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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. 

 

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Tuesday
Jun112013

Firm Profile: Grant Kirkpatrick and Erik Evens on Their Evolving Partnership

Recently, KAA Design Group evolved into two studios. Evens Architects, led by Erik Evens, will focus on more traditional styles. Image Courtesy Evens Architects.

Imagine you have a thriving firm that offers you aesthetic and intellectual challenges on a regular basis. Your undertakings have ranged from institutional and retail work to residential projects—well received and highly regarded. Say you’re just about to celebrate a milestone anniversary. Now imagine that you want to shake things up. How do you do it? How does it all shake out? How do your clients, stakeholders and employees respond?

For Grant Kirkpatrick and Erik Evens, those hypotheticals recently became a reality. The Los Angeles–based pair have rethought their firm, KAA Design Group, and launched two separate studios—Kirkpatrick Architects and Evens Architects. The evolution occurred over the course of nearly two years, the outgrowth of a serious evaluation of how best to serve both their own interests and the goals and desires of their clients.

As Kirkpatrick puts it, “We both have become more interested in coming from our true core competencies.” In Evens case, it means projects with a classical look still adapted to the realities of modern living, while Kirkpatrick’s own focus is on “the warm contemporary arena,” he notes.

Grant Kirkpatrick's Kirkpatrick Architects will focus on warm, contemporary designs. Image courtesy Kirkpatrick Architects.

At the same time, and through years of experience, the architects had discovered that their clients tended to come to them with a set of design expectations already in place. “Our clients want someone who is a fire breather for what they want to do,” says Kirkpatrick. “The more we can immerse ourselves in a certain window of this business, the better our clients are being served.

After a bit of shock, the decision has been roundly supported on all sides. (Although a bit of convincing was needed initially for some. “I did get asked if we were breaking up,” says Kirkpatrick.) Within the firm, the ramifications of the transition are still being worked out. “A few key people ran up the flag one way or the other,” reports Evens. “Others are taking their time making their decision. We want them to land in a place that they feel strongly about. It will evolve in the next year or so.”

Despite the separation into two studios, says Kirkpatrick, “Fundamentally, we both believe in the same approach to good architecture—they follow the same script. We just travel different roads to get there.” The transition has also given both Evens and Kirkpatrick a new lease on their architectural lives. “We’ve never been more energized professionally,” Evens notes.

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