Posts Tagged ‘design’

HOK Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine Featured in Interiors & Sources Interview

Bill ValentineAs part of its 30th anniversary, the magazine invited some of the notable designers that it has profiled through the years to reflect on their personal journeys since then and talk about how they feel about design today—and tomorrow.

HOK Chairman Emeritus Bill Valentine, FAIA, retired in 2012 after 50 years as a design leader at HOK. Today, he lives in Mill Valley, Calif., and continues to consult on design projects with HOK.

Here are excerpts from Bill’s interview with Interiors & Sources:

In our 2003 cover story, you had said, “Architecture, in its best light, is a social instrument about how you can make the living condition better. And, so, that’s

HOK’s Ernest Cirangle Elevated to AIA’s College of Fellows

Thanks to Kelly Morrison in HOK’s Los Angeles office for contributing this guest post.

Ernest-Cirangle3Ernest Cirangle, FAIA, design director in HOK’s Los Angeles office, has been elevated to the prestigious College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects 2014 Jury of Fellows. According to the AIA, the Fellowship program “honors architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.” Ernest becomes one of only about 3,000 members of the 80,000 AIA members to receive this honor.

Since joining HOK in 1982, Ernest has dedicated his career to transforming the design of aviation, …

HOK San Mateo County Jail Team Presents to San Francisco AIA/AAJ

Artist Rendering Exterior View Maple Street Jail

The HOK team, including Jeff Goodale and Alan Bright along with Sergeant Dave Titus from San Mateo County and Steve Baylock from Sundt-Layton Joint Venture,  presented the Maple Street Complex Facilities project to the San Francisco AIA AAJ on June 12.

The presentation focused on the experiences the team has had combining the design-build and construction manager at risk delivery methods and the design and sustainability features of the project. The San Mateo County Jail is a $125 million project located in Redwood City, California. It will serve as a re-entry step between the current Maguire Correctional Facility and the …

Introducing HOK’s 2013 Design Annual

What are the visions guiding some of the world’s most progressive organizations? We can see their aspirations take physical form in the 2013 HOK Design Annual, which illustrates our design processes and products for 42 remarkable clients over 340 pages.

From three flame-shaped towers in Baku to a high-tech lab in DC, a striking new broadcasting house for the BBC in London to a bio-inspired orphanage in Port-au-Prince, the projects in this book offer a glimpse into – and optimism for – our world’s future.

Read the 2013 HOK Design Annual on Issuu or download a PDF (43 MB).

Q+A: Todd Bertsch, Design Director for HOK in Atlanta

When he was six years old, Todd Bertsch, AIA, moved with his family to Atlanta from Pocatello, Idaho. Through what he calls “serendipity,” Todd never left. He earned his architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent his entire professional career in Atlanta. In 2008, he joined HOK as design director in our Atlanta office.

Todd and his wife, also an architect, live with their 11-year-old daughter in a house they designed together near Piedmont Park in Atlanta’s vibrant Virginia Highland neighborhood.

“I have seen Atlanta undergo a tremendous transformation over the past 30 years,” says Todd. “It is still young compared to Paris or …

Q+A: HOK President Bill Hellmuth

Bill Hellmuth, AIA, who joined HOK in 1991 and ascended to president in 2004, leads design projects worldwide. But he is especially proud of the local architectural contributions of HOK’s Washington practice, which is located in Georgetown’s historic Canal House. Under Bill’s leadership over the past two decades, the DC studio has designed more than 25 buildings across the city.

Why is contributing to Washington’s built environment so important to you?

BH: I am committed to cities. They are my focus. Washington is a high-energy city with great institutions and museums and terrifically interesting things to do. It’s a wonderful place to live.

I love being able to …

Project Haiti’s Seeds of Hope: HOK Design Team Donates $50,000 to USGBC’s Orphanage Project in Haiti

This post, written by HOK President Bill Hellmuth, originally appeared on the U.S. Green Building Council‘s blog.

