Doing good. Do-ing good. What exactly does this mean?
When we think of ‘doing good,’ we almost always think of our fellow friends or co-workers who jump at the chance to better our environment and our communities.
For organizations, ‘doing good,’ or giving back, is often written into the core of their firm’s overarching mission or vision statement. It is the sole unifier known for bringing individuals, friends and co-workers, from different backgrounds together with the goal of bettering their community.
At Stevens & Wilkinson, we view this as an investment. An investment in our clients, an investment in our neighborhoods, an investment in our families, and, most importantly, an investment in our communities.
We strive to ‘do good’ in every. single. thing. that. we. do. Each day we come to work with the goal of providing our clients with forward-thinking strategies for each of their culturally and socially significant projects – projects designed to positively impact and further enrich their areas.
So, how do we accomplish this?
It’s simple. We accomplish this by giving back. Giving back to our clients, giving back to their constituents, and by giving back to their communities – our communities.
Our strong work ethic is directly tied into creating sustainable environments that add to the economic vitality and overarching fabric of one’s neighborhood. In short, we design to make things better.
Stevens & Wilkinson works with each client to help drive their unique vision forward, and, while each client’s vision is different, the work and the effort that goes into bringing about change, is pretty much the same: ‘uniting individuals by combining resources to strengthen (you guessed it) the community.’
Yes, but, how exactly does one do this? Well, it’s pretty easy. Let’s take a look.
When United Way of the Midlands joined forces with Lexington County, Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Health, Providence Hospitals, and Richland County, they came together with one goal: to be a good community partner.
“‘Caring,’ ‘Partnering’ and ‘Healing,’ are ideals that we live by, especially here,” said Christine Adams, CHID, IIDA, senior interior designer at Stevens & Wilkinson. “So, logically for us, we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a project that we knew would bring about real change in our community.”
Serving more than 3,900 individuals across Richland and Lexington counties, the new state-of-the-art clinic ensures residents receive better access to care in an environment that is both uplifting and of high quality.
“This project was a true labor of love for all involved and the excitement, the payback, is knowing who will benefit directly from these services,” continued Adams. “For us, this is exactly what we live for. It is why we chose to do what we do. Designing places where anyone and everyone can go to receive the highest quality of care; that’s what it is all about.”
At WonderRoot, a non-profit arts organization headquartered in Atlanta and known for their creative free public programs, empowers artists each and every day throughout the area to become a positive and proactive force of change.
With a mission to, ‘unite artists’ and bring together the community, WonderRoot was in need of a new space that would better address their growing demands and further their overarching mission and vision.
“Since 2004, WonderRoot has been changing the community for the better,” said Bill Clark, AIA, LEED AP, principal, president of Stevens & Wilkinson GA. “Their ability to bring together a diverse group of people, is one that we can directly relate to, especially as designers. When they announced their plans to expand their facility, an expansion that would enable them to give back to our city in a meaningful way, we knew this was a project we wanted to be a part of.”
WonderRoot will occupy a historic 53,000-square foot City of Atlanta elementary school building at the beginning of 2017.
“Each day, we come together to create spaces that will, once completed, add value to our neighborhoods – neighborhoods where we grew up, neighborhoods where we live, and neighborhoods where we work,” continued Clark. “We all have ties to this community; a need to move us forward and to go after and pursue the things that will continue to make our city great. That’s exactly what WonderRoot stands for and it is why we are so passionate about these types of projects.”
Community + Involvement = Long-Term Investment
Our investment in our communities, both locally and regionally, is something that we take very seriously. It is not just some corporate initiative. It is at the very core of our vision, which is why we passionately work to improve the communities in which we live, work and play.
Helping to make our communities better extends beyond the goals of the firm. It extends into the personal lives of those who work at Stevens & Wilkinson. Our team is actively involved in a number of volunteer and charitable community events which support the growth and economic development of our area.
In Lake City, South Carolina, for example, we have worked closely with Lake City Partnership Council since 2008 on a number of projects designed to enhance both the town and the region. Their renewed “communal spirit” is fueled by one goal: to create a place that is not only fun to visit, but that’s an attractive place to grow a business, manage a successful career, and, most importantly, make a life.
With projects that include the recent renovation and adaptive reuse of the National Bean Market, the Ragsdale Building and the Jones Carter Gallery, our team’s work is only one example of the long-term investment we make in our communities both near and far.
It all comes back to community.
For us, ‘doing good’ is simple. Not only does it make us feel great, it encourages us to give back; it reminds us of our civic responsibility; it reminds us that we all matter.
As designers, our civic responsibility, our investment, lies in the work we create to better the lives of those around us – work that includes the recent renovation of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta renovation, or the above mentioned free eye care and dental clinic.
Volunteer opportunities allow us to build relationships that in turn provide our team with a unique perspective; one based on the shared understanding and responsibility we have as professionals to continuously work to improve not only the world, but the places we all have come to call home.
At Stevens & Wilkinson, we live for this. After all, it’s what we do!
Recently, the Stevens & Wilkinson team hosted a mini youth fair for the City of Refuge Level Up Youth Soccer Program. The event was sponsored by AIA Atlanta and YKK, Inc. and took place at our firm’s Atlanta office. The children toured the Steven & Wilkinson office and discussed what architects and engineers do on a dailyRead full article »
UPDATE: The Stevens & Wilkinson and Whiting-Turner team has won the 2016 INTERNATIONAL People’s Choice Award for their “Lights, Camera, Action Against Hunger,” display! The display was created using more than 5,000 cans of food, all of which were donated to Atlanta Community Food Bank. This year, Stevens & Wilkinson teamed with The Whiting Turner Contracting Company to competeRead full article »