Building a Worker-Owned Practice: Cooperatives, Stewardship, and Collective Design - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW)

  • Register
    • Non-member - $50
    • Member - $40
    • Student Member - Free!
    • Associate Member - $30

Traditional methods of practice have been called into question by social movements and health crises in recent years. Alternate business models that prioritize workers' rights and agency offer a clear path forward. Looking at several approaches via case studies, we'll explore the benefits to the firm, the industry, and the broader community.

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss the societal demands being placed on traditional models of practice and identify what needs to change to remain sustainable.
  • Review 3 alternative business models available to design practices. 
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of each model through case studies and analysis.
  • Share benefits of worker-owned and stewarded practices: within the firm, the field, and the broader community.
  • Provide toolkits and resources for starting or transitioning a practice: online forums and articles, free seminars and courses, existing cooperatives open to sharing, and legal support.

Ellen Garrett, ASLA

Founding Member

FWD Landscape

Ellen Garrett is a registered landscape architect based in Brooklyn, New York. She recently launched The Flatbush Workshop for Design (FWD) to rethink the functionality and methodology of the design industry. In 2022, FWD will be establishing a worker-owned design cooperative, building solidarity through financial equity and creative agency. FWD investigates the current state of the design field and questions how it can better provide for workers, future designers, and the communities they serve. She aims to build trust, build wealth, and build visions for communities as equal design partners.

Katie Lyon

Head of Client Services


Katie Lyon is the Head of Client Services for Purpose, an organization that helps make shared ownership structures more accessible and replicable in the U.S. economy. She has over 15 years of experience in economic and community development. Prior to joining Purpose, Katie worked to build career pathways for City University of New York students, provided economic development consulting with BJH Advisors, and managed a business improvement district. Katie earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University. Katie is a member of the Associate Board of the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services.

Ashton Hamm


uxo architects

Ashton Hamm, founder of UXO Architects is a licensed architect with experience in a range of project types - from private residential to large scale cultivation facilities to community design. Ashton is committed to expanding the role of cooperatives in the architecture profession, and is currently writing a book on the subject.


Open to view video.
Open to view video.
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
8 Questions
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
Session Guide
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.