Designing Better Futures
goes beyond the
simple idea of risk
reduction to creating
places which are
beneficial to us —
Deputy Managing Director
Sustainable Strategies + Environment
“Social responsibility and environmental protection are at the heart of our DNA,” says Gwennaële Chabroullet, deputy managing director, Sustainable Strategies and Environmental Transition Division. “We integrate social and ecological concerns into all our activities and into our relationships with our customers, employees and partners.”
ARP Astrance recently reinvented their own workplace in Paris, which has been certified by CERTIVEA (France’s leading certification body for sustainable living environments) and awarded its OsmoZ label. The new space was designed to maximize flexibility, reuse existing furniture and carpet and include biophilic elements everywhere to enhance the wellbeing of people and reduce carbon by more than 75%. The space is also in the process of receiving the Circolab® Label, the first Label that promotes circular economy real estate projects in France. “This project proves that it’s possible to do this, within a realistic budget and timing,” says Chabroullet.
“Net Positive™ not only refocuses and upcycles the macro levels of buildings and neighborhood masterplans, but those of interiors as well,” says Lafrance. “The result is a set of cascading benefits that extend from the improvement of public perception and employee attraction and retention to providing quantifiable degrees of user fulfillment alongside reduced operations costs and better ROIs.”
“Net Positive™ is our core ESG initiative centered on the scalable development of sustainable built environments, as well as holistic behavioral changes in users today and their resilient futures tomorrow,” explains Hugo Lafrance, director of Sustainability at Lemay.
translate the aspirations
and ambitions of the ARG
into a design response.
The Aboriginal Art and
Cultures Centre will be a
place for all Australians
to remember ourselves,
to learn the truth-telling
of our past, and to
together to create new
memories as a connected
Among the many initiatives Woods Bagot has undertaken to achieve this goal is its commitment to promoting reconciliation and raise awareness about colonization and its ongoing effects on Indigenous people. Woods Bagot’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) demonstrates the firm’s dedication to building stronger relationships with Indigenous communities through meaningful partnerships, collaborating with local Indigenous leaders, elders and organizations to ensure their voices are heard and respected in the planning and design processes.
Currently, Woods Bagot is working with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre (AACC) in Adelaide, Australia. The AACC is being built on Kaurna land and will showcase the past, present and future of Aboriginal cultures while supporting contemporary art practices and events. The design team engaged in deep conversations with members of the AACC Aboriginal Reference Group (ARG) to discover the design vision. Woods Bagot principal Rosina Di Maria described the consultation process as a humbling and emotional experience.
Global Director of Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
A major initiative is the Gensler Apprenticeship Program (GAP) — the first of Gensler’s Design Education + Employment Programs (DEEP). GAP is a two-year, paid apprenticeship that offers an alternate path into the design industry that does not require a degree. Gensler apprentices work alongside design professionals to receive real-world experience in design, construction and business through hands-on applications. The program aims to bring people with a diversity of thought, backgrounds and unique skills into the firm while empowering individuals to make a change in their life and the lives of others.
Designing the first new net-positive campus for Wells Fargo in Las Colinas, Texas, Corgan delivered a facility that encourages a positive employee experience and relationship with the environment. Expected to generate more renewable energy on-site than it consumes, the project will pursue LEED Platinum certification. Achieving net-positivity with the energy demands of the Texas climate required a comprehensive approach including site planning, building massing and façade articulation, solar panels, regionally-sourced materials, lighting interventions, interstitial biophilic elements and whole lifecycle assessment (LCA) to reduce embodied carbon in materials used, especially its concrete structure.
Topping the towers and garage, three structures are completely covered in photovoltaic panels, which convert light into electricity. Hoisted in the air with a finely articulated steel canopy structure, they crown the building and are softly up-lit at night creating the illusion of a delicate floating plane — serving as a signature mark of the project and its vision.
spaces isn’t enough.
We want to make
sure every stakeholder
can make informed
our impact on the
people who inhabit
Principal/Regional Leader of WorkPlace
A few years ago, HOK launched an internal Designing for Equity platform to give their design teams the framework and resources they need to create equitable solutions. “Our goal is to enlighten organizations about what they should be thinking about in the design and construction process and then equip them with the tools to put it into practice,” says Washington. “We want to inspire conversations that matter around the topic of equity before our clients make critical decisions. The needs of their people need to be the main consideration. Ultimately, design can be a catalyst for change and evolution through space, opportunities and experiences.”
HOK’s people dedicate significant time to speaking on panels, participating in industry conferences, and collaborating with strategic partners who share their passion for inclusivity. “We consistently challenge our industry at events to lock arms and be in this together. Our hope is that these ideas are adopted by our peers and partners. If, as a collective, designers ask the right questions, we can help our clients make the best decisions, not just for their real estate but for their people,” says Washington.