InForm Architecture is a collaborative architectural practice providing professional design services to faith and community-based organizations with a focus on sustainable design, historic preservation, adaptive re-use and contextual design.
Our goal is to develop the most appropriate solution to each design problem through an innovative collaborative process.
The firm was founded on the following principles:
Each client and each project is unique!
We understand that each client has unique needs and requirements that must be addressed with creative design solutions. Likewise, a project does not exist in a vacuum – to be successful, each project’s design must be informed by its site and its context.
Community improves people’s lives!
We are professionally – and personally – committed to engaging with groups and organizations that make a difference in the communities in which they work. In fact, we came together as a group of design professionals out of mutual interest in working with community organizations.
Collaboration makes projects better!
We believe that collaboration – with our clients, with our team members, with construction professionals, and with the community – brings about innovation.
We build a project team specifically for each project, drawing on colleagues who have the appropriate expertise for the project’s unique requirements. Our clients are always a part of this team. After all, we all have the same goal – a successful project.
We also find that the most successful projects include construction professionals as part of the design team as early as possible. They bring specialized expertise in costing, scheduling, and the building process. They can inform the design process with their experience and gain insight on how key decisions were made.
Excellent relationships with building officials, design review boards, and planning commissions are also critical to a projects success. We strive to foster mutual respect for these community members.
Respect is critical to a successful project!
We recognize that respect is a key component of the project process – respect for our clients, our fellow team members, our community, and the environment.
Respect for clients means respecting their time, researching their organizations to understand their operations and really listening to them to fully discern their needs.
Respect for fellow team members requires drawing on the strengths and talents of each individual and treating them fairly.
Respect for our community includes looking beyond the project site to how what we design will impact others in the vicinity and in the community as a whole. When historic structures are involved, it also includes sensitivity to the existing historic fabric.
Respect for the environment encompasses striving to minimize a project’s initial and operational impact on the earth.
We must be good stewards of the resources we are given.
This involves both financial stewardship and stewardship of natural resources.
Financial stewardship does not always equate to the cheapest first cost, but rather considers the best value over the life cycle of the building. Often an initial investment in a longer-lasting material or a more efficient mechanical component pays off in long-term savings in operational or maintenance expenses. Also, the initial cost of a facility often pales compared to the organization’s operating expenses. If a facility can make the operations more efficient, it is often well worth any up-front costs involved. We assist our clients in evaluating these decisions during the design process.
We must also be good stewards of the natural resources we use for the design, construction and operation of buildings. At INFORM Architecture, we believe that the design and construction of eco-friendly buildings is critical to the long-term sustainability of our planet, and that what we build today will impact future generations. To this end, we are actively involved in the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Southwest Michigan Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council. We support the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system as an effective benchmark for eco-friendly design, whether or not formal LEED certification is pursued. We educate our clients in the importance of eco-friendly design and utilize the LEED checklist on every project as a guide to discussion about sustainable opportunities.