Quite a lot has happened in the past month or so.
I was invited to take part in the 2015 Ingenuity Fest “Iron Architect” competition and was also asked to find some other participants. I made some calls and was able to meet up with an artist and architect I have worked with in the past, Adam Rosekelly.
For the Ingenuity weekend we worked away in a shipping container during a rather wet, cold and blustery Friday and Saturday in both securing a workspace (a delightful container WITH electrical power) and designing/building a sculpture. The act of the design/build process was meant to be an exhibit within itself.
It was fun.
More importantly, it made me realize something that I had really realized a while ago. I don’t like working by myself. To me design is a collaborative process, a conversation, between folks that share similar goals and can challenge each other through experience and point of view without being overbearing or passive aggressive about it. Adam and I have worked together for about 10 years either at architecture firms or on art installations. I guess what I am trying to say is that we are taking the plunge.
Our past experience in very different projects. I have focused on specialty commercial and institutional work (educational, performing arts, healthcare, masterplanning) and Adam has gained experience in the wide variety of residential and mixed use project types. There has been some overlap. Enough though that we can converse about different project type needs and requirements with some relative ease and this makes me very happy.
You see, I no longer have to run ideas past the cat. Instead I have someone I can share my process and ideas with and get some honest feedback and usually a new way of looking at the problem. I also have someone who will push me to market and talk to new people more, something I think I am miserable at.
So we started a new design firm together combining TOIstudio and FIELDS collaborative into one new entity. And we have a new name.
“Why a new name?” you ask. Well for a few reasons. First off, this is a new endeavor, not to be saddled with the preconceptions of authorship and ego of previous works. Secondly, I fear most of my marketing conversations were attempts to explain what TOIstudio meant, and how to spell or say it. The new firm is based upon an overriding value of clarity and honesty and the new name should represent that.
May I introduce, for your architectural pleasure, a joint effort by TOIstudio and FIELDS collaborative, the new design centric boutique firm “Architecture Office”. Now if anyone asks us what we do after introductions, it should be ridiculously easier.You can find the new website at www.thearchoffice.com. TOIstudio will be refocusing efforts back to what is used to be about, primarily nerd art stuff with the lessened snark that comes primarily with age (like a fine whine).
So TOIstudio will still be doing something, probably more of an outlet for collaborations still ongoing that will possibly be going on for a while but more architectural projects will be under the new umbrella which will focus more on acting like an architecture firm.