Yes, that’s right, HOK is Kind of A Big Deal! Why do I say this (other than the obvious fact that I am employed here and might have a vested interest in saying so?). Well, some of you may know, I spent the last week visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with some of my favorite HOK people: Bill Hellmuth, Suzette Goldstein, and Colin Greene**. While there, we thought we would swing by a bookstore to see if we could find any cool local architecture books. Lo and behold, what did we find??
Yes, that’s right….several copies of the HOK monograph (as well as several HOK Asia books) located prominently …
Hopefully your bellies are nice and full from Thanksgiving and you’re beginning to settle into the routines of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere. For those of you friends south of the equator – I’m already jealous! To warm myself up, I’ll sit here with my laptop on my lap (no cooling pad), and share some of my favorite (and obviously unbiased) thoughts on some recent W+P posts.
Wow…are we really at the fourteenth episode of Best of? It seems like just yesterday we began this journey.
- Parking Predicament- This week, Gerald reminds us of the good times to be had in our corporate parking garages. Kinda makes you want to take public transportation, eh?
- Twittering Away - In my alternate role as a Work+Place blogger (shhh…don’t tell HOKLife), I share my discomfort with the twitter phenomenon. Perhaps my recently acquired Droid will help me overcome my trepidation?
- Too Much Office Space? Workplace strategist Angie Earlywine shares her podcast about IFMA’s Distributed Work report as heard on KMOX Radio Total Information Program. Superstar!
Check back soon for Episode XV!
I feel like a proud parent! Our little (er -giant) Steven rode 5000 miles in 2009!
It’s quite a feat if you consider the reality of it. There are many of you that ride your bike, often to and from work (see Jodi’s post); but think about the actual number of miles you rack up! I’d be happy if I made it to 50 (Tour de France is ~2241 miles)! Also think about the conditions in which you ride your bike! Not even cold and mild rain keeps Steven Crang off the double wheeled transporter!
To celebrate his enormous amount of hard work he brought in a Gus’ Pretzel (a St. Louis’ …
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a presentation on Furnishing the Future from NeoCon East. It occurred to me that perhaps last year’s presentation would be of interest to readers as well. In October 2008, Claire Whitehill and I presented “To Geek or Not to Geek: Leveraging Technology for Better Business.”
The presentation included information on the business case for increased use of technology, types of technology that should be considered in the workplace, and the future of technology in the workplace.
Check out the presentation: download PDF.
P.S. Many thanks to Gerald Callo for the excellent template!
Jodi Williams is another member of the DC Advance Strategies crew. She has been working with Leigh in that office for four years, during which time she has made quite a name for herself. She has a mixed background of sociology and urban planning that always gives her a different take on clients’ needs. Her questions quickly reveal her love for solving complex problems, kicking some butt on the soccer field, and snuggling with her pets. Along with this interview, she was highlighted in a podcast when this blog turned one year old – so be sure to have a listen for more information!
Q: You play a lot …
“Progress is a nice word, but change is its motivator, and change has enemies.”
–Robert F. Kennedy
A few months ago, I got the opportunity to write an article for an industry publication. You bet your bottom dollar that I jumped right on that! The task was to write a 1,500 word article on the following topic:
What things can facility executives do to help users make the transition to new (and possibly smaller) space? This article could cover that topic from two angles. One is to help occupants accept and make the best use of the new space. The second angle could be things facility executives can do to …
About a year ago, I gave you an update of what was going on in my work life. Looking back over the last year of Life@HOK, I thought it might be fun to revisit that post,and let you know what’s going on now! You’ll see from the list below that some things have stayed the same, but lots of cool new things have come up too!
Revisiting old news:
- GSA Unit Cost Study: just about wrapped up!
- U.S. Capitol Complex Master Plan (still going, and I still can’t tell you more or I’d have to shoot you)
- Blogging on The Green Workplace
- Blogging on Life@HOK
Sharing new news:
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Life at HOK blog. On October 15, 2008, this site went live with posts from our original cast of 21 bloggers to an audience of 935 visits and 4,483 pageviews. One year later, we’ve amassed more than 116,000 visits and 277,865 pageviews, according to Google Analytics. And while we’ve had to say goodbye to some of our favorite authors, we’ve added many new faces to our cadre, boosting our list of contributors to 35 with more on the horizon.
Numbers and statistics aside, what we started a year ago with Life at HOK has far exceeded all expectations. The friendships cultivated both inside and outside of HOK have been tremendous. …
Not to be outdone by Chicago, HOK WDC hosted a book-launch party for our own Leigh Stringer and her fabulous book The Green Workplace on Tuesday, October 6.
