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Last year the San Francisco Office was excited to offer pro-bono design and documentation services to a  halfway-house nonprofit residential treatment center. The plan was to solicit material donations and have a volunteer construction day to build therapy gardens for the facility.  We collaborated with the organization’s directors and staff to make a survey, conduct soil… Read more »

Chris Hardy

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six-ways-pro-bono

Designing in the public interest is often challenging–and controversial. How do you know when to do public interest work and when pro-bono efforts are going towards greater good? In our office with the recent launch of our pro-bono Social Impact Design Initiative and partnership with the 1% Program at Public Architecture, we continue to learn from our work… Read more »

Sarah Peck

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networks-and-nature

Created by of the founders of GOOD, the Goldhirsh Foundation supports innovators through grants whose ideas can shape and change the world.   This year the Goldhirsh Foundation is tackling a new approach to grant making through the “My LA2050 challenge.”  This application is specific to the Los Angeles region and the opportunities for its future,… Read more »

swa-joins1percent

Over the past year, a group of designers from all of our offices have been slowly building up a formal library of all of our various pro-bono projects we’ve been a part of over the years. While doing projects above and beyond our client work is nothing new to SWA—our involvement with the Bayous in… Read more »

Sarah Peck

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building-resilience

I am intrigued by the human resilience angle in the case for better urban design implied by Eric Klinenberg in his article in the New Yorker. In the article ‘Adaptation: How can cities be “climate-proofed?”’, Klinenberg discusses disaster preparedness in general and describes several large scale engineering solutions to climate change, solutions that are of… Read more »

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Pedestrian Respect_001

Traffic calming can give pedestrians a leg up in the car-centric city – and driving should be actively discouraged. This is part of a series about the importance of small urban elements that can have an outsized impact, enhancing people’s lives or modifying users’ behavior in surprising ways. The new husband of one of my… Read more »

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