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Public Architecture and The 1% Look Ahead

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dear 1% participants,

Public Architecture started 13 years ago with an idea. Today, we have over 1300 firms and 900 nonprofits participating in The 1% program, the largest pro bono design marketplace in the world. In our first decade we needed to persuade and cajole; now we are surrounded by true believers. Over the years, Public Architecture and The 1% have evolved into a proven model for creating change. We will continue to be leaders in design thinking, but it is time to focus more decisively on scale and a long-term future.

In the next few months we will launch a new graphic identity for Public Architecture, and both a new name and identity for The 1%, as well as a new and improved web platform for both.

This change will also require a new kind of internal leadership and a set of skills, frankly, that are different from mine. This is a signal of growth and maturation; a milestone for all successful organizations. This last year I’ve been working with our board of directors in preparation for me to step away from day to day operations and to focus on strategy and major partnerships. During this time I was offered the extraordinary opportunity to lead the Loeb Fellowship and teach at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. This position will allow me to make an even greater impact on the social outcomes of the design of the built environment and build on the extraordinary legacy of the Loeb Fellowship and the GSD.

In the next few months we will hire a new executive director and I will move from a staff position to continue as part of the board leadership. We will launch a national search next week. We already have some very exciting prospects.

This will be a gradual transition. I will start working with the Fellowship part-time this fall and then full-time beginning next year. Through my role on the board, I will continue to be very active in advancing the mission of Public Architecture, its impact on the design profession, and how design is employed by the social sector in the service of the public good.

I'm excited about what this means for Public Architecture and The 1%, as well as my own opportunity to expand my role on the social agency of design.

For more information see the Harvard GSD post:

www.gsd.harvard.edu

Best regards,

John Peterson, aia
Founder and President

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