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 Houston and investing in our local schools and parks are just a few of many examples—we’re excited to formalize our efforts and officially join the 1% program with Public Architecture. The 1% program is a national movement in partnership with the AIA that promotes pro bono architectural efforts in the public interest.
“The 1% program of Public Architecture connects nonprofit organizations in need of design assistance with architecture and design firms willing to donate their time on a pro bono basis. Launched by Public Architecture in 2005 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, The 1% is a first-of-its-kind effort to encourage pro bono service within the architecture and design professions.” – Public Architecture
We believe that as designers, we are called to serve for the public good—to do design that benefits our communities, our environments, our global cities, and our world. At SWA, our social impact design initiative, spearheaded by Principal Cinda Gilliland and includes 36 designers from each of our seven offices.
Our Social Impact Design Initiative was born out of our curiosity and eagerness to find ways to continue to contribute design and planning skills locally and globally. As John Cary of Public Interest Design has written, we believe that everyone should have access to good design.
“The landscape architecture, planning and urban design community plays an increasingly necessary and important role in The 1% program,” says Amy Ress, The 1% Program Manager at Public Architecture. “We’re inspired by SWA’s vision and their commitment of more than 700 hours annually to improve communities in need.”
We’re excited about sharing more of our recent projects and chronicling our adventures here on this blog.