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.
“Design Access was a way for Perkins + Will to intellectually reinvest in our Social Responsibility Initiative, which is based closely on The 1% program,” said Allison Williams, Design Director at Perkins + Will, “The intimacy of the summit, the breadth of attendees, and the sophistication of their approaches to common problems allowed us to connect with ideas about our current program and our aspirations for the future.”
“Design Access was one of the best events I’ve attended,” added Angela Lee, Associate Principal and Senior Vice President at HKS.
To make the conversation actionable, each attendee was asked at the culmination of the summit to commit to using design beyond the limits that they have in the past. To support their commitments, Public Architecture compiled $1 million in pro bono design services for attendees, will launch a pilot matching program for government agencies, and will share the summit’s findings through online multimedia and publication.
Design Access was held at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, California from March 14-17, 2012. This year’s event was the first in what will be an annual gathering that brings together stakeholders positioned to leverage design in traditional and expansive ways to improve communities.
For further information about Design Access, visit www.designaccess.org.
For more images from Design Access, visit Public Architecture’s Facebook Page.