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Jan Davidson

Thank you for posting this interview; Holst's leadership transition has been something I've been curious about because their recent work is remarkably different and unfortunately I don't think its in a good way. It appears much less coherent, as if it has too many authors. Previous work by the firm also had a very good sense of scale and proportion, which I find lacking in the new work. I know they've also taken on more corporate work like Starbucks rollouts, which while it might help the firm to make money, don't seem to be contributing to the design skills of the firm. Perhaps the new leadership is skilled at managing a business but I don't see the exceptional design talent that previously existed. There are very few firms that come to mind in Portland that have successfully executed a design leadership transition so they are not alone. It seems that what happens more typically is the firms stay around but do more mundane work while newer firms fill the innovation gap.

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