Design for Innovation


Interview with Tim Hawk

“How do we do this again?” I asked Tim as I sat down with my iPhone recording our conversation.

“I’m just here to answer your questions,” he said. “What are we even talking about?”

“It has purple walls,” I replied. “It’s the zoo administration office.”

“It only has one purple wall,” he said in a mostly casual-but-protective tone.

“It’s a hallway, isn’t it?”

“It’s far more than that.”

The Columbus Zoo Administration Office was an early sustainability project. A prefabricated metal building was used to be respect time and efficiency. No trees were harmed in the making of this building. The zoo wanted to be extra sensitive to the environment in this way because while they did want a beautiful office space, they didn’t want to destroy the forests in order to have that. The floor is made of Marmoleum, a linoleum product that is made of all natural materials: linseed oil, pine rosin, ground cork dust. It was/is beautiful and economical simultaneously.

“We basically used a big, metal box and poked interesting holes in it to allow light,” Tim said as he jabbed the air with his hands in a poking motion. “The inside had huge volume, like a warehouse.” Within the walls of the building, another building was created to accommodate offices and conferencing. Open office space lived on top of that. There’s a clear current made apparent by the use of stairwells. Unique and custom railings were crafted to transform an otherwise ordinary experience into a grand idea. “We always get an opportunity to recognize the stair as an experience. Every building we’ve ever done, the stairs are special… we think about architecture as an experience.” The windows, although sparse, are huge and let in so much light in all the right spots.

1996 Pop Culture Facts

“If you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends…” and play N64 together for hours because it’s the only way people in 1996 could feel happiness after Tupac left the world (or did he?) The cool kids were getting on their Hotmail accounts and emailing one another about all the cool shows, like 7th Heaven and Third Rock from the Sun, and setting up dates to go see Twister, The Cable Guy, and Independence Day in the theater. The big news, though, is that if they were lucky, they might have been able to catch the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA! Tupac was probably there in spirit (OR FOR REAL).