LS3P is made up of a tapestry of voices; each unique perspective teaches us something new about design and why it matters. Foresight celebrates our thought leaders from all practice areas and all career stages. Our diverse, multigenerational team inspires us to explore new ideas and elevates the practice of design. All COVID-19 Faith Foresight Healthcare High Performance Design Higher Education Hospitality Interiors K-12 Office Senior Living After living with the threat of COVID-19 for several months, it is increasingly clear that we will need to manage this situation for some time to come. Habits and lifestyle changes adopted as pandemic strategies may prove enduring, and these changes will be reflected in our designs in both the short-term and long-term. Multifamily developments pose unique challenges and opportunities. Designers must consider how people use private residential spaces as well as public shared spaces. In both settings, design and operational strategies can support healthier, more comfortable lifestyles as needs evolve. When colleagues at Mazzetti asked LS3P to join an effort led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering (IFHE), we were honored and humbled by the opportunity to help. The directive was to present strategies for circulation, social distancing, PPE, and ventilation for an existing healthcare facility in Dedougou, Burkina Faso to prepare for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. The urgency of the situation was reflected in the ambitious timeline- eight days from kickoff meeting to final draft. We want to create spaces where children want to be. In the spaces we experience, few design elements are as high-impact and low-cost as color. A well-chosen color scheme can improve safety, support mental focus, protect vision, elevate mood, assist with wayfinding, promote kindness, encourage active learning, reinforce branding, and create a welcoming learning environment for all. Which colors work, and which colors don’t? There is no one-size-fits-all solution to color selection in the school environment. For much of the history of architecture, change has been plodding. Shifts in building typologies, construction methods, and dominant styles occurred over centuries, not months. In the modern era, our level of interconnectedness and technological access continues to accelerate the rate at which change occurs. Some changes are anticipated, such as the long-term impacts of emerging technologies, construction materials, or market shifts. Others are abrupt, such as the global pandemic which necessitated a rapid transformation of the ways in which we work. In the face of such changes, the old adage still applies: if you sit still, you die. Firms must either adapt readily or struggle mightily, whether change occurs over years or minutes. COVID-19’s impacts on the travel industry are vast and far-reaching. With the global pandemic affecting travel worldwide, air travel has plunged to post 9/11 levels. Disruptions to the industry are likely to persist as long as the virus remains a threat, and many people will choose not to fly long after restrictions are lifted due to COVID-related health concerns or economic constraints. Expertise has never been more vital, in architecture and in many other industries. Expertise is what allows us to solve problems without reinventing the wheel, to innovate based on a solid foundation of knowledge, and to earn the trust of our clients and communities as we listen to what they truly need. Expertise goes beyond skill, folding in sound judgement and the ability to synthesize information from diverse perspectives to create solutions that serve our communities. Over the past few weeks, we have found ourselves in the midst of a unique opportunity. We have been forced to change our routines, and our days look very different than they used to. A change of perspective can be enlightening: when we move through the same routine every day, it is easy to keep on our blinders and focus only on the things along our own path. When our routines are suddenly altered, however, we may discover and learn new things. This can be a difficult or even frightening process, so we rarely do it by choice. A visit to the doctor will not be the same after COVID-19. As our healthcare practitioners prepare to re-open medical office buildings after COVID-19 closures, they will be working in a very different medical landscape. Healthcare organizations are committed to delivering the best possible care for their patients, and are extremely conscious of new protocols for both patient and staff safety. LS3P is exploring with our clients ways in which clinics can adapt the physical environment to help maintain physical distancing and follow CMS recommendations for reopening facilities to provide non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare. With campus cultures rooted in socialization, communal activities, and interdisciplinary collaborations, colleges and universities around the globe face big unknowns in the face of COVID-19 disruptions and recovery. What is known is that higher education in the era of COVID-19 will look significantly different until this pandemic subsides. Although the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be understood for some time, the workplace as we know it will certainly change. We must strategize new ways to learn and grow from what we are experiencing in order to make the workplace as safe and healthy as possible for all. School districts across the United States (and around the world) have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 virus outbreak. School closures have affected 9 out of 10 children globally; we have never before experienced an educational disruption of this scale and duration. