pod, noun: a seed vessel (“two peas in a pod”);
a self-contained unit (“ocean pods are the ultimate sea vessels”);
an enclosure organic to its surroundings (buildings designed by pod architecture + design).
pod architecture + design (pod a+d) is a full service architectural and design firm recently relocated to The Station, an 1882 train depot and historic landmark in Carrboro, NC. (For those not familiar with the area, Carrboro is literally right across the street from Chapel Hill.)
Who and What we are:
pod a+d is owned and operated by design principals Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, and Youn Choi, who are partners in life as well as in business. An award-winning architect, Doug leads the Architectural Studio. Youn is an environmental/experiential graphics designer - among the many other areas of expertise she brings to the firm. She worked with some very impressive clients (Disney, for example) before co-founding pod a+d with Doug, where she directs the firm’s Graphics, Wayfinding, and Interior Design studio.
Yet there’s much more to our alliance as a couple than two professionals with individual areas of expertise collaborating on projects. It’s what makes pod a+d a hybrid, non-traditional design firm. The “X” factor is what we call “co-dependency” -- but not in the dysfunctional sense! We work together, in mutual symbiosis, on every pod a+d project regardless of type. Youn’s influence and ideas add another layer to otherwise strictly architectural projects. Doug’s contributions to an environmental graphics project takes that project to a level it wouldn’t reach without him. We can depend on each other to be able to reach for design excellence because each of us provides something special to the other that adds a richness to our projects and to our clients’ experiences while they collaborate with us.
So “co-dependency” for us – for the entire pod a+d team – means that we are more than just the cumulative talents, skills, and work of individuals. We are a cohesive team of designers with a distinct/hybrid firm culture. And the impact on our work and our clients is far greater than it would be if our talents and skills were not so strongly intertwined.
Licensed in five states and staffed with team members who bring LEED AP and BD+C credentials to the table, pod a+d provides all architectural services from concept design through construction administration. Our projects – whether single-family houses or large commercial and public facilities -- demonstrate our ability to work not only with our clients, but also with engineers, general contractors, local craftsmen and, where necessary, civic leaders and other building officials on architectural projects of all sizes and types.
We practice an innovative approach to the design process that involves both 3D and physical models in a wide variety of building types, including residential, commercial, hospitality, academic/institutional, environmental, retail, mixed use and adaptive re-use. By understanding form and space in this manner, we better understand how a project's form and space may, in the future, affect its inhabitants. As Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
Inspiration + Integration: pod a+d offers all architectural design services that connect building, environment, and identity because we believe in the integration of architecture and design disciplines throughout our projects. Exteriors, interiors, engineering, furnishings and finishes, equipment, financial feasibility, scheduling, construction, and the environmental context – these are the contributing elements that inform our integrated approach to each architectural project’s design.
History, tradition, and cultural considerations also provide important cues for inspiration and contemplation as we develop an architectural design. Inspiration may come from a sweeping architectural gesture or the simple elegance of a well-organized space.
Regardless of origins, pod a+d tills the contextual field for such elements and pursues a unified, cohesive design that is as inspirational as it is reflective of our client’s vision.
Bottom line: pod a+d creates expressive contemporary, contextual, and cultural/multi-cultural architecture that is environmentally, spatially, and formally engaging. Our work also provides operational efficiency for end users and for the contextual stages they inhabit: urban, suburban, rural, industrial, etc.
If you’re interested in sharing your vision with us, we invite you to call us and stop by for a visit.
Programming and Concept Development
Analysis of Program, Site, and Budget
Signage and Wayfinding