IDEAL at Marvel

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Introduction to IDEAL · IDEAL at Marvel
Emily Richards
21 Jul 2022 News, Research, All

If we look at Marvel by the numbers, we’ve got 3 offices and over 150 employees. We come from 29 countries and speak over 16 different languages. Needless to say, the people at Marvel represent a lot of walks of life and bring unique backgrounds and perspectives to our firm. As a whole, we're proud of that fact and believe our diversity enriches the work we do. But like many organizations around the country right now, we are currently working to make sure Marvel is a more inclusive and equitable place for all people to work. 

While diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have always been core values at Marvel, recent events and the evolving social climate have made it clear that we need to more actively address DEI within our office, in our design, and in the communities we serve. The IDEAL Group, which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity in Architecture and Landscape, grew out of those early conversations and is now Marvel’s main forum for discussing and addressing DEI topics. This is an ongoing dialogue which will help us build awareness around these topics, serve as an important step to make sure that our workplace continues to be a diverse and inclusive one, and highlight opportunities for improvement.

The IDEAL Group is made up of four committees that work on different aspects of our firm culture and engagement, which meet regularly to check in on the progress of our many efforts. In this introductory blog post, we’d like to share a little about each of these committees to give our community a better sense of what IDEAL has been up to since summer 2020. Subsequent posts will focus in greater detail on each of the individual committees.


IDEAL Recruitment focuses on the expansion of methods, by partnering with institutions and organizations, that will aid in our search for new studio members that reflect IDEAL’s diversity and inclusion goals. The recruitment team supports the firm’s effort to select candidates from a diverse pool of applicants to enrich our projects with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. The team aims to find new recruiting channels, universities, and professional organizations to partner with in order to connect with a broad range of applicants. Because interviews are one of the most important ways that candidates get a sense of the culture of our firm, we also work to ensure that interview panels reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our staff. 

Marvel's New York summer intern class is given an introductory office tour by Andrew Brown and Michael Kulikowski.


Marvel Metrics aims to understand and enrich the diversity and culture at Marvel by leveraging demographic and qualitative data. Metrics provides office leadership with the data and analysis needed to enact concrete change. This data is essential to understand the make-up of our organization, and highlight what we do well and where we can improve. This will allow us to facilitate change where needed.

Through voluntary surveys aimed to gather, track, and analyze demographic and qualitative data, Marvel Metrics hopes to promote an ongoing dialogue about diversity and inclusion within the office. We would like to recognize the diversity already represented in the office and utilize that information to benefit our community, projects, and office policies. 


IDEAL Education aims to create more accessibility within the field of architecture and landscape architecture to establish a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable profession.

By establishing robust, economically equitable, and inclusive, internship/mentorship programs in the San Juan, PR, Richmond, VA, and New York, NY offices, we can offer opportunities for those entering the architecture field, enabling greater diversity within the field now, and into the future. Engagement with otherwise underserved schools and communities is one strategy to help open doors for those not traditionally considering entering the design field.

The IDEAL Education team in San Juan helps students repaint a mural outside their school.


Marvel is a diverse community of designers, advocates, creators, and users. We aspire to foster an equitable and inclusive culture of engagement within our teams, our projects, the broader industry, and the communities we serve through listening, learning, and applying. 

Focused on underlying principles that prioritize creating an active platform for outreach and sharing ideas, IDEAL Community Engagement can identify opportunities for growth and support within our projects, and the communities they serve. While many of our projects include extensive community engagement in order to design with the user in mind, there are countless opportunities to connect with the community outside of our traditional built work. As designers and cohabitants in our built environment, the community engagement group looks to ensure that our processes and design outcomes are inclusive and equitable through outreach.

We look forward to sharing more information about the IDEAL team in the coming months, including showcasing the activities and opportunities this effort affords our colleagues and the design community. Stay tuned for a deep dive into the four IDEAL committees in upcoming Community posts!

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