By Jennifer Lau
This weekend we had the pleasure of attending the thirteenth annual Structures For Inclusion conference at the University of Minnesota College of Design. This year’s theme—“Dignifying Design”—was a fitting conclusion to the first ever Public Interest Design Week (#PIDWeek) and featured presentations by some of the most inspirational leaders in the field today, including many friends, colleagues, and former Public Architecture staff. Read more
By Jennifer Lau
From February 27 to March 1, 2013 at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, Public Architecture convened leaders from government, design, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy at the second annual Design Access Summit. Design Access is an opportunity for leaders within the aforementioned sectors to acknowledge the profound impact of the design of the built environment on human and environmental health, economic prosperity, and social justice, as well as to advance our collective ability to leverage the design of the built environment as a tool for social gain. Read more
This month Interface and Universal Fibers teamed up to support Public Architecture’s 1% program and designers who want to do meaningful work at work. Thanks to supporters like you, we’re more than halfway to our goal of $20,000—and we still have a week to go!
Between now and February 25th, all you need to do is share, love, and retweet stories with the everyONE logo and/or hashtag (#IFeveryONE) to make the equivalent of a $2 donation to Public Architecture. With a simple click, you can help us show the world how everyONE in the design community can make a difference.
Check out the everyONE campaign images below for a dose of inspiration and the chance to help us expand pro bono design resources and opportunities. Whether one image stands out—or you love all six—simply click the images below to start sharing and help us reach our $20,000 goal!
The 2013 Call for Applications has been annouced by The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) for their Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA).
SCDA connects project teams and multi-disciplinary sustainable design experts through highly interactive design workshops that help project teams advance their green infrastructure and community development goals.
Successful applicants will join AAF for one of two design workshops in Washington, DC:
June 5-7, 2013
September 11-13, 2013
To learn more and download the application, click here. Public-private partnership project teams are encouraged to apply.
To help support and advance good sustainable design practices, the American Architectural Foundation created the Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA) in 2009. This initiative provides leadership development and technical assistance to local community leaders who are engaged in planning a sustainable building project in their community. Through SCDA, AAF seeks to educate, inspire, and support these local government, business, and community leaders and developers. SCDA also provides them with the resources and tools they need to develop long-term solutions for their communities.
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.
For every person that visits their booth in the Exhibit Hall at Greenbuild, Shaw Contract Group will donate a dollar to one of three select nonprofits of the visitor’s choice. We are so excited that Shaw has chosen us to be one of the beneficiaries of this generous Greenbuild campaign.
If you are going to Greenbuild, head over to Shaw on the expo floor and select Public Architecture as your nonprofit of choice!
Greenbuild will be held from November 14-16, 2012 in San Francisco. For further information about the event, visit www.greenbuildexpo.org.
Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota College of Design, announce the Call for Entries in the 2013 SEED Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design competition. Recognizing excellence in social, economic and environmental design, the SEED Awards represent the confluence of forces needed to create truly sustainable projects and change in the world. Read more
Eight students representing a diverse group of future leaders in the public interest design movement convened in San Francisco June 27- July 6 for the Public Interest Design Externship, a summer program of The University of Texas at Austin and co-led by Public Architecture. The externship was designed to place graduate students in San Francisco-based architecture and design firms to study a handful of local built projects. Public Architecture selected the projects based on their innovation, high level of social impact, and broad definition of sustainability, evidenced by effective design strategies, unique funding streams, community engagement, and other elements that led to community impact. The following list shows the participating design firms, the selected project, and the assigned externs:
Perkins+Will-San Francisco, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Heydn Ericson & David Sharratt
Envelope A+D, Proxy
Alex Krippner & Colleen McGinnis
CMG Landscape Architecture, Mint Plaza
McCall Design Group, Sunset Cooperative Nursery
Public Architecture, Survey of Parklets
Katie Mays & Gilad Meron
In particular, the students’ research is focusing on the balance of the design intentions compared to the end users receptions of those intentions. Now in the final two weeks of the program, the externs have returned to Austin to distill their research into project case studies that will fill a professional report, which Public Architecture will make available later this summer.
