May 2013

Lurkin’ on Larkin

I am feeling lucky…lucky to have found a new home for our firm in this city that we love, lucky to be an architect, lucky to be in a country that values my aspirations.

I recently purchased a building for our office—not an easy feat in any metropolis, but especially not easy in SF, where property values are extraordinarily high and continue to climb as market confidence builds and the new creative and tech classes grow. But, lo and behold, after a four-year search, our perseverance paid off! We closed in July 2012 on a 1907 building (with 1950 addition), bolstered by much appreciated help from family and friends, as well as the US government’s SBA program.

As I drafted this post, on Memorial Day 2013, I was reflecting on that help from the government and feeling especially grateful, as it enabled us to purchase this property on very reasonable terms, making it realistic for a design professional to fulfill her dream.

I believe that investing in our future is good for our country and so does the SBA. It is a rare federal program that cuts to the chase and rewards the hard work of the small businesses that fuel our economy. Thank you to the multitude of dedicated people in our current administration and those who came before you, for this support of entrepreneurship.

Granted, this may sound like an advertisement for the powers that be in DC, but it’s not…I’m just struck at the confluence of my background as a liberal, California-born citizen, whose life has been shaped by a local melting pot of tie-dye, abundant opportunity, and not-quite-anarchist views, with the positive support that smart, powerful government programs can offer.

So, we go forth, as an atelier of powerful designers!

Our new building affords us the space to expand as well as to experiment, and designing it in a building that’s all ours gave us the opportunity to reconnect with our core values and apply them to the space where we spend our days. We are currently building a workshop on the ground floor with basic woodworking tools as well as MIG and TIG welding equipment, and many areas for mess-making material explorations. Being material-centric designers, we anchored our office space on the second floor with a materials library ‘island’—an ever-evolving collection of stuff to peruse, riff off, employ, and noodle on—which influences the ways we think, work and make.