About 1+

Founder’s Vision
"While building my architecture practice, I saw firsthand the positive impact of well-designed spaces on individuals and the health and dynamics of groups. At the same time, I found little support for architects who wanted to address the most challenging problems communities face. Filled with unbridled enthusiasm and convenient naivety, I started Public Architecture. We conceived of a simple but scalable beginning, one that would start to shift the profession towards an underserved clientele. We asked every design professional in the country to pledge one percent or more of their working hours to pro bono service. The 1+ program became the flagship effort of Public Architecture and a vehicle for change. Institutionalizing pro bono service is only the first step in a much larger vision for Public Architecture’s impact. Our highest goal is to leverage design of the built environment to strengthen communities and solve chronic societal problems."

- John Peterson

1+ is the largest pro bono design marketplace in the world

1+ connects nonprofits with pro bono architecture and design services.  The first and largest pro bono service network within the architecture and design professions, 1+ challenges the design community worldwide to dedicate one percent or more of working hours to pro bono service. 1+ is the flagship program of Public Architecture, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Public Architecture’s mission is to provide the network and knowledge necessary to use design as a tool for social gain.

Why pro bono design?

Pro bono design serves a critical need for nonprofits with unmet environmental and facility needs. Design is a wholly underutilized tool for achieving social outcomes.

What is pro bono?

1+ defines pro bono as professional services rendered in the public interest without expectation of a fee or with a significant reduction in fees.

How does 1+ work?

1+ challenges architecture and design firms across the globe to make a pledge of one percent or more of annual billable hours to pro bono service. A one percent commitment equates to 20 hours per year per participating employee.

1+ facilitates a national matching platform to connect nonprofits to architecture and design firms providing pro bono service. 

1+ encourages firms to sign up, including sole-proprietors, small, mid-size and large offices of every built environment design discipline.

1+ welcomes 501(c)(3) nonprofits and organizations with fiscal sponsors as appropriate pro bono clients.


See FAQ for Nonprofits.

See FAQ for Designers.