Looking In

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.” Niels Bohr, Nobel Prize Physicist

We are creative thinkers. Looking deeply at the core of problems builds a foundation of logic beneath our work, which then lets our creative intuitions flourish. In fact, we relish the challenge of the paradox. When solutions appear to be ‘either-or,’ the ability to embrace the nuanced shades of gray in problem-solving becomes critical. This is the power of creativity and good design.

We embed this ethos of critical thinking deeply within the studio, led by our founder’s long-standing commitment to teaching, most recently as a Professor at the California College of the Arts. We believe this adds a level of rigor and consistency to our design process, which in turn gives our clients clear frameworks for decision-making. We hope this rigor shows through in the products of our work.
Critical thinking also guides where we find our creative inspiration. While we are always moving forward, exploring new materials, techniques, and technologies, we also try to chart our own course rather than follow passing stylistic trends. Our focus is on the more enduring qualities of space, proportion, scale, and texture. For us, the beauty of these things has no shelf-life.

Looking Out

Ultimately, our work must engage with and function in the world. We have a long-standing commitment to significant pro bono work with local non-profits, from La Cocina, to Larkin Street Youth Services, to the Children’s Creativity Museum. This engagement comes from a recognition that architects are collaborators, leaders, designers, and activists all rolled into one; it is precisely what we have been trained to do, and love to do.

This outward-looking focus of the studio is also the product of the founder’s background. With joint master’s degrees in public policy and architecture, Neal’s work and leadership has never been an insular affair; it always engages with the world around us. Beyond the studio walls, Neal has been on the Board of Directors for the AIDS Memorial Grove, held academic leadership positions at California College of the Arts for over 20 years, and was the Founding Chair of the AIASF Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.