What do a 5.5 million-square-foot research university in Saudi Arabia and a 6,000-square-foot orphanage in Haiti have in common? Inspired by sustainable architecture on two vastly different scales, their bond will soon help hundreds of children begin their journeys home.

The HOK team that designed the LEED-NC Platinum King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) campus in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, earned a $50,000 award. Instead of dividing this money among the team, Science + Technology Director Bill Odell and other project leaders set out to

Leaving Space for People too.

This is a short post I’ve written as a guest contributor for a friend at Otto. Check out other amazing posts on design and products at 3Rings!

There’s an intrinsic dilemma that all architects and designers carry with them: the struggle with the idea of control. We lose precious sleep over the often unknowable outcomes of our projects.

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An ever-present but less contemplated thought is the impact of those outcomes. While this also can be “unknowable,” designers can draw on evidence and research to predict the impacts of projects with more accuracy. From a business culture standpoint, we crave predictability. Yet, it rarely leaves room for growth, …

Gettin’ Ready for a GOOD night: STL City Leaders meet STL Creatives…Bring it on!

Can the St. Louis creative community rise to the toughest challenges city leaders face? We’ll find out tonight at the Contemporary Art Musem at the GOOD Ideas for Cities STL event. Doors open at 6:00 and the program begins at 7:00 pm.  With more than 600 RSVPs on Facebook, it promises to be quite the night.  Moderated by the super fantastic Alissa Walker, writer and protagonist of the GOOD Ideas for Cities program, seven creative teams will reveal their ideas in short 5 minute presentations followed by an equally short Q&A. 


As seen here in Alive Magazine’s coverage, each team brings …

An X a Day. TEDx Atlanta – David Butler

Check out this inspiring video of David Butler and his view of design from the context at Coca-Cola!

Pretty inspring message here about affecting real change. You can also read some more over at Fast Company.


How it Happened: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at HOK and Partners’ Proposal to Transform Navy Pier

You may have heard by now that for the past 8 weeks we’ve been busy over here at HOK preparing for the Pierscape at Navy Pier Design Competition. Joined by collaborating firms !melk  and UrbanLab, the design was finally presented to the public on Tuesday. 


The team included !melk., Urban Lab, Terry Guen Design Associates, Thirst, Zoe Ryan, Conservation Design Forum, HR&A Advisors, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Leni Schwendinger LIGHT projects, CMS Fountain Consultants, and Karin Bacon Enterprises.

We always see (and drool over) these competition entries, but very rarely do you get to peel back the covers and see what really goes into the preparation of these submissions, so we thought we’d give …

Open Office at Deltek Headquarters

When you hear the word “Deltek” mentioned at HOK, the first thing that pops to mind isn’t always the accounting/time software we all know so well…it’s usually the great new project that’s about to open.  Deltek is moving their headquarters into a new facility, complete with HOK-designed interiors. Yes, some of your favorite Work+Place bloggers are behind this design (Catherine Haley and Daphne Kiplinger).

What is it about Deltek’s new space that’s so special?   One of the many features is Deltek’s commitment to an open office – even the CEO will be seated in open plan workstations. Check out an article in today’s Washington Post (Deltek

Licensure Is Not the Root of Our Identity Crisis

Surely many of us this weekend ran across GOOD Magazine’s article, “Why Architecture’s Identity Problem Should Matter to the Rest of Us,” covering an issue that writer John Cary believes is harming the profession of architecture. It’s a well thought out piece and well worth a read. In short, the article argues that the process of becoming a licensed architect takes away from our ability as a profession to contribute in a valuable way to society. Mr. Cary explains that the system requires us to work for years as interns before becoming licensed (which is true), and goes on to suggest that it is this purgatory of sorts that prevents us as professionals from contributing …

What are the most innovative materials you’ve seen?!

i FrammentiNext week is Modern Atlanta‘s ‘Design Week’ here in the ATL and as a part of that I’ve been asked to co-curate the ‘Design is Material’ exhibition on innovative products and materials in our industry. I’ve think I’ve found some amazing things from Plexwood, Promesh, FibreC and 3M to name a few, but I’d like to crowdsource a little bit and see what you think.

