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HR DESIGN DEPT is a small architecture studio in Houston, Texas. Founded in 2018 with the belief that architecture should be collaborative, responsive, and responsible - we specialize in modern residential and commercial projects.

Eric Hughes, AIA

Eric Hughes hails from small town NE, a burgeoning metropolis of 1000 where he learned how to mutton bust and raise a pet buffalo. After pursuing architecture at University of Nebraska Lincoln, he made his way to Houston in 2004 to attain a Master’s of Architecture at Rice University.

Eric has considerable experience with custom residential and small commercial projects requiring a high level of design sensitivity. He began managing these projects, from schematic design through construction, at Interloop Architecture in 2008. Eric was a project manager at Content Architecture for six years before co-founding HR Design Department. Notably, he oversaw the design and construction of several award winning projects including the Kipling Residence, Paloma Nail Salon, and the Waverly Residence.

Eric places great value on the unique relationship that forms between the architect and project owner, and is honored to have sustained friendships from a number of these past projects.

On weekends, you’ll likely find Eric outside with his baby Clark and wife Emily, or taking the opportunity to get his hands dirty with landscaping, woodworking, and home renovation projects. He looks forward to getting Clark on a sheep as soon as possible to carry on the mutton busting tradition.

Heather Rowell, AIA

Heather Rowell’s design experience includes residential projects, retail, large scale hospitality projects, and interior upfits. She was a Principal of award winning Content Architecture in Houston for 7.5 years before founding HR Design Dept. Prior to moving to Houston, Heather gained extensive experience in educational facility design as a project manager for several public schools in North Carolina. Since receiving a Masters of Architecture degree from Rice University in 2009, Heather has dedicated most of her time to sustainable residential design. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University, has taken design studios in Prague and Paris.

Heather was elected as the first Chair of the AIA Women in Architecture Committee in 2017, She has taught graduate design studio at the University of Houston College of Architecture and Design and is currently teaching at the Rice University School of Architecture. A Board member of the Rice Design Alliance, Heather is also actively involved in the Rice School of Architecture Mentorship Program (RAMP) and the DiverseWorks Incubating Innovation Team.

Heather compliments her architectural career with a passion for graphic design and printmaking; Her prints have been exhibited in North Carolina, Texas, and California.