Design demands perpetual observation, listening, learning, and refinement. It involves broad vision and open minds. It requires sensitivity and awareness of differences, where we’re valuing, respecting, and learning from each other to continuously strive to be the best we can be.
Central to an inclusive design culture of trust and collaboration is the principle that we’re open to all individuals and their identities, perspectives, methods, and ideas. Diversity is the life force of our organization, the work we do, and the foundation upon which we thrive.
We all play a part in fostering a truly inclusive design culture, where diversity is a dynamic force for innovative design.
When I graduated from college in the late 1990s, most of the people I interviewed with at architecture firms didn’t look like me. I couldn’t feel a sense of belonging from the cultural markers that were communicated to me in those conversations. I left architecture for 10 years shortly thereafter. As a young adult in Washington, DC, I had to look elsewhere to understand who I was as a person, as a professional, and ultimately as an architect and planner. While I don’t regret that detour, I don’t want others to feel they don’t belong in the design professions.
The industry has changed dramatically. The conversations we’re having now, the focus on supporting leadership goals for women and people of color, and the importance placed not just on the outcomes of design but the people and processes that get us there are all aspects of architecture I was hungry for 20 years ago.
As we distinguish our “Human by Design” culture both individually and collectively, we at Perkins Eastman have a unique opportunity to learn from one another, honor our backgrounds and heritages, and help each other form our professional identities in ways that will celebrate us all. In so doing, we’re reasserting the firm’s commitment to include more diverse voices across the architectural and design fields, building equity in our practices and projects, and modeling an inclusive approach to placemaking. As PEople Culture Manager, I’m honored to represent our firm in this role.
Diversifying Our Leadership
Our principals and associate principals lead project teams, build client relationships, and set the tone for our studio cultures. It is critical that our leadership reflects the diversity and complexity of our staff. The current cohort of leadership is more diverse than ever in Perkins Eastman’s history and we are continuing to focus on increasing this diversity every year. This data reflects our leadership statistics as of April 2023.
In 2022, we promoted 131 staff members to associate, senior associate, associate principal, and principal in our most diverse cohort to date. As this next generation of Perkins Eastman leadership continues to evolve and grow our practice, we look forward to the ways in which they continue to make our projects more inclusive and our internal processes more equitable.
We regularly spotlight the talent, traditions, and cultural backgrounds our PEople bring to the work we do.
Here are our latest profiles for Fall, 2023:
Click here to read their stories