Design Futures Council

Archive Library



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Archived Articles:

Prior to December 31, 2019

Below is a list of articles from DesignIntelligence Quarterlies that were published prior to 2020 when we launched our Media website.  We are in the process of rebuilding this library, so if you are looking for a specific article that you can't find on our Media website, please contact us


Collective Design for a Changing Climate

December 17, 2019 | Adrian Parr
Dr. Adrian Parr is a philosopher and cultural critic that works at the intersection of environmental, social and political activism. She is a UNESCO Chair of Water and Human Settlements and Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. We spoke with Adrian about climate change, problems of representation, cooperative design and the impact the A/E/C industry might have on sustainability. READ MORE...



Designing Against Extinction with Terreform ONE

December 10, 2019 |  Mitchell Joachim and Vivian Kuan
Terreform ONE was founded more than a decade ago to find solutions to cities’ environmental challenges by merging education, design, research, public outreach and science, with a concentration on socio-ecological design. Mitchell Joachim and Vivian Kuan spoke with DesignIntelligence about their organization’s focus and how we can all make a difference in designing a future that protects our planet’s living species. READ MORE...



Our New Reality: Updating Jonas Salk’s Predictions for a New Epoch

December 3, 2019 |  Jonathan Salk and David Dewane
Nearly 40 years ago, Jonas Salk and his son Jonathan wrote a book about the transition from centuries of population growth to population equilibrium and the impact that such a change would have on society, global interdependence, and the environment and its resources. Recently, Jonathan and David Dewane have updated the book, called “A New Reality,” to examine how all of us can have a role in ushering in the next epoch. The two men spoke with DesignIntelligence about their adaptation and the continued relevance of population issues in today’s world. READ MORE...



Stop Going Round in Circles About the Circular Economy

November 26, 2019 | Joël Onorato
As people around the world increasingly question our impact on and relationship to the physical environment, so too should those who design how we live and work within it. With thoughtful planning, collective efforts and careful attention to the life cycle of materials, sustainability in the A/E/C industry could be closer than we think. READ MORE...



The Way of Authentic Leadership — Part 2

November 19, 2019 | Dave Gilmore
A curiosity of sorts is in the natural behavior of people placed into leadership when neither their skillset nor experience warrants the placement. Over the past 5+ years I’ve been witness to multiple misplacements into senior leadership roles only to see their organizations swirl into a choreography of confusion and misaligned activities. READ MORE...



The Way of Authentic Leadership – Part 1

November 12, 2019 | Dave Gilmore
Over the past twenty-nine years, I’ve been an intentional observer, writer and speaker regarding leadership. The journey has taken me to large and small places, large and small personalities, and large and small thinkers. READ MORE...



Advocacy: The Impact of Architects

October 22, 2019 | Dick Thomas
The need for great architecture has never been more urgent, the challenge to creating it never more complex. At SHP we believe our mission is informed by three things: design, research and advocacy. For most of us, the value of design is where we were born. Research underpins the way we solve problems. Advocacy is the new kid on the block... READ MORE...



Designing the Future: Priorities in Technology Investment

August 27, 2019 | Roberta Kowalishin
Our clients hire us for creativity and ideas that improve the way people work, live, and interact. Design decisions affect every component of the environments we invent through the creative process, whether it’s the massing of a building, the façade, the landscape, the interior, the overall structure the mechanical or electrical energy... READ MORE...



Convention Meets Invention: Change, Technology, and the A/E/C Industries

August 6, 2019 | Julian Anderson
Change does not come easy to the A/E/C industries, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge our thinking about the best ways to do business. The needs of the present (and the future) are unlike any we have previously faced. READ MORE...



Sustainable Design: A Worthy Investment

June 18, 2019 | Jesse Devitte
As a venture capitalist, I believe creating a more sustainable environment is an investment opportunity that is not only profitable, but necessary for our future. Our physical world is under increasing pressure, and not living sustainably now will perpetuate future problems. READ MORE...



Increasing Industry Vitality Through Innovation

May 28, 2019 | Ray Daddazio
Thornton Tomasetti is a 1,500-person E/A firm with the audacious goal to be the global driver of change and innovation in our industry. To accomplish this, we need to be ambidextrous. What that means is we need to focus on our current business and results while at the same time, make relevant bets to insure our future. READ MORE...



Do You Need a New Vision?

