The world of architecture is constantly evolving; we’ve come a long way since Neolithic rock shelters and houses made of mammoth bones. It is an art form that takes advantage of the tools and materials available to humanity – and in this day and age, nothing is off limits.
With architects using everything from beer bottles to hemp to construct their creations, we’re seeing a myriad of unique designs. And virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies are swiftly becoming the norm for designers worldwide.
Quality craftsmanship, artistic skill, innovation and a knowledge of human psychology are all essential traits for a successful architect to have. And interdisciplinary work is the latest trend – by combining architecture with other industries like art, tech and science, the possibilities of what we can build are opening up immensely.
Here are the five most innovative new architects in Los Angeles who are pushing the boundaries of what architecture means – and looks like.
The top 5 best architectural innovators Los Angeles
Here are the leading Architectural Innovators to watch in LA:
- Tiana Plotnikova
- Elizabeth Timme
- Anthony Morey
- Rebecca Rudolph
- Natasha Case
1. Tiana Plotnikova
There are few architects who can say they are also immersive experience designers, and Tiana Plotnikova is one of them. Her breadth of knowledge in immersive design allows her to create incredibly unique and revolutionary architecture.
This LA-based designer has worked on a range of projects worldwide, including those in Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and London. Her ability to apply the universal principles of design and her creativity to both public and private sector projects makes her highly distinguished and versatile.
Her most recent work, PYRAMIDEN, is an art installation that provides a rich, immersive voyage through the old soviet mining town – now abandoned – with the same name. It challenges the traditional idea of preserving architecture by instead seeking to preserve the abstract memories of the citizens that once lived in the town. In doing so, it provides a rich, personal alternative to traditional architectural principles, putting the emphasis instead on the personal, human elements. Tiana’s passion for user-centric design is a core reason for her success in the industry – for her, emotions and wellbeing come before aesthetics.
She also creates immersive experience and UX designs for businesses and the public sector, curating art installations and combining the industries of art, design, business, science and tech. Her interdisciplinary and empathetic approach to design allows her to create unique marketing opportunities and provide new direction for her clients.
Viewing her portfolio is a riveting experience – you can see how her concepts share similar ideas, yet they don’t ever feel repetitive. Her work envisions a reality in which architecture is more than what it seems; it is emotive, personal and executed with finesse.
Having a peruse through the projects she has worked on makes it evident why Tiana is one of LA’s biggest innovative architects.
2. Elizabeth Timme – LA-Más
Co-director and lead architect at LA-Más, Elizabeth Timme is a force to be reckoned with. Her work in the non-profit industry is closely linked to her city’s culture and needs, and this is evident in her design motifs.
Elizabeth is a third generation architect who was able to watch and learn from the work of her parents and the design community that surrounded her growing up. Houston-born and LA-raised, she frequently travelled to remote locations with her parents while they went to design school. This gave her insight into cultural differences in civic planning.
LA-Más was founded with Helen Leung in an attempt to resolve the city planning challenges unique to Los Angeles. Gentrification was a major public concern in LA, leading to systemic problems such as citizens having to relocate and find new work. Elizabeth and Helen worked to design a community that was dynamic and which took into consideration – and unified – the concerns of different stakeholders, instead of putting one on a pedestal.
Elizabeth additionally performs work in administration and leadership, ensuring that each of her many firm’s projects are completed on time and well. Her thorough knowledge of rules, regulations and building codes allows her to cut through bureaucracy and achieve the solutions needed for local communities to flourish.
Working with LA-Más, Elizabeth is able to support municipal bodies and agencies work together in order to benefit both themselves and the community at large. Her portfolio showcases her expertise in reimagining public areas and neighbourhoods for the future – with wellbeing and a happy, connected community in mind.
3. Anthony Morey
LA-based Anthony Morey is a multitalented architect, curator, lecturer and educator working across the fields of experimental art, architecture and design. His mission is to create and stimulate innovative modes of engaging with disciplines, whether it be through communicating with the public or finding new cultural outlets.
Anthony is also a curator and executive director at the A+D Museum in LA, as well as a curator and co-founder of ‘A One Night Stand for Art and Architecture’, an event held by a team of artists and architects that showcased their innovative, emerging creative talent.
4. Rebecca Rudolph
Rebecca Rudolph is a co-founder of Design, Bitches, an eclectic LA-based architectural studio which combines art, design and pop culture. She creates playful, thought-provoking spaces which are both innovative and aesthetically-pleasing as well as practical and welcoming.
Rebecca has worked on a number of international projects, both commercial and public, working with her clients to craft a user-experience focused creative solution which fits the context of the region. She uses her combined masters in architecture and philosophy to create designs which are truly compelling and unique.
Her portfolio boasts an impressive list of clients, including Adidas, Google and Whole Foods Market, Inc. She has won many awards and was shortlisted in The Architectural Review, Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture in 2016.
5. Natasha Case
Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014, Natasha Case is famous for combining architecture with food – and, of course, being very business-savvy. The entrepreneur created the hugely successful gourmet ice cream sandwich business Coolhaus with Freya Estreller back in 2009. Since then, her products have been sold in over 1500 stores across the U.S. – but she’s perhaps best known for her quirky ice cream sandwich trucks which roam LA’s streets.
Since then, Natasha has published a book and is seeing great success with her business, which is constantly growing. With over 100,000 Instagram followers and counting, it’s fair to say that Natasha has done well to combine food and architecture.