October 28, 2009
These architects, who recently won a prestigious global award for innovation, focus on design that’s good for people and the planet. We’re inspired by their thoughts on how “one percent” can change the world.
Since 2002, Public Architecture has centered on architecture in the service of public interest. That focus bears fruit with designs like the self-contained day labor station, which recently earned the Global Holcim Award. But perhaps the organization’s greatest impact is not a design, but a program to encourage pro bono work. Their 1% program challenges architecture firms to pledge 1% of billable hours to pro bono work. If everyone jumped on board, that could mean 5,000,000 volunteer hours annually, or as the site states, “the equivalent of 2,500-person firm working full time for the public good.” The program has captured the attention and support of design professionals nationwide. Last year, architects pledged more than 200,000 hours and an estimated $20 million in pro bono services.