Risk: Out Looks In


The Opacity Initiative is the "measure of our design conscience," a way for us to revisit and understand our work from outside perspectives. It is a yearly design review, in which outside experts from varied disciplines are invited to evaluate the firm’s work and offer their feedback. In 2016, we were joined in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by 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 work the jurors recognized.

The title of the book, Risk: Out Looks In, was influenced by the idea that buildings require immense capital investment investment more readily made when there’s some assurance of outcome. This narrow focus, however, can make a casualty of creativity, of exploration of risk. This first Opacity book reflects the intended mission of the Opacity initiative itself: to balance the scales, reinvigorating a culture of discourse and exploration within everyday practice. Interestingly, the 46 projects featured ultimately exemplified the jury’s notion of risk: incremental changes in concept, design, and/or production that allowed a pedestrian typology to touch on new ground.