harmony by design
Concordia's mission is harmony by design: to create places and spaces that can help communities become more equitable, resilient, prosperous and connected. For nearly 40 years, our practice has served a broad range of public, private, institutional, civic and non-profit clients across the globe. With every project, we seek to align with the visions of our clients, the sensitivities of place, and the needs of everyday users. Once these factors are understood, we approach the planning and design process through the following lenses:
Common Edge Design
In our experience, it is often a combination of timeless and new that inspires and uplifts. At Concordia, we are constantly in search of the sweet spot between time-honored universal design principles and cutting-edge innovation. We call this approach the Common Edge.
To help advance and articulate this philosophy, Concordia teamed up with architectural critic Martin Pederson (former editor of Metropolis) to create a web-based planning and design blog called Common Edge Collaborative. To date, more than 500 designers, journalists, and experts have contributed to exploring, challenging and articulating their own ideas and perspectives through this unique, open-source platform.
Whether we are designing a building, planning a neighborhood park or developing a citywide master plan, we use our Nexus framework as a guide. Nexus is Concordia's proprietary toolkit to help clients consider a full range of project requirements and evaluation metrics. The goal is to plan and design for not only the physical environment, but also the cultural, social, economic, organizational, and educational opportunities as well. With our extensive experience working at all scales of planning and design, Concordia can help clients to think holistically, considering both immediate and long-term costs and benefits, as well as preparing for resilience and adaptation to inevitable changes promised by an uncertain future. When executed properly, this process can produce results that sustain harmony and synergy between owners, users, neighbors and the environment for generations to come.
Our work is fueled by collaboration with our clients, and importantly, guided by the needs and desires of our client’s clients. Since its founding in 1983, Concordia has been recognized as a pioneer in the field of resident-centered community engagement. Our community engagement process, called the Concordia Roundtable, is a carefully structured program that invites building users, neighbors, community leaders, and other key stakeholders to participate in "co-design" workshops, using Concordia's Nexus framework. Through this process, project assets and needs are identified, and all stakeholders are given a seat at the table. Alternatives are developed and evaluated together, which leads to broader support and ownership of the successful planning or design conclusion.