The 1%

"World's 10 Most Innovative Architecture Firms"

Mazzanti

Earlier this week, as part of its “Most Innovative Companies 2013,” Fast Company crowned “The World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture.” Among them were the likes of Perkins+Will, well-known for its robust Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI), building on its pledge through The 1% pro bono program of Public Architecture.

We were especially drawn to the profile of Mazzanti Arquitectos, “For revitalizing the slums of Bogota in Colombia by turning crime-ridden public spaces into delightful community centers.” As explained by Fast Company, “The Cubierta Cazucá canopy in Bogota transformed an unused basketball court into a shaded sports court and public plaza for the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, the complete Top 10 includes: 1. Foster + Partners; 2. Snohetta; 3. Adjaye Associates; 4. Amateur Architecture Studio; 5. Perkins + Will; 6. Herzog & de Meuron; 7. Populous; 8. Arup; 9. Mazzanti Arquitectos; and 10. Lake|Flato.

Click here to read about the “The World’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture,” online at FastCompany.com.

The 1% Pro Bono Design Survey

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Public Architecture and researchers from Harvard Business School have released the results of its latest survey, now in its fourth iteration, of firms involved with The 1% pro bono design program. Over 200 respondents (from a pool of 906 firms at the time of administration) described the pro bono projects undertaken by their firms in 2010 and 2011, representing nearly a 35% response rate.

Among other findings: The three most important variables in selecting pro bono projects, in order of importance, are social relevance, design opportunity, and capacity to further the client’s mission. 30% of pro bono work came through existing firm clients, 27% through nonprofit solicitations outside of program, and 15% through the program’s website and matching process. Finally, 72% of firms reported no participation in The 1% program’s matching process in the past 12 months, while 31% of respondents cited “more pro bono client options” and another 16% cited “improved matching process” as things that would improve their satisfaction with the program.

Click here to view or download a PDF of The 1% Firm Survey. Caption: The above piecharts show percentage of pro bono work undertaken in the last 12 months, in relation to fee-generating work.

Architizer: 2012 Top 10 PID Predictions in Review

On Tuesday, we published the first in a three-part series of “year end” pieces on Architizer, our 2012 Top 10 Public Interest Design Predictions in Review. The history is that a year ago, Archinect published our “Top 10 Design Initiatives to Watch in 2012–For The Public Good.” Here we are, a year later and wiser, to take a quick look back.

1. The TED Prize was awarded to “The City 2.0”
2. Design for America has, indeed, spread its wings
3. The Public Interest Design Institute hit the road
4. The 1% program eclipsed 1,000 firms
5. The Intern Development Program 2.0 took effect
6. Design Like You Give a Damn 2 hit the shelves
7. Studio H, the documentary, due out in 2013
8. Archiculture film in production
9. U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale showcased “Spontaneous Interventions”
10. Public Policy Lab took shape
Bonus: Rounding up to 12, one public interest media site reboots, while another waits.

Click here to read our “2012 Top 10 Public Interest Design Predictions in Review,” online at Architizer.com.

ASID, Public Architecture Announce Partnership

Last week, Public Architecture announced a new partnership with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), aimed to support pro bono service for nonprofits seeking interior design expertise. The partnership comes on the heals of Public Architecture’s partnership with the American Institute of Architects, profiled here previously. Both are embedded in The 1% pro bono service program of Public Architecture.

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.

Click here to learn more about Public Architecture’s partnership with ASID, online at PublicArchitecture.org.

ScrapHouse-inspired Project in Seattle Opens

In 2005, Public Architecture and a ragtag group of partners designed and built ScrapHouse–a temporary demonstration home made of garbage. The house became a centerpiece of World Environment Day, to which San Francisco played host that year, and subsequently the subject of a National Geographic Channel documentary. In the wake of those festivities, dozens of individuals and entities contacted Public Architecture, asking for a scrap house or building of their own. One such call came from a couple of young, determined staff members within King County government, Sarah Jepson and Jessie Israel. They had an extraordinary client in mind, called the Technology Access Foundation (TAF)–which provides computer and technical skills training for minority and disadvantaged youth throughout the Seattle area–as well as the prospect of land in a community park.

Last night, almost exactly seven years after a project kickoff meeting in mid-2005, the Betheday Community Learning Space officially opened its doors to the community. The $12.6M, 24,000sf building was masterfully designed by The Miller|Hull Partnership, having initially been brought onto the project through The 1% program of Public Architecture. During all those years, TAF, Miller|Hull, Public Architecture, and others stockpiled scrap and salvage materials–old solid core doors, which are now walls and desks; decommissioned street signs, now exterior wall cladding; and more. The result is astounding to see. It represents the will of a city, a community, an organization, its dedicated staff and inspiring leader, Trish Millines Dziko.

