The Opacity Initiative is HDR’s yearly design review where outside experts from varied disciplines are invited to evaluate our work and offer their feedback. In 2021, we hosted the event in Boston, with five outside critics who reviewed and critiqued a portfolio of work from our offices around the globe. This book traces that Opacity event and the 12 projects the jurors recognised. The title of this fifth Opacity book, Gestures, is a response to the jury’s discourse not only on the design elements of each project but also on what each of those elements signified. Certainly, a well-articulated stair could stand beautifully on its own — but how that stair generated social spaces and thus greater metaphorical connection between users, was discussed as a “gesture.” Ultimately, when your job is to build the world we inhabit, we learn the power of gestures; their ability to bring us together, to invite us in, to share with one another, to care for the planet, to pay homage to the past, and to connect communities.