300 Architecture Firms Join Forces to Bring Design Services to Underserved Communities

April 8, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO/PRNewswire/ - Seeking to institutionalize pro bono design within the architecture profession, Public Architecture, a national nonprofit, has brought "The 1% Program"—an initiative through which architects pledge a minimum of 1 percent of their billable hours annually to pro bono service-to the milestone of 300 participating firms in just three years.

This represents a commitment of more than 90,000 hours in design services worth an estimated $9 million annually. This sizable contribution harnesses the energy and creativity of firms in the service of the public good while increasing the capacity of nonprofits.

Cambridge Seven Associates marks the 300th architecture firm to pledge their commitment to providing pro bono design services. "This represents a growth of 100 percent since the re-launch of The 1% Web site last October," says Public Architecture founder John Peterson. "The rapid growth is fueled in part by a new matching system through which architecture firms and nonprofits can seek out partnerships online."

Since last fall, nonprofits were invited to register their needs with The 1% Program to find architecture firms interested in partnering on pro bono projects. More than 100 nonprofits across the country have already signed up, demonstrating a real demand for firms engaging in pro bono work.

"As architects whose projects are inherently public, we know how important design is for enabling people to interact and work with each other," says Peter Kuttner, FAIA, president of Cambridge Seven Associates. "The 1% Program of Public Architecture represents the first profession-wide pro bono movement in architecture."

The 1% Program (www.theonepercent.org) was launched by Public Architecture on March 31, 2005, with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Along with renewed support from the NEA, The 1% is supported by several groups, including the American Institute of Architects, Boston Society of Architects, corporate and private foundations, as well as leading firms such as Elness Swenson Graham Architects, HOK, HKS, McCall Design Group, and Perkins+Will.

In addition to The 1% Program, Public Architecture sponsors a series of "design campaigns," including ScrapHouse and the Day Labor Station. Through prototypical design projects linked with comprehensive advocacy initiatives, design campaigns develop new design solutions to provocative social issues. For more information about Public Architecture, visit www.publicarchitecture.org.

Source: Public Architecture

For additional information, contact Barbara Franzoia Consults: [email protected].

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