The event was held on the green roof of 700 Sixth Street, one of DC’s first LEED C&S Platinum buildings (designed by HOK, of course). The building’s developer, Akridge, gracefully allowed HOK to use the roof deck (and downstairs lobby when the fall wind and a few sprinkles picked up), as well as providing tours of the space on the fourth floor (currently tracking LEED CI Gold!). Food was …
A lot of HOKers are involved in athletic endeavors of all sorts (cycling, tennis, real estate games, picnic games, etc)…but two of our very own just competed in one of the most extreme running competitions out there: a Ragnar Relay.
What is a Ragnar Relay? Well, basically, it’s you and your 11 closest pals running 200 miles through the wilderness over a 24-hour period.
It’s really quite simple. Get a bunch of friends together (or we can help you find team members who’ll quickly become your friends) and start running. Okay, there’s a little more to it. Your relay team will
Each year, the DC Building Industry Association pulls together volunteers from across the building industry to undertake a major project to benefit the community. Using the expertise of its members, DCBIA has been able to make major improvements throughout the community.
This year’s DCBIA Community Improvement Day (the 17th!) was held at Fort Mahan Park in Northeast Washington, DC. Fort Mahan was originally constructed as a Union stronghold to protect Benning’s Bridge from the Confederate Army. The 40-acre site was developed into a park that includes hiking/biking trails, an …
We’ve been talking a lot about The Green Workplace recently, which is great for the greenies…but did you know that HOK also published our Monograph this month?!
The Monograph is the brainchild of Bill Hellmuth, HOK’s president, and was brought from a twinkle in his eye into a 416-page tome designed by talented HOK WDC Director of Graphics Jim Doussard.
A “coming of age” book, this document shares gorgeous photography and fascinating stories about HOK projects from across the globe. Some numbers for you list geeks out there:
- 18 months to complete
- 3 continents (published in Australia, printed in China, shipped to WDC)
- 105 projects
- 416 images
- 2400 headshots
Roughly two years ago (Thanksgiving 2007) I started a blog called TheGreenWorkplace. Not long after, several other HOK folks were blogging along with me, including Jodi Williams, Anica Landreneau and Emma Wharton, three talented bloggers for Life at HOK. After just a few months and lots of web traffic, we knew we had something. In January of 2007 we decided to make it a book, and after writing a few chapters and hiring an agent (Lauren Abramo), we landed a book deal with a great publisher, Palgrave Macmillan. Special credit goes to the HOK Advance Strategies team in DC for helping write and research: Jodi Williams, …
So I already told you about how much I <3 Jonathan Kozol, and how much fun HOK was having at SCUP, but I didn’t get a chance to tell you about the closing plenary presentation: Mediated Culture and the Future of the University.
I was ready to start my vacation a few hours early, but the description was intriguing enough for me to hang in for one last session (well, the idea of brunch helped, too!). I was thrilled that I did stay because this was another fascinating and inspirational presentation.
Michael Wesch is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. He’s a young guy (definitely …
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m in Portland, Oregon attending the 44th annual SCUP conference. There are 14 HOKers here from across the U.S. and Canada, and not only are we learning lots and meeting great people, we’re also sharing HOK greatness with the world.
To be specific, HOK greatness includes:
- 2009 National SCUP Campus Planning Award – District Category for the University of Alabama Science and Engineering Precinct Master Plan (Tuscaloosa, Alabama). Accepted by Crystal Barriscale and Paul Woolford (San Francisco) and our University of Alabama Clients, this award recognizes the University’s new precinct which focuses on science and engineering and creates a new pedestrian
Remember back in elementary school when you had field day? For me, that was always one of the best days of the year (I was a 3-legged race champ)! This year, HOK participated in field day for grown ups, the JDRF Real Estate Games.
This event is an annual fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This year’s event raised over $400K for the cause…and had over 2,000 participants.
The 2009 games were HOK’s first, and we had 10 participants in three events.
- Tennis singles (women’s) – Jelena Lustica
- Tennis doubles (men’s) – Todd Pedersen and Edmund Velasco
- 5K – Vincent Ng, Jennifer King, Claire Whitehill, Colleen Knapp, Daphne Kiplinger, Amy Fabry, and
It’s no lie, I am a hot mess when I get to work after my 14-mile bike ride. Fortunately for me and anyone who has to interact with me during the day, HOK has a shower (and my gym is right next to the office and has an even nicer shower).
One thing I struggle with is how to dress appropriately for work on cycling days. One solution is to drive in the day before and leave a bag of clothes. The other is to cram everything in a backpack and roll on in. Either way, there are two major risks: 1. forgetting a critical wardrobe element (from recent experience, I …
As bloggers and blog readers, I thought you all might be interested in the awesome list I found: Top 10 Free Web Resources for Planning.
The list was generated as part of a presentation for the APA National Conference, and includes some of our favorites such as blogs (!), social networking, and twitter. I love that other planners are catching on to some of the fantastic, sustainable resources out there. That said, here’s the list:
- Google Maps Mashups
- Virtual Meetings
- Social Networking
- RSS & Alerts
One of the comments we hear a lot is, “HOK’s such a big firm. Don’t you feel lost there?”
