Fast Company continually names CannonDesign one of the most innovative firms in North America

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September 27, 2022

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We embrace innovation as our regular way of working, and we're deeply proud that Fast Company continually has taken notice. Here's a look at some of the recognition we've amassed from the organization over the years.

No. 2 most innovative company in North America

Fast Company's inaugural North American list in 2021 featured innovative companies that span the continent, and we were honored to be placed at the top. We were recognized for our Living-Centered Design approach and how it addresses challenges from five interconnected scales—people, business, community, society and the environment. The ranking also celebrated our public interest design incubator, Open Hand Studio, and our quick response to helping healthcare organizations develop solutions to combat the pandemic.

Top 10 most innovative architecture firm

Each year, Fast Company announces its ranking of the world’s most innovative companies overall and in creative disciplines like architecture. We've been listed as one of the top 10 architecture firms in the list twice—in both 2017 and 2019. According to Fast Company, the firms on the list “exemplify the best in nimble business and impactful innovation.”

A world-changing company

In 2019, we were recognized as one of just nine World-Changing Companies, alongside brands including IBM, Mastercard, Sweetgreen and Siemens among others. The program recognizes companies that are pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet. Core to our selection is our focus on addressing our nation’s mental health crisis and our experience working on projects across the globe that destigmatize mental health and make it more accessible to all.


  • It is an absolute honor for Fast Company to recognize our company for our innovative spirit and indelible contributions to society. One of the maxims that drives our Living-Centered Design philosophy is the simple creed to Go There. We encourage our people to take risks, explore unexpected ideas, challenge precedents and forge bold new connections each day. We’re fortunate to be able to work with organizations who embrace that same passion to Go There in the pursuit of meaningful innovation.

    David Polzin, AIA CannonDesign's Executive Director of Design
Living Centered Design Video

A design company of the year

In 2019, Fast Company named us to its "top design companies of the year" list, noting the impact the buildings and spaces we've designed are having across the globe. Other companies on the prestigious list include Nike, Google, Pinterest, Microsoft and Ikea, among others.

Multiple Innovation by Design awards

The Innovation by Design Awards program honors the designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow. We've had numerous projects honored over the years, including York University's Second Student Center, Rockford School District's K-5 Prototype, the Museum of Tolerance and OR 360.

Simon Wiesenthal Center's Mobile Museum of Tolerance
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Simon Wiesenthal Center's Mobile Museum of Tolerance
Uic Surgcial Innovation Training Lab
University of Illinois Chicago's Surgical Innovation and Training Lab

And some World-Changing Ideas awards, too

We're fortunate to have worked on several incredibly meaningful projects that have been recognized as Fast Company World-Changing Ideas, including the UIC Surgical Innovation and Training Laboratory, Jamaa Birth Village, 201 Ellicott and D'Youville University's Health Hub.

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