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!
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.
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.
We invite you to an evening of conversation and cocktails with the Bay Area’s AEC network.
Make the Connection is an annual mixer that brings together professionals from the architectural, construction, engineering, facility management, green building, interior design and marketing communities in Northern California. Each year the proceeds from the Make the Connection event benefit a local 501c3 nonprofit in the Architecture, Engineering or Construction industry. This year it’s Public Architecture!
Reserve your tickets: http://maketheconnection-sf.com/
Become a sponsor: http://maketheconnection-sf.com/Sponsorship.php
AIA San Francisco, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), Society for Marketing Professional Services San Francisco (SMPS), Commercial Interiors Contractors Awards (CICA), USGBC Northern California
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.
Public Architecture is excited to announce the completion of the Facility Guide for Early Childhood and Elementary Schools, a resource compiled for KIPP Foundation to empower their staff and educators to use the design of their learning environments as a tool to advance a student’s education. Read more
The 9th annual Architecture and the City festival will be taking place September 1-30 in San Francisco. The festival offers the opportunity to engage with the local architectural community, explore the crossroads of planning and contemporary culture, and experience design throughout the city. This year’s programs will demonstrate the positive impact architects and designers have on our communities by enhancing sustainability, promoting creativity, and increasing our collective quality of life.