AIA East Tennessee’s 2024 Volunteer Organization Partner- East Tennessee Community Design Center

We are pleased to announce that AIA East Tennessee and the East Tennessee Community Design Center are partnering in 2024 to provide AIA East Tennessee members with opportunities to give back to their community. The East Tennessee Community Design Center is a non-profit organization that provides low or no-cost design services to non-profit and community-based organizations, thanks to the generous pro bono assistance from design and development professionals in the area. (Like you!)

This partnership will enable AIA East Tennessee members to use their professional skills and expertise to positively impact their community. Professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, real estate development, and construction can express their willingness to volunteer by visiting Volunteers will be notified of available projects based on their areas of expertise. AIA ETN is also part of the Design Center’s Community Collaborative. The Community Collaborative is a focused effort between multiple organizations that come together to highlight an area’s history, bring awareness to its future potential, and then promote sustainable growth. A focus area or issue is established each year, community input is gathered, and multiple studies and efforts are performed. To learn more about the Community Collaborative, visit

If AIA East Tennessee members are unable to give their time, they can still support the Design Center’s Mission through giving or by becoming a member of ETCDC. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership will bring and can’t wait to see its positive impact on our community!

Who is the East Tennessee Community Design Center?

Mission: To Envision, Inspire, and Improve East Tennessee through Design

Vision: Better Communities by Design

ETCDC was envisioned in 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 40 local professionals that Knoxville, too, needed a community design center.

On April 15, 1970, the East Tennessee Community Design Center was incorporated for one purpose: to provide professional design and planning services to nonprofit groups and agencies that lack the resources to obtain these services through the private sector.

East Tennessee Community Design Center is a 501(c)(3) corporation with an all-volunteer board of directors and a small five-person staff: three full-time personnel (Executive Director, Administrator, and Design Studio Coordinator) and two part-time staff (DesignWorks Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant).

Funding to sustain the operations comes solely from competitive grants and donations from their corporate and individual friends. ETCDC also requests a donation from our clients, which helps offset the cost associated with providing them assistance.

Get Involved with the East Tennessee Community Design Center


The East Tennessee Community Design Center flourishes on the commitment of its volunteers. ETCDC is continually seeking new professional volunteers willing to donate a few hours a month to make East Tennessee a better place by strengthening our communities and enriching the lives of our citizens. Time commitments are allocated based on the requirements of the project and the individual volunteer’s available time.

Professional design service providers needed include architects, landscape designers, landscape architects, land use planners, developers and contractors. From time to time, ETCDC has needs for meeting facilitators and attorneys.

When new projects come to the design center we will send out a Project Specific Interest Form along with project information to all interested parties.

If you would like to volunteer with the East Tennessee Community Design Center, please click on the link below.

Become a Member

Your financial contribution makes it possible for ETCDC to continue its mission: To Envision, Inspire, and Improve East Tennessee through Design. By becoming a member, you support ETCDC’s objective to create a more functional and beautiful East Tennessee. All membership levels receive – their newsletters, recognition of membership on their website and access to the Annual Members’s Meeting. Community, Regional, and Sustaining Members also receive – their business logo in our newsletters, access to a Special Program, and a printed version of their yearly publications.


If you’re looking for a way to give back to your local community, consider donating to the East Tennessee Community Design Center. Your financial support will allow ETCDC to continue providing low or no-cost design services to non-profit and community-based organizations in the area, thanks to the generous pro bono assistance from design and development professionals. By donating to ETCDC, you’ll be helping to improve the quality of life for those in need in our community and support the mission of this non-profit organization. No amount is too small, and every dollar counts towards making a difference. To make a donation or to learn more about ETCDC, click on the button below.

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