sgarlata, Ana Hutchins and Shawna Langworthy

Shared Passion

The seven nurses followed different roads to the nursing and design professions, but they share a passion for caregiving.

Jutt, who is based in Orlando, made her way to HKS in 2017 after a hospital career that included bedside care; human resources; quality, risk and safety management and executive leadership roles.

“I felt like there was something missing for me after almost 20 years,” Jutt said. “I wasn’t feeling the challenge quite like I had in the beginning.”

A friend who worked at HKS told Jutt about a job opening at the firm. Jutt said that as she considered the position, she thought, “You all design hospitals, and I get to be part of that. I get to tell you what works and doesn’t work within a hospital. What a great idea!”

Michelle Jutt, recognized as a Jewish Hospital Health Network Nurse of the Year, 2002 / presenting at an HKS client meeting

Langworthy is based in the Chicago office. Like Jutt, she has wanted to be a nurse since childhood. “I never thought about anything else, ever” as a profession, Langworthy said.

She worked her way through college, beginning with an associate degree in nursing and continuing her education throughout her career as a nurse and nurse executive, culminating with a doctorate in 2020. Langworthy said that some of her most memorable accomplishments at the hospitals where she worked involved facility design and construction projects. She came to HKS to leverage her experience as a nurse and as a leader to influence health care design.

DiConti, from HKS Los Angeles, started out as a hospital employee at age 19, collecting menus from patients. “My whole career has been focused on health care,” she said. “The hospital is my second home.”

DiConti worked several years as a registered dietitian nutritionist before making the move to nursing at age 30 because she wanted to spend more time with patients. She spent nearly a decade in bedside care, earned her master’s degree in health administration and went on to serve in clinical management, care management and consulting. She was being recruited for a Director of Nursing position when she saw an online posting for a job at an architecture firm.

“Health care design sounded fascinating, and I thought I’d take a risk,” DiConti said. Nine years into her career in health care design, she jumped to HKS, where she’s now worked for eight years.

Laura DiConti with medical dispensing equipment, 1990s / on a site visit with fellow HKS nurse Ana Hutchins and HKS architect Ethan Hopkins

Evans, who is based in the HKS Dallas office, began her career as a health care assistant in Canada. In that role, she learned to provide basic hands-on patient care, such as taking blood pressure readings.

“I made a list of 10 things that I really wanted to do with my life,” said Evans. “I wanted to travel, I wanted to help people – nursing fit all of those” requirements.

Her job as a traveling nurse ultimately took her to Dallas, where she planned to stay for six months. “That’s 20-some years ago now,” Evans said with a laugh.

Evans’ responsibilities at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas included helping to usher in multiple facility design projects, including working with HKS designers as the hospital’s Clinical Liaison for Design and Construction.

Evans, who has a Master of Business Administration degree in international/global studies, now works at HKS to develop strategic relationships for the firm’s Community sector, helping create healthier and more livable communities worldwide.

Evans said that having multiple nurses on staff demonstrates that “HKS is serious about being the best health care architect.”

Jennie Evans nursing school graduation, 1987 / presenting with HKS Health Studio Practice Leader Kate Renner

“Soup to Nuts”

According to Evans, nurses possess skills that lend themselves well to design projects.

“We’re trained to observe,” she said. “We’re trained to look at the bigger picture. And we have to be efficient.”

Plus, said DiConti, “we’re really good listeners.” As a result, nurses can clearly understand what health care providers want to achieve with a project – and they can help hold the project team to that vision.

“We relate and connect (with clinicians) on a different level,” said Jutt. “We speak their language.”

“Nurses on architecture teams are translators,” said Evans. Nurses not only help translate operational needs into health care spaces, but they also help clinical and design professionals communicate with one another.

Evans described a planning session for an emergency department (ED) design project during which a hospital nurse kept saying that 80 percent of the facility’s patients were older than 80 years old. Evans said she turned to an architect at the meeting and explained, “That means their length of stay in the emergency room is longer than what we would typically plan,” because elderly patients require more time in the ED.

“We understand staffing. We understand operations. We just understand the health care environment, soup to nuts,” Evans said.

