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K-State Today

October 4, 2022

Kay Sargent to present Ekdahl Lecture Oct. 5

Submitted by Alexis Davies

Sargent headshot

Kay Sargent, senior principal and director of HOK's global WorkPlace practice, will present "Beyond Disruption: Look beyond today and see what lies ahead" as a part of the Fall 2022 College of Architecture, Planning & Design's Ekdahl Lecture Series at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Regnier Forum at Regnier Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

With more than 35 years of experience, Sargent is a recognized expert on workplace design and strategy issues. She is an award-winning designer who has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to optimize their global real estate portfolios and create innovative work environments based on their unique organizational DNA. As co-director of HOK's WorkPlace team, a practice that supports organizations undertaking multiple projects in various locations, and a member of HOK's board of directors, Sargent is responsible for helping clients redefine how, when and where their people work, and supports a holistic design approach that integrates an organization's people, processes and technology. She was recently selected from her field of peers to provide congressional subject matter expert testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives on "Federal Real Estate Post-COVID-19: A View From The Private Sector."

In 2020 Sargent was named the American Society of Interior Designers, or ASID, Designer of Distinction for the year. Sargent is considered an industry thought leader on workplace. She has authored multiple white papers and articles on a variety of design-related topics, including well-being, next-gen workforce, technologies' impact on the workplace, space fusion and the rise of the human factor.

Sargent currently serves on the National ASID Foundation Research Taskforce, the IWBI Health Equity Advisory Team and the Advisory Board for WorkDesign Magazine and I&S Magazine. She was recently appointed to the University of Richmond Customer Experience Advisory Board after serving two years on the George Washington University Customer Experience Certificate Program Advisory Council. She has also served on the International Boards of CoreNet Global, AVIXA, and International Federation of Interior Designers /Architects, or IFI, the boards of ASID, International Interior Design Association and the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions and the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design and NVCC. She is an active member of IFMA and co-founder of the IFMA Workplace Evoluntionaries, WE community and serves as an executive committee for WE. Sargent is committed to mentoring the next generation of designers and, as such, mentors multiple individuals within HOK and across the industry. She is also a founder of the D.C. chapter of UPWARD, a global network dedicated to the professional advancement of women in the workplace.

"We are witnessing the evolution of workplace, and design can be a powerful tool in that endeavor," Sargent said. "What designers have always done well, the art of design, is being enhanced with the emerging science of design. By creating environments that support well-being and inclusivity, and inspire those within them, we can drive powerful outcomes and create spaces that reflect our humanity. We need to design with courage to define the next generation of great places to transform the way we work, live, learn and play. We are no longer just designing environments. We are designing the experience. We need to mentor the next generation of designers to carry the torch forward."

View the full listing of Fall 2022 Ekdahl Lectures and previously recorded lectures.

The Oscar S. Ekdahl Distinguished Lecture Series in Architecture and Design brings the finest professionals in the design and planning disciplines to APDesign and the K-State community. These individuals are selected to avail students, faculty, staff and regional professionals of the potency of design and planning in addressing the issues we face as a global society. The series honors Oscar Ekdahl, who received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University in 1933 and was a founding partner in Ekdahl, Davis, Depew, Persson Architects PA in Topeka.

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