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HASSELL announces new Managing Director and new Board members

International design practice HASSELL has announced Steve Coster as its new Managing Director, succeeding Rob Backhouse after a very successful nine year term.

“It’s been an amazing – and of course at times also challenging – nine years during which there’s been a massive amount of change within the practice – and the industry as a whole,” said Rob.

“From my perspective it’s been an immensely satisfying journey where we’ve partnered with clients to deliver some truly great work.”

“We’ve grown our presence internationally, often working with clients on multiple projects across several markets and increasingly being invited to be part of some of the world’s most exciting projects. Over recent years we’ve really broadened and deepened our capabilities to provide world-class design and tangible value to our clients,” he said.

Rob will now take up the role of Chair of the HASSELL Board.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Steve as Managing Director, Gerard Corcoran as CEO, the Board and wider HASSELL leadership,” said Rob.

Steve joined HASSELL six years ago from international workplace strategy consultancy DEGW, where he was Australian Managing Director.

Steve is particularly focused on the value that design can add to organisations. During his time with HASSELL he has worked with a diverse range of clients including corporate tenants, developers, governments and universities.

On being appointed Managing Director, Steve commented: “Over the past nine years Rob has provided incredible leadership as Managing Director and will continue to play a key role in the leadership of the practice as Board Chair and as a Head of Design at HASSELL.”

“Rob really lifted the level of aspiration across the firm and has driven the quality of our design work to new heights.”

“Our continuing focus is on designing places people love, and we’re really proud of the award-winning design work we’re doing in partnership with inspirational clients internationally.”

“HASSELL is also increasingly looking beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture and design, developing new and innovative ways to deliver value.”

“Over the past year we have invested in developing skills and capabilities to underpin and extend our research-based design process as part of our core purpose to use design to unlock social, economic and cultural value for our clients and their end users.”

“This has included merging with London-based experience master planners, FreeState, and increasing investment in research and development and innovative design technologies. I expect that we’ll continue this focus in coming years as we position ourselves to be valuable on ever more complex, challenging and exciting projects globally.”

“I look forward to building on Rob’s success in leading the constant evolution and development of HASSELL as it seeks to be one of the world’s best collaborative design practices,” he said.

Two new HASSELL Board members have also been elected – Brenden Kelly and Ingrid Bakker. They join Caroline Diesner, Peter Lee, Mark Loughnan, Rob Backhouse and Steve Coster.

Ian Humble, previously Finance Director, officially retired at the end of June. Cameron Ward has been appointed to the new role of Chief Financial Officer.

All these appointments were effective as of 1 July 2017.

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