East Tennessee Community Design Center
CDC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make East Tennessee a better place to live and work by bringing professional design and planning assistance to community groups and non-profit organizations. The Community Design Center offers its services through the pro bono contributions of area architects, landscape architects, planners and other professionals.
The Community Design Center has been in existence since 1969, when Bruce McCarty, then the President of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), visited the community design center in Philadelphia. Bruce returned to “pitch the idea” to some 40 local professionals that Knoxville too was in need of a community design center.
On July 1, 1970 the center was incorporated for one purpose, to bring professional design and planning services to non-profit groups and agencies that lack the resources to pay for the service.
The center is a 501(c)(3) corporation with an all-volunteer board of directors and a small staff of two full-time personnel, the Executive Director and the Assistant to the Director. Part-time staff includes an administrative assistant, a Studio Director and a DesignWorks Program coordinator, along with a variable number of paid students primarily from the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design.
Funding to sustain the operations is solely from competitive grants and from donations of our corporate and individual friends. We do request a donation from our clients as well, which is used to help offset our cost associated with providing them assistance.