Design Philosophy / History

During the past 35 years of professional experience in the United States and overseas, Johnson Fain has established itself as an architecture, planning and interior design firm known for its creative approach to the built environment. Scott Johnson, FAIA, Design Partner, and William H. Fain, Jr., FAIA, Partner for Urban Design and Planning, lead a diversified office of 60 professionals. 

The firm has received many awards for design excellence.  During the last decade, the American Institute of Architects has recognized Johnson Fain with numerous awards at the national, state and local levels.

Each project is carefully designed to specific client needs, program, technical requirements and budget.  Every assignment presents the opportunity to develop a uniquely appropriate design solution. This philosophy is fundamental to the firm.  Our primary design objective is to identify and resolve the specific issues required by each assignment.  Particular emphasis is placed upon defining not only project scope and intent, but also budget and schedule at the inception of the design process.  Attention to all levels of detail and close client communication continue throughout the duration of the project to ensure the best possible match of client needs, design intent and cost effectiveness.


Project types include corporate office, large-scale high-rise, mixed-use retail, residential, educational university, technical and research laboratories, governmental and public buildings, entertainment, resort, museums and wineries including new construction, renovation, seismic upgrades, building modernization and restoration. Programming, interior design and tenant improvement projects have also garnered many awards for the firm. All projects receive the same high level of attention and creative expertise.

Urban Design + Planning

Projects have included master plans, new town plans, facilities master planning, general and specific plans, site feasibility, and land use analysis for a variety of clients and diverse industries including: aviation, universities, media, public agencies, cities, the United States and international governments, resorts, private and public development, and redevelopment.  Each assignment and solution is approached in a thoughtful, responsive and analytic manner appropriate to the project.

Interior Design

Johnson Fain has designed and executed interior environments for many important institutions. Interior Design within the office is practiced as Interior Architecture with qualified professional design and technical staff producing the work within a management approach that includes programming, space planning, design, furnishings, engineering and technical delivery.  Some significant interiors project types delivered by the firm include corporate office environments, condominiums and live/work lofts, media environments, art galleries, museums, resorts, wineries and restaurants.