Our History

In 1994, the Design Futures Council was born of the joint vision of James P. Cramer, the former chief executive of the American Institute of Architects, and Dr. Jonas Salk, the man who discovered the polio vaccine and established the Salk Institute.

Originally focused on architecture’s technical and social agenda, the DFC quickly evolved to explore the many ways in which design could improve society and the lives of people, as well as ways in which design organizations can thrive in a changing business, societal, and environmental landscape. Over time the Design Futures Council refined its focus to explore trends, the evolution of the design marketplace, competitiveness, and the business of design.

Today members span the full range of architecture, engineering, construction, product manufacturing, real estate, and many disciplines of design.

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Our focus

Despite its growth, the DFC has maintained its focus on small-scale, intimate experiences and idea exchange among leaders of A/E/C and related disciplines. More than two decades after helping found the Design Futures Council, many of the original member firms continue to be pivotal participants.

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