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents all look forward to schools reopening, sooner or later, begging the question: What happens when we return to school? To practice architecture in the South is to work and walk amongst the ghosts of days gone by. Our story, and our history, is rich, complicated, difficult, beautiful, evolving- and, at every stage, deeply rooted in our sense of place. In every endeavor, it is imperative that we operate with a with a healthy respect for, and understanding of, “the past.” Our memories run and cut long and deep. In a natural disaster, maintaining hospital function is critical to an effective response. For several years now, LS3P, a regional architecture, interiors, and planning firm with eight offices in the Southeast, has been working with hospitals and other critical infrastructure to bolster Resiliency Preparedness plans. The strategies which emerged from these plans focused on rapid recovery after hurricanes, floods, or snowstorms. Suggestions typically involved hardened HVAC systems in strategic locations; bolstered IT systems; hurricane resistant exterior wall, window, and roof systems; and so forth. Then COVID-19 hit. As designers, we have a responsibility to improve and enrich the communities in which we live. This responsibility to design a more perfect situation for the common good is enshrined in the very fiber of our country’s Declaration of Independence. Our founders were compelled to not accept the status quo, but to design a situation that allowed them to secure their unalienable rights – and to improve their community. Is that not what we strive for as architects and designers? Over the last two years, LS3P has engaged in an intensive, deliberate process of planning for the next stages of our Firm’s evolution. The new strategic plan that emerged from this important endeavor is rooted in our enduring foundational values while setting ambitious goals to position us for future opportunities. As we look towards the next five years, we are proud of our accomplishments and excited about our forward momentum. As we worked through this evolution process, the new Vision that emerged quickly became a touchstone, helping us to develop our strategic goals and reinforce our values. As an architect, I like looking at glossy images of beautiful buildings as much as the next designer. However, when we look back on our projects, sometimes the story that sticks with us is the hard work and design sweat that goes into the process. The joy of problem solving, the interesting challenges, and the valuable lessons learned along the way linger long after the punch list is finished and the tenants move in. Our profession has historically been known for its committed community engagement. We are not only responsible for designing beautiful buildings but are also the authors and creators of spaces that provide safe environments. We design structures to resist strong forces; we study codes and apply them; we work with consultants to ensure that these structures will resist hypothetical scenarios. But what happens when these scenarios become a reality? What does our profession offer when the environment is not safe anymore? A sabbatical, often known as a period of leave granted to academics or clergy members, offers an opportunity for those in demanding professions to rest or recharge. The concept of a sabbatical has expanded a bit in recent years to accommodate our evolving work patterns. People change jobs more frequently than in past eras; they’re also less likely to be working a job with a traditional 9-to-5 Monday to Friday schedule, and they’re more plugged in than ever. Our level of connectivity creates unprecedented flexibility, but it also erodes the boundaries that allow us to disconnect and unwind. The sabbatical is more important than ever, for those in a variety of professions, and taking one might be more feasible than you’d imagine. The act of creating things, whether art or architecture or literature, is a joyous process. It’s also frequently uncomfortable and occasionally frustrating, and it requires a level of both vulnerability and focus we’re rarely asked to achieve in the course of more straightforward work. Despite the requisite anguish, creative pursuits are deeply rewarding and are fundamentally rooted in our humanity. Though we each play our own roles in the design and construction process- clients initiating (and paying for) the project, architects creating the design, consultants lending specialized expertise, and contractors turning the design into a finished building- none of us can do our jobs effectively alone. It takes all of us working together toward a common goal to make a project successful. When we approach the process with an authentic spirit of teamwork, the collaboration becomes truly enjoyable as well. As legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” As designers, we are charged with a complex multitude of decisions to best serve our clients, communities, and artistic conscience. While most of our time is spent drawing and coordinating, the act of building is the central core of why we do what we do. Experiential Graphic Design (EGD) blends graphic design, architecture, and interior design to help our buildings’ users understand, navigate, and experience the built environment. EGD offers a high-impact tool for providing information, reinforcing brand identity, and assisting with wayfinding. In short, EGD aims to create a meaningful and memorable experience for people moving through a building. Four LS3P team members recently attended the Women’s Leadership Summit hosted by AIA Minnesota in Minneapolis. The leadership conference, aimed at women architects and designers, featured three days of speakers and events on topics such as harnessing potential, cultivating diversity and inclusion, and leading with authenticity. LS3P’s participants attended a variety of sessions and shared their key conference takeaways, and gathered their thoughts and seeds for further discussion below. The state of not knowing everything should keep us humble, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t know important things, both collectively and individually. Some of us are even experts in specific areas. In most architecture firms, there are experts around every corner. