HAV Design Marks Five Years of AV that Simply Works
As we prepare for the holiday season once again, we’re ending the year with gratitude. 2022 marks five years in business, and we’re grateful for the are hundreds of stakeholders, project managers, and community members that we’ve served and worked alongside over the years. Our goal has always been to design and implement AV solutions that simply work. It’s been a privilege and joy to work in communities across the U.S. (and in the Caribbean!) to help achieve this goal on their behalf.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely one of those stakeholders, and we just want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve you and wish you a healthy, happy, and blessed holiday.
An Interview with Tim Hamilton
In this blog post, we’re talking with HAV Design founder and principle Tim Hamilton about where the the company has been, the kind of projects they’ve tackled, and what continues to animate their work in AV design. We hope you’ll enjoy this little trip down memory lane with us, and that it helps to give you a better sense of the scope of our work, and what lies ahead.
So five years is quite an accomplishment. Your team has grown. You’ve done all kinds of projects across Michigan and out of state. First off, give us a sense of where you’ve been, and the number of AV projects you’ve taken on.
Hamilton: I went through and tallied these up, and they encompass projects that are a few thousands of dollars to stuff up to millions of dollars. And I count just over 150+ projects over the last five years.
It just depends on the season, but we’re usually actively designing 10 to 15 projects at any given time. That design timeframe changes and shifts depending on the project, but it’s usually many months to be through the design process for most of our projects. And then you’ve got to actually construct and build whatever it is that you’re doing for a project as well. So that part stretches out. We’ll usually have a lot of projects that are in various stages of construction.
Geographically, we’ve done a lot of work in Michigan, of course, and we’ve had some great projects in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Texas and an island in the Caribbean. We’re covering a fair geographic area at this point. We’re also in our third office space, and we’ve been headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan for our whole five years.
What projects stand out to you over that time?
Hamilton: So we’ve done several corporate projects where they’ve had high expectations and high standards for their corporate communications and that translated into not just their conference room space, but also some auditorium spaces where they do presentations. And those are fun projects because they expect things to be at a high level.
And they’re open to suggestions and they expect to be using very high quality equipment. Those are certainly fun. We’ve had a couple of projects that we’ve done in the hospitality sector. Which again, were interesting and unique solutions that were required to need what people needed. and high end hospitality has high-end expectations for how it functions and it looks and feels. So those projects have certainly been a lot of fun and of interest.
Touching on a third market sector, Third Reformed in Holland we also did a project over at Trinity Lutheran in Grand Rapids both of those were really neat, interesting projects. Working to make things fit into a very demanding aesthetic environment. And the Third reform project I think was probably even more fun because it was working with a very technology hesitant church body and helping them through the course of COVID-19, updating their technology and helping them to utilize technology in ways that makes everybody feel good and comfortable while still being very sensitive to the aesthetic and the architectural environment around the space.
As you think back on those five years, what do you see as the biggest change in AV technology or our expectations around that technology?
Hamilton: The biggest change we’ve seen has been the wholesale shift of AV analog technology into digital technology and utilizing network components and network connectivity to transport all of our signals around.
I think in general people would say, oh yeah, well, it’s digital so it’s better. But, you know, I think if somebody asked me to explain that further or asked, why is that? I would say, it allows us to use a lot more off the shelf parts and pieces of technology to make all of our AV systems function and work the way that they should and to make them more reliable at the same time.
After five years running HAV Design, what continues to motivate you in your work?
Hamilton: I think the driving goal is still to make AV that simply works. Because people get frustrated by AV systems. I meet with potential clients and clients all the time and their number one complaint is that our AV stuff just doesn’t work.
And I look at it as an AV techie and I’m like, oh yeah, well, this goes to that and then that and then it will actually work fine. But most people are not interested in trying to do all of those steps. They want to walk in, they want to turn things on and have them just work. So coming up with solutions for AV and stage lighting systems that simply work. And trying to find the simplest, most elegant ways to make those connections function and work without causing people headaches. AV you should never make your life harder. It should actually make it easier and better.