The Now Institute

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About Us

The Now Institute is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding and improving urban environments. We consult for cities around the world including Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Madrid, Spain; and Los Angeles, USA. Our current focus is on creating urban sustainability through urban agriculture in Los Angeles as well as links between WASH infrastructure and cultural resilience in Haiti.


We are an urban design research center


Urban Speculation

Our research focuses on identifying opportunities and need for physical planning interventions in cities around the world. Each year we choose a pressing urban issue to focus on and disseminate our analyses through print and digital publications. The projects we choose to implement synthesize this exhaustive research. They range from off-grid hydroponic installations, water-filtration centers and floating homes to master-plans for struggling urban centers and cities in need of new direction.


We apply strategic urban thinking to real-world issues

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One of our most notable works is Haiti Now, the first and only almanac describing both contemporary issues affecting Haitian cities and an historical overview of Haitian culture and history. Our most recent book, 100 Buildings, provides an overview of key modern works of architecture and the cultural and urban influence they have had.  


We Partner with industry leaders and policymakers

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Advisory Board

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Professor Charles Waldheim

Harvard University

Director of the Office for Urbanization

John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture

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Professor Albert Pope

Rice University

Director Present/ Future Program

Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture

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Professor Alan Berger

MIT University

Co-Director, LCAU

Leventhal Professor of Advanced Urbanism

Director, P-REX lab

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Professor Lars Lerup

Rice University

Dean Emeritus

Harry K. and Albert K. Smith Professor


We work i n cities around the world

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We actively publish in response to current events and aggregate the stories and topics that drive us to create better urban environments. 


Our work connects disciplines and industry sectors

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Connecting Academia with the Private Sector

Within UCLA, we have been asked to find ways of creating inter-departmental collaboration for the creation of sustainable urban systems for the LA of the future. By 2050, it is our goal to achieve 100% locally sourced water, 100% renewable energy and enhanced ecosystem health for the county of LA. 

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Meet The Staff

Our staff, led by Distinguished Professor and Pritzker Prize winner, Thom Mayne, comes from different cities and academic backgrounds. We have succeeded in creating a team of thinkers whose  cultural histories  compete with one another to keep our contemporary ideas grounded in global understanding.  


The Hall School

For the past 3 years, our founder Thom Mayne has been teaching architecture and design to the sixth graders at The Hall School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. These students haven’t been exposed to topics outside the traditional public school core subjects before now. With the help of Google sponsorship, Thom has been working to demystify the world of design and programming for young students. Their work, by Thom and everyone else’s standard, has been phenomenal and Thom will continued to work with The Hall School to build young, disadvantaged students’ confidence in engaging with creative disciplines.


Contact Us

Whether your interested in partnering with us or just learning more about what we do here, feel free to reach out and we’ll get back to you ASAP!