Living Generously as OneBNIM

Living Generously as OneBNIM

Last year we celebrated the spirit of giving for the 2017 holiday season and encouraged people to give generously. This year, as we reflect upon what it is to be OneBNIM and as we redesign design, we realize that inherent to our mission is the notion of living generously. The difference, of course, is that the single acts are outweighed by a practice of continuously contributing to a whole that outweighs the sum of its parts.

Share (noun) A part or a portion of a larger amount that is divided among a number of people, or to which a number of people contribute.

What does it mean to live generously at BNIM? For us it means the regular contribution of talent, time, and treasures to the organizations, communities, and people that surround us. Our human purposed integrated design ( approach embodies this spirit, with a deep commitment to humanity as the origin of inspiration, innovation, and prosperity.

Through design we contribute our talents. By working together across OneBNIM, through our interdisciplinary design teams, collaborators, and clients, we embed ourselves into the communities we work in; we immerse ourselves in understanding the sites we build upon; and we align ourselves with the users who occupy and experience our plans, buildings, and landscapes.

Through community outreach we contribute our time. As a firm, we encourage and promote community service, including offering 672 hours of collective paid time for our staff to engage in the organizations they are most passionate about each year. Collectively, we also sit on more than 20 boards and committees for civic and non-profit organizations throughout the country and are involved in more than 110 organizations at the basic volunteer level. Additionally, 1% of BNIM’s total billable hours last year were for pro bono work, or with organizations to whom we donated our time, including our work with Reconciliation Services.

Through corporate giving and financial commitments, we contribute our treasures. Throughout the last two years, we have supported more than 60 organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Historic Revitalization for Missouri, Center for Architecture and Design, and the US Green Building Council, Women's Foundation and Women's Employment Network to name a few. As a firm we host annual week and month-long fundraising efforts for ArtsKC and the United Way Giving Campaign, having raised $9,410 and $32,250 for each organization respectively this year alone.

This posture has been a part of BNIM since its inception in the 1970s. As Tom Nelson stated when looking back during our 45th firm anniversary, “If there’s one thing we do better than anybody, it’s making good places and good spaces. That includes a whole lot of things that all have to come together to create a good building.” As we move forward into 2019 and the future, we will continue to operate with a mission as OneBNIM, to continuously bring together vast and varied perspectives (and time, treasures, and talent) to deliver beautiful, integrated living environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition.