A People-Focused Practice — Designing For People; By People
When you look at built environments, what do you see?
The massing? The materials? The efficiencies?
At Meyers+Associates, we see the people and communities the building is helping to shape and the architects and designers who brought it to life. Our practice and culture are accessible, approachable, and human and infused with the idea that mentorship creates the profession’s future leaders.
The recognition of Chris Meyers, Principal Architect and Owner, as the 2021 recipient of the AIA Ohio Mentor Award best expresses our culture as a mentorship-based practice.
Principal Pete Scott and Architecture Associate Jay Schwartz reviewing designs for a multifamily project.
Opportunities to Contribute to Diverse Projects
Many firms organize staff into studios to develop expertise in a single building type that, in turn, creates operational efficiencies that meet business goals. Meyers+Associates excels in agility, taking a different approach, organizing the practice through long-term client relationships. Following a client’s lead often brings associates into new territory, developing skills across markets, services, styles, and a curiosity to keep learning.
We’ve also been careful not to be focused on a small range of project types. When opportunities arise that are challenging or new for us, our associates have the chance to contribute to these projects to support their professional growth.
Transparent Business Practices
Studies in university are often very focused on the practice of architecture and design, with minimal attention paid to the business side of things. Most students get only one semester of learning about “professional practice,” which often leaves students unprepared for the business realities of the profession.
Entry to the field leaves a lot of questions and opaqueness around business strategy. Once newly minted professionals ourselves, we know the feeling. So to build transparency around the business, we’ve implemented a few strategies:
- Open dialogue around all aspects of business operations, including proposals and business development;
- Professional mentorship and training programs to develop hard and soft skills; and
- Financial literacy for all staff.
These conversations lead to a wealth of knowledge. They can pique curiosities that lead us down paths we didn’t know existed.
A project group meeting in the kitchen for quick collaboration
Investing in People
Cross-pollination and transparency are elements that we also engage with outside of work through professional memberships. Many associates are involved in AIA, CSI, ULI, USGBC, IIDA, and Meyers+Associates funds the membership fees. Professional community-building leads us to build our local community through pro bono work and volunteering.
Professional licensing is strongly encouraged, and we provide time and resources for staff to do so, resulting in an over 90% success rate in registration. Associates set goals, and principals are dedicated to helping associates find their path. Regular reviews and an open door policy provide honest conversations and feedback, driven by the individual and close relationships.
Principals are dedicated to helping associates find their path.
We work hard but are conscious and considerate of the lives associates lead outside of work. We utilize the technology needed for flexible work schedules and locations and welcome conversations about making our process more efficient.
We Follow the People
Other practices follow the work, but we follow the people. Not only do we ask ourselves what the people who inhabit our buildings are doing, wanting, and striving for. But we also ask our architects and interior designers their ideas and desires for the company’s path forward. And that has brought us to places we couldn’t have dreamed up individually.