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AIA, LEED AP, BD+C
Architect DOUGLAS V PIERSON, AIA, founded pod architecture + design in 2016 with his partner in work and life, Youn Choi. He leads the firm’s architectural studio now located in Carrboro, NC.
Doug grew up in and around Washington, DC, first attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., then the Lettres program at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpelier, France, before earning his Masters in Architecture degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Architecture: Doug spent the early years of his career working at several architecture firms in Europe and Australia before landing in the prestigious offices of Hodgetts and Fung Design Associates in Culver City, CA. His next move was to renowned architect Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles office Gehry Partners LLP. For both firms, he helped develop modern, progressive academic, commercial, civic, cultural, and residential projects.
Before launching pod a+d, Doug was a partner in the Inglewood, CA., firm form, environment, research (fer) studio L.L.P. in Inglewood, CA., for 10 years, contributing to fer’s award-winning reputation as an major innovator in contemporary design. He has led design teams for many award-winning, nationally recognized architectural projects including Connie and Ted's restaurant in West Hollywood, CA, and The Green Building, the first LEED Platinum building in downtown Louisville, KY.
As a partner at (fer) studio, Doug also worked with Gehry Partner’s on various residential projects including: An Artist’s house in Venice Beach, CA , A conductor’s house in Santa Monica, CA, and an Art Collector’s house in Marina Del Rey, CA.
Art: Early in his career, Doug served as designer and curator for numerous art exhibits while he was working overseas. He has also designed and developed several international traveling art and design exhibits, including The Work of Charles and Ray Eames, Pablo Picasso, and Howard Hodgkins Paintings.
By participating in both architecture and art and experiencing first-hand the varied urban landscapes of home and abroad, Doug has been able to pursue a level of innovative, multi-faceted design that acknowledges international influences and fuses architecture, art, and culture.
pod a+d: Within his firm’s interdisciplinary practice, Doug focuses on one-of-a-kind, cost-effective, client-driven architectural designs with a richness and depth that informs every project. As an architect practicing in the 21st century, he is also keenly adept at creating sustainable architecture within every contemporary architecture project.
When he’s not working, Doug and Youn travel with their two children to remote corners of the globe to explore, discover, and learn.
Designer YOUN CHOI co-founded pod architecture + design in 2016 with her partner in work and life, architect Doug Pierson. She leads Experiential Graphics, Wayfinding, and Interiors for the office.
A native of South Korea, Youn studied Environmental Design and Architecture at the University of California at Los Angeles 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.
What is experiential design? As an environmental/experiential designer, Youn orchestrates content, typography, color, imagery, form, and technology content 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, and themed or branded spaces. Youn’s process includes careful consideration for budget, schedule, and quality control.
When she started her career, Youn worked with Disney Imagineering, the creative force behind Walt Disney Parks and 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.
Youn designed projects through her own studio and as a creative lead for Selbert Perkins Design in L.A., an international graphics design firm that has created signage and wayfinding programs for some of the world's most notable landmarks, including 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 notable projects as the MCA Orlando City Walk and Rockefeller Center.
pod a+d: In her own firm now, Youn provides environmental graphic design services. She collaborates with pod a+d clients -- 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:
• Exterior and Interior Environmental Design and Wayfinding/Graphic 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. The sculpture, entitled “Bookmark,” has been on display in the Inglewood Public Library
• Master plan, environmental graphics communications for St. Frances School Athletic Facility in Louisville - a barn-red building that sits at the center of a 46-acre campus of green fields and forests. Her pod a+d studio also built physical models as design tools for the project to communicate with the client.
• Master plan, environmental graphics communications for the BOURBON HOTEL in Louisville Kentucky. Services included formal studies of a physical model and engagement of various thematic materials.
To see examples of Youn’s work in experiential graphics and interior design, CLICK HERE.
On those rare occasions when Youn leaves the studio, she travels with Doug and their two kids to the remote edges of the globe to explore, discover and learn. Youn also is a maker. She works with found objects and transforms them into woven three-dimensional tapestries.
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