Bikes Mean Business Spotlight: Fukui Architects PC
No one knows about creating a comfort zone quite like the folks at Fukui Architects, a small downtown architecture firm specializing in ground-up office, retail, and high-end residential spaces and anywhere where good design makes a difference. They believe that the best architecture results from a reflection of the human condition, and stems from a well-developed understanding of the human need. This very philosophy is the company’s inspiration behind creating a happy and healthy workplace for its own employees, with bikes being a primary resource. We sat down with our friends at Fukui to hear more their recognition as a Bike Friendly Business.
Adrienne started us off with fresh pot of coffee, sharing her thoughts on the importance of community in the workplace: “A place is where we gather, but a community is how we work together to make the place somewhere we enjoy being. It takes people that are willing to work together to create a community.” Looking around, it was pretty clear that this is how the 11-person strong company operates. Perhaps it was the charm of the mismatched mugs, or the refrigerator that held photographs of past years’ participation in cycling events. Whatever it was, we were completely okay with putting our elbows on the table.
Kento expressed the back-to-basics mentality behind being a Bike Friendly Business: “You know, I think part of the idea is healthy employees make for happy employees, and options make for happy employees.” Everyone shared their involvement with biking in different capacities. Kento’s commute involves his 2 small children in tow, and Adrienne pedals up long, steep hills and car counts to make it easier. Phyllis even chimed in about her trial and error experiences and her “magic downhill way” to get on Liberty that ended up leading her up a hill, twice. Dan went on to admit the significant cost saving benefits by outlining the steep prices of local lots nearby, as well as the time saved when saying: “Everyone who bikes is pretty close to the city so it’s usually faster to bike in especially in rush hour, so it’s almost a no-brainer.”
With biking playing such a significant part at Fukui, the team does embrace this collective hobby for job related experience. Whether it’s a chain falling off at Ohiopyle or changing a flat tire in the city, they work together to problem solve and apply their knowledge to fix the issue. “That’s part of the reason I like riding is because it involves tinkering as well”, admits Kento. Bike related or not, it is clear that the employees at Fukui are big-picture type people. Kento summarizes this synergistic relationship when saying “I think it goes back to the way we think about problems and how people tend to occupy things. Questioning ‘what’s the big picture or what’s the big problem’, and seeing if we can solve as many of those issues of those problems within the parameters that we have to get the most out of that situation.”
Use this link to RSVP to BikePGH’s next Business Network Meetup, 5:30 on June 24th at OTB Bicycle Cafe, to meet other bike-loving businesses and their pedal-happy employees. (And trade your own National Bike Challenge Medals for free pints!)
This article was artfully composed by Cate Malay, BikePGH’s Volunteer Business Communications Associate.
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