Harrington Design Class Recruits Global Real Estate Firm as ‘Client’

March 19, 2012 General, Awards & Competitions, Interior Design 0 Comments

Lynne Marrs

This guest post was written by Lynne Marrs, LEED AP and vice president of project and development services at global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
I recently had the opportunity to assistant teach a Branded Environments class as part of the master’s program at Harrington College of Design. This was a great opportunity to introduce Jones Lang LaSalle and its Project and Development Services (PDS) group to a new generation of designers and to get involved with the future leaders in the architecture and design industry.

To be honest, it was also a lot of fun. The students’ creativity and enthusiasm was infectious, and it was a pleasure to teach while learning from them at the time. I participated previously as a guest reviewer in several Professional Nights at Harrington and also as a guest lecturer. I was honored when my friend and Harrington instructor Tom Marquardt, principal of Marquardt Plus (formerly Design Collaboratives), asked me to assist with his class for the semester.

My involvement centered on acting as the “client” for the students’ project. I wrote a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the students to respond to. The scope of work was to design a 2,000-rentable-square-foot (RSF) client conference center/presentation space for Jones Lang LaSalle on the 51st floor of the AON building. The program included the need to entertain out-of-town clients in a dedicated environment using cutting-edge technologies. Participants of up to 15 people were to be accommodated, as well as the potential of break-out sessions of up to five to eight people each. A reception space, pantry for food catering and limited copy/print functions would be required.

The program required that the students work in teams to determine how to best design for a client’s specific, yet flexible, space requirements. Also, as the program was geared to allow Jones Lang LaSalle to host hypothetical clients for meetings in the space for up to three to four days, the students were required design ways to temporarily but prominently highlight our client’s branding as well as that of Jones Lang LaSalle. This would then be changed for the next client group Jones Lang LaSalle would host in the space.

Deliverables for the semester included a site visit to the 51st floor for field verification and a programming interview with me, their client. I critiqued Concept and Schematic Design presentations and ultimately a Design Development presentation. Critiques were fun, as I role-played responses as the client and then switched hats to provide feedback based on my previous experience in the design industry. On the final day of class, one team was “awarded” the Jones Lang LaSalle project based on the quality of their response to the RFP, the overall creativity of their design and their ability to work as a team.

For me, the best part was hearing the students’ feedback on their experience throughout the semester. They all thought that the “real-world” experience of designing for and presenting to a client was extremely valuable. I was thrilled to see how much they learned and grew from one presentation to the next.

I look forward to seeing these talented designers in the near future working in the design community. I am also sincerely proud that they now all know about Jones Lang LaSalle and carry a positive experience of working with our firm even before they start working professionally themselves.

Special thanks are due to Mike Lyons with the AON Office of the Building for allowing the students access to the space on the 51st floor, to Ruben Gonzalez with IA Interior Architects for participating in the Schematic Design critique, and to the project’s photographer, Harrington instructor Peter Klick.

Many thanks to Lynne for your time and effort in creating a great opportunity for our students and for sharing your experience and story!

About Jones Lang LaSalle:
Jones Lang LaSalle is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate services and investment management with a history that spans more than 200 years. With more than 40,000 people in 1,000 locations in 70 countries, Jones Lang LaSalle serves the local, regional and global real estate needs of their clients. In response to changing client expectations and market conditions, JLL assembles teams of experts who deliver integrated services built on market insight and foresight, sound research and relevant market knowledge. Jones Lang LaSalle has received numerous awards over the years, including Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies in 2011. Find out more at

Photo courtesy of Lynne Marrs and Peter Klick


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