Nick Gaskell:
How to build communities from scratch

This week on the SpaceCraft podcast, Dan Moscrop interviews Nick Gaskell, a Partner and Workplace Sector Lead at Hawkins Brown, an innovative architecture and workplace design firm. They discuss how groundbreaking workspace design transforms office environments and company branding.

Nick highlights Hawkins Brown's non-hierarchical culture, allowing younger architects to grow within the firm. He emphasizes evolving workplace culture and the impact of collaborative efforts in workspace design and architecture.

Nick shares insights into ongoing projects like Here East, incorporating diverse industries and creative spaces, fostering collaboration and innovation through innovative architecture and workplace design. He discusses the industrial hybrid concept, integrating light industrial, logistics spaces into urban settings, creating diverse and sustainable environments through creative workspace design.

The conversation delves into Hawkins Brown's architecture and workplace design for the science and tech sector, particularly lab-enabled office spaces. Nick highlights the shift towards more open, accessible science campuses, fostering connections between companies and communities through collaborative workspace branding and design.

They discuss integrating AI into their design processes, particularly in architecture and workplace design. They explore using AI to generate design ideas, iterating through the creative process. They also delve into landscape and environment's importance in creating conducive workspaces, emphasizing collaborative developer-tenant relationships to address sustainability challenges.

The discussion touches on modular construction methods, meanwhile workspace uses, evolving attitudes towards building longevity, sustainability in architecture and workplace design driven by market demands, regulatory considerations, highlighting adaptive, forward-thinking approaches.

Nick discusses their sustainability investment over five years, highlighting a "hBert" Revit plugin collaboration predicting embodied carbon during design, emphasizing the shift from operational to embodied carbon through sustainable material choices in architecture and workplace branding.

They also discuss projects outside workplaces, like a hostel for homeless families, modular youth centers prioritizing sustainability through timber-framed volumetric modular construction, reflecting Hawkins Brown's commitment to cultural, civic projects through community-centric architecture and design.

Nick talks about expanding their presence, particularly in Italy, the Venice Biennale participation, concluding with three takeaways: diversifying spaces and tenants, thinking across scales, breaking industry silos, creating porous public-interacting spaces through integrated workplace design and branding strategies aligning with the firm's new office facilitating public interaction.