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Project Case Study: Harvard Business School
I have worked a number of times over the years with Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, an architectural firm with offices in Albany, New York, Boston and Washington DC. Charles Kirby, a principal at EYP asked if I would collaborate with them on a new classroom building at the Harvard Business School in Boston. The Project was the new building construction project Hawes Hall.

Rod Hawes, had arranged to make a sizable donation to the Business School, from which he had previously graduated. His vision in funding the project was to provide a technology rich learning environment in which the students at the business school could gain a more encompassing, global perspective. He hoped that by helping to foster this perspective, the young men and women would who attend HBS could then go on and help build organizations that would help level the economic playing field between rich and poor nations, and thus, Hawes hoped, raise the standard of living for those most in need.

My first introduction to the project, then, was very different from most project kick off meetings. It was charged with a sense of mission well beyond most other assignments.

Another unique aspect of the project was the senior faculty representative, Jay Light . Professor Light was one of the most engaging, supportive and open minded university faculty I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He was enthusiastic about the project, had strong ideas about how the classrooms should work, and was eager to consider any opportunities to utilize technology to make the learning process more effective.

Surprisingly, the faculty had already created a committee to consider what is one of the most important aspects of classroom design; the juxtaposition of writing and projection surfaces, and other furniture elements in the area where the professor would lead the classroom activities. The "Front of the Room Committee" as they had named themselves had already spent time considering how to optimize this area of the classroom.