Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Our stewardship, conducting and participating in multiple community design projects is a design skill set of-ten used in our design process and expected to be used here in incorporating the following five guiding core values.


  1. Much of who we are as people comes from the stories of which we have been told as well as the ones that we are a part of. We work to identify the intertwined emotional narratives upon which we so much depend. It allows us to have a sensitivity to the many different challenges that may influence the outcome of the project. Not only did we find that this came easily when pursuing memorial, dedication, and legacy oriented projects, but also became relevant to single family homes and utility additions.
  2. We have found that the inclusion and productivity methods required for collaborative public interest projects are particularly helpful in guiding the objectivity and the humility required for any project. By continuing to collaborate with neighborhood participants we keep these sensitivities fresh as a guiding principle for all current and future work.
  3. We are dedicated to building form in all of its formal permutations with a growing synthesis of attention to detail and building aesthetics. Thus, we seek to apply our developed intimate formal underpinnings with a responsiveness that best accommodates the challenges with client, budget and place. The intended result of these formal applications seek to provide experiences of aspiration, inspiration, and longevity for a project using the stories acquired throughout.
  4. We draw to learn, but the drawing strategies however digitally compelling, may not be all technical in nature. We synonymize many recording processes as a form of drawing from which to improve our un-derstanding of the presented challenges. Our experience in producing artwork is a principal method to the acquisition of data.
  5. We Include and work with surrounding urban, exurban, open, and green landscape spaces that help to provide for an integrated proposal. The “Power of 10” and “Tactical Urbanism” are two popular examples from which we borrow to innovate the making of place.

For us, architecture signifies a gracious art, a calling to service. We pride in volunteering and hope our unique perspective will help affect meaningful change in our community.

The book, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison has been a catalyst to Ian’s passion for understanding the position of African Americans in our society. The book is about an African American man whose color renders him invisible. It addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans as well as issues of individuality and personal identity. The symbolism of 1,369 light bulbs (reflective light or self-awareness) has become part of our company identity and exactly 1,369 light bulbs are included in the design of our business cards. “Without light I am not only invisible, but formless as well.”