What materials have you seen, or which ones would you add? Want to share?! Leave a comment! I’ll make sure to reference your name on the information tag as the submitter!

Live Tweeting Alan Webber’s Address to HOK and Our Clients

Here’s a rundown of our 20 tweets (a new one-day record for @HOKNetwork!) summarizing what Alan Webber, Fast Company founding editor, “global detective,” and author of Rules of Thumb, just told a crowd of 150 HOKers and clients gathered at Washington University’s Steinberg Auditorium about the power of design in the 21st century.

Just met Fast Company founding editor @alanmwebber in our STL office! Tonight he’s talking to HOK & our clients about the power of design.

What does today’s world need from a global design firm? We have asked Alan Webber to challenge us.#alanwebber

We’re live tweeting Alan Webber’s address to HOK’s BOD and our clients …

New Faces on the Hospital Scene


In her role as HOK recruiter, Nikki Duffner is always on the lookout for new design talent. She’s also attuned to noticing how design can improve people’s lives – sometimes in fresh and unexpected ways.

I think it’s safe to assume that design probably wasn’t top-of-mind when Nikki had to accompany her young son Max for a seven-day stay at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Yet that’s where they came face-to-face with a bright green alligator wagon. It wheeled past them and helped turn what could’ve been a stressful hospital experience into a playful one.  

She later discovered the wagon was the creation of a good friend of hers, Jack Heller. …

Data & Design


Most of you had one of two things pop into your mind, the guy from Star Trek or Microsoft Excel.

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While I’m not necessarily mocking either of those, neither are good examples of data that I’d want to party with. However, it’s these mind-numbing misinterpretations of what is potentially an exciting way to look at our society, the things we know and the things we create.

On the sustainability front, I’ve written about things like IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet’ campaign and how the notion of public policy and connected information can help us create the types of communities and societies that build better cities and infrastructure. I’ve also written about exciting things …

Best of Work+Place (Episode VIII)


Still hell hot in DC…still a good time to curl up somewhere cool and surf great posts on Work+Place.  This week’s “best of” includes:  

  • Vision for the Workplace.  A colleague asked me a funny question about vision sessions – essentially, who wants a crappy office?  Sadly…some people do
  • TelecommutingCatherine Haley exhaults the US government for encouraging employees to work from home (and wishes they’d do it more often for the sake of her commute among other reasons).
  • Fonts?  Susan Baerwald explains how Gothic can save the environment.
  • Etiquitte.  Sometimes you just need to tell people how to be considerate in the office – some snarky ideas via the New York subway system!

Check …

Best of Work+Place (Episode III)


Today is the day that brings you just what you’ve been waiting for: Episode III of the “best of” series highlighting hot workplace topics on Work+Place.  Enjoy!

Best of Work+Place (Episode II)


It’s been a couple of weeks since our last “best of” so we thought it would be a great time to check back in and see the hot workplace topics on Work+Place.  Enjoy!

Honoring Mother(s) Earth


It turns out the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day intersects with the 30th service anniversary of our very own Earth Mother: Mary Ann Lazarus.

We celebrated this sweet synergy with some delicious green and white cupcakes. Sharing guest-of-honor duties was the incomparable Joyce Saunders (MAL’s right-hand gal), who recently marked her own milestone (25-year) HOK anniversary.


This greened-at-the-hip duo has worked together to advance sustainability within HOK – guiding it from an intriguing idea, to a fringe movement, to a specialty group, to an integral part of our entire practice.

During a brief tribute, Vice …

Design by Designers’ First Friday at WDC


This month’s First Friday Event (which is usually not on a Friday nor the first week of the month – we like to keep things following organically)  took place at the DC office on Thursday, February 18th. The event, Design by Designers, besides being a resounding hit, showcased the design projects our talented HOK’ers work on when they are not at their 9-5.


I must confess I wasn’t able to exhibit at the event, so I’m putting my 2 cents in by showcasing my writting “flair” through the blog, and I’m very happy to say I will gladly participate in the next exhibition!


You …

What is your ideal aircraft seating?

