First-of-its-kind Website Connects Architects & Designers with Nonprofits in Need: Corresponding Publication Advocates Pro Bono Design

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Public Architecture, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that advocates pro bono design, has launched Version 2.0 of its nationally-recognized program, "The 1%" (http://www.theonepercent.org). The two new components of the program include a "match-making" website and a print publication advocating pro bono design.

We're talking about groups and the people they serve who would not otherwise have access to professional design. The 1% program has the opportunity to remedy this situation.

Public Architecture, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that advocates pro bono design, has launched Version 2.0 of its nationally-recognized program, "The 1%" (http://www.theonepercent.org). The centerpiece of the program is a first-of-its-kind "match-making" website that connects nonprofit organizations in need of design assistance with architecture and design firms willing to give of their time on a pro bono basis.

"This next phase of The 1% builds on the momentum we've garnered in the program's first two years, and begins to address the other and equally important side of any pro bono relationship: the client," says John Cary, Executive Director of Public Architecture (http://www.publicarchitecture.org), which coordinates The 1% program. "Public Architecture--like many firms, schools, and AIA chapters--fields dozens if not hundreds of inquiries each year from people and groups seeking pro bono design assistance. Until now, there hasn't been a venue of any kind to catalog, much less address those needs."

This next generation of The 1% program website enables both nonprofits and firms to register and identify the kinds of services they either need or are willing to offer on a pro bono basis. The seven services currently promoted on the site range from the production of capital campaign materials to complete facility renovations.

"The vast majority of the nonprofits we work with are saddled with facilities and office spaces that don't reflect the importance of their mission," says Aaron Hurst, founder and president of the Taproot Foundation. "We're talking about groups and the people they serve who would not otherwise have access to professional design. The 1% program has the opportunity to remedy this situation."

In an effort to introduce the concept and principles of pro bono design to both nonprofits as well as architecture and design firms, Public Architecture is simultaneously releasing a print publication to correspond with the new website. Made possible by a major grant from the "Ideas that Matter" program of Sappi Limited, the publication includes brief, project-specific interviews with noted architecture and nonprofit leaders, which detail how cooperation between architects and nonprofits can create both inspiring spaces as well as inspiring stories. The book also includes a thorough 'how-to' section, describing benefits and strategies for firms and nonprofits alike.

"This is an enormously moving and powerful publication," notes RK Stewart, 2007 President of the American Institute of Architects. "It is exactly the kind of resource that can inspire other pro bono design collaborations across the country."

Launched in 2005, The 1% program was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Version 2.0 of "The 1%" program website was made possible thanks to the continued support of NEA as well as a recent grant from The American Institute of Architects and the ongoing support of several leading architecture firms and foundations. To date, over 200 firms of all sizes have signed on, ranging from sole practitioners to some of the largest firms in the country, including HKS and Perkins + Will.

Note to editors:

The following Public Architecture representatives are available for interviews:

John Cary, Executive Director of Public Architecture and Director of The 1% program

John Peterson, Founder & Chair of Public Architecture

Aaron Hurst, Founder & President of the Taproot Foundation

Contact Barbara Franzoia at barbara@publicarchitecture.org or by phone at 415/291-0243.

Public Architecture
http://www.publicarchitecture.org

Established in 2002 by architect John Peterson, Public Architecture is a national nonprofit organization based in San Francisco. Public Architecture acts as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy, and the design of public spaces and amenities.

The 1% Program of Public Architecture
http://www.theonepercent.org

"The 1%" is a national program launched by Public Architecture in 2005 that challenges architecture and design firms to pledge 1% of their billable hours to pro bono work. Over 200 firms have signed on to date. If every architecture professional in the U.S. dedicated just 20 hours annually, it would add up to 5,000,000 hours each year--the equivalent of 2,500-person firm working fulltime for the public good. The 1% program was launched by Public Architecture in 2005 with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and is presently supported by a range of groups, including the NEA, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Boston Society of Architects (BSA), corporate and private foundations, as well as leading firms such as Elness Swenson Graham Architects (ESG), Hammel, Green & Abrahamson (HGA), Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum (HOK), HKS, McCall Design Group, Peckham & Wright Architects (PWA), and Perkins + Will.

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Barbara Franzoia

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