May 16, 2019 | Jim Cramer
2019 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Design Futures Council! Over the years, the DFC has grown a very strong legacy of leadership and transformational change. DFC’s leadership in key trends includes sustainable design, technology, process innovation, management and design, and international practice... READ MORE...



A Vision for the Future

May 9, 2019 | Dave Gilmore
2019 is the 25th Anniversary of DesignIntelligence/Design Futures Council. To celebrate this milestone, we wanted to honor Jim Cramer, the organization’s founder, and Dave Gilmore, the organization’s president and CEO. In this piece, we’re talking with Dave about what drew him to DesignIntelligence, how he got involved, his vision for the... READ MORE...



Diversity & Inclusion: The New Approach Needed to Avoid Cultural Irrelevance

January 3, 2019 |  Chris Stulpin
Discussions of diversity and inclusion have been taking place in our industry for years. But the question remains: are we making any progress? READ MORE...



The Ghost Curriculum

September 29, 2017 | Scott Simpson
What Schools Don’t Teach, but Should. READ MORE...



The Convergence of Interaction Design and Architecture

September 27, 2017 | James Patten
The rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is propelling us toward a world where an ever-increasing amount of our experiences are mediated by digital interactivity. As this trend continues, the task of designing our built environment will be as much about designing the interactive experiences that happen in that space as it will be about form, program, materiality and so on. The fields of interaction design and architecture will become one and the same, and we’ll need to work across disciplines and cultivate new skill sets to design new buildings.  READ MORE...



Nine Characteristics for Leadership in Sustainability

September 25, 2017 | Phil Harrison
These thoughts derive from a presentation I delivered a few years ago at the Design Futures Council Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design.
Are design firms doing enough to deliver on the promise of sustainability?
Is our industry losing its momentum in advancing the state of the art of sustainable design?
Will we ever meet the goals of the 2030 Challenge? What is the role of leaders to help overcome these challenges?
In answer to the last question, I propose that there are nine characteristics of leadership necessary to achieve serious advances in environmental performance for our built environment. READ MORE...



New Questions, Different Thinking, Positive Impact: Start at Zero?

September 19, 2017 | Patrick Thibaudeau
Think about this for a moment. When the kindergarten students of 2017 are college freshmen in 2030, what will the world be like? Will they have a bright, clean energy well and a health-focused world? Will we have done anything substantially different so that they have a better future? READ MORE...



Anticipate the Future: Executing a Successful Leadership Transition (Part 2)

September 13, 2017 | Carl Roehling and Troy Thompson
SmithGroupJJR recently completed a successful transition of the firm’s senior leadership. Two key participants in that process continue the story, addressing the details of moving forward into the implementation phase and some lessons learned along the way. READ MORE...



Creating Competitive Advantage

September 5, 2017 | Scott Simpson
Every design firm suffers from the illusion that it is unique. While each one certainly has distinguishing characteristics, there are far more similarities than differences. READ MORE...



The Next Generation: Designing a Successful Leadership Transition (Part 1)

August 29, 2017 | Carl Roehling and Troy Thompson
Editor’s note: Leadership transition/succession is one of the most important issues facing firms today. This article is the first of a two-part series on succession planning.

SmithGroupJJR recently completed a successful transition of the firm’s senior leadership. Two key participants in that process tell the story of how they executed the smoothest transition in the firm’s storied history. READ MORE...



Defining Sustainability–Now and for the Future

August 23, 2017 | Julian Anderson
As any student of history knows, the concept of sustainability is not new. It has been practiced in agriculture and forestry as far back as 6000 BC, when it was recognized that the success of future harvests was dependent upon crop rotation. READ MORE...



Technology and the Future of Design: What’s Next?

August 15, 2017 | Phil Bernstein
We sat down with technology thinker, practice educator and architect Phil Bernstein to talk about technology and the future of design. READ MORE...



Sustainability Going Forward

August 9, 2017 | Lois Vitt Sale
The practice of sustainability has been built upon relativity in measuring, managing, and making improvements to the status quo. In large measure, the practice of sustainability is influenced by both local and federal policy environments as well as by market and economic forces. READ MORE...



Change Management: Aligning People and Place for Performance

August 3, 2017 | Lauri Goodman Lampson
Organizations interested in staying ahead of the curve are seeking transformative change. How can design innovation continue at its rapid pace without leaving end users behind? READ MORE...



