Look around you – How often do you really observe the buildings you live in, the streets you walk? Architecture often goes unnoticed and yet continues to shape our lives. Opticos Design, Inc. is an urban design and architecture firm seeking to catalyze social and environmental change by creating solutions in how people live. They design living, thriving communities by leveraging the built environment’s power to shape public spaces and social interactions.
It’s not the details, but the big picture that interests the architects at Opticos Design. Architecture forms the buildings, public spaces and streets that get us to and from work and encourage us to gather. As Karen Parolek, a principal at Opticos Design, states, it is the disintegration of community ties that leads to many of society’s problems. Neighbors not knowing neighbors is her biggest nightmare. By focusing on how we want to live, Parolek and her associates create buildings that support a healthy, sustainable community.
To reinforce Opticos Design’s already strong commitment to creating social and environmental change, the company sought out B Certification. The certification process was integral in forming a better business. It’s difficult to maintain a triple-bottom line company, especially in the architectural planning industry. By leaning on the B Community for support and using fellow B Corps as models, Opticos Design has managed to continue to improve both the company and our communities.
The economy’s slow growth has allowed a number of areas to take a step back and do visioning work. Community planning will always be at the heart of this B Corp, which is why any have enlisted Opticos in trying to push the envelope on what it means to be environmentally and socially responsible. One new idea is the “missing middle”. These are the mid-sized communities between big city and sprawling neighborhood, the buildings between skyscrapers and single-family homes, which no longer exist in today’s world of extremes. Looking back at traditional architecture and keeping communities in mind, this design firm is creating the architecture of tomorrow.
Embrace Design, Embrace Community: Better Know Opticos Design, Inc.
Photo credit: Opticos Design, Inc. Livermore Village