In 2015, Michael Rickman started Rickman Architecture and Design. Rickman wanted RAD to have a bigger focus on social impact work compared to what he had seen during his time working with other architecture firms in the past.
While RAD does work on for-profit projects as well as limited-profit and pro-bono projects, a lot of their projects tie back to that social impact vision.
“We’ve had enough work where a good portion of our work is really tied to social impact work,” Rickman said. “There is some just for profit stuff that we still use to take a lot of profits from and reinvest it in the projects that we can donate to.”
Rickman connected with Third Lens through Plywood People. RAD tries to work with Third Lens on at least one project a year.
RAD has contributed to the Hope Smiles dental clinic project, the Jonestown, Mississippi, community project and the Friends of Refugees project in Clarkston, Georgia.
Currently, RAD is helping with the planning stages of a new clinic for Hope Smiles.
“We offered to design about a 5000 square foot clinic for them,” Rickman said. “So we’re locked down in the site plan and building right now so we should have some renderings of that probably in the next couple of weeks. They will use that to price it out with a contractor to try and secure some funds to actually build it.”
In Rickman’s eyes, projects like that allow architecture to blend with social impact in ways that can have a lasting effect.
“We create spaces for people to live in and experience,” Rickman said. “There’s no better way than to let architecture serve what it’s supposed to do, which is the prosperity and safety of others. You can help shape that space, and there’s this really good social impact that’s happening. I think the way you could kind of indirectly affect the lives of those people is only going to compound down the road. They’re going to hopefully extend a helping hand to others, and so it’s an infectious thing.”