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Firm Description

Dober Lidsky Mathey is a campus planning firm that advises and assists colleges, universities, and schools with campus development, facility and programming decisions.

Our team is comprised of campus and facility planning experts, supported by a staff of landscape designers, data analysts, and graphic designers. Based in Belmont, Massachusetts, Dober Lidsky Mathey (formerly Dober Lidsky Craig + Associates, Inc.) has served the higher education community since 1958. For our complete firm description, download the PDF here.

Over the years, we have worked with hundreds of clients in virtually every state in the U.S., and spearheaded dozens of international projects, as well. For our complete client lists, download the PDF here. For our firm brochure, download the PDF here.

It is our intention that this website serve as a resource for those institutions who wish our services on upcoming planning projects. To that end, client case studies, principal bios, firm description, and our firm brochure are available on our site as downloadable PDFs. Please call us at 617.489.1162 or email us if you need further information:


Many firms offer campus and facility planning services, but DLM is different. We exist solely to serve our clients’ planning needs. For us, institutional planning projects are our focus and, as such, get the full, energetic attention of our principals and highly experienced staff.

Role of Planning in Campus Development
We view the planning process as a set of distinct, critical, and frequently short-changed steps on the path to comprehensive campus development. All too often, we have seen the results of insufficient or ineffective planning: the misplaced buildings; the awkward, expedient building additions; the under-developed open spaces; the dumpster greeting visitors at the main campus entrance; and the unhappy campus bursting at the seams for want of a compelling vision of the future. We believe that working with our clients to address their campuses creatively, extensively, and in-depth is the best way to avoid these mistakes and build a robust and dynamic future.

As students of campuses ourselves, DLM has investigated the elements which make campuses special places and, just as importantly, the elements which make them effective. Our approach begins in working directly with our clients to understand their mission, vision, needs and concerns followed by meaningful data analysis to support decision-making. We then use this knowledge to develop unique solutions most appropriate to meeting their challenges and advancing their mission. We do not approach the planning process with a particular design perspective. Rather, we see design as a critical theme for reinforcing the reasoned decisions made through the initial stages of the comprehensive planning process.

At DLM, we believe campus and facility planning is most effective when done in the context of a highly participatory process which engages a broad cross-section of the campus community through one-on-one and small group discussions. These dimensions cultivate an ethos which engenders support for planning and successful implementation, combating the sense of “planning fatigue” cited by some. We believe campus and facility planning needs to weave together academic, financial, and physical strands, creating a fabric of strong decisions and solutions adaptable to changing circumstances. Working directly with institutions ensures an independent perspective and an approach which seeks the best solutions to campus development issues rather than the best opportunity for a new design commission.

We take teaming seriously and seek like-minded partners for appropriate opportunities. We have found that up-front discussion about the role of each team member in a potential project during the proposal stage allows the team to be more successful in meeting client needs. We cannot commit to a team without prior knowledge and consent of our role in the project. Should you wish to add Dober Lidsky Mathey to your team, we invite you to use the downloadable PDFs available on our site and ask that you contact us via phone or email to let us know of your intention to do so.

Many firms talk the talk about "consensus-building" during the planning process, but few can achieve it as well as DLM. The firm quickly gained respect from faculty and all levels of staff, and followed through with a planning process that was truly collaborative. The result is a master plan that is regularly referenced in detail by all University divisions for the University's campus development. ..Read more..

-Patti Miller
Assistant Vice President Campus Planning
Middle Tennessee State University

It takes a while to get the difference between an architectural firm and DLM. They think systemically, which I think is critical, and look at the whole picture. We are on the third pass of prioritizing our planning process, how should it go, what to do next. Since they don’t prepare architectural documents they can act as a counselor in the architectural selection process. They are independent from the final solution – they have no interest in getting the design business. ..Read more..

-Daniel Sullivan
President Emeritus
St. Lawrence University

I didn't find, as I do many times, that the principals lost interest – George and Arthur stayed involved through the whole thing, and managed the team quite effectively. They did a great job. A lot of that has to do with communication and listening. They did a very good job of that. ..Read more..

-Gerald Vander Mey
University Campus Planner
Clemson University


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