This is Derek Miller Speaking on Business.  HKS Architects is an international firm improving lives through design. Mike Vela, Office Director and Principal at their Salt Lake City office, is here to share how they’ve adapted during these unprecedented times.

Mike Vela

In response to a warning from our Shanghai office about a deadly virus, we implemented a three-step process. First, we tested our system’s ability to handle a fully remote workforce. On March 16th, the entire firm seamlessly moved to a remote working environment with minimal interruption. HKS teams connected and collaborated in novel ways –working as “one firm” across time zones to produce innovative solutions for clients.

Next, we developed and shared thought leadership on innovative and transformational ways to address the pandemic through our website and social media. We tackled global issues of isolation and loneliness, shared our research findings, designed “pop-up” testing and treatment facilities, studied the behavioral repercussions of our current state, and helped clients reshape their operations to weather this health and economic crisis.

Finally, we looked upon COVID as an accelerator for change. We adapted everything we know as a leader in healthcare design to all areas of our practice—home, work, school, hotels, and entertainment venues. COVID continues to be a huge disruptor, but may also be an important catalyst for designing healthier spaces and communities.

Derek Miller

HKS Architects positively impacts communities in Utah and abroad. Learn more at I’m Derek Miller with the Salt Lake Chamber, and this is Speaking on Business.