Designing For The Future

By Vernon Inoshita
Wednesday - January 20, 2010
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By Vernon Inoshita, AIA, LEED AP
President of Design Partners Inc.

Hawaii has seen spectacular growth over the past 30 years. We are thankful to our clients and supporters for allowing Design Partners, Inc. (DPI) to participate in this growth.

But what lies ahead? Because of the current economic doldrums, the new decade is beginning slowly. But we are cautiously optimistic that Hawaii will recover and again prosper. The future, however, will not be business as usual, but will stress economics and sustainability.

Substance more than style will become the new aesthetic. Even the way projects are designed and delivered will change into an “integrated design process,” where the stake-holders will become bigger participants in the design process. Critical thinking is still the foundation, but technology will be an invaluable tool for efficient project delivery.

Building Information Modeling (BIM), which is a three-dimensional program, will be required for all major projects. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) will play an even more important role in providing metrics for sustainable design. Accordingly, we have integrated these requirements into our normal design protocol and encouraged our staff to seek certification. Eleven of our 18 registered architects are LEED-certified.

The Design Partners team (from left) Mike Goshi, Jeri Itamoto, Kendall Ellingwood, Vernon Inoshita, Jack Ching and Royce Machado

Our strength lies not only in our ability to provide a seamless and comprehensive package of design services, but also in providing invaluable adjuncts that include programming, feasibility studies, land-use studies and interior architecture. These services are anchored by two underlying principles: our core philosophy of listening and creating innovative, meaningful design that is respectful to cultural and environmental concerns. The cliché “Hawaiian sense of place” will be more meaningful with inclusion of Hawaii’s environmental forces.

DPI’s body of work includes modest retail shops such as Tori Richards in Ala Moana Center. Maui Community College (MCC) Science Building, which was awarded the 2009 Governor’s Innovation Award and LEED Silver accreditation, MCC Culinary Arts Building, Kaanapali Ocean Resort (140-unit time share units for Starwood), the NAIOP award-winning Paliku Theater (Hawaii’s first “thrust” theater), the University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Life Center (first LEED Gold certification for UH), and the largest facility developed by the Navy, the Hawaii Regional Security Operation Center in a design-build project with Dick Pacific. In addition, we have designed more than 5,000 award-winning homes, both private and public, for the Department of Defense, Castle and Cooke, Centex Homes and Brookfield Homes, as well as upscale residences at Kukio on the Big Island.

Design Partners honors and respects the past, but designs for the future.

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