We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Donaldson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake, how does your business help the community or world
The Method team has always believed in finding ways to give back and support our local communities. Some of these outreach activities include pro-bono work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Creative Dreams, and Houston Food Bank, volunteer efforts at local food banks, hosting ‘A day in the life of an architect’ program in our office for as-risk youth, Hurricane Harvey relief and support efforts, and other activities through our employee led ‘Method Cares’ committee. Most recently our team has published a free online kids design/architecture activity book which provides parents and kids fun hands on activities to do at home while at the same time exposing them to a future career in architecture, engineering, and construction. With COVID lockdowns and school delays, our team felt this was a small thing we could do to help bring some positivity to our community. We partnered with our local AIA chapter and Alpha Graphics to help get printed copies to non-profit organizations and lower income families who had limited access to technology. https://methodarchitecture.com/adventures-of-archie-architecture-activity-book-for-kids/
What should our readers know about your business?
At Method we’re passionate about creating positive disruption. Part of this means redefining what it means to be an architect which largely revolves around our ego-free approach to everything we do. We see ourselves as facilitators of our clients ideas and visions, not an artist creating solely for the purposes of artistic expression. While we believe architects play a critical part in the development of our communities, we also believe we are called to be servant leaders. Too often our industry is plagued by ego, God-complex, and other destructive narcissistic tendencies that really do a lot of harm to the client, architect, and contractor relationship. The other part of positive disruption means investing the time and energy into exploring the edges of commonly held industry norms to help flush out new and original thought. Technology is rapidly driving innovation across all industry sectors and too many people and companies are constantly playing catch up. Just some of the topics our team have been exploring include greater clear heights and automation in warehouses, e-commerce niche boom: cold storage, adaptive reuse of office buildings for affordable housing, restaurants 3.0: cloud kitchens, impact of autonomous vehicles on urban development and building design, evolution of brick and mortar to experiential retail, and many other topics. While we’re often early in the cycle for a lot of these ideas, it helps prepare our clients for changes and trends we see coming so they can better prepare.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve traveled a lot both domestically and internationally and one thing I’ve consistently noticed is that Houston is severely under rated when it comes to our food, beverage, and outdoor spaces. On the foodie scene Bravery Chef Hall, Georgia James, Nancy’s Hustle, and Xochi only skim the surface of the culinary delights you can find here. Houston’s brewery scene has exploded over the past five years; you can’t visit our city without doing a brewery tour: Buffalo Bayou Brewing, St Arnold’s, 8th Wonder Brewing, Eureka Heights, Great Heights, True Anomaly, Astral, Ingenious, Bakfish, Spindletap, Brash, 11 Below, Sigma, Baileson, Urban South, Platypus, and the list goes on. Each has its own unique beer lineup, style, and showcases a distinct aspect of Houston culture. Lastly, you can’t come to Houston without visiting our amazing parks and outdoor spaces. Many outsiders think the heat and humidity deter people but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Discovery Green, Herman Park, Memorial Park, Buffalo Bayou Park, Evelyn’s Park, and Levey Park are just a few of the must-see dynamic, engaging green spaces our fair city has to offer.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where to start? I have an amazing wife raising our four young kids at home and who is amazing sounding board for new ideas and always encouraging me in those late night moments of doubt. Two great business partners who help shoulder the burden of the company along with an incredible operations team. Our operations and support team has some of our most creative detail oriented people and is led by three dynamic women who don’t just keep the wheels turning, they help push the firm forward in new and innovative ways, keeping us leagues ahead of our competitors. Lastly and most importantly, we’re so blessed to have an awesome team of architects, interior designers, managers, and associate principals doing the heavy lifting and while each of them brings something unique to the table, their unifying quality is that its more than just a job for them, its become part of their identity and it shows in their work ethic. Everybody shows up on Monday ready to work hard, collaborate with each other, innovate beyond the status quo, leave the egos at the door, and have fun. What more could you ask for?