Locally-Sourced Architecture


  • Alejandra Cervantes
  • Amy Douma
  • Jim Moore
  • Jacob Mans


Architectural projects contribute to economic development through many channels, including the specifying of materials and building systems. As specification systems become more standardized, relying on familiar manufacturers or product lines, architects inadvertently contribute to concentrations of opportunity - and potentially resulting wealth - along established supply chain channels. With increased globalization of product manufacturers and supply chains, those who benefit from this system are frequently distant from the community in which the project resides. This research identifies an interdisciplinary process to help refocus the economic benefits of material choices through repositioning the design professional within the ecosystem of those decisions. This process leverages architectural services to enhance local economies through social and material capital. Developed through a national research consortium connecting academia and architectural practice, the research is led by a HGA Architects & Engineers and the University of Minnesota who teamed to explore these questions beginning in 201S. Preliminary outcomes of the research identified ways architecture projects could embed data-driven processes within an effective economic development strategy, in turn opening possibilities for architects to impart positive change in a project's local economy and improve their agency in the systems of material and social currency that enable local economic growth. Through this research a ‘locally-sourced' design process was developed in which embedding the data of local economic experts within the process of material and systems selections could maximize targeted impact, and architects would be able to track the benefits of these selections for ultimate sustainment. This research not only offers architects an opportunity for expanded architectural services, it also posits an equitable design and construction process with the potential to enhance client relationships, increase supplier partnerships, and benefit local communities.




How to Cite

Cervantes, A., Douma, A., Moore, J., & Mans, J. (2019). Locally-Sourced Architecture. ARCC Conference Repository, 1(1). Retrieved from http://arcc-repository.org/index.php/repository/article/view/627