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Events 

RICSSummit of the Americas Toronto 2014
May 4-6, 2014
RICS Summit of the Americas 2014 is for any real estate professional looking to draw from timely, in-depth market knowledge that will be shared by local and international experts in the land, property and construction sectors. The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to connect with top professionals from around the world and engage in educational seminars and premier discussion forums. 

Sonoma Living: Home Tours
May 10, 2014
AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are excited to announce Sonoma Living: Home Tours, a new home tours program for 2014. Sonoma Living will showcase a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences—all from the architect's point of view. The program provides design enthusiasts and the general public with an inside look into the world of distinctive residences in Sonoma county. Tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the area's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique Sonoma living.


Design for Social Impact
May 25–August 3, 2014
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. 

 

Competitions

Deadline: April 25
Call for Entries (Student Awards) 
ASLA 

Deadline: June 1 
AIA|LA 2014 Design Awards Program Registration 
AIA|LA

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

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Hidden
« FORM Tech: Prescient Blends the Virtual and the Real | Main | FORM Culture: In New Orleans, Integrating Music and Architecture »
Thursday
Oct242013

Building Your Business: Practicing What You Preach

HGA's Santa Monica office eschews a typical office layout. The open-plan fosters collaboration and comfort. Image courtesy HGA.Five years ago, the powers that be at HGA started searching for a new space for their LA office. The old set-up was in a Century City high rise. “It had a bullpen in the middle and the shareholders were at the windows,” recalls Satoshi Teshima, an associate vice president in the LA branch. “It was a typical corporate set-up. We wanted to get away from that.”

The new space avoids outdated modes of work. “We were actively looking for a creative space without a hierarchy of ‘important’ people at the window,” says Teshima. In their new Santa Monica digs, “no one sits at the window,” he explains. “There are collaborative areas where teams can go and work for a while.” Even better, the new space has windows that open, allowing the air conditioning to be turned off. “It’s much nicer to have the breeze from the ocean rather than air pushing through the ductwork.”

For HGA, the impulse to work in a more open and humane environment is of a piece with the firm’s philosophy. Though the term sustainability seems to be losing its meaning, becoming just another trendy buzzword, HGA has internalized the concept—taking it far beyond just the idea of adding a couple of solar panels on a roof and calling it green.

In the firm’s education and healthcare work, in particular, cutting-edge research has been showing the benefits of so-called green technology on not just the environment, but on the health and wellbeing of the users of those spaces. By creating buildings that, say, foster collaboration, they’re designing a building that makes its inhabitants feel comfortable, which in turn leads to greater opportunities for productivity, even healing. 

At this point, making structures that balance environmental responsibility with a focus on the human experience is second nature at HGA. “You can’t take a building and dip it in sustainability and be done,” Teshima points out. “It has to be part of the batter.”

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