“Every year, we approach the ARCHITECT 50 with the same premise. It may be impossible to capture every way in which a firm can excel, have a significant impact on its community, mentor a younger generation of designers, and help save the planet with its energy-efficient buildings. But we nevertheless strive to compile a list that recognizes firms small and large, who are making their mark beyond just their ability to run a financially lucrative business. This year, we added a few new data points, capturing information on how firms are helping their interns gain licensure, both through financial incentives and culture. And we asked firms to submit a portfolio with an energy-efficient project that best exemplified their commitment to sustainability (ARCHITECT editors judged those submissions). When we ran the numbers, some familiar firms rose to the top (Westlake Reed Leskosky), some newcomers rocketed into the top 10 (Studio Gang Architects), and some unexpected interlopers crashed the proceedings (Jones Studio). In the end, the exact positions may not capture the full extent of how firms are excelling. But we hope that the list inspires architects to review their own best practices and embrace even higher ambitions.”
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