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Posts Tagged ‘The 1%’

December 3, 2012

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

October 25, 2012

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, or click here to learn more via The Miller|Hull Partnership website, online at 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.

October 15, 2012

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

August 7, 2012

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, 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

July 9, 2012

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

June 12, 2012

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.

June 11, 2012

2012 ASID Design for Humanity Award

Today, June 11, during the annual NeoCon tradeshow in Chicago, The 1% program of Public Architecture will be recognized with the “Design for Humanity Award” by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The award is “bestowed by the Society upon an individual or institution that has significantly contributed to improving the environment for humanity through design-related activities or projects. The impact of these activities must have demonstrated far-reaching effects.” Past recipients include the likes of Architecture for Humanity and the Robin Hood L!brary Initiative.

The 1% program warranted a special feature in the infographic that we released last week. Conceived in 2002 and formally launched in 2005 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, The 1% challenges architecture and design firms nationwide to pledge a minimum of 1% of their billable hours to pro bono service. Surveys by the organization have shown that a majority of firms commit an average of 2.5%, it turns out. As of this writing, 1,050 firms have signed on to the program, pledging 311,598 hours, while 620 nonprofits have applied for pro bono design assistance.

Click here to see The 1% program in the context of our first public interest design infographic, or click here to visit Caption: Graphic designed by Megan Jett.

May 30, 2012

The 1% homepage banners get a refresh

Public Architecture has refreshed the image banners of 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 PartnersMoMA 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

April 2, 2012

ArchRecord profiles matchmaker desigNYC

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.”

Click here to read “Nonprofit Groups Get Major Boost from Matchmaker desigNYC,” now online at Caption: Rendering of the PortSide NewYork BoatBox, a desigNYC project.

March 27, 2012

Public Architecture interviews Interboro Partners

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 ArmborstDaniel 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.

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