Verge: Empowering Our Ethos


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 2018, we were joined in Washington, D.C. 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.

Its title stems from recurring comments made during the jury deliberations:  HDR is on the verge of realizing its full potential and reaching a heightened level of design mastery. A new era awaits for our global architecture practice, but how do we get there? This book explores the 20 projects the jury selected that best demonstrate how we must work with conviction to define, strengthen, and promote our “ethos” — the values, aspirations, and practices that constitute our character.