Miller Hull

Miller Hull Design Week 2020

12-14-2020 |

By Margaret Sprug, AIA, Principal

“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”

– Richard Sherman, former Seattle Seahawk and future Hall of Famer

We want to be better stewards of the planet, better colleagues and community members, and better architects. In 2015, Miller Hull started an experiment at our firm to help answer the question of how we get better. That year we launched our Year End Show, also known as the Y.E.S!

The intent of the Y.E.S! is to stimulate a critical design dialogue by reflecting on our body of work from the current year and challenge ourselves for the next. To ensure a truly honest and worthwhile assessment, an outside perspective is required. We invite a diverse panel of national and international award-winning design professionals whose work, thought and practice we admire to review and discuss all our current projects. This is not a typical design jury that selects “winners,” but a panel of critical thinkers who creatively discuss important issues facing the profession through the lens of our work: emerging themes, trends and even problems are discussed with the entire firm at our Year End Show. Design conversations that begin at the Y.E.S! have staying power with notable points, frequently brought up in later team meetings as design ideas and projects progress.

The Y.E.S! is both a celebration of all the hard work everyone has done toward improving our design practice throughout the year, and an opportunity to come together as one firm, to see what everyone else has been working on and to share ideas with each other. The Y.E.S! is especially important in this year, in 2020, because we are all working remotely without the ability to interact with other teams’ work.

In 2017, we expanded the program, giving it a new name to match: Miller Hull Design Week. Design Week begins with a keynote lecture given by a different inspirational design thinker each year. Our invited panelists give lunchtime lectures on their experience and design practice. The current recipient of the Bob Hull Research Grant presents the results from their year-long project. And, of course, the Year End Show itself closes out the week.

Everything we do at Miller Hull has always started with design, but thanks to Miller Hull Design Week and the Y.E.S.!, now everything ends with design, too – a full circle reflection and advancement of deep design thinking.