The Design Response is a land planning and urban design firm that specializes in collaborative strategic thinking, thoughtful and pragmatic site design, and effective management of land development projects in complex social, regulatory, and political environments.  

  • Initially we assist our clients in better understanding the physical, regulatory, political, and social setting for their project. This may be as simple as performing a "go/no-go" assessment as to whether or not a project is even geometrically and/or politically feasible. Sometimes the most valuable service we provide is talking our clients out of attempting a particular project.

  • We then begin to maximize project value with thoughtful conceptual design exercises that seek to best utilize a site’s assets within a realistic assessment of identified hard (zoning/geometry) and soft (neighborhood/political) design constraints. This stage may begin as hand-sketched concept plans that then evolve into digital AutoCad plans for more yield count certainty.

  • As a component of the design process, we also develop a strategic game plan as to how best to navigate the social, regulatory, and political approval process, minimize identified risks, and maximize odds of success. After all, it is not just the cards that are dealt, but how you play the hand that counts.

  • We accomplish project objectives and minimize risk with a blend of careful research and analysis, a keen understanding of regulations and process, and lots of practical experience. We are harbor pilots that are here to help you avoid the dangerous areas and get you safely to port.

  • Comfortable working with neighbors, public staffs, and elected/appointed local officials, we articulate complex design and planning issues in easily understandable verbal, written, and graphical manner. Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words, but being able to explain complex concepts and variables in layman's language is also a skill that is valuable and needed.

  • In addition, we have the in-house ability to create digital models and therefore the increasingly popular 3-D rendering graphic exhibits that boards and neighbors like to see (“show me what will I see from the street/sidewalk/next door”) without engaging an architectural firm until needed.