April 22, 2021

How CMBA Uses Upward Thinking to Design Better Architecture

How CMBA Uses Upward Thinking to Design Better Architecture

Every architecture firm operates, whether articulated or not, with an overarching approach to their work. At CMBA, we’ve specified and developed ours, over many years, and we call it Upward Thinking. This philosophy or way of thinking encapsulates a people-first view of architecture and design, and guides everything we do at CMBA.

So what is Upward Thinking exactly? It begins with you and your vision. It’s important that we understand where you’re coming from, and that your project needs multiple different perspectives. We’ll work to create a clear and precise vision of your project, inside and out. This foundation is then built upon with innovative ideas and forward-thinking solutions.

It Always Starts with Listening

It is vitally important to our approach that we take the time to listen well. When a project doesn’t start with listening, it’s far too easy to bring your own preconceived notions about what a project should be like, without ever really understanding it from the client’s perspective.

That’s why we’ll ask you questions and actually listen to your answers. We want to understand you, your vision, and its purpose. We’ll learn all we can about you and your business, starting with basic needs and desires then working our way up to your big dreams and lofty goals. This is also the time when we’ll research site limitations, zoning requirements, code restrictions, and utility availability. After we’re done with our exploration phase, we compile a project summary of current and future space needs.

Fueled by Inspiration

This is when the fun part begins. Armed with an approved project summary, our architects will begin creating inspired concepts for your building design. Our team works together internally to jury, choose, and combine our best ideas so that you get the best of the best.

The Creation Phase

Now that ideas have been gathered and the initial design has been approved, Upward Thinking extends out to the Creation phase. We’re very familiar with collaborating with all of the stakeholders involved in a project. Since Upward Thinking is grounded in a deep understanding of you and your project, we look forward to hearing from and collaborating with all of the stakeholders involved in a project.

This is also the time when we’ll work with interior designers, landscape architects, engineers, and specialty consultants.

Bringing it All to Life

We’ve gathered the input, information, ideas, regulations, and rules from experts throughout the building process. Now it’s up to us to integrate the information into the final design and construction documents.

But our job doesn’t end at construction! We take bids, prepare contracts, review bonds, pay requests, observe construction, and consult with your contractor all the way through to the very last nail. We believe that a commitment to Upward Thinking pays off in every little detail.


Contact us for more information and for all of your project inquiries.

Our offices across Iowa and Nebraska have specialists ready to work on projects throughout the country. Learn more about each office below and reach out to discuss your next project.

CMBA Architects

302 Jones St #200, Sioux City, IA 51101 View larger map and directions

CMBA Architects

319 SW 5th St #102, Des Moines, IA 50309 View larger map and directions

CMBA Architects

505 Grand Avenue Spencer, Iowa 51301 View larger map and directions

CMBA Architects

208 N Pine Street, Suite 301 Grand Island, Nebraska 68801 View larger map and directions

CMBA Architects

1111 N 13th Street, Suite 205 Omaha, NE 68102 View larger map and directions