Coming from a very small firm (I was one of eight there; here I am one of 2,400 or so), I ’ll admit I was a little intimidated…but I’ve found the size issue is a misconception; HOK truly does provide great opportunities for collaboration that you wouldn’t find in a small firm. In addition to having outstanding resources to help with project work (like the Denver project that used staff from San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, DC or the KAUST project that involved up to 400 HOK’ers at one point in time), it …
As you’ve read, HOK is big into sustainability, and part of our committment is personal – we’ve signed up numerous teams to compete in national bike-to-work month, sponsored by the cascade bicycle club (see Blake’s posts on HOK vs. Copenhagen and Calling all HOKers). Tim O’Connell cooerced me into signing up using fear of public humiliation as his primary tactic.
It’s a bit of a long ride for me (13.824 miles each way, according to Gmaps Pedometer) and I’m not much of a cyclist, but what the heck! My route takes me along Cameron Run in …
As Blake told you, the WDC team is kicking butt in the bike-to-work challenge. Today we had over 20 riders for National Bike to Work Day:
Front row, l-r: Jack Baker, Claire Whitehill, Pamela Sams, Jodi Williams, Julie Steele
Middle row, l-r: Daphne Kiplinger, Bokki Son, Jacalyn Chnowski, Vincent Ng
Back row, l-r: Pierre Lee, Chris Ryan, Bill Hellmuth, Bill Stinger, Walter Urbanek, Aaron Altman, Kyle Sullivan, Tim O’Connell, Sasha Strickland (Missing Morgan Williams).
It was enough that our bike racks were full….
So some people had to take advantage of the “executive parking.”
(That’s Bill Hellmuth, …
One of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to go talk to people from all kinds of different backgrounds and visit all sorts of different workplaces. Last week, Rosa Cheney and I headed off to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing as part of a pre-proposal site visit (they’re searching for a vendor to conduct a Feasibility Study).
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the place that is responsible for printing our currency (paper money – not to be confused with coins that are created by the U.S. Mint). As you might suspect, there were no cameras allowed so you’ll have to use your imagination, …
That’s right! Jodi’s infamous 5 Questions series has jumped ship…and run away to St Louis.
We’re going to do things a little differently in St Louis and speak with people who have very different backgrounds, different professions, and different goals for their time at HOK.
We start our series off here in St Louis with Mike Jones, a Vice President in our Construction Services Group. Mike’s official title is Chief Estimator, but his roles extend much beyond that – he brings a smile to the faces of all those around him, and the presence of Construction Services here in our office adds an enrichening level of realism to our projects. (ahem, PLEASE check out the …
As I was writing about appropriate internet usage at work, I thought of the best interview I’ve ever done as part of my job with HOK Advance Strategies.
We were working on a program of requirements for a federal bureau out in Denver, Colorado. Spending a few weeks in Denver over the summer with some of my favorite colleagues from the San Francisco office was pretty good in and of itself, but this interview simply made the trip.
A typical programming interview discusses things like headcount growth, need for special spaces, etc. We were heading in to our …
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.
After a few solid weeks of construction, the ACR was ready for …
So we all know that Al Gore invented the internet, which is a series of pipes, controlled by “the google.” We all also know that the internet is an indispensible part of our everyday lives – both personal and professional. And that’s where it gets tricky…the division between personal and professional is becoming ever more blurry…and use of the internet on company property andor during business hours is one of the places that the blur is causing some issues. And what about when we’re being green and working from home?
For example, when I write a blog post, I want to post it to my Facebook page, where I have “friends” that range from high …
Yesterday as I was getting ready to leave the office, I heard some faint music playing. As I walked toward the rear exit, it got louder and louder…what did I find? None other than my friends in the HOK Planning Group watching videos on YouTube (don’t fret, it was WELL after normal business hours ). I’ve seen the Filipino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and YouTube videos of late night dance parties in university libraries, but this one was new. The particular video they were watching was of a flash mob performing a beautifully choreographed performance of “Doe, a Deer” from the Sound of Music.
It got me thinking….is there a fun way to use flash mobs …
Cris Fromboluti not only has a really fun name, he’s one of the DC office’s premiere project managers and a fun guy to boot. I sat down with Cris for about an hour to run through our five questions. I knew Cris had a lot of great stories, but was not at all prepared for what was in store. You’ll notice there are only four questions, but I think Cris’s story comes through without the fifth.
Q: How did you come to HOK?
A: When I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, I originally went to work for S.O.M. in Chicago. After …
You know you’ve been anxiously awaiting our second installment of 5 Questions for HOKers. Today’s feature is Esther Simon, the one and only prickly pear of HOK.
Q: Tell us about your background.
A: I came to the United States from Israel about 30 years ago. I have a great desire to be part of a larger community – I think this desire was formed in Israel, where there was a great sense of community due in part