Picking up from a morning HOK LA’s kitchen coffee chat with Aneirin Owens, who was on the way travelling to Doha for NDIA project, we started talking about what an ideal long flight aircraft seating should be. As much as we both love the branding and high tech concept of Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic, we thought the new Upper Class Suite seating designed by Pearsonlloyd is arguably not too ideal.


Ideal for full body resting, but would you rather be facing the aisle with service and passenger traffic while you are sleeping?

When …

Objectified now on iTunes!

Most (probably all) of you have heard of Gary Hustwit’s films Helvetica and Objectified. Well this post is merely to inform you that Objectified is now out for purchase on iTunes!! Go buy it, your life will thank you. Ps- During the Atlanta screening of this film, Gary was here and mentioned that he is working on another design documentary already, but didnt say what about, or which industry. What will it be? Fashion? Interiors? Architecture?

BIM – not your mother’s architecture.

In celebration of ‘the Fifth of November’, aka ‘BIM Day’ I thought I’d post some ideas of what BIM (Building Information Modeling/Management) might look like in the future. This could be 20 years or 30 years, or never, but we should never stop thinking ‘what if’. In fact, recently I’ve been thinking about the possibilities so much that I’m getting scared that I don’t really know nearly as much as I should.

At any rate, I’m going to post possible future-casting ideas for the way in which we could be using BIM in the future to harness the power of the ‘building in vitro’. Some of these ideas are simply and process software related, but a majority of the focus is …

SYTYCD = True Collaboration

Well, here it goes… in just my second blog post I’m potentially ruining all credibility as a designer (or professional in general) as I blog about one of my favorite TV shows, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance“. (Yep… I’ve already lost some of you.) I will admit to having an obsession with this show, its contestants, and choreographers. Say what you will about dance, but this show can teach huge lessons about what true collaboration looks like.

The show takes dancers of different styles, pairs them together, and then they perform in yet another style. For all intents and purposes the end product could be merely passable or even a train wreck. But the dances that become the showstoppers are the …

Architecture + …? (part 4)

Ever thought of Architecture + Ice cream = Coolhaus?


Architecture inspired ice cream sandwiches, run based on the popular Kogi Taco Truck model, was designed and founded by Natasha Case and Freya Estreller in Los Angeles. You may have already caught them proffering their wares at various events around town — Barnsdall Park, Venice First Fridays, Stories Books — in their pink, chrome-rimmed converted postal jeep.

Image Courtesy of Rosalio Arellanes

Check out the product specification that offers selection of  Frank Behry (sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream), Mintimalism (chocolate cookie and mint chip ice cream), Mies Vanilla Rohe (chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream), …

12 Unique CMU Block

Just received this link from Chris Anderson, designer at HOK Los Angeles, that I thought worth sharing.

As architects, LOOM Studio orchestrate a minimum of resources to maximum effect by transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. And I do think the 12 Blocks project is a perfect example of their motto.










TeleThunder is Here!

Certain HOK-ers (ahem, John Gilmore ) have been bragging about HOK’s very cool new collaboration technology: the Advanced Collaboration Room, which combines Cisco Telepresence Technology and Polyvision Thunder Express.  Well, John, you are no longer the only cool kid in town!  The WDC office became the fourth HOK office to open it’s ACR for business.  St. Louis, San Francisco, and Toronto already had them…next on the list are Houston, Los Angeles, and London.

ACR under construction

Demolition (and caution tape) in the hallway between my desk and the new ACR

After a few solid weeks of construction, the ACR was ready for …

Sharing the Secrets of Resilience

news9_04 Community Hospital Of Monterey Peninsula  
They may be tiny and seemingly irrelevant, but Tardigrades just might have a few things to teach the “more evolved creatures” reading these words. Commonly called water bears or moss piglets, these segmented animals are so fascinating because they can survive the most extreme conditions: freezing, boiling, drought, radiation, etc., etc.

In short, they’re resilient.

Confronted by the extreme conditions of a global recession, we all might benefit from studying the wisdom of these 1 mm organisms, as well as other geniuses of nature and design.

We have created a …