Cultivating the Next Generation of Design Professionals at Architecture / Design Thinking Week

Cultivating the Next Generation of Design Professional at Architecture / Design Thinking Week

A cohort of 20 Boston Public high school students joined three HMFH designers over the February break to participate in Architecture/Design Thinking Week at BSA Space. This program provides students with the hands-on opportunity to learn about the profession of architecture from young professionals working in the field.

The four-day event introduced participants to distinct phases of the design process including programming; conceptual design; design development; and construction administration. Throughout the week students exercised extreme creativity with drawings, collage, and model making to design a wide range of rooms and nooks that represented their ideal workspaces. HMFH facilitated the final day, which focused on construction administration (CA). To explore the concepts of CA, our designers Hannah Keith, Jake Picariello, and Nallely Salazar guided participants through the process of selecting finishes, specifying materials, and thinking through fine details such as where in a space one might hang their backpack.

Before the interactive session began, students were presented with a deep dive into some of HMFH’s recent design work, which gave them insight into the wide-ranging skills that are required to accomplish exemplary school building design. The projects reviewed included the four-phased construction of Arlington High School, the Annie E. Fales School which is distinguished as the first net-positive energy school in New England, and the Bristol County Agricultural High School. By seeing the building drawings and learning about work that included coordination with consultants and stakeholder engagement, students could visualize a variety of possible careers.

In addition to providing participants with insight into career pathways in AEC, Architecture/Design Thinking Week provides our designers with mentorship opportunities. Cultivating the next generation of architects and instilling in them a passion for design is one of our core values, which we pursue through community outreach, providing summer intern opportunities, mentorship, and by participating in programs such as Architecture/Design Thinking Week.

Architecture/Design Thinking Week, is a collaborative effort between the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA), the BSA Foundation, Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), Finegold Alexander Architects, Goody Clancy, Sasaki/Sasaki Foundation, and HMFH, which has been participating for the past five years.

Fales Elementary Wins BE+ Green Building of the Year!

Fales Elementary Wins BE+ Green Building of the Year!


HMFH’s Annie E. Fales Elementary School won Green Building of the Year at the 2023 Built Environment Plus (BE+) Green Building Showcase—an annual awards program recognizing projects for excellence in healthy, sustainable, and regenerative design.

The Green Building of the Year award honors the most impressive, holistically sustainable project, determined by a panel of industry peers. This marks the second consecutive year that an HMFH project received the Green Building of the Year award, a testament to our continued commitment to designing sustainable learning environments that benefit entire communities.

The Annie E. Fales Elementary School sets a precedent for energy-efficient design as New England’s first net-positive energy public school. On track to achieve LEED Gold, the all-electric facility generates 11.6% more energy than it uses with an extensive rooftop PV array and geothermal well field.

Project goals rooted in sustainability and environmental stewardship drove the design, which exceeds ambitious energy targets and connects students to their local environment.

  • A sculptural, sawtooth roof design maximizes space for a 25,000 sf PV array and creates north-facing clerestories that fill the interiors with natural light
  • Forty 600-foot-deep geothermal wells supply heating and cooling to the building
  • Strategic siting on a steeply sloped site and a well-insulated exterior envelope minimizes heat loss and gain
  • Whimsical environmental graphics depict the school mascot (Annie the Hedgehog) traveling through local ecosystems to inspire environmental stewardship at the elementary level

“It’s great to see energy positive performance in a publicly funded school project. The focus on connecting kids to nature will reap huge benefits for the students and teachers.”

Jury Comments | Built Environment Plus

HMFH Recognized as Emerging Professional Friendly Firm

HMFH Recognized as Emerging Professional Friendly Firm

First recognized in 2019, HMFH maintains its status as an Emerging Professional Friendly Firm going into 2022. HMFH was one of 34 firms to receive this year’s designation from the AIA New England for our supportive culture and continued investment in the professional growth of emerging staff throughout 2021.

The core of our practice is our valued staff, and at HMFH emerging professionals represent not only the future of our firm but the future of the design industry. Under the guidance of HMFH Associate Caitlin Osepchuk, a former AIA New England Young Architects Regional Director, the firm actively encourages young staff members to grow professionally and develop expertise and leadership both within the firm and in the profession at large. The range of opportunities for professional development include:

  • Active involvement in various committees
  • An annual stipend for professional education and research
  • A supported path to licensure with prep materials, study groups, online classes, and guidance from senior colleagues
  • Involvement in the BSA’s annual Young Designers Professional Development Institute (YDPDI)
  • Paid expenses for active membership in professional activities
  • One-on-one check-ins to foster our culture of inclusion and support

Congratulations to all 2021 Emerging Professional Friendly Firms!

Suni Dillard Helps Develop Embodied Carbon Series

Suni Dillard Helps Develop Embodied Carbon Series

A champion of healthy materials and one of HMFH’s own sustainability leaders, Suni Dillard drives environmentally responsible design both in and out of the office. She recently helped develop a new 12-part program hosted by the Boston Society for Architecture on embodied carbon—the emissions created by materials’ production processes—to empower fellow industry professionals to employ carbon reduction strategies in the built environment.

Supported by the Carbon Leadership Forum group in Boston, the panel topics include basic literacy as well as procurement, structure, engineering, and advanced certifications. In addition to advising the BSA on the series’ development, she moderated the installment on structure and will be moderating the advanced panel on certifications and commitments.

Since joining HMFH, Suni has quickly established herself as a resource and advocate for the integration of social, environmental, and economically sustainable solutions to design challenges of all sizes.

Panels from the Embodied Carbon 101 series are recorded and archived here.