Vision and Manifesto

We believe in design.

We mobilize around issues that move us. We place them at the heart of our business, and we have an impact on them even beyond our core expertise.

Cities are our medium, and we bring an urban spirit to all of our projects, practices, and initiatives.

Armed with data, we understand, celebrate, and protect what makes us inherently human.

First and foremost, we are a design firm.
We are optimists.
We believe design can solve all problems.
We believe it can help individuals and societies thrive, not just survive.
We believe that everyone is entitled to great design.
We advocate publicly for great design and inspired buildings and cities. Against the beige wall of good-enough, status quo, commodification, and safe mediocrity, we campaign for purpose and beauty.
Design is the overriding principle for everything we do — even for how we answer our phones.
There is nothing too small or too big that can’t be addressed by design.

As a design firm we must be more than designers.
Serving as advisors, activists, and kindred spirits, we use our work and word to confront pressing global challenges like climate change, social inequity and wellbeing.
We address these issues at the core of our business.

We understand, celebrate, and protect what is inherently human.
We create places for work and play, learning and healing, in which we can be both vulnerable
and bold.
We design physical spaces that use data, small and big, to give power to the ambiguous, serendipitous, and wondrous.
We are data minding. We combine the analytical and the poetic to serve our full human capacity.

We practice humility.
It is our inherently human obligation to serve the environment. Only by serving the environment can
we protect what is inherently human.
We tread lightly, no matter the scale — a footprint; a city block; a wide, blue sea.

Our responsibility is to be active listeners, intrepid researchers, and bold architects of our clients’ success, society’s welfare, and the planet’s health.
We are smart thinkers and doers who pursue their own path but design together. We know it takes partners and allies to produce results.
We are compulsive learners who constantly adapt to uphold the integrity of our profession.
We are forever becoming.