2018 HKS Design Fellowship Mid-Atlantic

  • Kaitlyn Badlato
  • Rebecca Soja

2018 marks the eighth installation of the HKS Mid-Atlantic Design Fellowship (MADF). This annual event is one of three regional charrettes presented by HKS. This year, unique design fellowships will be hosted by the HKS offices in Washington, D.C. (Mid-Atlantic DF), Chicago (Midwest DF) and Orlando (Southeast DF),

The key drivers behind this three day event are design, sustainability and community. Each year an original design prompt challenges fellows to consider a complex issue affecting the DC metro area.

The Purpose

The MADF strives to:

  • Assemble and showcase emerging design talent (HKS professionals and undergraduate/graduate students).
  • Build and maintain relationships with regional universities.
  • Form and foster partnerships with community stakeholders.
  • Facilitate opportunities for teamwork, resiliency and leadership.
  • Elevate design and energize HKS design culture by encouraging holistic thinking and unconventional approaches in regular practice.
  • Propose solutions that envision an emphasis on systemic well-being and responsible design.
  • Introduce fresh perspectives on sensitive topics.
  • Learn from one another by sharing knowledge/skills and merging methodologies or technologies to enhance the design process and graphically communicate design intent.
  • Provoke discussions addressing real-world scenarios within urban, communal and individual scales so that we can start to turn talk into focused action.

Important Dates

  • January 5, 2018: call for entries
  • February 16, 2018: applications due
  • February 23, 2018: fellows notified of acceptance
  • March 16-19, 2018: MADF takes place

The Location

The 2018 MADF will be hosted by HKS’ Washington, D.C. office at the following address:

1250 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005

The Application

Any full-time undergraduate/graduate university students in architecture, urban planning, interior design, landscape architecture, industrial design or other design programs are invited to apply for the design fellowship. Any HKS professional from the New York, Richmond or Washington, D.C. office is eligible to apply.

Fellows are chosen by the design fellowship committee via a blind review of the submitted materials.

To apply, send an email to HKSdf_Mid-Atlantic@hksinc.com with a single PDF attachment using the file naming convention MADF2018_student/professional_LastName-FirstName.pdf comprised of:

  • Completed application form by clicking the appropriate link and downloading the PDF file. Fill out the text fields and submit by following the instructions on the form.
  • 8.5″ x 11″ design page
  • Design process statement

Candidates will be notified of their acceptance via email within one week following the deadline. There is no application fee or cost to participate in the MADF. Meals throughout the charrette will be provided at no cost. However, please note that fellows are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

The Fellows

Selected fellows are divided into teams of three or four people depending on the number of applications for that year. Typically, there are six to eight students and three to four professionals selected to create three teams with two or three students and one or two professionals per team.

The Schedule

Fellows arrive on Friday evening for an introductory presentation and preliminary research. Over the course of the weekend, they participate in site visits, work sessions and informal critiques. As teams respond to the prompt, they learn about the history and character of a place/site, investigate the underlying complex relationships causing the problem, develop imaginative solutions, and produce sketches, diagrams, models, drawings and renderings. On Monday morning, the resulting proposals are shared in front of a diverse panel of critics to spark a dialogue about the agency of the design of the built environment.

The Outcomes

Over the past seven years, the design fellowship has produced novel, fascinating projects that push design forward. The collaboration taking place over such a short period of time across multiple offices in the firm, between various disciplines and backgrounds, has led to compelling and thoughtful work year after year. In all cases, there was an enlightening conversation and a renewed sense that design has the power to create spaces and shape experiences that can shift paradigms. We believe our design fellowship has provided tremendous value. We continue this tradition because it inspires us to continually improve our practice to deliver services, environments and experiences that have the greatest meaningful impact.

The Archives

Over the past seven years, the MADF has worked throughout the District of Columbia. It has also explored several issues facing our nation’s capital, including:

  • Historic preservation
  • Affordable housing
  • Social services and access to education
  • Transitional housing for homeless families
  • Economic development and sustainability
  • The influence of art and music on the city

More Information

RSVP to our event on Facebook for the latest content and discussion. Send inquiries to HKSdf_Mid-Atlantic@hksinc.com.

Thank you to everyone who has made MADF a success over the years. We’re excited about what’s in store for 2018!

Kaitlyn Badlato

Kaitlyn Badlato is an Architect and Medical Planner at HKS. Based in Washington, she provides benchmarking documents that inform and engage clients. She is a former HKS Health Fellow and former co-chair of the Mid-Atlantic Design Fellowship; equity champion for the Washington, D.C. office and Chair of the Equity Committee by WIELD for the local AIA chapter.

Rebecca Soja

Rebecca Soja is an Architectural Designer and Researcher at HKS. She embraces a cross-disciplinary and evidence-based approach to design and problem-solving, exploring intentional and innovative strategies for enhancing systemic well-being. She believes the industry's future depends on balancing the integration of technological tools and the craft of human connection.