My fundamental hope for the year ahead is for a clear path for business in the UK in general.
We need that sense of direction to ensure that we can not only continue to grow in the UK, but that the built environment and the best-in-class services it provides can continue to be exported seamlessly around the world. We also need a clear direction in the interests of our people’s careers – it is a substantial challenge to attract and retain talent in the UK, and people need a clear career path when they commit to working here.
My biggest expectation is that Britain’s science and technology sector will begin to grow its influence in the wider built environment. Britain is a world leader in research and development, our scientists contribute hugely to the UK and global economy, yet somehow this is almost an undisclosed, unrecognised feature of mainstream British business life. I expect the world of science and technology to begin to feature more widely in mixed-use development in the heart of our cities, with laboratories in particular becoming a key part of the blend.
Resolution: To grow the HOK London studio alongside our new design heads John Rhodes and David Weatherhead, flying the flag as a vigorous ‘made in the UK’ business operating as part of a highly successful global architecture brand.
Dan Hajjar, managing principal, HOK
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2019 forecasts: what lies ahead
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2019 forecast: Dan Hajjar (HOK)