Our Story

Our Story

The
Vision

Better Communities by Design

The
Mission

To Envision, Inspire and Improve East Tennessee through Design

The
History

We were envisioned in 1969 when Bruce McCarty, then the President of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), visited the Community Design Center in Philadelphia. Bruce returned to pitch the idea to 40 local professionals that Knoxville too was in need of a community design center.

On April 15, 1970 the East Tennessee Community Design Center was incorporated for one purpose, to bring professional design and planning services to nonprofit groups and agencies that lack the resources to obtain these services through the private sector.

We are a 501(c)(3) corporation with an all-volunteer board of directors and a small five person staff: three full-time personnel (Executive Director, Administrator, and Design Studio Coordinator) and two part-time staff (DesignWorks Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant).

Funding to sustain the operations is solely from competitive grants and from donations of our corporate and individual friends. We do request a donation from our clients as well, which is used to help offset our cost associated with providing them assistance.









The
Vision

Better Communities by Design

The
Mission

To Envision, Inspire and Improve East Tennessee through Design

The
History

We were envisioned in 1969 when Bruce McCarty, then the President of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), visited the Community Design Center in Philadelphia. Bruce returned to pitch the idea to 40 local professionals that Knoxville too was in need of a community design center.

On April 15, 1970 the East Tennessee Community Design Center was incorporated for one purpose, to bring professional design and planning services to nonprofit groups and agencies that lack the resources to obtain these services through the private sector.

We are a 501(c)(3) corporation with an all-volunteer board of directors and a small five person staff: three full-time personnel (Executive Director, Administrator, and Design Studio Coordinator) and two part-time staff (DesignWorks Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant).

Funding to sustain the operations is solely from competitive grants and from donations of our corporate and individual friends. We do request a donation from our clients as well, which is used to help offset our cost associated with providing them assistance.






In 2013 East Tennessee PBS made a half-hour documentary on us. Click below to go to their site and watch the video!

In 2020 we celebrated our 50th anniversary as an organization. Click below to watch our video celebrating our work since 1970!

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In 2013 East Tennessee PBS made a half-hour documentary on us. Click below to go to their site and watch the video!

Image

In 2020 we celebrated our 50th anniversary as an organization. Click below to watch our video celebrating our work since 1970!

Want to help? Become a member, volunteer or make a donation!
Want to help? Become a member, volunteer or make a donation!