A 30-Year Evolution

March 8, 2014

As a design practice, we have never settled for the status quo. We have constantly been engaged and committed to the process of creative evolution. That process has driven our work, resulting in innovations that have helped shape the industries we touch. But that process has also driven our business decisions, resulting in our evolution from a sports-focused practice to a practice that has come to encompass convention centers, large-scale event planning and overlay work, and a fairground and equestrian practice. It has also impacted our footprint, taking our focus from domestic work to international, leading us to work on every continent over the course of the past three decades.

Our strength and passion has always been our core specialization – something no other firm can tout – which is a true focus on gathering places that draw people together and define communities. We have come to realize that what we do impacts more than one building at a time. We have set the stage for memories and experiences that are defining for communities. Through this unique, singular understanding of designing for incredible experiences, we’ve become story tellers for communities across the world.

Part of our continued evolution has been driven by an innate curiosity that makes us ask “what gathering places and events truly define communities?” Where else do we see large numbers of people gather for a common purpose or experience that is driven by our expertise – an understanding of the service, amenities, entertainment, comforts, safety and security that define sport, event and convention center experiences? How do we create incredible memories beyond sports, venue and events and in what other ways can our specialization create new experiences? By asking ourselves these questions, it became clear to us that in the start of 2014, the next step in the natural evolution of our practice was to pursue aviation design. To do so, we’ve brought on board Derrick Choi, an aviation design specialist based in Boston, who shares our core understanding of designing to facilitate incredible experiences. He shares our passion and his experience and portfolio of work – which includes large-scale airport terminal, security and cargo planning design work as well as master planning in cities including Mexico City, Nantucket, Abu Dhabi, Oakland, Baltimore, Nashville and Tulsa – echoes the depth and global reach of Populous’ work. Our goal is threefold: design a more compelling and cohesive story for every community; demand a better traveler experience; and drive additional venue revenue.

Derrick will provide us with a critical building block in our long-term strategy to grow and extend our capabilities and dedication to creating public gathering spaces. We also believe that airports are wonderful opportunities to shape the first impressions most cities make for visitors. . Together, with this expanded expertise, we can weave together a community’s major assets and create moments of influence to have a greater impact on a city and region. It is our continued mission to give life to the story each community has to tell through design – and what better way than to extend our reach to airports, one of the single most important opportunities a community has to entice visitors, shape opinions and communicate who they are and all they want to be.

You can read more in Steve Paul’s article in the Kansas City Star here.


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