How do you create physical structures that sustain both human communities and the natural environment? For architects Greg Papay and Brandi Rickels of the Texas-based firm Lake|Flato, it starts with emphasizing locally sourced, regenerative resources whenever possible. But it also means evolving their firm’s culture at the right pace, so their own organization is as sustainable as the buildings they create. In broad strokes, that comes down to preserving core values while adapting to new opportunities and accelerating into occasional left turns. Papay and Rickels have found that providing strong mentorship while avoiding stiff hierarchies, finding the optimal size for project groups, and knowing when to let goals be open-ended have all helped Lake|Flato grow while keeping sight of what ultimately matters.
Educators: Activate a discussion about scaling and purpose in your classroom with a Lake|Flato case study (see show notes) that explores the firm’s inflection points and strategic decisions.