We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Hatch McLean and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher Hatch, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The success of HATCH is attributed to three key characteristics of our company structure: The first characteristic is our ‘extreme dedication to achieving great work’. We do whatever it takes to ensure that our clients are elated with the services we provide and we are not satisfied with our work until we feel directly impacted by what we have produced. This entails working long hours, weekends and holidays if necessary, yet we place heavy emphasis on continuing to find new ways to streamline our processes which results in even higher levels of service and better work/life balance for our team. The second characteristic is our ‘deemphasis on providing specific products, services, and typologies’. At our core we are an architectural design firm, but we have created a system of design that can be tailored to any project, idea or client. This company structure has created a flywheel effect as each unique project we engage builds on our network of knowledge, which is in turn applied to the next project and so forth. We really love working with this methodology; not only does this make us better designers, it also takes us to new places we could have never imagined as we continue to work on more and more remarkable projects. The third and most important characteristic is our ‘emphasis on sustainability’, which is ingrained in everything we do at HATCH. We are continuously challenging the idea of sustainability and analyzing what it means. To us sustainability goes far beyond energy efficiency and carbon neutrality. These goals are of course very important, yet we see sustainability as an all encompassing way of thinking about design. We believe that in order to be sustainable, a product should impact its users on a metaphysical level to make them happier, healthier and more inclined to provide positive change to their surroundings. For humanity to truly become sustainable we must create a tipping point of cultural change through design. For these reasons we find this topic very interesting and have been amazed with the impact it has had on our network of stakeholders.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe great art comes from finding the root of the subject that the design revolves around and then producing something really unique to reflect the individuality of the project based on studies used to find the ‘root’. This is what sets HATCH apart from most designers who are generally known for putting their signatures on their work or identifying with specific design movements; this is what we don’t want at HATCH. We start every project with extensive research on the client, contextual analytics, cultural impact studies, stakeholder workshops/questionnaires and a variety of other processes to let the project inform us what the design should be. When you let the process drive the design it’s truly magical to see what grows organically from abstract ideas. The underlying root behind the success of HATCH is based on one simple concept: ‘happiness’; we really love what we do and I truly believe that this is reflected by the quality of work we produce. While most companies are solely focused on financial success, HATCH is focused on creating positive experiences for our clients and for ourselves. I have always maintained this characteristic from an early age and see it as the most important key to my success. I think this is reflected in our work: our designs are fun, never too serious, and aim to act as a celebration of their patrons to provide them with great enjoyment. There is no doubt that early on in my career, I was discouraged and told it would be impossible to build a design company, but I have always maintained this positive attitude and the success has followed. This is a characteristic I look for in everyone I collaborate with; I see success as personal satisfaction in your work, and if the work is great, then the success will follow. So far this philosophy has proven to be highly effective.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I currently live in Malibu, so naturally the first thing friends want to do when they visit is go to the beach, which I happily welcome. The next stop is to enjoy the rich gastronomy culture SoCal has to offer. There are so many amazing restaurants from countless cultures and fusions of experimentation; I see this as LA’s highest form of art, an experience I love to share with friends. Some of my all-time favorites are the artisan restaurants around Venice, street tacos found throughout the city, ramen on Sawtelle and Korean BBQ in K-Town to name a few. Lastly, I really enjoy sharing the ever growing LA art world with friends; there are a plethora of new galleries throughout the city, containing young exciting artists with unique backgrounds and progressive ideas that never cease to surprise me with something unexpected. LA is an incredible city with endless experiences to share, I have never had trouble showing someone a good time here.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family is undoubtedly the most important influence on my success. I grew up in a small town in Alaska, with limited exposure to the outside world; most people in my position would have likely stayed where they were without the right people showing them the path. My dad was a farmer, dentist and lawyer, he deeply instilled a hard work ethic on me as there was always work to be done on the farm; and my mother was always there to support me mentally through all the late nights and stressful moments that got me to where I am today. They recognized my affinity for art and design from a young age and provided me with everything I needed to develop these skills. The second biggest support group that I have to give a shoutout to are the incredible mentors I have been fortunate to have throughout my formative years. I think when people see you so passionate about your art and recognize your enjoyment for it, they are gravitated towards you and feel a desire to push your work to higher levels of excellence. I will definitely pay it forward by mentoring younger generations throughout my lifetime. I dedicate this Shoutout to all these amazing people; I am very thankful for their help.
Melissa Spirito, Matthew Nichols