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. In this industry we have many experiences in common, but many of us bring experiences and perspectives that are unusual; we can all learn from these unique perspectives. Having a variety of voices at the table makes us better architects and better people. The library of the past may evoke memories of card catalogues, stacks that smelled slightly musty, and the need to tiptoe quietly through the lobby. A librarian probably used a self-inking stamp that made a familiar clacking sound when your book was stamped at checkout. As fond as these memories may be, however, today’s libraries have evolved into light-filled multimedia spaces with a variety of functions. Despite the substantial changes, solid guidelines for library design still apply to the library of the future. School systems around the country are constantly navigating an ever-changing educational landscape. In addition to implementing curricula and meeting the academic, emotional, and physical needs of a diverse and rapidly growing population of students, school systems must accommodate changing demographics, shifting class sizes, evolving pedagogies, increased technology requirements, trends in flexibility, and increased security. All of these elements have hastened the need to modernize campuses throughout the US. To provide our interns a more comprehensive understanding of “how the magic happens” in professional practice, we created a structured Summer Internship Presentation (SIP) series that touched on a variety of topics ranging from sustainability to technology to human resources to design process. A few of our interns share their thoughts and lessons learned from the summer through our SIP program. Because we design the built environments that make up cities, architects are especially poised for significant collaborations with civic leaders, community members, and urban planners in imagining and shaping different possibilities for a city. For this reason, it is important for architects to remain engaged and find opportunities to plug into their local conversations about their city’s development. What is it that separates buildings from architecture? How does one begin to make the distinction between insignificant work and significant architecture, with a conviction which contributes to advancing design excellence for our clients, our firms, and ultimately, our profession? Architects are often called, or called upon, to serve as “citizen architects,” a role that engages our unique problem-solving skills and knowledge to fill a need or address a community issue. For those who are interested in exploring international service opportunities, Engineering Ministries International (eMi) is an excellent avenue to pursue. Gone are the days where companies sell a product or service; in today’s market, organizations must sell their brands. This brand ambassadorship applies to attracting candidates just as much as it applies to attracting clients. The application of brand building techniques in recruiting talent is not new; however, it is something each of us should be doing every day. In the spirit of innovation and collaboration, AIA South Atlantic recently hosted a joint conference in Asheville, NC for members of AIA NC, AIA SC, AIA GA, and beyond. The ASPIRE Experience hosted world-class designers and thinkers for a three-day event using venues across the city in April; the resulting conversations were inspiring and energizing. LS3P’s Faith Studio begins every project by listening intently to understand each church’s unique ministry and vision. Our team adheres to the premise that we partner with the churches we serve to create a structure that will ultimately serve as a tool to amplify their ministries. Our “Canvas Session” workshops allow us to understand our clients’ needs, goals, and vision. Once we have a grasp on the vision, our design team uses a variety of tools to enable the churches we serve to more effectively cast this vision to their congregation. Each church’s journey is different, so we work with each on a case-by-case basis to help provide information, images, videos, models, and immersive experiences that allow each congregation to tell its unique story. “Manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.” – Emily Post. On any given day, we may find ourselves communicating with our clients and colleagues by e-mail, instant messaging, smart phones, texts, teaming software, various social media channels, and occasionally even face-to-face contact. The complexities of technology and our tendencies toward information overload can accelerate the pace of communication, but may also encourage shortcuts in our interactions, to the detriment of our intentions to show courtesy to everyone we encounter. Those who are drawn to work in the architectural profession are a unique bunch. We may arrive at a design firm with different backgrounds, career goals, workflows, and perspectives, but