Creative Collaboration

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Change happened in September 2008 when our mailbox began filling up with portfolios without advertising for open jobs. Up until that point, it was almost impossible to hire experienced staff as a young and emerging firm. The reason, of course, was that architectural firms had started to layoff 20, 30, up to 50% of their staff.

With our inbox filling up, we were able to take on new initiatives and more speculative projects with some of the most talented and creative people in the industry. We engaged in research into aging and architecture that led to a project for a retirement community in Africa and the “Space Aging” design project, a design manual for the future of nursing homes. We also formed a new company in collaboration with Kreative Konzeptione, and started a social networking site for architects and architectural projects with the name Architizer which launched just a few weeks ago.

As unfortunate and tough as the economic crisis has been, it also has helped remind the architectural profession to revisit social responsibility as a key element of our work, reinforcing the need for creativity where once money was the driving force. It has recreated a sense of community within the profession. We are working together to begin the process of designing for a better world – not just a world that looks better, a world that is better.

Below: Retirement Community in Africa by HKWN

About The Author

Matthias Hollwich is principal of HOLLWICHKUSHNER, LLC, a New York City based architecture and concept design firm. He is also co-founder of ARCHITIZER, a social networking platform connecting architects via their designs. Matthias is driven by the aim to upgrade man-made environments on a human and engaging scale with an ECONIC twist and can be best reached at www.hwkn.com. (mh@hwkn.com)

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