Most of the time, John Peterson, AIA, projects a laid-back personality—the kind you'd expect him to have after 15 years in mellow San Francisco. But get him talking about a project that Public Architecture, the nonprofit he founded, is working on, and suddenly he can't talk quickly or enthusiastically enough.
Every year, architecture firms and practitioners receive requests for pro bono or reduced-fee work. Typically, these inquiries come from communities, churches, nonprofit organizations, and the like—sources who genuinely cannot afford to pay market rates. Unfortunately, very few firms have institutionalized ways to field and respond to these requests, much less execute the projects to the same level of quality as their regular work.