Click here to learn more about the Bethaday Community Learning Space, online at TechAccess.org, or click here to learn more via The Miller|Hull Partnership website, online at MillerHull.com. Caption: iPhone photo of the Bethaday Community Learning Space taken last night; professional photographs are expected next spring, once the landscape is able to grow in.

Public Architecture Releases New Case Study

Late last week, Public Architecture released the first in a series of new case studies, featuring projects by AIA members participating in The 1% pro bono design program. The subject of the first case study is the Hayes Valley Playground & Clubhouse in San Francisco, designed by WRNS Studio in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department. The four-page project profile is supplemented by beautiful photographs, shot by Ken Gutmaker.

Click here to view the Hayes Valley Playground & Clubhouse case study, online at Issuu.com.

Two new pro bono design resources introduced

Public Architecture yesterday announced two new resources related to its acclaimed pro bono service program, The 1%. Edited by program director Amy Ress and designed by Kay Cheng, the pair of resources include a Pro Bono Design Handbook for Nonprofits and a corresponding Pro Bono Design Handbook for Designers.

Available for online viewing via Issuu.com, the handbooks explain how firms and nonprofits can “connect through The 1% program and get the most from their pro bono experience as well as find new opportunities within the program’s matching service.”

Click here to view the Pro Bono Design Handbook for Nonprofits, or click here to view the corresponding Pro Bono Design Handbook for Designers, both online at Issuu.com.

Syvertsen details Cannon Design’s service agenda

John Syvertsen, senior principal of Cannon Design and co-founder of the firm’s Open Hand Studio, took to the pages of DesignIntelligence to talk in great detail about the practice of socially responsible design. “In my 35 years of practice,” Syvertsen writes, “I have never seen such brilliant and positive energy as I have seen in the cause of socially responsible design. We are fortunate to have a generation of young professionals that not only believes that it can move the needle on global challenges, but that it must and it will.”

Referencing the firm’s work with the Taproot Foundation to identify key business benefits, its pledge through The 1% program of Public Architecture, and other recent convenings and conversations that he’s been a part of, Syvertsen’s lengthy piece commendably lays bare Cannon’s myriad efforts. He concludes by acknowledging, “A question we continually wrestle with is how we can incorporate Open Hand thinking and processes into all of our work. Perhaps lurking in all of this is the possibility of a Hippocratic Oath for design.”

Click here to read Syvertsen’s “Open Hand Studio and Social Sustainability in American A/E Practice” at DI.net.

Syvertsen details Cannon Design's service agenda

John Syvertsen, senior principal of Cannon Design and co-founder of the firm’s Open Hand Studio, took to the pages of DesignIntelligence to talk in great detail about the practice of socially responsible design. “In my 35 years of practice,” Syvertsen writes, “I have never seen such brilliant and positive energy as I have seen in the cause of socially responsible design. We are fortunate to have a generation of young professionals that not only believes that it can move the needle on global challenges, but that it must and it will.”

Referencing the firm’s work with the Taproot Foundation to identify key business benefits, its pledge through The 1% program of Public Architecture, and other recent convenings and conversations that he’s been a part of, Syvertsen’s lengthy piece commendably lays bare Cannon’s myriad efforts. He concludes by acknowledging, “A question we continually wrestle with is how we can incorporate Open Hand thinking and processes into all of our work. Perhaps lurking in all of this is the possibility of a Hippocratic Oath for design.”

Click here to read Syvertsen’s “Open Hand Studio and Social Sustainability in American A/E Practice” at DI.net.

Public Architecture intros “The 1% Collection”

Public Architecture announced yesterday the launch of its latest campaign, called “The 1% Collection,” a component of its celebrated pro bono design program, The 1%. The announcement took place during the annual NeoCon design conference and tradeshow in Chicago. To date, two manufacturers have signed on, those being Skyline Design and Shaw Contract Group, with the latter’s commitment dating back to 2009. It’s the latest effort on the part of the organization to engage material manufacturers.

The 1% Collection is made up of manufacturers who believe in the work that Public Architecture is doing. Each time you spec a product from The Collection, the brand donates one percent of the sale to help fund The 1% program. And with each dollar raised, we’re able to leverage $60 of pro bono design for nonprofits.

Click here to learn more about The 1% Collection. Caption: “Give 1%” pin designed by Cynthia Garcia; The 1% Collection brand and messaging were designed by Eleven Inc., with the orange wrapper and insert cleverly repurposing a sketchbook originally designed for Public Architecture by Studio Hinrichs, thanks to a 2009 grant from the Ideas that Matter program of Sappi Limited.