Envision Design, the Washington, D.C.–based design practice known for its sustainable workplace interiors, will merge with Perkins+Will, effective immediately. Envision leaders Ken Wilson, FAIA, and Diana Horvat, AIA, will become principals at Perkins+Will; all 15 Envision staff will move into Perkins+Will’s D.C. office—managed by Stephen Manlove, Assoc. AIA—within the next month.
“One of the objectives a merger like this is to bring like-minded people together, and to have that much more resonance and synergy within our own organization,” says Phil Harrison, FAIA, president and CEO of Perkins+Will. “We’ve known Ken and Diana for a long time, and we’ve admired them for a long time. We see them as one of the standout firms in the industry that are taking sustainability to the next level.” Harrison notes that while Envision has maintained an office of less than 25 people over the years, “they have had a much larger impact than their size. They have done some of the most noteworthy projects in workplace design that are some of the greenest projects around.”
Envision was founded in 1999 and has made a name creating sustainable workplace interiors for what Harrison calls “some of the most environmentally progressive organizations in the world,” including the U.S. Green Building Council, the Word Wildlife Fund, and Greenpeace, among others. Wilson was named designer of the year by Contract Magazine in 2005, and founded the International Interior Design Association’s (IIDA’s) Sustainability Advisory Council in 2004. The firm has received over 90 national and local design awards from the AIA and IIDA, among others, and was recognized as the 2009 Firm of the Year by the National Capital Region chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Envision team will work in parallel to the Perkins+Will studio until existing projects are completed, with some crossover happening as soon as the firms are collocated. “They’re busy with their work, and we’re busy with our own work,” Harrison says. “But this [merger] is all about quality and aspirations to be connected to like-minded clients. This is not just to be bigger. We’re not interested in only increasing the size of our practice, it’s much more about being in a leadership position with regard to sustainability in particular.” Full integration of the teams “probably will happen quickly,” Harrison notes, “because the schedule of workplace or interiors projects is so rapid that within six months, there will be a whole new body of work.”