Public Architecture seeks an Administrative Manager who is self-directed and disciplined to administer office and operational logistics, manage and support initiatives, oversee marketing and communications, and provide executive assistance to the Founder & President. Please help spread the word within your communities! The right candidate will possess the following skills and qualifications:
- Excellent writing ability, including editing and proofreading; able to turn abstract thoughts and concepts into written material
- Confident and articulate communicator on the phone, in person, and via email
- At ease balancing multiple and changing priorities with diverse ranges in subject matter
- Takes initiative and set priorities; excels at self-management
- Able to anticipate obstacles, adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and propose solutions
- Finds reward in enabling and supporting others
- Comfortable working as a part of a small team comprised of a variety of personalities and work styles
- Demonstrates tact, diplomacy, judgment, and discretion
- Computer literacy in a PC/Windows environment, including MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; InDesign, Photoshop, and HTML experience a plus
- Undergraduate degree along with 3-5 years of professional experience in an administrative, program, or executive support role
- An interest in or passion for increasing the social impact of the design of the built environment is preferred but not required
For more details about the core responsibilities of the position and how to apply, click here.
By Lindsay A. Jester, Associate, Long & Levit LLP
Public Architecture’s pro bono legal counsel, Steven Sharafian, Esq. of Long & Levit LLP, recently brought to our attention a potentially alarming issue for architects and designers practicing in California. We recall him saying that the legal changes initiated by a series of recent California court cases could have a dramatic impact upon design professionals. We quickly became aware that language in The 1% pro bono design program’s own Hold Harmless and Release Agreement had taken on a new—and in the case of our agreement—unintended meaning. To relieve firms of this legal burden Public Architecture amended and reissued its agreement to over 1100 participating firms across the country. The following article explores this indemnification and duty to defend issue deeper.
The design and construction industry has a long history of evaluating and managing risk. Design service agreements typically contain contract provisions that address the potential of loss or damage present on most projects. One such clause, indemnity, has received national attention of late in an insightful 8 December 2012 New York Times Opinion article entitled “Those Crazy Indemnity Forms We All Sign.” Here in California, where Long & Levit provides legal services to architects, engineers, and landscape architects, indemnity has recently taken on a potentially dangerous new meaning. The implications raised by this California development have nationwide significance related to the interrelationship between the obligation to indemnify and the duty to defend. This article explores this recent development and offers language to help mitigate the risk posed by indemnification clauses. Read more
This year Public Architecture turned ten years old. As we continue to quietly work through this milestone, I thought I would share with you why each day I am both gratified by what we have achieved and humbled by what remains to be done.
I founded Public Architecture in response to the desire of myself and others in my private practice to do, simply, meaningful work at work. We had a vision: empowering designers to not only conceive of solutions on behalf of clients but to identify and address challenges on behalf of larger communities. Yet we soon realized that, unlike the legal and medical professions, the design community then had yet to establish industry-wide practices like pro bono to serve and impact those most in need. In what sometimes seems like a moment of naïve enthusiasm, we created Public Architecture and programs like The 1% in an attempt to address this unmet opportunity, and here we are today.
Of course, to summarize the previous decade in a few sentences would be to understate the efforts of the many staff, volunteers, and Board members whose talents and hard work have been critical to our success. Through their efforts and the commitment of likeminded designers, it is difficult to deny that our original vision—a world where designers could serve the public good through sustainable, scalable practices—is well underway.
Today, The 1% includes more than 1100 firms who have committed at least 1% of their billable hours to pro bono design services; more than 15,000 designers now provide a combined $42 million dollars’ worth of design services each year. Both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) are partnering with The 1% to encourage their members to be a part of this transformation.
I sometimes describe Public Architecture as a hundred year organization; in reality, longevity only hints at the scope of what we seek to achieve. We know that the questions we need to answer will change and evolve over time as this practice continues to take hold. Already, we have begun to move from “How can we get firms and designers to make pro bono a part of their practice?” to “How can we help firms and designers be more effective change agents in underserved communities?” Yet the basic principles of our work remain the same. Quality, scale, accessibility, sustainability—these values are core to what we do and to our vision for all communities across the nation.
If you have helped Public Architecture to be a better organization in the past ten years, thank you. If you are helping us to be a better organization now or in the future, thank you.
Consider supporting us through one or more of the following:
Make a donation
Public Architecture has learned to do a lot with a little, but imagine what we could do with even a small increase in funding. For every $1 donated, Public Architecture can leverage $60 of pro bono design services in communities across the country. Click here to make a donation.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Public Architecture have partnered to support pro bono service for nonprofits seeking interior design expertise.
Through the new relationship, ASID and Public Architecture will encourage ASID members to pledge to The 1%, a nationwide program of Public Architecture that challenges architecture and design firms to commit a minimum of 1% of their time to pro bono service and facilitates a matching service to connect firms with nonprofits seeking pro bono design services. Read more
By Alex Spautz
As a California native, recent graduate from the M.Arch program at California College of the Arts and intern at Public Architecture, I am interested in how public space, particularly streets, can provide a social, environmental and ideological framework for daily urban life. What are the ingredients necessary for innovation and success in street design? How do we communicate design ideas to the public? Street design improvement efforts in cities across the nation have become increasingly popular, whereby design firms, community and private organizations, and city agencies are attempting to address issues, from stormwater management to pedestrian safety. One way of implementing these strategies is through design manuals and plans such as the San Francisco “Better Streets Plan” and the Los Angeles “Model Design Manual for Living Streets”. The other way is through temporary improvements such as parklets, bike corrals, and pavement to parks projects. The goals and values of both strategies are very similar, but have different processes and results. With these two options—top down and bottom up—designers are often asked to employ one strategy or the other, which begs the question: how effective are these different processes and how can they be more successful? Read more
Public Architecture is seeking a Development Manager to join our collaborative, growth-oriented organization. The Development Manager will advance Public Architecture’s institutional and corporate fundraising efforts and will work to implement the strategic vision of the Founder and President.