we tend to have more commonalities than differences in the things that matter most. We believe that design matters, and we believe in using our critical thinking and problem-solving skills to address important challenges. Those of us who live in coastal areas like my hometown of Wilmington, NC are accustomed to weathering hurricanes. We stock up on batteries, board up windows, and make sure we have enough nonperishable food to last a couple of days if the power goes out. We’ll swap family stories with those who remember Hurricanes Hazel or Fran or Floyd, and maybe make coffee on the grill to share with our neighbors. The first rule of high performance design is to create spaces that are beautiful and beloved by all stakeholders including the client, users, and community. This will ensure the building is preserved, relevant and maintained for 25, 50, 100, 200 years. For those of us who didn’t grow up playing video games, Virtual Reality (VR) might at first seem like a design tool that requires advanced-level digital expertise and a great deal of work. My recent VR experience, however, has taught me that VR technology is a fantastic way to draw people into the design process. (The high-tech gamer headsets are just a bonus.) The technology allows us to collaborate and share our ideas in an efficient, engaging way that creates a vivid experience of walking through a space. In addition to being a lot of fun, VR is an excellent tool for building a shared understanding among team members and makes it easy for us to visualize and adjust the design throughout the process. Today’s architects are living in interesting times. Long gone are the days when we had to be experts in drafting by hand; computer-aided design (CAD) software and 3-D modeling tools can generate measured drawings and photorealistic renderings with a keystroke. Is this a good thing? Not always. When it comes to the design process, technology is both a blessing and a curse. It can speed us up, or slow us down; expand our design capabilities, or limit our imagination to what we can accomplish expediently within the limits of the software. Digital tools can drive the design process in unconscious ways that inhibit exploration. As it turns out, old-school connection of hand-to-paper is a vital part of the process of “design thinking.” Recognizing that representation matters, the architecture, construction, and engineering industry has made substantial progress in recent years in terms of increasing both gender and racial diversity. As a profession we still have a long way to go, but these days we are doing a far better job of recruiting potential future architects among one important demographic in particular: the kids in our communities. LEAN Design principles have long been associated with the manufacturing industry. Toyota originally pioneered this process for its automotive assembly lines, and LEAN principles have since been disseminated and applied worldwide. Eliminating waste- whether in materials, motions, or time- is a fantastic way to improve production and reduce errors, whether the product is cars or widgets or boxes of cereal. In recent years, biofuels have become feasible and economically competitive. This has resulted in manufacturing plants that grow microalgae in large open fields or work in tandem with coal plants sequestering carbon dioxide by feeding it directly to an attached algae plant. The US alone has over 50 research institutions and 100 companies working on algae technologies. The existing market uses microalgae facilities as add-ons to existing power plants; however, this is predicted to be a temporary transitional phase before biofuel plants begins to overtake conventional stored fuel sources and large-scale algae fields become more common. We instinctively configure our homes to create a sense of safety. Our most public and transparent spaces are typically at our entries, while our most private and secluded spaces tend to be more solid and sheltered from public view. Our furnishings, art, and mementoes create a sense of comfort and connection; our homes are a haven from the stresses of the outside world. The long and occasionally arduous process of architectural licensure has a very important purpose: to assess readiness for assuming the important responsibilities of architectural practice. Establishing a minimum level of competence for licensure is critical for life safety, and upholding the highest standards for architects benefits both the public and the profession. Further, the licensure process not only allows candidates to demonstrate critical knowledge and problem-solving skills, but also to identify and rectify any knowledge gaps due to the widely varied professional environments and project sectors in which they gain practical experience. Today’s churches are more than just a place to worship; they are also a place to connect and build a community. Church projects often have tighter budget restrictions and want to balance function and form; recent trends in church design focus on creating spaces that are welcoming as well as practical. In my first design job out of college at a capital ‘A’ architecture firm, I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to attend a major national conference on green building. And by ‘attend,’ I mean that an architect named Todd let me borrow his nametag and attend all the sessions that he could not. I was an imposter at the conference, but I had the best of intentions to master the world of ‘green’ in those select lectures. I wondered what the sustainability hype was all about and what my role as an emerging designer was to embrace green-ness. According to a famous 1956 study