How Values-Based Leadership Drives Company Culture and Why It Matters

July 25, 2017 | Katy McQuaid
cul·ture (klCHr) n: the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization READ MORE...



Survival by Design—A Case for Optimism

June 29, 2017 | Jim Cramer
We all know that the pace of change is exponentially faster than it has ever been. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Yet it can confuse and cause all sorts of misunderstandings. Sometimes the speed of change ironically leads to management paralysis. This paralysis develops in some people an intellectual or behavioral hesitation to embrace change. It is what keeps struggling organizations on the lower end of the value delivery curve. READ MORE...



Designing Water’s Future

June 20, 2017 | Carl Ganter
When we look back at the water planet—that most famous picture taken by Apollo 8 astronauts from the moon—we see beautiful, pristine blue, with swirling white clouds of vapor and massive caps of ice. And the first thing we seek when we look to the stars is for other circles of blue like us. A rare planet in the “Goldilocks zone” that has water … and maybe life. Perhaps Proxima Centauri.nasa-53883... But Houston, we have a problem. READ MORE...



The Heart of Building Effective Professional Services Brands

June 14, 2017 | Bob Fisher
It is easy to believe that complex buying decisions are made primarily on reason, facts and numbers. However, evidence shows decision-making is far more complex. One can make a compelling case that in the end, emotions play a larger role than reason in business-to-business purchasing contexts. Such insights change the way that A/E/C firms should approach their brand-building and integrated marketing efforts. READ MORE...



Future of Architects: Extinction or Irrelevance

June 6, 2017 | Barbara Bryson
Eric Cesal was frustrated when he graduated from architecture school in the winter of 2008, the year the financial world and architecture world came apart. In his book, Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice (2010), Eric observed that architects were among the hardest hit and as a new addition to the profession READ MORE...



Technology Shifts from Design Process to Design Product

May 23, 2017 | Aaron Lapsley
If we polled leaders from the architecture and engineering industry about the biggest effects that information technology has had on their firms over the last decade (software, data, cloud, etc.), their answers would likely cluster around the major changes such technologies drove for the design process and business model of building design. READ MORE...



The Talent Cycle Challenge

May 18, 2017 | Blanca Blaney
Every organization is challenged with the vagaries resident in the talent cycle. Far too often businesses neither take the time nor leverage the expertise to ensure they have clear strategy in-hand to guide talent decisions. READ MORE...



Healthy Development: Design for Human Thriving

May 9, 2017 | Howard Frumkin
Design Matters What matters in design? Practicality matters a great deal. So does cost. Aesthetics are important. But these considerations often eclipse human health and well-being—and the lost opportunity is taking a toll on the health of Americans. READ MORE...



Of Conflict and Communication—the Risks and Rewards of Collaboration in Construction

May 2, 2017 | Julian Anderson
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, collaboration is “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” READ MORE...



Security, IoT, AI and the Built Environment

April 12, 2017 | Blaine Wishart
Uber is an early example of an Internet of Things (IoT) company. Sensors collect information about location, traffic flow, passenger goals, etc. and use it to augment driver plans and decisions. The resulting increase in functionality has allowed Uber to put more cars on the streets of San Francisco than there were taxis a few years ago. READ MORE...



The Future of the Architecture Practice

April 5, 2017 | Lance Josal
I am the CEO of a global architecture and design practice. I have been with the same firm for nearly 40 years. And in the last few years I have seen more change—fundamental, cataclysmic change—than the previous four decades combined. READ MORE...



Cautious Optimism Among Leaders in A/E/C

March 31, 2017 | DesignIntelligence
DFC firm leaders are cautiously optimistic about 2017, but are looking through the turns to the path ahead. READ MORE...



BIG Lessons: Eight Key Points That We Focus(ed) on in Our Growth Process

March 21, 2017 / | Sheela Søgaard
Wrestling with growth is a good problem to have, but it can still be a challenge to the cultural sustainability of a firm. READ MORE...



Circular Reasoning Redefined

February 3, 2016 | Dickson Despommier
Imagining the sustainable city of the future. READ MORE...



A Case For Indigenous Design Education

February 17, 2014 | Theodore (Ted) Jojola, Ph.D.
Universities can empower the next generation of architects, planners, and landscape architects in Native American design and planning. READ MORE...



How Much Money Do You Make?

March 2, 2009 | James P. Cramer
The recession will have a dramatic impact on CEO, partner, and principal compensation. READ MORE...