May 30, 2012
Public Architecture has refreshed the image banners of TheOnePercent.org homepage, its matchmaking pro bono service program website launched in 2007. Starting with two bold graphics in Public Architecture’s signature orange, the new deck of ten still images replace the last iteration’s set of photographs.
In addition to several slides about The 1% program itself, pro bono projects profiled in the new series include two featured in The Power of Pro Bono book, those being Eskew+Dumez+Ripple‘s Prospect.1 installation in New Orleans and SERA Architects‘ “p:ear” headquarters in Portland, Ore. Three other projects include Interboro Partners‘ MoMA PS1 installation in Queens, the Kiva headquarters by STUDIOS ARchitecture in San Francisco, and the Hayes Valley Playground & Community Center, also in San Francisco, by WRNS Studio.
Click here to learn more about The 1% program of Public Architecture at TheOnePercent.org.
April 2, 2012
We have featured desigNYC several times (cataloged here), as we believe it represents a vital next step for pro bono design: matchmaking. The organization, its clients and contributors were profiled late last week by Architectural Record, with a piece titled “Nonprofit Groups Get Major Boost from Matchmaker desigNYC.” The organization joins other great matchmakers including the likes of the Community Design Collaborative and the Taproot Foundation.
The idea for desigNYC emerged years ago during a casual conversation between ESI Design executives and Wendy Goodman, of New York Magazine. Then in 2009, 14 committee members–including architects Deborah Berke, James Biber, and Zack McKown–officially launched desigNYC, which is supported primarily through grants and donations. They were inspired by San Francisco-based Public Architecture’s 1% program, which encourages firms to donate at least 1% of their working hours to pro bono projects. The committee aimed to take this initiative a step further by directly pairing designers with nonprofits. “A lot of designers have the desire to be involved in these kinds of projects,” says executive director Laetitia Wolff, “but they just don’t know where to start, or how to do it.”
March 27, 2012
Perhaps best known for their winning design for MoMA’s PS1 competition (pictured above), Interboro Partners arguably represents the cutting-edge of architecture and design these days. While ahead of the curve on many fronts, the firm has the dubious distinction of being the 1,000th firm to join The 1% pro bono service program of Public Architecture. Its partners–Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, and Georgeen Theodore–spoke with the Public Architecture staff about their work in a newly-published blog post on the organization’s website, and the following is just one insightful excerpt:
We believe in everything that it is doing but we also believe that “design for social change” shouldn’t be a special category. When we started thinking about our practice we decided we would develop it with this idea at the forefront of our minds…There’s no reason why architecture can’t provide the kinds of services that clients and communities need and also aspire to make the world better, without getting into platitudes. People usually think of architecture with a clear disciplinary boundary and we’re trying to be more expansive about what architecture can do and what the products are; in doing so you can be more flexible in incorporating more and new goals into a project.
Click here to read Public Architecture’s complete interview with Interboro Partners.
March 7, 2012
We continue our coverage of Architectural Record‘s “Building for Social Change” issue with what appears like the shortest resource list of all, while it actually runs the deepest. In searching for formalized, firm-wide programs, we found just one, Perkins+Will‘s Social Responsibility Initiative (SRI), launched in 2008. The program places “SRI Officers” in each Perkins+Will office, to field inquiries and manage pro bono projects, but also has a national oversight council. Last summer, the firm published its third annual report on the work, available here.
Perkins+Will based its SRI program in large part on the firm’s pledge through The 1% program of Public Architecture. Launched in 2005 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Public Architecture’s flagship program now counts 1,014 firms among its ranks, which together have pledged over 300,000 hours or what the organization now estimates to be $38 million in donated services annually. (The 1% program is profiled on page 42 of this month’s Architectural Record, with the headline “Pro Bono Work on the Rise.”) Two other large firm members of The 1% program have the beginnings of firm-wide programs, those being HOK‘s growing “Impact” program as well as “Open Hand Studio,” which is in the process of growing beyond Cannon Design‘s Chicago office.
Click here to read more about these humanitarian design firm program in “The Good List,” online at ArchRecord.com.
January 18, 2012
Longtime supporters of Public Architecture, the American Institute of Architects national component last month signed a memorandum of understanding with the organization pertaining to The 1% pro bono program. Among other stipulations, the AIA will commit $25,000 annually for the next five years, totaling $125,000 and building on a one-time, single-year grant of $115,000 in 2007.
Also in 2007, in conferring its Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement the AIA declared: “As a call to arms for all architects, Public Architecture has elevated the awareness of pro bono work from personal option to professional imperative. Their every effort is distinguished by unflagging attention to providing the highest levels of design excellence in service to the public interest.” Additionally, during his tenure as editor of Architectural Record magazine, AIA CEO Robert Ivy wrote of The 1% program, “The idea is smart, clean, and memorable.”
Click here to learn more about the AIA’s partnership with Public Architecture.
January 18, 2012
San Francisco nonprofit Public Architecture, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2012, hit another major milestone yesterday as its pro bono design program, The 1%, eclipsed 1,000 firms. Together, they have pledged over 300,000 hours, now valued by the organization at nearly $40 million annually. The 1% program was conceived in Public Architecture’s first year, and formally launched on March 1, 2005; click here to read the original press release. According to TheOnePercent.org website:
1% of an 8-hour work day is 4.8 minutes. Over the course of a traditional 2,080-hour work year, it amounts to just 20 hours per person. If every architecture professional in the U.S. committed 1% of their time to pro bono service, it would add up to 5,000,000 hours annually–the equivalent of a 2,500-person firm, working full-time for the public good.
December 28, 2011
Last week’s Top 10 Design Milestones of 2011, published at Archinect, highlighted advances in design for the public good by profiling leading organizations from IDEO.org and Mass Design Group to individuals like Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman. As we round out this year and usher in the next, it feels important to also look towards the future–though, of course, looking back is always easier than looking forward.
Initiatives profiled among the Top 10 of 2012 include: the TED Prize (being conferred on “The City 2.0″), Design for America, Bryan Bell’s Public Interest Design Institute training program, The 1% program of Public Architecture, Version 2.0 of NCARB’s Intern Development Program, Design Like You Give a Damn 2, Studio-H (the documentary), Archiculture (the film), “Spontaneous Interventions” at the Venice Biennale, and Public Policy Lab, as well as Worldchanging and Next America City as bonuses.
Click here to read the “Top 10 Design Initiatives to Watch in 2012″ on Archinect.
December 21, 2011
Building again on our special holiday giving guide, co-published last week with Design Observer, we are happy to highlight San Francisco nonprofit Public Architecture, which just a few minutes ago issued its own year-end appeal. In it, founder John Peterson “looked back on 2011, forward to 2012,” noting:
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.
|Profiling the people, projects, and promise of a movement in the making.|