You know...all the crazy ideas, ideals, and values that drive us to want to do this.
"The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation."
– Albert Einstein
We here at UD4U believe in doing things differently. UD4U was created as a way to buck the trend, to go against the conventional norm, and to try and give some power back to the people. All of my life I've been told that I can't do this or that because it's just not how things are done or because it would just be too difficult to do because of how things are. I never paid much attention to those comments. Instead I used those words as inspiration to prove them wrong. To show people that my ideas could work, if you just started thinking outside of the box a bit.
The goal of UD4U is two-fold. First it is to help serve those people and communities that are overlooked by today's design firms. It's to reach out to those smaller city governments and community activists groups that know something should be done in their town, but don't necessarily know exactly what that is, or don't have a planning/development department, or feel that they don't have the funds to pay a big corporate firm to come in and provide a solution. Second, it is to show that the conventional way of hiring firms and funding projects doesn't have to belong just to rich and powerful cities and individuals. It can be accomplished in a more grassroots way, where a group of citizens or a small town government come together and together can afford to raise the funds necessary to be the change they want to see in their communities. UD4U was created to help those people, to show that good design and good business wasn't created as just a luxury of the rich and powerful, but as a tool for all of mankind to create better communities and over time, a better state, country, and world. That is why we function as an L3C corporation, because by legal definition the main function/priority has to be to fulfill a social need or service first, before making a profit. They are called "low-profit" corporations.
Our office exists in two worlds, one of research and another of practice, because we believe that to be at the forefront of practice we need to always be doing research and staying current. We like to follow our curiosity and do research on topics that are of interest to us, resulting in proposals, article publications, or what have you. While, at the same time, functioning as a real business and never forgetting that we were created to service the needs of clients from those overlooked towns and community groups.
"Mind your P's and Q's...People and Quality first, Profit and Quantity second."
(Inspired by my grandparents and their generations original "Mind your P's and Q's" expression)