Matt Gifford

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Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around creating built environments. Of course, the environments were for miniature people and cars, some of which just existed in my mind, and I was just doing what I thought of at the time as 'playing.' One poignant memory that I have revolves around a family trip. We had yet to embark but I was excited about the trip, and may have been working out some anxiety. So without any frame of reference, I spent a few hours in my room stacking and maneuvering small brightly colored wood blocks. When my mother came to see what I had been doing and asked what I had built, I replied proudly, 'Chicago.'

My relationship with creating built environments is a bit more complex these days. However, the complexity has only added dimension and depth to my love for it. Today, some of my favorite moments occur when I have the opportunity to coerce a number of people with wide-ranging expertise and points of view into a room and challenge them to solve a problem together. Sometimes it takes a while to get them to leave their comfort zones, but when you can get them to stand on one another's shoulders the results can be wondrous. I continue to be amazed and driven by what can result from thoughtful, focused creativity.

At some level I am lucky enough to think of what I do on a day-to-day basis as 'playing.' Whether I am in the office, with clients, or with my children, I still find nothing more satisfying than getting out of bed in the morning and heading off to create my current version of 'Chicago.'


Schoolhouse Expansion and Renovation
Groton School

Brody Learning Commons
Johns Hopkins University

Seligman House
Amherst College

Conaton Learning Commons and Williams College of Business
Xavier University

Hackerman Hall (Computational Sci & Engineering) and Mason Hall
Johns Hopkins University

Publications, Whitepapers and Articles

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