Quality Care

When Jutt joined HKS, she was initially concerned that she might miss having a hand in direct patient care. “But what I have found is that I get to make a difference in a much, much larger way,” she said.

Jutt recalled attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at HKS-designed Emory Musculoskeletal Institute in Atlanta and thinking back on all the site tours and user interviews she’d participated in to help develop the operations plan that guided the facility’s design.

“In that moment, I just cried,” Jutt said. “I thought, ‘This started with a piece of paper and now it’s a building that’s going to take care of patients from all over.’ That’s a really proud moment that will stick with me.”

Langworthy said she hopes her work at HKS creates a legacy of improved satisfaction and safety for hospital patients and staff. “It makes a difference, the design of the projects we’re working on,” she said. “That’s incredibly important. Health care is a risky business. Patients are really sick these days.”

“At the end of the day, we’re taking care of patients,” said Jutt.

“Most Trusted Profession”

While their professional focus has shifted from direct care to design, HKS nurses maintain their nursing credentials.

Jutt, for example, keeps her nurse executive and human resources certificates up to date because “those are important to me personally and I think they continue to give credibility to what we do” at HKS, she said.

Evans maintains her nursing license to help health care professionals recognize that she understands their world. She said that being a nurse gives her work validation.

“Nursing is the most trusted profession in the world,” she said. “Why not have that on your business card?”

A Winning Design for Championship Venues

A Winning Design for Championship Venues

For decades, Wheaties cereal has carried the tagline, “The Breakfast of Champions.” But HKS has had its own high-level championship run over the years. 

Since 2010, HKS-designed buildings have hosted Super Bowls, the World Series, NCAA Final Fours and the College Football Playoffs National Championships. The streak continued in 2021 when Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis hosted the NCAA Men’s Final Four basketball tournament for the third time. That was followed in June by the U. S. Gymnastics Championships, highlighted by Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles, which were held at Fort Worth’s Dickies Arena, yet another world-class venue that involved HKS designers. 

In February 2022, Super Bowl LVI was held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. In August of that year, the Chengdu Phoenix Mountain Sports Center in China — which has one of the world’s largest curved, open cable domes — was the site of the World University Games. The Games were postponed from 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns. 

The pace hasn’t slowed down, either. The American Airlines Center in Dallas hosted the 2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four this spring, and the College Football Playoffs National Championship was held at SoFi Stadium in January. The stadium will be in the spotlight again when it hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games. In 2026, it will be a host site for the World Cup, along with HKS-designed AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

Also upcoming are the 2026 NCAA Men’s and 2028 Women’s Final Fours at Lucas Oil Stadium, and in July of this year, SoFi Stadium will hold the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final. Arlington’s Globe Life Field will host the MLB All-Star Game in 2024.  

While the participants in championship contests are unknown at the start of their respective seasons — with the final determinations all decided on the field or court — the buildings that host them are years in the making, with the opportunity to hold championship events a major focal point of the planning and design. 

Championship Design Means Creating ‘a Wow Factor’

Although AT&T Stadium (Dallas Cowboys), U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts) and SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles Rams and Chargers) were all designed to meet the specific desires of the home teams that play in them, the team owners also had bolder ideas for their facilities. They wanted their new sports homes to be big enough and grand enough to host Super Bowls and other high-profile events. 

As Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones put it in a 2009 Wall Street Journal article about his team’s then-new home, “we wanted this stadium to have a wow factor.”

The owners of the Texas Rangers also anticipated big things for its new HKS-designed Globe Life Field before the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly shut down those plans on the eve of Opening Day in 2020. At the time, there was no way to know it would welcome the World Series later that year, but the retractable roof stadium, with its ample concourses, swanky clubhouses and climate-controlled seating area became the perfect home after the pandemic prompted Major League Baseball to use a single site for its Fall Classic.

Those who attended Super Bowl LVI were exposed to a variety of digital upgrades. Like his Colts, Cowboys and Vikings contemporaries, Los Angeles Rams Owner and Chairman, E. Stanley Kroenke, asked HKS designers to develop plans for SoFi that would allow it to host global entertainment events and turn them into ultimate experiences for a live and television audience.

