Lance Hosey, architect and sustainable design advocate, has died at 56


Lance Hosey, architect and sustainable design advocate, has died at 56

(Courtesy HMC Architects)

AN is saddened to learn that Lance Hosey—highly decorated architect, prolific author, public speaker, and tireless champion of sustainable designpassed away late last month on August 27. The Houston-born Hosey was 56 years old.

A fellow of both the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council, Hosey joined Los Angeles-headquartered HMC Architects in June 2020 as the firm’s chief impact officer—an inaugural role not only for the Californian firm but for the entire architecture industry. Prior to that, Hosey served as principal, design director, and co-leader of design resilience at Gensler and as chief sustainability officer with RTLK Associates (now CallisonRTKL) and Perkins Eastman. For nearly a decade, he worked closely with architect and Cradle to Cradle pioneer William McDonough as director at McDonough’s eponymous firm.

Below is a tribute to Hosey written by Bruce Boul, communications director at HMC Architects, that also includes a link to a longer obituary published on Hosey’s professional website. AN extends its condolences to Hosey’s family, friends, and colleagues.


“As humans, we struggle to embrace the magic of momentary connections. We hope—even expect—that everyone who crosses our path is here to stay. But as Robert Frost said of nature’s first green, ‘nothing gold can stay.’ So, we’re left with the magic. Lance’s time with us at HMC was ephemeral. His impact, monumental. In just 14 months, he showed us a fleeting glimpse of what the future looked like. And it was epic.

It was as if he was sent here from another time to tell us some things and then was on his way. Lance joined HMC in June 2020 as the architecture industry’s first chief impact officer. He was the embodiment of HMC’s mission to anticipate community needs and create designs that have a positive impact. Maybe that’s why he felt so at home here.

For someone so unapologetic in his rally cry to design aesthetically attractive buildings with low (or zero) energy, his energy was off the charts. At HMC, he oversaw design and sustainability and served as our civic practice leader. He led strategies to improve the impact of HMC’s work and ensure that we are fulfilling our mission to serve communities. He became a mentor to younger designers. Designed a zero-carbon concept community in Lagos, Nigeria, that was featured in The New York Times among 16 projects looking ahead to a greener, healthier, and more equitable world. And was leading the design of a new Honeybee Discovery Center in Orland, California that aims to be one of the world’s smartest buildings and the nation’s only center of its kind. All this while leading the firm’s internal design awards competition, which takes place this October during HMC Design Week.

He pushed us to do better. Be better. To explore new ways to improve the impact of design: socially, economically, and environmentally. To cast off trends and focus on the idea that a building looks the way it does because it works the way it does. To design buildings and communities that are not just good-looking but good for us. And what we consider to be good design could become less about what designers like, and more about what makes us all healthier and happier.

His legacy will be felt at HMC for many years to come because he shifted the culture of design and the way we approach our projects. He excited our spirit and stirred our minds.

That’s the magic.

You can read Lance’s obituary at

Plans for services are pending, as are discussions about scholarship and research funds in his name. I will share that information as it becomes available.”

  • Written by Bruce Boul, communication director, HMC Architects