Architecture | Design | Impact

Over 50 years of design that  cultivates and inspires learning, efficiency, collaboration, community and enrichment

Our Services

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Headquartered in Detroit, SDG Associates, LLC is a comprehensive architectural, planning and program management firm with over 50 years of leadership and design experience. Formerly known as Sims-Varner & Associates, the firm is responsible for dozens of highly recognizable structures in the City of Detroit. SDG takes pride in working effectively with clients, construction managers, engineers, consultants and all other stakeholders to deliver project management and architectural services within budget and schedule. Our portfolio of complex projects spans:


• civic and cultural centers

• K-12 and higher education

• airport, parking and transportation

• single and multi-family residential

• commercial office, food service and retail

• federal inspection facilities

• adaptive re-use and historic preservation

• signage consultation

Our Philosophy

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Founded by Howard F. Sims, FAIA, SDG has been headquartered in the City of Detroit since 1964, and continues to insist upon his desire for excellence and attention to detail. In addition to Cobo Center, the firm has been responsible for the design of many of Detroit’s most prominent buildings including the Robert Millender Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and many portions of the Greektown Casino.


SDG’s experienced architecture and planning professionals listen to our clients’ vision, needs and objectives, and deliver a product and performance that meet or exceed all of their expectations. Our commitment to design excellence has been recognized with multiple awards for both quality of work and social impact from groups such as the American Institute of Architects, the Engineering Society of Detroit, the American Association of School Administrators, and many others. 

With a cumulative volume of projects in excess of $5 billion in construction costs, 


SDG has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to sustain the confidence of clients with high quality innovative design, practical and economical construction, and efficient administration.

Our Mission

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At SDG, we strive to design forward looking spaces and structures that integrate technology, feasibility, aesthetic, creativity, innovation, history and excitement.  Through the intersection of these essential social and construction elements, societal benefits are maximized within allocated capital budgets.