Meet the architecture and furniture designers of LA LAUN: your next employer? | New

After last week’s visit to Fearon Hay, we keep our Meet your next employer series in Los Angeles this week to meet LAUN architecture, interior and furniture designers.

Founded in 2018 by friends Rachel Bullock and Molly Purnell, the studio has grown from its bespoke furniture roots to a four-person team delivering architectural and interior projects through a design process based on “curiosity and exploring”.

From their new office and showroom in downtown LA, the company is currently hiring on Archinect Jobs. For candidates interested in applying for a role, or anyone interested in learning more about life in an architecture studio, we spoke with LAUN founding partner Molly Purnell for a behind-the-scenes look at the business. .

LAUN showroom and office in Los Angeles. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

How did LAUN start?

Rachel and I grew up in colder climates (Michigan and Colorado) and we love the indoor-outdoor LA lifestyle. We noticed that there was a real lack and limited scale in contemporary outdoor furniture. In 2018, we decided to launch LAUN by bringing together our experiences in woodworking, metalworking and architecture, to create sculptural pieces of heirloom quality that can live indoors or out. My grandfather had a beautiful set of Walter Lamb pieces at his home in Pasadena that we always admired and that was a big inspiration as we put together some of our early collections.

Over the past year, we have also expanded our residential architecture practice, working on projects of all sizes, from ground homes to exterior and interior renovations.

Is there a special meaning/message behind the name “LAUN”?

When we started thinking about the names of the studio, we thought there was a nice parallel between LAWN and LAUN furniture. So here it is: it’s a pun!

The LAUN team (LR): Rachel Bullock, Meegan Beddoe, Jacob Payne and Molly Purnell. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

How big is your team ?

When we started the business, it was just Rachel and I working from home. We have developed the studio over the past four years and are currently a team of four.

Describe the area of ​​Los Angeles in which your office is located.

We opened our new office and showroom in Downtown LA this summer. It’s a neighborhood with such a unique energy and concentration of incredible buildings, especially the marquees that line the Broadway theater district, many of which have been preserved and repurposed for retail and music venues.

There is a great mix of industry and vibrant city life – rare for a city like LA. Our space is in the Fashion District in the 1920s neo-Gothic Trade Lofts building. Today, it continues to be a hub for entrepreneurs in the fields of fashion, design and fashion. manufacturing. We are delighted to be part of this community.

LAUN showroom and office in Los Angeles. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

What is your favorite thing about working in Los Angeles?

As architects, we tend to look at our environment a lot. The incredible diversity of LA’s built environment and landscape has been one of our biggest influences. We’ve made pieces inspired by everything from Art Deco Streamline Moderne buildings to Pacific waves. In Los Angeles, we also have the opportunity to partner with very talented fabricators for our furniture production and for custom pieces for our residential projects.

Dawn Collection by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

If you were hosting a movie night for the team, what movie would you show and why?

clueless. It’s such a fun story and the city of LA is a featured star. Additionally, it is written and directed by Amy Heckerling. I don’t know why it’s still rare to have a woman at the helm of a feature film!

If you could collaborate with a famous architect from another era, who would it be and why?

Eileen Gray. When we started our business, before we had a name, we kept all of our business and design inspirations in a folder called Jean Desert. It was the name of her Parisian gallery, a masculine-sounding pseudonym she had given herself to be taken seriously in the world of architecture and design. E-1027, the house she built on the French coast and for which she made her own furniture, is a real architectural gem.

Dawn Collection by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

Is your office an open or subdivided space?

We share an open space of 4,500 square feet with our friends from the multiline agency Entreprises Denvir. There are two separate showrooms for LAUN and Denvir but we meet in our common areas and meeting rooms. LAUN has an extensive library of research and materials alongside our design studio. Somehow, although our sensibilities are very different, the space really works and has a great vibrancy that we love.

Ribbon Collection by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

What does your office look like? Do you listen to music or the radio at work? Can you hear the city life outside, or is it a quiet place to work?

We love good vibes while working. We play all kinds of music and we love when people are interested in particular genres or artists. It’s mostly soft music during the day, but you can definitely find us blasting Beyonce on a Friday afternoon. Oh, and yes, you can hear the city life outside. Being downtown we hear the sounds of the city, we love the energy of being in a bustling urban setting.

Ribbon Collection by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

What is the most popular lunch spot in or around the office?

We have so many great restaurants around us, and luckily being downtown you don’t need to drive to get a good coffee or food. Here are some of our favorites: Sonoratown, Basil and Cheese Cafe, Holy Basil, Civil Coffee and Yuko Kitchen. We are also very close to many great hotels like the Proper and the Ace for a sit-down meal with our team or a client.

What is the most popular design tool in the office?

Probably tracing paper and pens. We do a lot of iterations, so drawing outside of the computer is the most important design tool. But we also use Rhino a lot for furniture and of course AutoCAD and Revit for architectural projects.

Silverlake Bungalow by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

How do your approaches to designing “spaces” and “objects” intersect? Or do you approach them in different ways?

In the design of the “spaces”, we have so many constraints, from the site to the client’s authorization, that we really have a lot to do. It’s a fun challenge and having something to answer for is essential. For material palettes, we are inspired by historical precedents and what interests our customers.

“Objects”, on the other hand, don’t have many constraints outside of material and production limits. So we have to give ourselves prompts to work with. For a new collection that we are developing, we were inspired by Hollywood Adventist Church. Not because we’re particularly religious, but because the building has this incredible presence right off the 101 freeway in Hollywood.

It’s like a very LA moment to drive to Hollywood and see this incredible building with soft purple mosaic tiles covering a Ronchamp inspired facade with small windows. We love these kinds of moments. Here, the church is a starting point and we branch out with inspirations ranging from Hieronymus Bosch to Japanese lanterns.

Silverlake Bungalow by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

Tell us about a completed project that you are proud of.

We recently completed the interior renovation and addition of a 1930’s bungalow in Silverlake. Nestled in a neighborhood known for its spectacular hillside views, we’ve opened up the space to maximize the expansive views of downtown Los Angeles and the home’s gardens.

The visual centerpiece of the house is its dramatic brass kitchen surrounded by a pink marble island and a green lacquer “box” that functions as a free-standing architectural object within the space subdividing the open space and housing a pantry, a cloakroom and an art display wall. The client’s love of bold colors and patterns is very evident in the project’s material palette.

Silverlake Bungalow by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

What position(s) are you currently recruiting for?

We are recruiting a project manager. We need someone who knows both architecture and interiors and likes to get things done!

What project(s) are new team members likely to work on?

Although our studio does a lot of residential work, we currently work on a campus for a production company in Lincoln Heights. It’s a multi-year project and very fun. The client is adventurous and the site is amazing.

In three words, how would you describe LAUN’s design philosophy?

Connection, curiosity, consideration, integrity, accessibility. It’s five words, but it’s the values ​​of the studio that influence every decision we make.

Silverlake Bungalow by LAUN. Photo by Ye Rin Mok

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