This position demands an entrepreneurial spirit, strategic mindset, and excellent communication skills with great opportunity for intellectual and professional growth in a dynamic, creative environment. For the full job description, visit http://www.publicarchitecture.org/about/Jobs.htm
Applicants are asked to send a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples (one PDF file preferred) to email@example.com with “Development Manager Application” in the subject line.
Please help us find the right candidate by sending this post out to your network — and consider applying yourself!
Edited by Samantha Given-Dennis
Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, and Georgeen Theodore of Interboro Partners are pioneers working at the frontier of the architecture and urban design professions. Their firm embodies the expansion of architecture beyond its traditional boundaries and offers a model for designers to incorporate unfamiliar, underserved populations into their practice. They recently joined The 1% as the 1000th firm participant.
Public. What does Interboro do?
Dan. ‘We work at a port of entry for architectural possibility where the capacity for change rests in architecture’s ability to account for what exists, to recognize the limitations of a site and recast those limitations as an opportunity for intervention.’ Someone wrote that about us once. I think it’s a nice description of what we do. Read more
Public Architecture is participating in this summer’s Public Interest Design Program at the University of Texas at Austin.
Public Architecture seeks two Summer Associates to work closely with and support Public Architecture’s fulltime professional staff of five.
Past projects led by our Summer Associates have varied widely, from conducting interviews about pro bono design with some of the country’s top architects to generating sustainability guidelines for participants in The 1% program and developing a program for material reuse within The 1%. The majority of the work will involve research, writing, and help with our outreach efforts. Once on staff, the Summer Associates play an integral role in moving forward many of our organization’s initiatives and are encouraged to participate as a full member of the staff. Read more
By Amy Ress
The 1% program reached two major milestones last week. They represent significant steps in our mission to institutionalize pro bono practice in the architecture and design professions.
Public Architecture is delighted to announce The 1%’s 1000th firm participant, Brooklyn-based Interboro Partners. We’ve been following the rise of this socially-engaging and innovative firm in recent years and couldn’t be more pleased to bestow this honor on the firm. Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, and Georgeen Theodore lead a forward-thinking office, doing architecture, urban design, and planning. They are most recently known for “Holding Pattern,” the 2011 winning design for MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. Interboro’s team created a temporary playful summer environment by first asking groups in the community if there was anything they needed that Interboro could incorporate into the PS1 design. After determining the local community’s needs, the designers built the PS1 program using the requested elements. The project was de-installed four months ago and the components are now being donated back to the community.
“We’re thrilled to be part of The 1% program. Like most people here, we believe that architecture and planning should serve the public, and not just those who can afford the services that architects and planners provide” said Interboro Partners upon learning of The 1%’s 1000th firm designation. “Good, inclusive architecture and planning–especially in the form of public space–is an important ingredient in a democracy. With this pledge, we continue our mission of serving neglected and underserved populations. It’s heartening to know that there are 999 others out there like us!”
Interboro Partners joins a network of architecture and design firms (now 1006) contributing over 300,000 hours of pro bono design services to communities in need, valued at nearly $40 million annually. Read more
Public Architecture is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with the American Institute of Architects that will encourage AIA members to commit a minimum of 1% of their time to pro bono service. Read more
Increasingly the best champions for Public Architecture and The 1% program are the designers and nonprofits who put design to use every day. In recent months I have had several opportunities to watch our 1% participants share their projects with remarkable passion and dedication. With the pressures of growing an organization it seems that I sometimes forget just how important this work is for professionals and the people we serve.
Our members’ commitment, in what is still a very challenging economic climate, gives me incredible optimism for the future of design’s ability to meet the most pressing needs of our communities. In 2011, we saw more designers than ever join us to seize this opportunity. The 1%, which asks architecture and design firms to pledge one percent of their billable hours to pro bono service, grew to almost 1,000 firms dedicating $38 million to more than 500 nonprofits across the country.
In March, we launched The 1% Design Advocates, a national initiative for exemplary design firms to foster pro bono service in their community through local outreach events. Our pilot project with affiliates of Habitat for Humanity kicked off with innovative designs from across the country to prove that homes of very high environmental and design quality are within reach of Habitat’s clients.
In 2012, you will see us build on our programs and activities from 2011. In March, we will host Design Access, a summit of leaders from design, government, and the social sector, to create an actionable agenda to improve the way we use design as a tool for social change. We will re-launch The 1% platform to make it more flexible, powerful, and inclusive. These and our many other initiatives will be covered on our new media platform, The Public Dialogue.
Just as we are only as strong as the stories told by individual designers and nonprofits across the country, our impact is only guaranteed by the commitment of people just like you. Please join us by making a gift that supports the power of design to change people’s lives.
Click here to donate to Public Architecture.
Thank you in advance, and have a joyous holiday season.
Founder and President