Joining Forces: Buro Happold and brightspot

Building on decades of growth and success, Buro Happold and the higher-education consultancy brightspot strategy are joining forces to create an integrated team of experts to help solve the weighty and complex challenges impacting colleges and universities today.

This strategic evolution — formally announced this week — extends naturally from Buro Happold’s work in strategic planning, economic modeling, and large-scale vision for campuses and cities, including decades of service to the world’s top institutions of higher education.

Today, colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges. From unsustainable financial models and legacies of inequity to climate emergencies and shifting student demographics, these significant issues require multifaceted, long-term solutions. Many institutions need new services and programs for better student, faculty and staff engagement. Others are retooling campus assets and technology to support how people learn, discover and connect. Outmoded and underperforming campus facilities are seen with new urgency, a concern heightened in part by exigencies of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Says Neil Squibbs, Chief Executive Officer of Buro Happold, “This expanded purview reflects Buro Happold’s longstanding process of deepening our commitment to our higher education sector. With brightspot joining Buro Happold, we open a new chapter in our journey from engineers and planners to advisers and strategists.”

Formalizing the firms’ longstanding collaboration, Buro Happold has officially debuted an expanded team of experts dedicated to transforming our clients’ offer, how they are organized, and how they operate. Together the two firms will take on wide-ranging projects demanding diverse professional specialties, powerful research and analysis, bold vision, and integrated strategy.

“Our vision — what we’re working toward every day — is opening doors for transforming and differentiating the higher education experience,” says Craig Schwitter, Partner, Buro Happold. “This takes macro-scale planning on the front end as well as on-the-ground execution and, increasingly, operational insights that bridge the two.”

The Buro Happold team will work to solve the problems higher education institutions face and improve the experience for students, faculty, researchers, employees and visitors alike. More than ever before, Buro Happold and brightspot remain committed to client focus, creativity, and collaboration — and the essential bridging between institutional vision and implementation.

Elliot Felix

Elliot Felix, brightspot strategy’s founder and now partner and head of higher education consulting with Buro Happold, added, “Together, our interdisciplinary perspectives and independent advice enable clients to better analyze, plan and operate their spaces, services, staffing and systems — the four S’s, as we call them — as we work to make higher education more engaging and equitable.”

“Today we welcome our colleagues from brightspot strategy and celebrate a new opportunity to serve our higher education clients,” says Schwitter. “The possibilities are boundless — and we invite you to join us.”

More detail on brightspot’s services can be found at and a new video on the news is available at also.