Design Collective is an award winning multi-disciplinary design firm with a diverse portfolio of successful projects throughout the United States and abroad. The firm offers expertise and national leadership in the disciplines of architecture, planning, urban design, landscape architecture, interior design and sustainability, ensuring comprehensive design solutions.

This holistic approach to problem solving, together, with a talented staff of over 80 professionals with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds has served our clients well since 1978. Our goal is to create architecture, which can lift the human spirit, stimulate the intellect and enhance physical well-being and the affirmation of the spiritual connection between people and nature.

Design Philosophy

As architects and planners, we have an obligation to exceed our clients' vision and ideals for their projects. We seek simple yet comprehensive solutions, which best serve our clients, the users of their buildings, and the public at-large.

As urbanists, we are compelled to design buildings that reflect a community’s vision and are part of a larger order. We believe architecture and planning is enriched by the awareness of context, culture, and tradition.

As humanists, we strive to create buildings that reflect the needs and desires of those who use them. Our design solutions are rooted in the very activity through which the buildings are realized. Through design excellence we seek to lift the human spirit.

As environmentalists, our mission is to integrate the art of architecture with technology that supports the environmental imperative, ensuring that our design solutions contribute to human and global well being.

Design Process

Great buildings result not only from creative problem solving and innovative design but more importantly by engaging clients that communicate objectives, raise concerns, challenge and refine design concepts, and demand excellence in their partners. Design Collective’s best work has been done within relationships in which we have collaborated to explore and innovate resulting in award-winning and cost-effective solutions.

Our process is centered on an intense discovery phase where we seek to learn everything there is to know about our clients: Who you are; what your values and goals are; what physical, economic, environmental, social and/or political drivers are influencing your decisions. We take all of this information into account as we work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy and responsive work plan.

This is followed by a series of interactive design workshops and charrettes where we work with you to explore, test and validate the possibilities. Our workshops have included interviews, site visits, walking tours, community engagement, concept development and design presentations. We use internal pin-ups and design critiques, bringing staff from other in-house disciplines to provide feedback and constructive insight to create more cohesive environments.

We use a variety of tools to help our client’s understand design alternatives. The fundamental tools are the building plans, which demonstrate the sizes and relationships of spaces, circulation, ingress, egress and building services. We augment this with site studies, environmental and contextual analysis using physical and computer-generated models, as well as watercolor and photorealistic renderings.

In essence, we work diligently to utilize the right design tools at the right time to help our clients better visualize our design proposals, ensure informed decisions and responsive solutions in order to achieve building performance and design excellence.

Company Culture

Design Collective made a deliberate and strategic decision to remain a mid-sized firm that serves a diverse array of market sectors and attracts design professionals committed to designing vibrant and walkable commmunities in which people can live, learn, work and play. 

Our firm’s “work hard/play hard” culture and national reputation for design excellence has allowed us to continuously attract and retain the best and brightest designers, collaborators and thought leaders.

Design Collective’s recruiting, retention and performance-based recognition programs are designed to reward employees for their efforts and initiatives in support of the firm’s mission and goals.  Through these programs our employees learn to provide superior client service, design excellence, technical expertise and business acumen.

Our in-house design pin-ups, charrettes and critiques not only give our staff a chance to hone their presentation skills but allows for cross-pollination of ideas between disciplines and design perspectives within our firm.  In short, the best idea always wins, regardless of the source.

Our employees are also encouraged to participate in professional organizations and networking forums to enhance their professional development, and cultivate Design Collective’s involvement, exposure and stature in the market sectors and communities we serve. This includes organization memberships, speaking engagements, networking events, committee work, environmental awareness and beautification initiatives that are in line with the firm’s philosophy, mission and goals.

Outside of the office, our employees can also be found participating in company-sponsored sports teams, community outreach in various forms, and of course, happy hours.

Design Collective prides itself on its track-record for grooming leaders from within the firm to produce some of Maryland’s most recognized design leaders, innovators and architectural professionals.


Our holistic design approach has defined practical and cost-effective strategies for mitigating environmental impact, reducing energy consumption and leveraging natural resources to enhance the human quality of life and minimize operating costs.

To date, over 30% of our design staff is LEED Accredited and we have successfully certified 49 projects, with at least one project in each of the primary rating systems – New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors and Core & Shell – including several LEED Gold projects and our first LEED Platinum certification.


Our Baltimore office is located at 100 East Pratt Street in the City's Central Business District overlooking the Inner Harbor waterfront. Our Chicago office is located at 233 South Wacker Drive in the iconic Willis Tower (originally the Sears Tower).


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