Designer YOUN CHOI co-founded pod architecture + design in 2016 with her partner in work and life, architect Doug Pierson. As partners, they offer an array of design services and master planning skills including and beyond architecture.
A native of South Korea, Youn studied Environmental Design & Architecture at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where she was a teaching assistant for model building, space planning, and interior design. She also worked as art director and set designer for various independent films through the UCLA Film Department. She received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in 1993 and expanded her expertise to include experiential graphics.
As an environmental/experiential designer, Youn orchestrates content, typography, color, imagery, form, and technology to produce environments that communicate -- that enrich and expand the quality of life for the end-users. To do this, she creates wayfinding systems, architectural graphics, signage and sign programs, exhibit design, retail design, themed and branded spaces. Youn’s process includes careful consideration for budget, schedule, and quality control.
When she began her career, Youn worked with Disney Imagineering, the creative force behind Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. As creative concept and lead designer, she worked on retail, restaurant, and theater projects, including Tokyo Disney Sci-Fi City, Tokyo Disney Sea, and Disney’s California Adventure.
Before pod a+d, Youn designed projects through her own studio and as design director for Selbert Perkins Design in L.A., an international graphics design firm. She was instrumental in creating signage and wayfinding programs for such notable landmarks as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, LAX Airport, and the Wilshire Grand Center. She also worked with Sussman-Preiza and Co. as creative concept and project designer for such high-profile projects as the MCA Orlando City Walk and Rockefeller Center.
At pod a+d, Youn collaborates with municipalities, public agencies, owners, developers, landscape architects, and the general public to create innovative and inspirational branded environments. A few of her recent pod a+d projects include:
· Exterior and Interior Environmental Design and Wayfinding/Graphics System for the Rabbit Hole Distillery Project, Louisville KY.
· Exterior and Interior Wayfinding System for 18th Street Arts Complex, Santa Monica CA.
· Disney Hotel Interior Renovation Concept for Adventure Hotel, Tokyo Disney.
· Furniture/sculpture made from 10,000 books and wire mesh, all woven together by the printed word. Entitled “Bookmark,” her installation has been on display in the Inglewood Public Library master plan and environmental graphics communications for St. Frances School Athletic Facility, a barn-red building in Louisville that sits at the center of a 46-acre campus of green fields and forests. In collaboration with Doug, she built physical models as design tools to communicate with their client.
· Master plan and environmental graphics communications for the Bourbon Hotel in Louisville Kentucky. Services included formal studies of a physical model and engagement of various thematic materials.
Youn is also a maker. She works with found objects to transform them into woven three-dimensional tapestries.
When she’s not working, Youn love to travel with Doug and their two children to the remote edges of the globe to explore, discover and learn.