Discovering a project’s design story relies heavily on the ability to LISTEN. We listen to our clients; learn their history and what they see for their future. We listen to the community; determine their pain points and concerns so we can address them through mindful design. We listen to the place; learn the significance of the location, and listen to its past. It’s through this process that we craft the design story that guides the design direction throughout the project.

The Rincon Administration Building in Valley Center California exemplifies how our team designed the interior of the space to represent the Tribal Community without going overboard with literal interpretations of culture. “When the community utilizes the building, it will feel like it belongs to them, but to the outside eye it simply appears to be well designed.” said Senior Interior Designer, Maui Johnson, NCIDQ.

The goal of this design is to speak to future generations while simultaneously honoring and reflecting culture and the past – it must be timeless. A theme of the design is to integrate exterior elements with the interior, or to bring the outside in. Significant cultural elements are included and expressed throughout the design including oak trees, basket weaving, and leather. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by a live-edge oak reception desk, backed with a neutral woven leather accent wall. Stone accents and a wood plank ceiling serve to blend the outside with the inside for a seamless transition. A deep rust color, significant to the Tribe’s culture stands boldly on the accent wall. As users ascend to the second floor, the organically shaped stair rail representing the valley in which the building is situated guides them upward past a custom hanging sculpture that symbolizes the four seasons of the oak tree. A glass walled conference space perches on the edge of the second floor above the two-story entry lobby and represents a clear and transparent government that guides the Community.

Every project is an opportunity for our team to truly get to know our clients and what is most precious to them. We view the process of taking those precious elements and blending them with the design as a privilege. Each outcome is different because each project is different, but our journey to the final design always begins with discovery by listening.