Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Knittel’

How Reverse Engineering Nature Can Spur Design Innovation

(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co.Exist.)

It’s not enough to copy nature. Today’s designers need a deeper understanding of environmental nuance, from the biome in.

The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port-au-Prince is designed to replace an orphanage severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake. HOK’s Thomas Knittel took inspiration from the kapok tree, a native Caribbean species that stores water internally and sheds its leaves in times of drought. The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center (WJCCC) in Port-au-Prince is designed to replace an orphanage severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake.

Combining the Built and Natural Environments to Create Generous Cities of the Future

01MeixiLakeCourtyard-R1-small

(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co. Exist. This is the second post in a three-part series; click here to read the first post.)

Urban growth doesn’t have to destroy nature–it can work with it.

Our collective desire to live in cities has never been stronger. According to the World Health Organization, 60% of the world’s population will live in a city by 2030. As urban populations swell, what people demand from their cities is evolving.

In India and China, developers have embarked on ambitious projects aimed at promoting interactivity between people …

How Buildings That Imitate Earth’s Creatures Could Save Us From Ourselves

(This post on biomimicry by Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior principal – design in HOK’s Los Angeles studio, first appeared in Fast Co. Exist.)

Sustainable design needs a gut check. When it comes to designing for efficiency, balance, and resiliency, nothing beats emulating Earth’s creatures.

The frenetic consumption that has defined American culture over the past hundred years transcends food, fuel, and “stuff.” We’ve also gobbled up building materials.

From 1900 to 1995, America experienced a five-fold spike in per capita consumption of non-food and non-fuel resources. Of the durable goods we amassed, construction materials for buildings far exceeded any others. In 1900, renewable …

Project Haiti Team at Greenbuild

HOK’s Thomas Knittel shared the story of Project Haiti, the design of a LEED Platinum replacement orphanage in Port-au-Prince, on  Nov. 14 at Greenbuild in San Francisco. The presentation featured Roger Limoges, USGBC vice president of organizational development, and Gina Duncan, executive director of Fondation Enfant Jesus.

From left to right in this photo from Greenbuild are Knittel, Duncan, USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, HOK’s Mary Ann Lazarus and Limoges.

Help make Project Haiti a reality! You can donate here.

A Model for a New Emergent Approach to Building in Haiti

By Thomas Knittel, AIA, LEED® AP

The New Year always causes one to reflect on the recent past, but especially so today, the two-year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. I have been fortunate to work with a dedicated group of volunteers at HOK to design a children’s center and orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Earlier this week, we presented our latest design to the client, Fondation Enfant Jesus, as well as to the U.S. Green Building Council. The results were very positive.

Our collective goal to create a nurturing and restorative place is taking shape. In many ways, though, this project is more difficult than the large, …

Harvard Shout Out

A big thanks to Harvard Magazine for featuring our work with the Biomimicry Guild (check out previous posts we’ve done about those amazing folks here, here, and here).  We’re so proud to have our very own Thomas Knittel, in our New York office, featured in the article and even to have received a little holla over at Planetizen

Stay tuned for more on the HOK projects they featured in the future here on HOKLife… pretty great things are happening!

c04_fd_residential_retail