Los Angeles Design practices

Jul 7 '13 8 Last Comment
Jul 7, 13 8:18 am


I was interested to hear everyone's favorite design studios in Los Angeles as I'm currently looking to relocate there. Especially interested in innovative practices doing installations, lighting, set design, and sculptures.


Thanks for your help!


Jul 7, 13 7:32 pm

Ball and Nogues

Jul 8, 13 11:34 am

Belzberg Architects

Jul 8, 13 11:34 am

Clive Wilkinson

Jul 11, 13 6:55 am

Thanks for your help everyone! I'm also interested in studios who do mostly work for the entertainment industry as this is huge in LA- films/TV, events, live gigs, etc. Who does all the lighting/installation work for these niches? Any good resources to check out? (blogs, websites, directories, etc)



Jul 16, 13 3:58 am

Most of the studios are in Burbank,Glendale, Hollywood, Universal City, Culver City. I studied architecture, and interned in the entertainment/architecture industry for both a large and small studio.  You probably won't be able to find the small studios doing the installations, live gigs because many of them sign non-disclosure agreements on their contracts. Even though aren't supposed to, the small studios, will try to sneak client names on their website to pull in similar clients . Anyways, this is my two cents about the industry, based on what I've experienced.

I think you'll have to decide if you want to crossover into entertainment or stick to architecture. The two are very different because entertainment is mostly art, illustration, theater, imagery, imagination, and most importantly, engaging/exciting guests. Architecture is more about making things safe, functional, feasible construction methods, coordinating different disciplines, meeting the building code, project management, some facilities design, and CAD documentation.

The entertainment company is monopolized by the large studios, because they usually snatch talented students from international campus recruiting events to do temporary contract work (cheap labor, high quality of work, project-based staffing).

I'm coming from an architectural background, and I'm sad because I found it difficult to competing with the pure artists that I met during the recruiting events. Based on their backgrounds, they are more creative, produce amazing imagery, and the work is done with little effort. (Hence the "drawing for an architect is a lost art")

The pure artists employed by the major entertainment companies typically sell the concept vision to the investors and executives for funding. Once a project has been approved and funded by investors....Most of the schematic/design development work is done in-house (lighting design, audio design, projection animation, prop design, cost estimate...etc). After the design phase is complete, the work is bid to small studios, /fabricators, architecture firms, contractors, etc... to make the project reality.

The small studios tend to struggle to compete, and there is a lot of competition to win bids. Nevertheless, there are a few successful studios who tend to have their small niche of repeat clients and new international clients, but the projects are still very small, and staffing the workload is unpredictable.

I think if you are one of the lucky ones they keep rehiring or keep a permanent gig producing powerful imagery in the entertainment industry, you've pretty much made it! I was in your shoes not too long ago. Contact me if you'd like more info, I'd love to help out.

Theres an organization called THEA. They give out oscar-like awards for themed entertainment each year. I hope that helps?

Jul 17, 13 10:48 am

@andyc089: thanks a lot for your input, it was extremely helpful. I have a few more questions, what would be the best way to reach you?

Jul 17, 13 10:49 am

my email is if you can send me a message (sorry it doesn't look like I can send you one through archinect)

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