The scoreboard displays a Congratulations message to the Los Angeles Dodgers after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game Six to win the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Staying Local and Flexible

To deliver on those requests, HKS designers approach stadium designing with some clear thoughts in mind. One design element that is a hallmark of HKS-designed stadiums are clarity of structural expression and transparency, which heightens the fan experience. So fans who walk into AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Field or SoFi Stadium will immediately recognize the ability to sort of “see through” the structures to the outside even though the stadiums themselves are enclosed or covered.

There are other important factors as well. Even though the stadiums will be showcased to the world, designers look at them as a vital and visible part of the local community. The owners of the Colts, for example, wanted the look of Lucas Oil Stadium to pay homage to the fieldhouses found throughout Indiana, while the shape of U.S. Bank Stadium reminds of Northern European design.

In addition to leaning into those roots, U.S. Bank Stadium also had to satisfy another requirement to reach championship status; designers had to figure out a way to make it withstand Minnesota’s harsh climate. They designed the first ETFE roof in an American stadium, which allows lots of natural light while blocking the brutal cold. This design element was put to the test in February 2018 during Super Bowl LII, the coldest Super Bowl on record with temperatures in Minneapolis reaching a high of 9°F on game day. 

And at SoFi Stadium, architects had to embed it 100 feet into the ground so that it wouldn’t interfere with flights in and out of Los Angeles International Airport, which sits just three miles away. But the deep dig and the stadium’s proximity to LAX also provided designers with a unique opportunity to use the stadium’s roof — which contains LED lights — as a sort of real-time projection screen for passengers flying overhead.

In the case of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, he wanted AT&T Stadium to maintain a tangible link back to the team’s iconic former home, Texas Stadium. So, the design for the new stadium’s signature retractable roof includes a “hole” in it when the roof is open that exactly matches the shape of the hole at the old stadium, including its rounded corners.

In addition, the stadiums all are designed to have a high degree of flexibility. Designers created AT&T Stadium with not only the ability to host championship football contests from high school to pros, but ones for college basketball or even professional Motocross. 

And the ability to quickly and seamlessly provide multiple uses isn’t limited to the world of traditional sporting events. With Major League Baseball shut down at the time, the first events at Globe Life Field in 2020 were local high school graduations. The inaugural event at SoFi Stadium was scheduled to be a two-day Taylor Swift concert before COVID-19 disrupted those plans.

An Enhanced Fan Experience

To offer those various events, though, requires that designers and their clients team up to create a greatly enhanced fan experience. For the past decade or so, team owners have realized that simply making a trip to a stadium to see their favorite player is not enough for most fans. Their guests want to know what they are going to see — and do — once they get there. If it’s not glitzy enough, many patrons will opt to stay home and watch games from the less-expensive comfort of their own TV rooms.

For most stadiums designed recently, that enhanced fan experience begins with upgraded technology features, particularly a large, high-tech videoboard.  When AT&T Stadium opened in 2009, it held what was then the largest LED videoboard in the world, stretching from one 20-yard line to the other. The high-definition Mitsubishi picture gave fans seated at the highest points of the stadium, the ability to watch a game as if they were watching at home on their own big-screen televisions. And that was the point.

But SoFi Stadium, which opened without fans in 2020, is the newest king of championship stadium design. It’s 2.2-million-pound, dual-sided, center-hung, circular scoreboard is largest ever built and will provide practically every fan who visits, no matter where inside SoFi they sit or stand, with a simultaneous view of the information on the screen.

The videoboard is the only 4K end-to-end production in sports and features the largest LED content playback system in history. The board also provides fans with unique programming including live content, statistics and animated content — important data for aficionados of the increasingly popular fantasy sports leagues.

“For us, it was how would we go about thinking about reconnecting fans with media in a different way,” said Lance Evans, AIA, a principal at HKS and one of the primary SoFi architects. “If I was going to watch a game at home, I’d have my iPad, I’d have my phone. How could we do that at an NFL game, at the same size, across the entire field?”

