Top World Architects:Perkins+Will

Every action has a purpose

Perkins+Will is a purpose-driven firm.

We aspire to find greater meaning in all of our actions and are never satisfied with the status quo. In our work and in our lives, we’re deeply committed to improving our clients’ businesses and organizations, our profession, ourselves and our society as a whole.

The five purposes below are the fundamental values of our practice. These values are more than abstract beliefs: they are the foundation for what drives all of us in all our actions and at every level of our firm.

1.Design: - forms the center of our practice.

Perkins+Will was founded on the belief that design has the power to transform our lives – in commerce, our culture or our communities. By gaining a holistic view of our clients’ vision, needs and context, and adding creativity and innovation, our work solves complex problems and transforms our clients’ businesses and missions, often helping to make them leaders in their fields. We believe that great design has the power to do this.

This year, our firm was recognized by the National Building Museum for our commitment to civic innovation in design, construction, and education – the first time an architectural design firm has been the recipient of this award. The award celebrated our 75 year history of embracing the transformative power of design in society.

We believe that built environments should reflect context, history, cultures, communities and the natural environment while incorporating advances in technology. We are committed not only to wasting less, but to creating regenerative designs which heal their local environments and their occupants. Across every discipline, market and office, our goal is to create this kind of positive change – change for our client’s businesses, brands and organizations – and change for our society and generations to come.
2-Innovation: Knowledge, learning and research are the spirit of our firm.

At Perkins+Will, we’ve created a practice where design, technology and research converge to create places that improve how we live and work. To help keep us at the forefront of innovative design, we believe that it is essential to make focused investments in thought leadership in order to solve our clients’ increasingly complex challenges and advance our profession.

Three examples of this at Perkins+Will are:

Our Research Group pursues innovation of materials, tools and processes to create a new generation of ideas. By digging deeper into research, we’re reaching higher to improve the performance of our buildings and the health of our environment. Ourbiannual research journals document some of these investigations.

Our Innovation in Project Delivery Initiative is dedicated to advancing the way we work, seeking improved quality in accelerated and integrated project delivery processes. We’re using technology and tools to improve communication, collaboration and workflow. We’re also promoting integrated design and construction supported by Building Information Modeling. And we’re building partnerships to extend these efforts beyond our firm to the construction community.

Our Innovation Incubator program then fosters an invigorating culture of innovation by supporting small, focused research projects proposed by staff members through micro-grants of money and time. These micro-grants provide incentive for proactive idea exploration, technical development and design collaboration. Results of this research further our design work as well as contribute to the knowledge base of our industry.

We’re researching and exploring because this is what drives our ability to deliver extraordinary ideas and buildings.
3-Sustainability: Our respect for the natural world motivates everything we do.

Project-by-project and day-by-day, sustainability is a part of everything we do.

At Perkins+Will, sustainable design is a result of a creative and collaborative process that involves all our disciplines. We’re not only reducing environmental impact, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, reintegrating ecological systems and limiting exposure to harmful substances, but we’re also helping to improve the environment through regenerative design.

Perkins+Will is also committed to exemplary workplace practices in our own business. Since the development of our Green Operations Plan in 2005, we have tracked and benchmarked our operational performance in terms of energy and water use as well as greenhouse gas emissions associated with travel and office operations. Every one of our offices that is renovated or constructed is designed to LEED Platinum standards and metered to monitor performance. As a carbon-neutral organization, we’re offsetting our carbon emissions and investing in renewable energy technologies.

We are committed to supporting a diverse culture of sustainable design through applied research, internal education, public advocacy and outreach. We have developed tools such as the Transparency Site and the 2030 Estimating + Evaluation Tool to advance our design expertise and have made them publicly-available to expand our industry’s knowledge of sustainable design best practices. Through this research and development of innovative tools, we offer our clients a range ofsustainable advisory services.
4-Interdisciplinary Collaboration: We believe in the power of teams.

Today, our clients are facing an increasingly complex set of challenges resulting from transforming economic, social, technological and geo-cultural forces. Solutions to these problems require a shift in perspective and thinking. A traditional, one-dimensional approach can’t solve these challenges. Instead, they require a multi-dimensional, interdisciplinary approach that multiplies technology, tools and talents into a powerful force of change.

Perkins+Will is one of only a few global design firms able to solve these complex design challenges. Interdisciplinary means many talents brought together in a coordinated and powerfully-appointed way. Drawn from diverse educational, professional and geographic backgrounds, our teams combine their expertise to work across architecture, branded environments, interior design, planning + strategies,preservation + reuse and urban design. Through a holistic approach, we gather perspectives and consider every angle.

To facilitate the exchange of time, tools and talent, we place our clients at the center of an immersive, iterative and collaborative approach that draws from all our disciplines. Interdisciplinary collaboration is hard work, and we have invested in our abilities to deliver this rich process to our clients so that their design experience is elevated.
5-Social Purpose: The result of our work is to advance social well-being.

For more than 75 years, Perkins+Will has been dedicated to the philosophy that design has the power to transform and enhance the mission and business of our clients and improve society overall. In every project, we strive for a comprehensive understanding of our clients’ mission, vision, needs and context in order to transform their culture and environment. We are deeply rooted in our mission of creating ideas + buildings that honor the broader goals of society.

Since 2007, Perkins+Will has more explicitly committed our resources to serve society through an extensive pro bono program. Through our public interest work, we seek to address basic human needs – food, shelter, health, education and empowerment. Since our initial experience working hands-on in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, our Social Responsibility Initiative has expanded our pledge to Public Architecture to commit 1% of our billable resources to support pro bono initiatives.

Every year, Perkins+Will contributes the equivalent of a 15-person firm working full-time to provide pro bono services to organizations in our communities who would otherwise not have such access. We have empowered all of our offices to engage in their communities on a local level. With a global perspective supported by local engagement, social responsibility is a core value of our firm and integral to everything we do.




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