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What MKThink’s Solutions Mean to Us

MKThink’s mission to create intelligent places shapes solutions in community strength, healthy environments, learning outcomes, systems optimization, and The Edge. Drawing from years of experience, client feedback, and global observations to tackle the critical issues important today and 25 years from now, MKThink designs for meaningful impacts on people and their environments.

Solutions Through MKThink's Design Philosophy

Lagom Ar Bast is the philosophy that guides MKThink. The Swedish phrase translates to “Enough is as good as a feast.” The Lagom approach aims to find the simplest ways to solve problems. Aligning with Lagom and applying best practices, MKThink identifies the most effective and efficient solution, frequently combining building with technology with policy. Innovation and strategy expand solutions, thinking beyond building more.

Defining our Solutions

Community Strength 

Community Strength is any situation where value is created by collecting people in physical environments. It looks at how to harness the potential created by the shift from an individual to a collective.

MKThink helped the city of Emeryville create a joint-use facility that combines K-12 education, community, and healthcare services into one community complex. Another example is MKThink’s San Francisco Office, Ocean Plant. Designed as a proposition for a community-strength solution, the ground-floor coffee shop provides a space for gathering and fostering connections with individuals in the nearby neighborhood.

Healthy Places

Healthy Places are environments designed to promote physical and mental health and activity, increasing wellness for those who occupy them. Health is measured in various ways, including emotional and physical, or any combination. 


An example of MKThink's efforts in cultivating a healthy place is the Heat Abatement Program for the Hawai'i Department of Education. In this project, the team partnered with the Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute to improve the thermal comfort condition of educational spaces district-wide. 

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes look at a space's potential to leave people more knowledgeable than when they arrived. Beyond schools and universities, learning outcomes apply to any place where someone learns. Learning is important for your staff and customers and requires thinking about an environment that generates learning outcomes instead of just an office or conference room. MKThink looks at this solution across schools, commercial settings, training rooms, meeting rooms, lobbies, outdoor spaces, and more.

Schools and universities are prime examples of the impact of learning outcomes. Recently, MKThink adaptively renovated Stanford Law School’s Room 290 into a technologically advanced center for both students and the community. Another example is MKThink’s work with the Town School for Boys to design a space that would not only optimize education but also act as a tool for learning.

Systems Optimization

Systems optimization involves examining a broad-scale system, which can encompass various entities like campuses, restaurant networks, branch banks, complex financial institutions, and refineries. Optimization entails enhancing the system to better align with your objectives and desired outcomes using existing resources. For instance, a collaborative approach could focus on expanding food distribution or educational services to reach more people. Crucially, optimization extends beyond mere cost reduction, delving into efficiency to guide decisions on how to implement improvements most effectively. MKThink frequently works to optimize college campuses, which are systems that always need more space. Optimization creates space without building more by identifying use patterns of classrooms, lecture halls, and offices and analyzing what system changes yield the most productive use of these spaces. Another example on campuses is optimizing research output, degrees produced, and student retention.

See MKThink’s work with UW Bothell Campus, where optimization helped reactivate the campus, double down on in-person experiences, and repurpose underutilized spaces for future flexibility.

Edge Solutions

The edge is both a physical and metaphysical space. An edge solution concerns sustainability, resilience, and safety, at the intersections of the environment, culture, architecture, and technology. Where urban meets rural, land meets sea, digital meets analog, scarcity meets demand, and old meets new, projects address critical issues in uncharted territory. MKThink also works ON the edge, not just AT the edge, with office locations where San Francisco, CA, and Honolulu, HI, meet the Pacific Ocean.

In collaboration with the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the Recreation and Park Department, and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning, MKThink helped create a vision to connect the Zoo Park with Ocean Beach. The plan provided public access to the beach and a natural sanctuary for endangered and displaced native species.

Want to work with us? Contact us here to learn more.


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