The year was 2010. A group of leading Canadian architects, engineers, interior designers and urban planners came together with a vision to meaningfully improve communities through great design. Together, they formed DIALOG.
A lot has happened in the last decade. And while the world looks a little different today, our belief in collaborative design and community wellbeing still holds strong. Today, we reflect on the three key ingredients that make DIALOG what it is today: our people, projects and process.
When we ask DIALOGers the reasons they are excited to come to work each day, a common answer we hear is "the people I work with." This is not by chance. We foster a collaborative culture and help our teammates develop the careers of their dreams. And that energy is contagious.
We know the best ideas can come from anywhere in the firm, and we encourage DIALOGers to share them. We’ve got programs like Aspire DIALOG and Iris Prize, a $7,500 internal scholarship for personal research projects, to give all DIALOGers a platform to develop and share their ideas.
We enjoy the journey, celebrate our successes along the way, and pick each other up when we fall.
And this goes beyond our studios. The clients that trust us to design and deliver their projects share these same values with us. We feel incredibly lucky to work with so many outstanding clients and contractor partners.
We couldn't possibly reflect on the last ten years without our work being front and centre. Another reason we all love coming to work every day is the projects.
Across sectors—transit, healthcare, urban planning, retail, arts and culture, post-secondary, residential, industrial, hospitality, workplace and more—our work enables people to live their best lives every day. The idea that the work we do in our studios is helping our communities in meaningful ways is both humbling and very motivating.
There's nothing more rewarding than seeing people enjoy the spaces we design.
Our history of integrated design goes back even further than the last 10 years. From the very first sketch, until the last coat of paint is applied– every one of our projects is built on the vision we created all of those years ago.
Along the way, we have created the Community Wellbeing Framework, a benchmark for designing inclusive spaces, and signed onto the AIA 2030 commitment. We’ve been lucky enough to have our work recognized with awards along the way. Most importantly, we try to make a difference inside and outside of our studios. We've dedicated countless hours and over $1,000,000 to charities making our communities better.
“We’re looking to the future. Our name speaks to a vital, national professional practice built upon a multidisciplinary approach committed to collaborative design."Doug McConnell, Architect and Partner Emeritus
It would be an understatement to say it's an interesting time to mark a ten year anniversary. The COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice, and climate change are some of the key issues that will forever change the future of design.
At times during the past year, we've had more questions than answers. But now more than ever, we see the profound importance of the role we play in designing inclusive, safe spaces. While we continue to operate apart from 600 studios, we are still together in this shared mission.
To the people enjoying our spaces, the people that partner with us to do great work, and the people we collaborate with everyday—you are all part of the DIALOG story. A story about people who believe that great design can change the world.
Cheers to the first ten years!