Since February 2020, we have all experienced the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, our firm’s priorities remain steadfast. We are focusing on the health and safety of our people (our employees, our clients and partners, and our communities) and continued delivery of world class design. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has changed the way we think about and approach the design of the built environment – particularly our homes, offices, and cities. This is why our firm’s values remain as important as ever during this time. Here is what we mean:
- Question the Norm – We regularly monitor trends, data, facts, and insights to inform our work, but we don’t make knee-jerk decisions that aren’t in the long-term interest of our clients or our business. We are naturally curious, but we are skeptical of the white noise that can clutter our attention with empty promises and advice that won’t endure the next news cycle. We are a research-based design firm, and we rigorously evaluate credible resources as we provide advice and solutions to our clients and to the community.
- Design with Passion – Every one of us wants to return to normal as soon as is safely possible. The extended time away from our offices is providing us with the space to reflect on new design-driven ideas to help facilitate this safe return and to ensure continued thriving once we are back to (new) normal. In the meantime, our work continues with just as much passion as ever. We are adept at engaging with our clients through virtual means. We have quickly designed new tools that enable us to virtually facilitate engaging work sessions with our clients. We are continuously iterating new ways of delivering our work as flexibly as possible. We know our clients are experiencing the same challenges, so we are offering all of our services with the mutual understanding that flexibility is key to a productive working relationship during this time.
- Build What’s Next – We are regularly discussing what the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak mean for the future of our built environment. Some solutions will be short-term and temporary, while others will be long-term and possibly permanent. We are working with our clients to determine what this means for them. Solutions will range in scale and complexity. We may see changes in the designs of building air handling systems, sanitary features of core bathrooms, and surface materials. Planning metrics, seating ratios, and design strategies may change. We work with clients across the world and across industries and sectors. We will draw from our interdisciplinary knowledge base and apply best practices where feasible while also recognizing that one-size-fits-all solutions are seldom realistic.
HLW has been in business since 1885. We are one of the oldest continuously operating architectural practices in the United States. Our partnership has weathered numerous changes, disruptions, and business cycles throughout this rich history. Our resiliency as a firm is a testament to the values we embrace as we continue to do the best work we can for our clients, which shape our world, our cities, and our immediate communities.