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Unlocked: Form Design Studio

We recently chatted with circaphiles ambassadors FORM DESIGN STUDIO

The brainchild of Joshua Rose and Rafael Kalichstein, FORM Design Studio is a Los Angeles firm based on sustainability and beauty. With an eye on harmony, the duo functions on the school of thought that the basis of any good design begins by believing that spaces speak and learning how to listen. AND we were lucky enough to get the keys to their studio doors to learn how they began their studio and the unexpected things they have learned along the way.

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

Design is as much about information management as it is about creativity.  Having a robust accounting and project management system is critical to a firm’s success.  Having real-time access to up-to-date budgets and specifications will give you the freedom to be as creative as you can be and the power to execute your vision.

2. Was there something unexpected that you learned from your team along the
way?

Our associate designer has been our right-hand for nearly seven years.  She came to us with an incredible education from a wonderful design school in Nantes France.  Quickly, she introduced us to a creative game, which we still use at the outset of each project.  After a high-level intake with our clients, we play her game, conceptualizing within structured parameters, sketching, and brainstorming ideas that are then culled together in a group session.  Many key design details of our projects originate from this process.

 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it be?

Seek out successful firms doing work that moves you and excites you.  Learn as many of the creative and technical skills as you can—master them.  Then, do everything in your power to make yourself indispensable to one of those firms.

4. When a client asks for a resource, how do you answer them?

We happily share resources.  Our contracts are clear.  We have strong relationships with our vendors, workrooms, and partners, and our clients do not shop us.

 

 

5. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

The vast majority of our clients are referrals from clients and their networks.  The bulk of our roster, at any given time, is filled with repeat clients.  Having said that, we have successfully made contact with potential new clients by sending congratulatory bottles of champagne for new property acquisitions in areas where we have worked.