So, what will the design of the next Super Bowl or World Series stadium look like? HKS designers already have some ideas that Evans describes as both “exciting and endless.” Among them, pushing the concept of the “stadium” beyond its limited physical footprint into the limitless virtual realm.

“The integration of technology in physical environments extends venue access exponentially,” said Mark A. Williams, FAIA, HKS Principal in Charge of the SoFi Stadium project. “Imagine a venue that sells 70,000 physical tickets to an event and leveraging technology to reach previously untapped audiences and markets around the globe.”

And that means that perhaps one day soon, a championship venue will exist at anytime and anywhere.

HKS Wins 2023 COTE Top Ten Award for UC San Diego Living and Learning Neighborhood

HKS Wins 2023 COTE Top Ten Award for UC San Diego Living and Learning Neighborhood

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that HKS has won a 2023 COTE Top Ten Award for the design of the University of California (UC) at San Diego North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood. The design-build project team members included HKS, Clark Construction, Safdie Rabines Architects and OJB Landscape Architecture. HKS also worked with UC San Diego and the Center for Advanced Design Research (CADRE) to form a research coalition for the project.

Established in 1997 by the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), the annual award celebrates 10 projects that exemplify the integration of design excellence and environmental performance. Entrants to the COTE Top Ten Awards are evaluated against AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence, which comprises 10 principles to help architects achieve projects that are zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy.

“This honor is more important to us than I can say,” says Dan Noble, President and CEO of HKS. “For years we have worked with our clients and partners to put into practice the principles we hold as fundamental and foundational in our pursuit to merge performance with beauty. This project is the realization of how through purpose, knowledge and relationships we can create places that are good for the people who use them and good for the planet.”

“This project is the realization of how through purpose, knowledge and relationships we can create places that are good for the people who use them and good for the planet.”

Dan Noble, President and CEO
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This landmark construction project at UC San Diego, the largest in the university’s 62-year history, includes eight general assignment classrooms, three residence halls, two academic buildings,  administration offices, underground parking and public amenities.

While expanding their facilities within the context of a state-wide housing crisis, increasingly extreme heat and rising sea levels, UC San Diego chose to prioritize sustainability and well-being. Today, the North Torrey Pines Living Learning Neighborhood (NTPLLN) is the largest higher education project in California to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

“North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood is a shining example of UC San Diego’s commitment to sustainable design in the built environment,” said UC San Diego Senior Director of Project Quality Management Walt Kanzler. “This spectacular LEED Platinum project is the new home for Sixth College and the School of Social Sciences and the School of Arts and Humanities. With open spaces, art, dining, the new Craft Center and residential space for 2,000 undergraduate students, it embodies our values and welcomes everyone to live, learn and play in an exceptional, inspiring environment.  Many thanks to the amazing team that developed this once-in-a-lifetime project!”

Data from the first year of occupancy show that NTPLLN has reduced its measured EUI by a whopping 81% while realizing an 8.2% reduction in students’ self-reported depression rates. This decrease occurred at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when mental health was in crisis.

Data from the first year of occupancy show that NTPLLN has reduced its measured EUI by a whopping 81% while realizing an 8.2% reduction in students’ self-reported depression rates.

Greg Rodgers

How Design Supports Improved Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Outcomes

How Design Supports Improved Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Outcomes

Children and adolescents are experiencing mental and behavioral health issues in significantly rising numbers. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study of recent trends in children’s health revealed that between 2016 and 2020, the number of children aged 3-17 diagnosed with anxiety rose 29 percent and the number of those with depression increased 27 percent.

The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated the mental health crisis among children and adolescents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department pediatric visits related to mental health conditions increased in January 2022 compared to 2019.

Teen girls are especially at risk. In February, the CDC reported that between 2011 and 2021, the percentage of teenage boys who persistently felt sad or hopeless rose from 21 percent to 29 percent, while the percentage of teenage girls who persistently felt sad or hopeless rose from 36 percent to 57 percent – a nearly 60 percent increase. The findings reveal nearly 30 percent of teen girls have seriously considered suicide.

In addition, more than half (52 percent) of teens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning reported they have recently experienced poor mental health and 22 percent of LGBTQ+ teens attempted suicide in the past year.

