Firm History

Design Workshop is a firm born in the pursuit of ideas. Our founders Joe Porter and Don Ensign, while professors at North Carolina State, set a course to engage clients, staff and colleagues in a collaborative process they labeled “design workshop.” For four decades Design Workshop has provided landscape architecture, urban design and strategic services to clients in North America and throughout the world. We are committed to creating special places that meet today's needs and that are sustainable environments for all time. We have developed a methodology called DW Legacy Design®. This proprietary process seeks to imbue every project with a balance between environmental sensitivity, community connection, artistic beauty and economic viability that demonstrates measurable results.

USU Archives

In 2010, Design Workshop and Utah State University (USU) formed a partnership to create the Design Workshop Landscape Architecture Archive and Digital Collection. The archive is a collaborative effort between Design Workshop, USU’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP), Merrill-Cazier Library’s Special Collections and Archives, and the Library’s Digital Initiatives Department.
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Who We Are - Core Values

Design Workshop is an ideologically based firm that originated in academia. We have evolved as a learning organization, seeking out complex and challenging projects wherever intellectual interests lead. From the beginning, we have sought to be generalists, willing to tackle any project concerning the land. Our guiding tenet has been that the work must take the most comprehensive perspective and use a collaborative approach to resolve issues. The goal is to do work that matters, work that makes a difference, work that contributes to the well-being of the planet - in other words, to do well by doing good.

Our firm is driven by two values: transparency and holism. Transparency embraces openness at all levels. It is manifest in the firm's name, which was chosen to describe the collaborative process the founders wished to foster, a process that values and invites every opinion and that keeps the decision-making process out in the open. Input is sought from a wide array of people. This doesn't mean design by committee and it doesn't mean senior designers relinquish leadership roles. It does mean input from everyone is valued, down to front-desk personnel, the marketing team and finance staff, all of whom frequently take part in openstudio design reviews.