The best design solutions come from diverse design teams.

Creative synergy happens when people from different walks of life collaborate on equal footing. When underrepresented voices are heard—and valued.

We’re on a mission to diversify the design profession and create a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. Because when it comes to excellence in design, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all.

There’s more to it than “diversity and inclusion.”

Setting a goal to achieve diversity and inclusion is a good first step. But collectively, we have to do more. We have to go further.

Our clients, colleagues, and communities deserve to partner with a design firm that stands by them—that advocates for them—every step of the way. They expect an unwavering commitment to social justice and equity, and to more inclusive engagement.

By actively engaging diverse groups, we ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute to a project meaningfully and with purpose.

Designing for equity, equitably.

We’re working hard to become a firm that truly and completely reflects the diversity of our clients and communities around the world. To serve as a model of social justice and equity in our profession. Our culture welcomes everyone just as they are—because inclusion drives creativity, and engagement spurs innovation. We’re committed to meaningful change, and together, we can be the change we want to see.

We're proud to lead our industry by example.

Our Justice, Equity, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) program is rooted in an ethos that celebrates differences, encourages participation, and ensures everyone is treated fairly.

No matter your age, background, culture, ethnicity, gender identity, language, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, size, or socioeconomic status, you belong here. Your voice matters.

“We embed social equity into every aspect of our work, in every community we serve, so that we uplift and celebrate the unique culture of a given place.”

–Gabrielle Bullock, Principal, Director of Global Diversity

We’re holding ourselves to account.

It’s one thing to say we’re going to do something. It’s another thing to actually do it. That’s why we established the design industry’s first Diversity Council—to ensure we uphold our commitment to J.E.D.I.

Led by our Director of Global Diversity Gabrielle Bullock, the Council is made up of a rotating cross-section of diverse staff from around the world. It’s responsible for maintaining a culture and set of business best practices that celebrate human differences in everything we do.

Change often starts small. But there is power in numbers.

Read our update on our pledge to combat Black racism in the design industry. Read also our statement against anti-Asian racism.

We’re creating opportunities for small, local, and minority-owned businesses to shine.

Our commitment to diversity in architecture, design, and construction (AEC) doesn’t end with our firm. Real change happens at scale. Our Diverse Subconsultant Program—one of the first of its kind in the AEC industry—puts strategies in place to ensure we partner with disadvantaged and minority-owned service providers and manufacturers. This kind of strategic collaboration on design projects catalyzes economic growth and accelerates entrepreneurial innovation in the communities we serve. And, it gives talented—yet often unsung—local business leaders a chance to shine.

By teaming with entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC); as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ); as women; and/or as individuals living with a disability; we can amplify the diversity of the AEC workforce, enrich the design experience, and give the communities in which we work a meaningful economic boost.

Our mentorship and career coaching programs pave the way for a new generation of aspiring young designers.
Black in Design Mentorship Program

Launched in 2021, the Black in Design Mentorship Program with the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) aims to promote greater representation of Black talent in the design industry. Originally conceived by students and Perkins&Will professionals at the GSD’s 2019 Black in Design Conference, the mentorship program will fill a critical educational and career gap in the design profession by fostering meaningful and lasting relationships starting as early as high school.

“I really believe in the importance of exposing Black youth to the planning and design fields so they know these fields exist, that planning and design careers are accessible to them, and that they have the power to shape the built environment of their communities.”

—Whytne Stevens, GSD student, organizing member of the Black in Design Mentorship Program

Phil Freelon Fellowship

This national fellowship for African American and other under-represented students stems from a partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and our late colleague Phil Freelon. Introduced in 2016, the Phil Freelon Fellowship provides expanded academic opportunities to students of color, and helps fill the profession’s talent pipeline with more diverse designers.

“The support from Mr. Freelon and his firm, Perkins&Will, is absolutely incredible, and I am so humbled and honored by this fellowship. It enables me to pursue something that I love so much, and propels me in a direction to do the best work I can.”

–Aria Griffin, the first Phil Freelon Fellow

Nagle-Johnson Family Fellowship

The Nagle-Johnson Family Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)—established in 2018 by our firm’s Global Design Director, Ralph Johnson, and his wife Kathleen—provides financial aid to under-represented GSD students with the aim of expanding their academic and career prospects.

“When I moved from Barbados to Brooklyn, I attended one of the roughest high schools in one of the roughest neighborhoods in New York City at the time…. With the help of financial aid funds like the Nagle-Johnson Family Fellowship, students like myself are given the opportunity and chance not to become statistics. The impact of such contributions could never truly be measured.”

-Jonathan Boyce, 2020-2021 Nagle-Johnson Family Fellow

Cornell Future Architect Award

The Cornell Future Architect Award is a merit-based award that gives under-represented high school students the opportunity to attend Cornell’s Introduction to Architecture Program, at no cost. The program introduces students to the rigors of a bachelor of architecture degree program and helps them prepare a competitive portfolio. The award was established in 2016.

sketch of atrium
We’ve got to talk about the difficult stuff.

The world won’t change if people don’t come together to talk about the issues that matter. Having respectful dialogues about uncomfortable topics is—we feel—one of the most important things we can do.

In August 2020, as the U.S. was reeling in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black men and women, we hosted a global conversation on race and equity in design. Moderated by Dahmahlee Lawrence, an architect in our New York studio, the discussion focused on the historically negative impacts of architecture on Black communities in the U.S.—and on what we can do now to effect positive change. Click on the video to the left to watch the recording.