Announcing The 1% Collection
Public Architecture is launching The 1% Collection at NeoCon 2012! The 1% Collection is a growing alliance of manufacturers who believe in our work and have pledged 1% of the sales of a specific product line to support the pro bono work of designers like you. Stop by the showrooms of The 1% Collection founding brands, Shaw Contract Group and Skyline Design, and visit SpecForGood.org.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Design Awards
Monday June 11, 2012
Doors open at 6:15 pm/ Ceremony starts at 6:30 pm
Venue SIX10 at Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan Avenue
Don’t miss out on the largest American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) awards ceremony of the year and see who wins the ASID Design for Humanity Award. Hint: It’s a program of Public Architecture!
Stop by Booth #7-1086 to pick up a ticket that is required for entrance. Transportation to and from Hotel Allegro and Venue SIX10 will be provided between 5:30 and 9:30 pm.
Sustainability Without Borders
Tuesday, June 12
10:30 am – Noon
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Steamboat Room, 350 West Mart Center Drive
The territorial lines between construction demolition and recycling practices with decommissioning and surplus stewardship is starting to merge for the greater good. Today, most leading companies recycle; with this passport, is it enough to claim sustainability? Leadership from Public Architecture, ANEW and Teknion discuss the implementation of an enterprise-wide approach that measures profitability with social responsibility.
By Amy Ress
The 1% Habitat initiative was born out of Habitat for Humanity’s desire to engage the design community to improve the design and construction process for their 1400+ affiliates across the country. Public Architecture saw this as an opportunity to advocate that quality design could further Habitat’s mission. Through The 1% program, we matched a select group of architecture firms, recognized for their residential design excellence and commitment to public service, to work with Habitat affiliates vetted for their building track record and enthusiasm to partner with designers to bring innovation to their plans. Together these teams are challenged to design and build a home that exceeds Habitat’s typical design and sustainability standards. Three of these partnerships are now underway to construction:
Each project will be documented on The Public Dialogue as they go to build, starting with the Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects (MSME) and Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (HFH MGC) project in Pascagoula, Miss.
By late January 2012, MSME and HFH MGC were quickly approaching the ground breaking on their collaboratively designed house in Pascagoula, Miss. “Everyone here is very excited to get started,” exclaimed Heidi Schattin, Sustainable Building Specialist at HFH MGC. The Habitat affiliate had received the building permit back from the local planning office with only a few minor red lines and the foundation work and pile driving was set to begin in early February.
Public Architecture’s Design Access Summit brought together government, design, nonprofit and funding professionals to better leverage the design of the built environment as a tool for social gain. Leaders in health care, education, affordable housing, transportation, community engagement, environmental sustainability, and the arts worked to collectively provide design services at scale to our most underserved and challenging problems.
Attendees represented an annual $10 million in pro bono design services, $1 billion in grants funded annually, and hundreds of millions of people served annually. Over the course of the summit, they discussed the impact of the built environment on our lives and our planet, new approaches and barriers to using design as a tool for social gain, strategies for working within resource constrained environments, service delivery innovation, and impact measurement.
By Brad Leibin
Throughout history, one can find evidence that environment has a major role to play in improving public health outcomes. In the 19th Century, infectious diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis claimed millions of lives around the world before it was understood that environmental design measures such as aqueduct systems to supply cities clean drinking water, urban parks, revisions to building codes and zoning ordinances, and improved sewer systems (not medicine) were the most effective means to eliminate disease (i). Despite examples such as this, the importance of environment still too often goes overlooked by the healthcare industry as well as designers. Research done by the World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that many of the most pressing global public health issues of the 21st century are tied to environment. It is estimated that, currently, 24% of the global disease burden and 23% of all deaths can be attributed to environmental factors (ii). In its 2006 paper, “Preventing Disease Through Health Environments,” the WHO paints a picture of the negative impact that inadequate built environments, pollution, and climate are having on disease rates, particularly in the world’s poorest regions.
One might think healthcare facilities would be leaders in adopting sustainable building practices. But it appears, too often, that this is not the case. In United States the healthcare industry is the number one generator of waste (producing 3.4 million pounds, annually), the number two largest consumer of energy (spending $8.5 billion on energy, annually), and consistently ranked among the top 10 users of energy in any given community (ii, iii,iv). Not only does this wastefulness make healthcare more expensive and less accessible than it needs to be, it is makes healthcare a prime contributor to the environmental degradation that the WHO cites as a major causes of worldwide disease. In other words, the healthcare industry may actually be contributing to the spread of the illnesses it is trying to treat (iii). Read more