As designers, we are incredibly fortunate to do what we love every day — to help organizations around the world leverage design to grow their missions, help their people, enrich their communities and so much more. As we look toward our future in 2019, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on this past year and share some of our proudest accomplishments.

ARCHITECT 50 ranked CannonDesign #4

The ARCHITECT 50 is the premier industry ranking for US-based architecture firms, and we are thrilled to have ranked #4 overall and #12 in design as part of the 2018 report. This ranking differentiates itself from others by measuring firms not by size or revenue, but on business and sustainability performance and design excellence. Learn more about this ranking.

We hosted our first company-wide Community Service Day

Giving back to our communities has always been a central part of our practice, but this year we took our commitment to a new level by hosting our first company-wide Community Service Day. Across the country, we volunteered with more than 30 nonprofits, devoting more than 2,000 hours to helping organizations like the Urban Farm in Denver, the Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston, the SPCA of Texas and more. See a full recap of our first Community Service Day.

gkkworks joined CannonDesign

Building off the success of our mergers with FKP and Bennett Wagner Grody Architects in 2017, this year, we welcomed gkkworks to the CannonDesign family. The merger brought five new office locations — Irvine, Pasadena and San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; and Pune, India — and strengthened our ability to provide fully integrated design and construction services within our architecture and engineering practice. Learn more about gkkworks.

We launched our in-house innovation incubator, Amp 

Amp gives every one of our employees the opportunity to research, develop and test new ideas in a structured framework with the opportunity to bring their ideas to market and drive industry and firm-wide change. Since launching the incubator in early 2018, we’ve given seven teams the time and resources needed to push their ideas forward. Teams are exploring ideas like new energy modeling and data processing techniques, a mobile lactation pod concept, opportunities for building controls integration and the launch of CannonDesign’s first hackathon. Learn more about Amp.

We were recognized with 36 awards for design excellence and innovation 

2018 was an outstanding year for design recognition — as evidenced by the 36 awards we received for design excellence (and our #12 design ranking in the ARCHITECT 50). Although we don’t measure the success of our work purely on design awards, it’s always wonderful receiving third-party recognition from organizations and jurors we respect and admire. Awards included national recognition from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), American Institute of Architects, Fast Company, Interior Design Magazine, FRAME magazine and more. See the full list.

CJ Blossom Park was named the best new laboratory in the world

Every year, R&D magazine recognizes exemplary research environments with Lab of the Year Awards — the world’s most prestigious honor for laboratory design. In 2018, CJ Blossom Park, designed by CannonDesign, was the only project to receive this honor. The design of the 1.2 million SF building is founded on our “New Scientific Workplace” concept — a radical design approach that replaces traditional laboratory planning ideas with integrated innovation strategies to create boundary-less environments that increase productivity, efficiency and creativity. Learn more.

We strengthened our commitment to diversity in the profession by launching our Diversity + Inclusion Council

Started largely as a grassroots effort by employees, our Diversity + Inclusion Council pushes forward programming focused on enriching the employee experience, fostering inclusiveness and driving change in the industry. One of the group’s signature events this year was a live broadcast with architectural historian Despina Stratigakos to present a lecture based on her book, “Where Are the Women Architects?” Learn more about our Diversity + Inclusion Council.

We took advanced design technology and data-driven design to new heights

Advanced technologies help us work smarter and more efficiently while pushing the boundaries of design. In 2018, we partnered with NVIDIA to launch Holodeck, a tool that empowers multi-user virtual reality experiences to enhance client communication and design outcomes, and took our use of data-driven design and visualization to new levels. Take a look at the 10 ways we’re using technology to deliver more value to our clients.

We completed 100+ projects

Across North America, more than 100 projects of all scales designed by CannonDesign reached completion. Although we think they’re all wonderful, here’s a few standouts:  VCU Medical Center’s Virginia Treatment Center for Children, which was designed to destigmatize behavioral healthcare; York University’s new Student Centre, which was designed to be one of the most inclusive university buildings in the world; and Texas Children’s Hospital’s 25-story Legacy Tower, which is providing care to some of the most critically ill and medically complex children. Check out more of our recent work, here.

A banner year for media coverage

Our projects, ideas and people were fortunate to be covered by hundreds of media outlets this year. Here’s some of our favorites: Metropolis featured our behavioral health practice and how CannonDesign is using architecture to help solve America’s mental health crisis; Popular Science featured CannonDesign and our projects in an article about designing storm-resilient hospitals; Waukee Innovation and Learning Center was profiled in The 74 Million as a “model for the nation”; a confidential CannonDesign project earned the cover of Architectural Record’s interiors issue; and Curbed wrote an article about our Yazdani Studio and the important role it plays in our practice. See all of our recent media coverage on the insights page of our website.

2018 will absolutely go down in the books as one of our favorite years yet. And while this year in review gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on all we have accomplished, we already have our sights set on the future. Here’s looking at you 2019!