We believe good design exists in “The Art of Balance.” It is the critical piece to achieving the aspirational goals of our clients built out of team collaboration rather than individual successes. We take pride in finding and creating this balance in our process; it defines how we help our clients make the world more beautiful, functional, and sustainable.

Above all else, design is a human endeavor. Creating purposeful, sustainable environments requires a high degree of empathy and a knack for helping clients take creative risks. Our projects are fueled by a co-creation of ideas, experience, and expertise. And we welcome the challenge of finding new ways to balance the social, environmental, and aesthetic forces that shape our world. Clients benefit from this tenacity, a kind of restlessness that reflects both our high professional standards and our drive to explore different ideas.

A building or a space is a lasting expression of the unique relationship that develops between a client and a design firm. Our job is to foster an inclusive working process so that everyone involved – architects, interior designers, clients, and users – will embrace the outcome of that collective effort. Our achievements reflect the diversity of clients with whom we work, the varied talents that we as a firm possess and our integrity to push design intentions and outcomes.


DiMella Shaffer acknowledges the power and privilege that has come with being a historically white dominated firm in a historically white dominated profession, and we have made it our mission to effect meaningful change not only in our firm, but in our work with our colleagues and clients, and across the profession at large.

DiMella Shaffer’s leadership group has identified and begun work on the following priorities.

  1. Diversifying our Leadership: We actively cultivate diverse leadership from within the organization, by creating transparency around the process and using different methodologies to coach and develop people, understanding that there is no one size fits all approach.
  2. Diversity in Hiring: We value and celebrate diversity and are committed to continuing our work to create an inclusive work environment. We continually examine our recruitment and hiring practices to foster policies and strategies that support an equitable workplace.
  3. Anti-Bias Training: We provide training and resources to help people recognize and challenge their own biases, to create a more inclusive workplace culture. Recent trainings include Anti-Bias Training, Sexual Harassment Prevention Training, and Disability Awareness Training.
  4. Re-Examining our Design Practices: We are working to ensure our design practices are inclusive and responsive to the needs of all communities, including those that have been historically marginalized. This includes engaging with clients and communities to better understand their needs and priorities, and using our expertise to create spaces that promote equity and a sense of belonging and well-being.
  5. Partnering with High School and College Students: We are actively engaging with and supporting underrepresented communities, including partnering with organizations that introduce high school students to architecture, universities with diverse student populations, and advocating for policies and initiatives that promote equity and inclusion.
  6. Assessing Marketing Materials: We work to ensure our renderings, photography, social media, and marketing materials reflect the diversity of our firm, our clients, and the communities in which we work.


We continually push ourselves and the profession to do better. The work is not always easy, and it requires ongoing effort, hard conversations, and commitment from everyone in our organization. It is the right thing to do, both for our firm and for the profession. We are committed to being accountable and transparent about our progress, and we welcome feedback and input from our staff, clients, and communities on the journey toward a more equitable and inclusive architecture profession.