Netherlands - Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes helping the Dutch Government
As the founder of AKKA Architects, Stephanie Hughes spoke at an event related to “sustainable development” that lead to a series of other events and eventually to a relationship with the Netherland’s Central Government to explore using the AKKA process to facilitate the role of the central governments in national social development.
AKKA uses a four-phase process: “Appreciate, Kernel, Kickstart, and Adapt”. During Appreciate, “Community consultation sessions” are conducted among all stakeholders. Various insights were collected and a shared understanding of the culture of the project community is created. The second phase is Kernel, which means the core or seed. It is to translate the shared understanding into a shared vision. Kickstart is where implementation takes place, including design development, construction if needed, application and realization. Once the project is usable, users were invited to start using it. Here learning by doing happens before the “completed” and “perfect” results. During the last phase Adapt there is observation on how the space or service delivered are used in order to refine it and ensure that it is perfected and suits the project community.
When Stephanie decided to become an architect, she pursued a comprehensive approach and a holistic awareness of architecture and its role and responsibility towards society. After a number of years in the mainstream learning and practicing, she realized that it was not completely her ideal occupation. So she created her own vision, Architecting Interaction, to foster interactions between users. Afterwards, she shared the same principles of the design process with all, including non-architects. She also provided practical tools so that the audiences were naturally engaged for a longer sustainable process of action, then sure to create results.
Currently, Stephanie focuses on architecture projects and also the ‘community’, to apply Architecting Interaction beyond architecture. She has accompanied and coached individuals, teams, communities, companies, governments, etc. on their projects, transitions or challenges.