Michael F. McGavock, AIA

Retired - Former Principal, Learning Environment Specialist, Partner

As Principal and Learning Environment Specialist, my role is to cultivate and apply our expertise in creating meaningful learning environments, and to infuse that mission into the culture of the firm. My passion for how learning environments serve individuals and society is evident in the way we approach our work; the conversations we have in planning and design, the issues we explore in the process and the places that we bring to life. Educational facilities are one of the largest investments a community will make. They become centers of community. Architecture builds community in the way we design our buildings; through engagement in the design process and the resulting places that we create.

When a place invites opportunities for people to engage, to create, to share their passions, or simply be inspired in ways they didn’t expect, I am repeatedly gratified by the work we do. I love seeing people grow into a new building that we have designed, be inspired by it and take ownership of it themselves. We create places within which people better themselves through education. It’s like a service to society, for each individual learning throughout our designs and for each community we work in. The clients we work with are committed to that same mission.

Because we design for public institutions, our work engages many voices, many perspectives. Our work must be responsive to the diverse interests of the people who are involved in the design process, responsive to the spectrum of aptitudes and abilities humans cultivate, and responsive to the emerging characteristics and capabilities learners must develop to thrive in their future. Our work is necessarily aspirational and future-oriented to have a lasting, positive impact on the societal changes that will occur over the life of the buildings we design.

We are passionate about our mission to create inspiring learning environments, because we believe they can be transformational to individuals and society. I come to work knowing that we are doing something very important, that our work has lasting impact for good in the world. It’s as simple as that, in every aspect of our practice, from the smallest detail or interaction to the rich experiences of the places we create.


Bachelor of Architecture, Washington State University
Licensed Architect; Washington