on memory, cognitive psychologist George Miller demonstrated that the average number of pieces of information a human being can manage at one time is seven (plus or minus two). “Miller’s Law” led, among other things, to the creation of the seven-digit phone number. If you’ve ever attempted to dial a new phone number while someone in the background is talking, particularly about numbers, you’re probably familiar with the frustration of losing a digit or two and having to start again because your memory has hit capacity. We can only process so much at once. In recent years we have watched many industries (such as retail with the growth of Amazon and transportation with Uber) transform almost overnight through disruption and innovation. Our construction processes, however, are in many cases tied to outdated practices which better suited previous generations. A 2017 report from the McKinsey Global Institute entitled “Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity” explored the emerging factors which could drive the construction industry toward disruption and positive change, and identified a number of key strategies which have the potential to dramatically increase productivity across the entire construction sector. Here in the Lowcountry, we haven’t come across many teams with wholesale modified approaches to prefabrication, but prefab is coming. It has to. Biologist E. O. Wilson defined biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In architecture, the concept of biophilia is rooted in the idea that humans are innately drawn to the natural world and seek out natural elements within the built environment as well as outdoors. Biophilic design is more than just adding plants to a workspace; it creates a meaningful connection between the people who use a space and the environment through patterns, textures, and natural materials. Enhancing connections to nature within a design is a timeless practice which has found a renewed popularity in recent years as sustainable design and wellness have become high priorities for building owners. Lighting is more than just illumination; it also sets the tone, influences our moods, and enhances our emotions. Simply stated: lighting inspires. We have come to expect beautiful lighting in restaurant, theaters, and other welcoming and creative environments. We also expect that the design of fixtures and their layout within a space provides adequate illumination for each task at hand. Building codes typically regulate metrics such as foot-candle levels and energy usage, but seldom address other aspects of lighting design. I became a LEED Accredited Professional on September 29, 2006 during a firmwide push to have everyone in the firm become LEED accredited. Becoming a LEED AP was a big deal at the time; however, in the past twelve years, I have only had the opportunity to certify a single project. Does that mean that my project designs are not sustainable? On the contrary; USGBC and LEED have brought sustainable design to the forefront my thinking. Whether or not any particular project pursues LEED certification, LEED provides an invaluable knowledge base and a checklist for monitoring the sustainable ideas and elements within a specific project that can easily be confirmed and validated. As a measure of a building’s sustainable design, LEED has set the standard for the industry and continues to raise the bar for building performance. Restaurant design provides opportunities to welcome, inspire, and engage guests and create high-performance culinary work spaces for owners and staff. In addition to aesthetics, restaurant design involves many design and cost considerations which will impact decisions from the earliest project stages. Planning for these unique elements up front can streamline the design and construction process, and help architects to deliver the best possible design for their clients. Whether designing an intimate café or expansive cafeteria, the architect should consider these ten critical factors at the front end of design. Last century’s model of high school typically included two tracks: an academic path that prepared students for college, and a vocational path that prepared students to enter directly into the workforce after graduation. Today’s economy demands greater flexibility and broader options, and our 21st century models of education recognize that all students benefit from hands-on learning. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs offer this flexibility and real-world skills development, giving all students a head start on the future with coursework which transfers to college, technical college, or the workforce. LS3P works across a wide variety of project types, but certain specialized spaces present interesting design challenges across market sector boundaries. One such program area is a high performance room, a type of program space which might include a worship center auditorium, a corporate meeting space, or a performance space at a fine arts center. Our recent project work has included high performance rooms at Elevation Ballantyne’s new worship center, the “stairitorium” for the office’s town hall at AvidXchange, and auditoriums for Cape Fear Community College’s Wilson Center and Charlotte Christian School. Though these projects serve different functions, they draw from a similar tool kit of strategies to create a specialized space and a world-class user experience. Unlike the compartmentalized, lecture-based school models of the past, today’s educational facilities are blurring the lines between disciplines and encouraging collaborative, hands-on learning. On a community scale, our school systems are likewise breaking