A Farr Associates initiative to Accelerate Change

THE PATTERN PROJECT empowers local actors to accelerate change through social and urban design strategies at the neighborhood scale.

Our practice is based on the premise that a progressive design firm can create immense value for our clients while advancing society’s great challenges without conflict. The pattern project is our public platform for sharing the research we did to develop our firm’s theory of change. It fills a void by articulating how a private design firm can leverage its client work to also serve a higher purpose. 

one of the six accelerants. how to speed up the big societal change. as we’re trying to reduce the carbon our economy uses, buildings account for 70% in chicago C02 output. so we have to design buildings that are a lot lot higher performing and carbon free than we do today. how do you do that? one of the most powerful ways is to do it successfully in the tplace and have people come visit and ask you questions. seeing is believing. act of having it be local. walk to. travel to. gives it greater credibility and learning potential.

It all starts with a passion.

  1. Connecting Passions to Patterns (can include active living, anchor houses, artist venues, beautiful lighting)

  2. Pairing Patterns with Accelerants (campaigns, heuristics to expedite Change

Seeing is believing.

World’s fairs were among the first places to allow people to touch and feel what it would be like to live in the future. The fairs featured pavilions from the nations of the world alongside theaters designed to showcase new ideas and technologies, evoking wonder and anticipation of the future. Though these fairs are long gone, immersive environments still have the power to stir emotions and draw people to a new way of doing things.

We call these sites lighthouses, and we intend for all of our projects to embody this coveted, sought-after and rare flow. In the dark sphere of unimaginative and energy-sucking places and spaces, we expand the realm of possibility, localizing and then institutionalizing what is thought to be either impossible or inconvenient: performance-based buildings and communities that are as generous to the environment as they are to the people who use them.

represent a beacon of brightness in the dark sphere of unimaginative and energy-sucking places an d spaces.

the preferred future espoused by this book exists in pockets around us. A neighborhood here, a building there: places that, when experienced in person, have a unique power to change us. But they are not located everywhere