As the CDC noted in its report, “These data make it clear that young people in the U.S. are collectively experiencing a level of distress that calls on us to act.”

The design world is responding with research into how design can support pediatric mental and behavioral health. During my 2021-2022 Health Fellowship at HKS, I explored evidence-based design for pediatric mental and behavioral health environments. There are several key factors driving design for this patient population:

Increasing Number of Pediatric Mental and Behavioral Health Patients

The rising utilization of mental health care for children and adolescents has paved the way for an increase in demand, access and government investments in pediatric mental and behavioral health care.

Focus on Family-centered Care for Improved Long-term Outcomes

Children’s emotional well-being greatly depends on their parents’ well-being, so it is imperative to actively include family in the treatment journey.

Flexibility

Due to the wide age range within the pediatric inpatient population, there is an increasing emphasis for unit adaptability in health facilities to provide appropriate treatment and care for all young age groups.

Growing Emphasis on Therapeutic Design to Support Improved Outcomes

There is a focus on child-centered care to improve long-term outcomes and reduce re-admittance rates. Improvements in therapeutic interventions (sensory rooms, meditation/quiet rooms, outdoor activity spaces, etc.) have resulted in treatment occurring away from the patient room. There is a pressing need to provide a variety of spaces to accommodate children and adolescents’ need for play and respite.

Welcoming Spaces for Children, Adolescents and Families

HKS strives to create environments that support improved mental and behavioral health outcomes for children and adolescents and ease their families’ stress and anxiety.

Baylor Scott & White All Saints Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Unit, Fort Worth, Texas

For example, Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Unit in Fort Worth, Texas is designed to meet the unique biological, medical and psychosocial needs of AYA cancer patients, which differ from those of adult patients.

Six patient rooms are centered on a shared work core that encourages collaboration between nurses and physicians and fosters a sense of community on the unit. Murphy beds make overnight stays comfortable for family and encourage family involvement in patient care. Each room has a unique color scheme to accommodate varying patient preferences. Patients can further individualize the walls of their rooms with colorful vinyl images of rocks that can be rearranged and stacked into cairns to mark patients’ progress along their treatment journey.

College Hill Behavioral Residential Building at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

The design of the College Hill Behavioral Residential Building at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) reinforces CCHMC’s support and commitment to children, teens and families dealing with behavioral or mental health challenges. The space is bright, welcoming and designed to aid visitor wayfinding and access. Accommodations for family members enable families to relax and interact with their loved ones and CCHMC staff.

Sensory Wellbeing Hub at Lane Tech College Prep High School, Chicago

The Sensory Well-being Hub at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago services special education students who struggle with sensory equilibrium. The hub’s modular design enables each student to create an experience that allows them to refocus and calm down on their own terms. The demountable framing structure resembles a high-tech playset, providing places for activities ranging from quiet to stimulating. Audio, visual, kinesthetic and tactile features help students “reset.” A media wall system houses a touchscreen monitor, color changing lights and a sound system — all sensory elements that are controlled and customized per the user’s preferences.

Chase Child Life Zone at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles

The Garth Brooks Foundation chose UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital for its first West Coast Teammates for Kids installation. This was the initial project of this type and complexity to be built in an acute care hospital regulated by California’s Department of Health Care Access and Information, which requires adherence to strict structural and architectural regulations. Kids of all ages can access a variety of age-appropriate therapeutic play and learning spaces that are custom-designed and centered on the theme, “Exploring Los Angeles.” The space enhances the efforts of Child Life practitioners who work with the hospital’s entire multi-disciplinary team to promote coping, create meaningful memories of play and enhance the overall health care experience for young patients and their families.

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Baton Rouge

In addition to providing a warm healing environment for its young patients, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge serves the larger community as a gathering place for education and recreation. The hospital is surrounded by gardens with bird houses and an entertainment pavilion.