down educational silos to create centers for multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Rather than building single-use, single-user facilities which will function in isolation and meet one particular need, school systems are increasingly focused on creating spaces for new paradigms of teaching and learning and building meaningful partnerships in the process. Working on the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) campus has been an exciting experience, and one which has challenged me as an architect to explore and implement next-level strategies for sustainable design. Clemson University is deeply committed to building sustainable campus facilities, as evidenced by the recent LEED Gold certification of its Center for Emerging Technologies (CET). The design team had a mandate to achieve at least LEED Silver certification, and by using a holistic, integrated approach to sustainable design from the earliest project stages, we were able to exceed expectations and ultimately achieve LEED Gold status. It was a beautiful 1964 ½ Mustang. It was fast, and it belonged to my mother. Fortunately, she often handed the keys over to me, a teenager, and I happily put it through its paces. I remember how exhilarating it felt to drive that Mustang alongside other teenagers on the streets of 1960s Charleston. Not so long ago, freshman orientation was a daunting experience. A college acceptance letter kicked off a lengthy administrative process: packets of forms to be filled out and submitted in hard copy, followed by long lines for student IDs, parking passes, tuition payments, and financial aid questions. Even registering for classes was an in-person, on-paper chore. Getting set up for your first semester on a new campus could take several days of navigating from building to building, waiting for your turn to submit a form or ask a question. Your first days on campus felt like a prolonged trip to the DMV. As school districts nationwide plan for long-term maintenance and construction costs, they share a number of common concerns. Districts ask, “How much is a typical monthly maintenance bill, and what does it include? How much does it cost to bring a school up to ‘21st century learning’ standards? How much would it cost to build new? What’s the monthly maintenance cost difference between a renovated building and a new facility? What is the up-front cost difference between renovation and new construction?” On October 27, Clemson University will break ground on a new leading-edge building for the College of Business. This 176,000 SF building will double the University’s business education space, and will enable the College of Business to build a new paradigm of 21st century learning based on collaboration and creative collisions in our increasingly interconnected world. The Millennial Generation has entered its prime spending years. A cohort of this size, roughly 27% of the US population with over 80 million people, will inevitably impact trends across all industries, and the hospitality market is no exception. How can we best design hotels to meet the unique expectations of this generation? An emphasis on the local experience is a great place to start. As architects, we spend our careers building a distinctive set of skills. We’re trained not only to design buildings, but also to lead teams, identify and solve problems, and see the “big picture” in any situation. Product transparency between manufacturers and designers is critical not only to the success of a project, but also to the health of the people who will occupy a building. Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for a while now, but for architects, it’s been thrilling to start to reap the full benefits of this powerful tool for design and communication. Architecture has long been associated with permanence. In many respects we bear an unwritten obligation to design buildings that endure. Designing high performance workplace environments involves “designing everything” in tandem, focusing on three distinct domains of design practice: the physical facilities, the organizational work process and the IT systems. The success of the planning, programming, and design process for complex healthcare environments hinges upon authentic engagement with all stakeholders. The way we work has changed dramatically over the last generation or two. Your grandfather’s office probably had four walls and a door, and was sized per the hierarchy of the organization. Entry-level employees would toil away in the middle of the office, possibly in a high-walled cubicle, while management claimed the offices with windows. The most senior staff member held down the corner office with the best light and views. For a building to be Net Zero Ready, the estimated overall energy use must be reduced as far as possible before adding renewable energy sources. LS3P was recently offered the amazing opportunity to serve as part of an educational project team in Port au Prince, Haiti. Our friends at Stewart, a design, engineering, and planning firm with ties to many international projects, masterplanned the Quisqueya Christian School (QCS) preK-12 campus and invited LS3P to participate in the programming and schematic design of a new Sports Hall, Administration Building, and Chapel/Auditorium. Allied health training programs have evolved to meet 21st century needs, and today’s buildings must follow suit. Specialized training facilities blend the best attributes of both higher education and healthcare designs, requiring expertise in both disciplines. In particular, high-fidelity simulation labs offer students the chance to practice clinical skills in a safe, controlled environment.