College of the Desert Lecture Series

Over the past several years Mark and I have been invited to lecture at College of the Desert. It has been an honor to teach, present, and showcase our work to the architecture department. We want to show you a glimpse of our presentation along with the big takeaways that we leave with the students.

Not knowingly, one of our first lectures, a student who was in the audience later became one of our employees. Since then, we have brought Shaun with us to our lectures. It has been great for students to see after they have graduated, they can jump right into the world of architecture.

Above is one of our favorite quotes from Steven Holl. It distills the dichotomy between art and architecture. Although I believe architecture can be art and art can be architecture…this quote still resonates to this day.

We love to bring up the discussion of ‘what is architecture?’ We can discuss architecture through what we typically see and experience, homes, businesses, and offices or think about architecture in a broader way. Installations such as Thomas Heatherwish’s UK Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 or Peter Eisenman Case Study IV illustrations are as much architecture as they are works of art. Movies and video games for example, the cities and worlds created in these fields in our opinion are a part of architecture

Before we get into some of our work and process, we always begin with asking ourselves “why?”. Through various design charrettes and team meetings we have developed a long list of questions that influence, develop and drive our design concepts.

Above are some of the questions we’ve tested, asked, and have created conceptual models from. These 'why?' questions are asked at the beginning of every project.

We love to showcase some of our work which is currently under construction, in the design process and work that has been built. It is always a treat to look back and compare our original concepts sketches with the built work.

Rendering of one of our custom residential projects.

Custom residential project under construction.

We always want to leave by asking questions which engage the audience. The first is how do you personally learn about design? The next is what makes your project unique or original?

Our personal ways of learning begin with our core values. We are always encouraging ourselves to be curious, listen, understand, and grow. Traveling and experiencing architecture, art and other cultures will help everyone excel in architecture.