40 Years…So What?

Birthdays can provide a broad spectrum of emotions – the joy and happiness of celebrating a life event and perhaps on the other side  the angst and foreboding of getting older. So how does that sentiment compare to an organization’s birthday? Specifically for Gould Evans, as we reach the 40-year mark?

Without a doubt, we find ourselves on the ‘joy and happiness’ side but also with an introspective challenge.

We have  recently seen many corporate birthdays recognizing “being in business for XYZ years!” and we are left wanting more –  wanting the answer to the famous “…so what?” that we ask internally to gauge the meaning of our efforts.

This month, Gould Evans recognizes and celebrates 40 years of design practice.

Here’s the “so what” from our chair / pen / macbook / pc.

We have grown a practice with multiple offices across the country, competing with some of the world’s best practitioners, building a purposeful portfolio and a diverse and innovative culture while crafting a structure that provides for future ownership and leadership.   Many in this profession never make it to this point and end up disappearing.  As with any business, you have to reinvent yourself, stay nimble and constantly push for what is not only next, but also is meaningful and relevant.

The firm we are today is probably not exactly what Bob Gould and Dave Evans had imagined in 1974, however the impact of their vision and of the collective work includes:

The thousands of students learning in our classrooms

The thousands of kids enjoying our public libraries

The thousands of professionals collaborating in office environments

The thousands of citizens seeking justice  in our courthouses

The thousands finding peace in our worship spaces

The thousands enjoying the public space from our planning

The thousands enjoying the shade and delight of our landscaping

The thousands relaxing in the hospitality of our wineries

The thousands enjoying our well-crafted housing

The thousands enjoying the experience of a holistic interior and graphically branded space

The thousands of spectators enjoying events in our spaces

We are confident that this purposeful impact in people’s lives and everyday interactions is what Bob, Dave, the principals and all of those at Gould Evans have had in mind.

It is this variety of project types and client opportunities – all fueled by the pursuit of meaningful design inquiry based on ideas – that drives us to create real, lasting value.

It is in that spirit – making real and tangible differences with our work – that we chose a different path with our 40th anniversary celebrations. Throwing a party to simply pat ourselves on our backs seemed silly. Throwing a thank-you party for our clients seemed great but a challenge for a firm with six studios across the country.  But examining how in each of our six studio communities we could establish and nurture an on-going and significant contribution seemed just right.  So each studio has designed and built a series of special projects tailored to the needs of our local communities…from designing a community garden to designing and constructing personal libraries for homeless youth to bringing the healing powers of the creative arts to group homes and shelters. These projects will take place over the next several months and continue each year.

We are proud and grateful that our associates chose this path to honor our past and to also…build the future.

Thank you,

Trudi and Tony