Archives: ideas

Placework Ideas

Transforming Practice

As originally published on AIA.org. When starting our firm almost 15 years ago, my partner and I agreed that grounding our practice in our values was essential. We imagined that we would adopt aspects we had most appreciated about our prior firms – active mentorship, serving communities, and a collaborative studio culture — and avoid... Read more »

An Innovative Community Model

In our work as architects, we frequently seek out creative solutions to everyday issues. Dreaming up innovative ways to build community connections, reduce carbon emissions, and maximize our client’s budgets is all in a day’s work here at Placework. But sometimes, we encounter a project where some of that thinking has been done for us.... Read more »

Designing for Experience

Designing for Experience Learning environments hold potential to shape and enhance awareness; they have the power to call our attention to the significance of consciousness itself. Awareness and sensory engagement offer a chance to be curious about one’s position in the environment, fostering connections between individuals and the places they inhabit. Designing educational spaces involves... Read more »

Climate Action Clinic

We worked with a team of UNH students to establish a baseline carbon footprint.  Our team - Olivia Audet '25, Nate Maybach '25 and Peer Mentor Durga Raga '25 - visited our office to present their work. The UNH Sustainability Institute’s Climate Action Clinic offers students experience in greenhouse gas emissions accounting; it’s an opportunity... Read more »

Climate Positive Practice

A climate positive architectural practice holistically improves the human ecological condition through design, practice, and advocacy. The national Zero-Emissions Policy will require buildings to be energy efficient, produce no on-site emissions and use 100 percent renewable energy. Alyssa is currently serving as the New Hampshire representative to the AIA (American Institute of Architects) Strategic Council. ... Read more »

Embracing Possibilism

“When we refuse to accept the status quo as inevitable and strive to bring about change, we can have a powerful effect in inspiring others to do the same” – Sarah Ichioka + Michael Pawlyn This year’s fires, heat waves, floods, and storms have certainly brought a heightened understanding of the devastating effects of climate... Read more »

Reflections on teaching

Brian takes his teaching work as an opportunity to reorient architecture toward the humanities. Architects that teach: it’s a thing. Throughout the history of the profession, architects have learned their trade in some variation of an apprenticeship model - weathered practitioners mentoring young apprentices to become the next generation of professionals. Because of the deep... Read more »

Designing for Place

Progression and reuse are two central components of this planning process. We say it often - the most sustainable building is the one that is already built. As designers, we seek to understand as much as possible about a place before beginning our work. Josh Lacasse joined the Placework team about a year ago, and... Read more »

Designing for People

"Really, we are designing with people, not simply for them.” – Placework Project Manager Liz Nguyen   The heart of designing authentic places is understanding people. At Placework, our team spends a lot of time talking about and designing for building performance and environmental sustainability. But the core of our work is the health and... Read more »

Planning for Resilience

  “Humans created the challenges facing this site, but it’s by turning back toward the natural world where we find inspiration.” May 2024 Update: Listen to Horsley Whitten Group and Brian Murphy discuss the stormwater management plan. Climate Change. Preservation. Culture. These words evoke complex ideas, connotations, definitions, and emotions. For Placework, they also define... Read more »