Kay Jewelers Pavilion at Akron Children’s Hospital

The main lobby of Kay Jewelers Pavilion at Akron Children’s Hospital acts as an extension of the adjacent park and features a Backyard theme, complete with a floor-to-ceiling white fiberglass tree and a bright blue “fence” wall with peek-a-boo cutouts and interactive animal elements. Bright colors and distinctive shapes capture a sense of favorite childhood places to play – rain puddles and the backyard sandbox. The “garden” on the Obstetrics floor features cool colors and artwork inspired by nature. Silhouettes and leaf patterning in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit create the cozy sense of being in a treehouse. 

Turning Design Excellence into Effective Leadership: A Conversation with HKS CEO Dan Noble

Turning Design Excellence into Effective Leadership: A Conversation with HKS CEO Dan Noble

At HKS, we believe design can change people’s lives for the better. We strive to create beautiful buildings and communities that bring people together and solve real problems.

In his 39-year career at the firm, HKS President & CEO Dan Noble has observed the parallels between extraordinary design and impactful leadership. He’s noticed that the same character, purpose and relationships that contribute to excellent design lead to successful governance.

Reflecting on HKS’ legacy – and looking towards the future – Noble recently shared his thoughts on the firm’s rich history, his personal journey as a designer and leader and how lessons he’s learned from the design process translate into effective leadership.

What key aspects of HKS’ heritage are important to you as a leader?

HKS was founded in 1939 by Harwood K. Smith and his wife, Kate Robertson Smith. Harwood was an amazing entrepreneur, architect and artist. Born in Evanston, Illinois, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to Dallas to pursue his passion for, and hone his skills in, architecture.

Harwood set the tone for informality and mentorship at HKS. He was known for walking through the office and engaging even the newest architects in discussions about what they were working on. That informality and humility, and the spirit that we are all in this together, set HKS apart today and contribute to our familial culture.  We are a large firm with a small firm culture.

For an 83-year-old enterprise, our line of succession is not very long. I am only the fifth President & CEO, building on Harwood’s legacy.

How has your journey at HKS progressed from design leader to President & CEO?

My tenure at HKS began in the fall of 1983 after I graduated from North Dakota State University and worked briefly with smaller firms in Houston. Today, HKS employs over 1,500 people across 26 offices worldwide. When I started at the firm, we were about 200 people strong, with one office in Dallas.

I was fortunate to work under the direction of past HKS presidents, Joe Buskuhl and Ralph Hawkins. With Joe’s leadership, the firm became known for our management and technical expertise. Ralph was equally interested in design excellence and geographic expansion.

I became Global Design Director of HKS in 2002. I had always worked collaboratively on projects but now I had a more active role in elevating our design firmwide and helping project teams find creative design solutions. The design problem, for me, shifted from developing solutions for individual buildings to creating more successful and creative design teams. I was still hands-on with design, participating in pinups and charrettes, but I had to transition from doing to directing.

What does Design Excellence mean to you?

Design Excellence of course encompasses aesthetic considerations, such as scale, rhythm, proportion, repetition, proper editing, delight, beauty and harmony. But it also entails building performance, enhancing the human experience and understanding the behavioral science of improving the environment.

The process of creating and executing an excellent design is more alchemic than paint-by-number.

What lessons have you learned from design that translated to your role as President & CEO of HKS?

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that Design Excellence correlates closely with leadership excellence. Qualities that are essential to the design process – collaboration, incubation, iteration, failure, empathy, connection, innovation and humor – are just as important to effective leadership.

Collaboration – Bringing diverse teams together to discover the most creative solutions is something HKS believes in highly. Best practices in Health design may inspire solutions in Education, Hospitality ideas may make Workplaces more user-friendly and understanding crowd movement for Urban Planning can inform design solutions for our Sports group. And of course, Research can be a huge differentiator for all our practices. HKS works across practices and geographies to bring our clients the best talent available worldwide.

Incubation – Part of finding great solutions is listening to multiple stakeholders – including clients, consultants, users and community leaders – and letting ideas settle in. Let the game come to you a bit. Slow down to go fast. Taking time to engage with diverse partners can help you arrive at effective design solutions quicker. Being open to new ideas is essential.

