How We Work

Seek function, crave beauty

In our fast-changing, complex world, our challenge is more significant than ever. We need to develop empathy for each individual client and the people who inhabit their buildings; we need to understand mega-trends in the culture and technology and grasp how each of our markets is likely to progress in the future; we need to effectively learn from one another; and we need a deep awareness of the social and environmental impact of the built environment.

Insight to Impact

HGA employs a holistic, research-based approach to design. Our work is always built upon a foundation of deep, penetrating insight into client needs; it is fueled by empathy, curiosity, and our resolve to deliver the extraordinary. We are driven to understand broad social and technological developments and market-specific challenges, and to delve deeply into our clients’ organizations. In addition to the insight from our design teams, our unique collective of in-house specialists—process engineers, design thinking specialists, evidence-based researchers, and others—work together to help us understand what is critical to the quality of our clients’ work, and thus to ours. On this foundation of fresh understanding, we help clients create purposeful design with an enduring impact.

Integrated Design

As a multidisciplinary design firm, we are uniquely adept at working together to create holistic solutions. Our team-based process encourages vital knowledge sharing, allowing the diversity of a project’s needs to be integrated early on. This results in a more powerful, efficient process, a better design experience, and a higher-performing, more purposeful, and more enduring solution for our clients.


Research is foundational to our work and philosophy. It is a fundamental link between the curiosity that propels us to dig deeper and the knowledge that enables us to help our clients and communities to thrive. The scope of our research work is broad—from the innovations that will drive our clients’ future business to the technological and social changes that will enable unique and inspiring design solutions. We also aim to learn from individual projects through leveraging technology, data collection, and ethnography—to inform the next project, and translate into the next great idea.


Technology elevates our understanding of decisions made during the design phase and the ultimate impact they have on the built environment. HGA has long been a leader in the use of in BIM, Computation, Visualization, and Fabrication, and has continued to innovate by not only developing new technologies to explore and analyze building information, but also to build empathy for all those who inhabit the spaces we design. Our Digital Practice Group is committed to utilizing pioneering technology and is a trailblazer in its implementation to make a positive impact.

Specialized Processes and Delivery

We are committed to tailoring our process for every client’s context. We are national leaders in Lean and Integrated Project Delivery for healthcare clients; we have had significant success in design-build projects for higher education; and we have built incredibly strong relationships with developers who lead projects for workplace. Regardless of process, early involvement of owners, design teams, contractors, and users is paramount to developing solutions suited to each client.