Culture

The soul of our practice resides in its people. We run all of our work through one singular office, practicing as a think-tank to promote collaboration and inspire innovation. Payette’s open studio environment fosters a spirit of camaraderie and generates a dynamic work atmosphere.The small-practice ambience of the firm’s early years has evolved into an entrepreneurial culture that values and encourages individual initiative. This entrepreneurship is evident in the high level of professional and community involvement across the entire firm. Respect for diversity in our practice is a fundamental part of our foundation; our diverse environment enhances our collaborative spirit and enriches the outcome of our work.

Organized into design studios and project teams, Payette combines the intimacy and one-on-one mentoring environment of a small practice with the extensive resources and support of a major design firm. These highly collaborative design studios are supported by in-house expertise in interior design, landscape architecture, building science and architectural programming/planning. The open studio environment cultivates talent, creativity and professional growth.

Our firm culture supports a process of collaborative inquiry, vigorous dialogue and synthesis of ideas. With humor and humility, we submit our designs for collective critique through a system of firm-wide design forums and pin-ups juried by a cross-section of the practice. The meaningful dialogue—inquisitive, energetic, thoughtful—produced in this setting reinforces and deepens the collaborations that occur within project teams and studios and contributes to our collective intelligence.

Employees are able to balance work requirements and personal priorities—including educational opportunities and teaching responsibilities—by taking advantage of flexible schedules. The firm creates opportunities for staff to participate in various sporting teams, golf outings, socials, volunteering and family events.

Participation in our larger community has always been of great importance to the practice. Payette staff often volunteer in events through the Boston Society of Architects, KidsBuild, Citizen Schools, the Taskforce to End Homelessness and CANstruction. We give back to our own communities by actively participating on local planning boards, volunteering at neighborhood schools and organizing local food drives. Many of our staff also teach and offer design critiques at local schools like Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Boston Architectural College and Northeastern University.

Our long-standing approach to green practices is holistic. Consistent on all levels—project, operational and human—this core value is embedded in our attitude and culture. The sustainable practices in our own office are no exception as we seek to reduce the office’s environmental impact and support the message we present through our design. We take full advantage of public transportation, a full recycling program and a commitment to reduction of waste through paperless practices whenever possible.

Payette supports an internal advocacy group called Grassroots Green. This volunteer group meets bi-weekly to discuss a variety of sustainability issues as they relate to the operation of the firm. Among the group’s key functions is to enhance our connection to sustainability experts and events outside of the office.

Payette won first place in Best Green Practices from SMPS Boston’s Recognizing Outstanding Communications Awards program for our conscious choice to use recycled materials in marketing efforts, our Grassroots Green programs as well as our commitment to sustainable architecture.

The small-practice ethos of the firm’s early years evolved into an entrepreneurial culture that encourages individual initiative coupled with collective synergy.