Iteration – Once you collect that feedback, you can begin exploring ways to create solutions. Here is where you must exhibit some humility. Ego needs to take a back seat. It doesn’t matter where the best ideas come from, we build off each other’s ideas. I like it when a project team leaves the room and nobody knows exactly where an idea originated, but everyone feels like it was kind of their own.

Failure – As HKS’ Design Director, I tried to create a safe space for people to experiment. Being vulnerable and open to others is essential to innovation. As a leader, you have to avoid jumping in and trying to solve other people’s challenges. Sometimes design ideas fail, but failure is an important teaching moment. I routinely engage in 360-degree reviews to receive feedback on my own performance and try to continually learn how to be a more effective leader.

Empathy – I love being an architect. I love being hands-on and in the thick of things. But as HKS’ Design Director and later as the firm’s President & CEO, I had to learn to step back and let others find solutions. Sometimes people don’t do things the way you would. But having the patience and empathy to let people find their own paths is important to developing the next generation of leaders.

Connection – Finding that synergy between place, purpose and design is what great architecture is all about. Finding essential connections between people is important to designing a successful project and to running a successful business. After all, people create the synergy that results in great design solutions.

Innovation – True innovation is hard to come by. At HKS, we strive to hire people who are constantly challenging the status quo. And then we let them experiment, fail and learn. We’ve developed an entire Innovation sector to bring focus to this type of thinking and working. Developing this sector may have been HKS’ most transformational move. Do you want to be a commoditized vendor or a trusted advisor and partner? In the end, our brains and our thoughts are the most valuable assets we can offer the world. What can be automated and commoditized will be. Let’s not compete in a race to the bottom.

Humor – As a leader, you can’t take yourself too seriously. We spend most of our waking hours working with others – we can make it fun and fulfilling or a chore and a drag. The gift of humor shouldn’t be minimized.

How can leaders design and build better teams?

Part of being an effective leader is being in touch with your people, developing friendships and learning people’s strengths and weaknesses, passions and personalities. With understanding and empathy comes trust. Our people are our differentiators. Hire the best people you can find who share your values and give them the tools, training and mentorship they need to grow and evolve. And then get out of their way. Let them figure things out.

High-performing teams are built through inspiration, transparency, a certain degree of ambiguity, and diversity and inclusion.

Inspiration – Our job as leaders is to emulate the transparent culture that we aspire to, to establish the strategic direction we want to go and to inspire others to come along. In the book, The Way of the Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People, Kevin Leman wrote, “If you want your people to go above and beyond, they must see your passion, your heart. If it’s greatness that you want, it’s greatness that you must give.” You can’t be afraid to show that you care and that you’re passionate and committed to your purpose.

Transparency – Two things I continue to strive for as a leader are more transparency throughout the firm and the support of an effective feedback loop that includes all our people, regardless of their rank or experience. People walk into my office all the time – I encourage it. We have an “Ask Dan” feature on the HKS intranet that goes directly to me and enables people to ask me anything they want, anonymously or not. We’ve also instituted checks and balances to make sure every member of HKS’ Executive Board, including me, is holding true to our Strategic Plan. We are all held accountable to the firm’s established values and vision.

Ambiguity – I’ve learned to accept holding opposing ideas in my head at the same time. Decisions aren’t always black and white. Embracing the messy gray is crucial – it’s where the most profound solutions come from. I like to say that I’m comfortable with ambiguity as long as we’re clear about what we want to achieve.

Diversity & Inclusion – It’s no surprise to hear that our profession has lacked diversity, especially in the leadership ranks. This is partly because people tend to hire and promote those who are most like themselves. To help break this pattern, at HKS we have created a robust Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program with a dedicated JEDI Director who is leading community outreach, education and enrichment programs that are helping us build a more diverse team and leadership. These efforts include our recently launched partner diversity program, HKS xBE, which is designed to help disadvantaged businesses build relationships and pursue new opportunities in the architecture and design professions. Diverse teams give rise to innovative thinking and increase the value of our work in the communities we serve.

How do you view the future of leadership at HKS?

We are fortunate to have a cadre of qualified people who can step into leadership roles. What I am looking for in our future leaders is innovation, creativity, empathy, grit, honesty, humility, optimism and heart.