As we look forward to the opportunities and challenges each new year presents, it’s useful to pause and reflect on past accomplishments. I like to think that some of our greatest achievements collectively within the design and construction professions are those that benefit the greater good – giving of ourselves to better the communities in which we live and serve every day. We can all understand that even on our most challenging workday, we’re far better off than so many others. Each year, we see hardships that communities and individuals face; adversities that prompt us to give of ourselves and do something for those who can really use a helping hand. Here at Huntsman, I’m proud that our staff volunteers their time towards a number of philanthropic organizations that support our local communities. These organizations’ commitment toward meeting community needs is an ongoing effort that happens all year long. It is in this spirit of looking back at a rewarding 2013 and looking forward with optimism for 2014 that I want to express thanks to our staff and to our many industry colleagues for sharing their time and their talents – the gift of design – throughout the year.
For the past 13 years, our staff has participated in Herman Miller’s We Care program. In more than 25 U.S. cities, the event brings together architectural and design firms in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America where kids get the chance to create handmade presents for their families and loved ones. Members of our New York office joined Herman Miller and leading design firms in support of this common cause. Together, they brought their expertise and passion for design to collaborate with kids in making these unique gifts – ranging from jewelry to holiday themed tee shirts to household items like placemats. “I’m so proud of everyone this year. It’s so fulfilling to see how the design community comes together as a whole to help these kids craft holiday gifts for family and friends, “ said Sabrina Thompson, who supports the coordination efforts on behalf of the Herman Miller A+D team in New York, “and it makes me happy to see how proud the kids are when they finish their craft. It really proves how the best presents aren’t ‘store bought.’ It also encourages the kids to get in touch with their creative side.”
2013 also saw our second year supporting Canstruction, the national fundraising event where firms construct giant-sized structures made entirely of canned food and whose proceeds benefit local food banks. The year’s theme was games, and entries could reference anything from classic board games to the more current mobile, electronic version. A dozen employees from our San Francisco office with GCI General Contractors and Rutherford & Chekene Engineers constructed a sculpture inspired by the video game Duck Hunt. Comprised of nearly 5,700 cans of a well-rounded meal (tuna, crab meat, salmon, beans, peas, and asparagus), the aluminum sculpture replicated a popular scene from the game featuring the hunting dog holding two waterfowl victories, one in each hand.
The following video captures the six-hour build in a 90 second time-lapse animation (courtesy of Jake Wiens):
All of us at Huntsman Architectural Group wish you the best in the new year.