Design, Bitches
Firm wins 2017 AIA|LA Emerging Practice Award
Co-founders take on the notorious Presidential Honoree Questionnaire



Johnson and Rudolph relax at Button Mash, their 2016 AIA|LA RDA winner. Photo: Laure Joliet



Let’s get this out of the way, right off. The name? That’s from an AIA|LA competition that Catherine Johnson, AIA, and Rebecca Rudolph, AIA, entered before they were even really a formalized firm.

The competition was judged on an answer to a single line: “Architecture is ___.” ‘design, bitches’, Johnson and Rudolph’s response—direct, true, distinctive, clear, and with an innovative point of view—became their firm’s appellation. But the adjectives describing their answer could also be a description of the architecture they’ve wielded since 2010.

Their placemaking, beginning with an extensive run of restaurant, eateries, and similar places which they’ve infused with communality and celebration, have won AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards. Throughout them runs a distinctive, direct, and exuberant architectural language, which has been noted from points beyond. The duo recently jetted to New Zealand to speak at the Festival of Architecture organized by the New Zealand Institute of Architects' Auckland Branch.

As the firm seque’s deeper into ground-up work while continuing to change LA’s foodie landscape, we ran a few questions about their own relationship with the city on the occasion of the firm’s bestowal of their 2017 AIA|LA Presidential Honoree Emerging Practice Award.

[Celebrate with Design, Bitches at the 2017 AIA|LA Design Awards on October 30, 2017? Click Here]
[2017 Gold Medal recipient Larry Scarpa, FAIA, tells a pretty hilarious about a previous Design Awards Night, Right Here
[Doug Noble, FAIA, Ph.D. lets us in on who/what considers the most influential architects, In This Story]

AIA|LA: Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles?
Design, Bitches: A picnic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Dream Commission. What current site in Los Angeles would you re-conceive? Why and how? 
Griffith Park. Adding amenities and improving infrastructure—small insertions throughout the park, places to sit & pause, climbing sculptures, re-paving & maintaining trails, restoring natural habitat, building on the great facilities already there like the Zoo & The Autry Museum.

We have a photo booth at this year’s Design Awards. If you could pick one Angeleno to have your snap taken with, who would it be, and why. 
Catherine Opie—for her portrayal of American culture, technical brilliance and influence as an artist, Ryan Heffington for his inspirational choreography. 

Most influential piece of Los Angeles architecture to you. Include a why, if you’d like.
Lifeguard towers for their lightness and connection between humans and our environment, DWP substations of the 1920’s—the scale & proportion are unique.  John Lautner’s houses for their experimental spirit.

Okay, a commission or project that you’ve done. What should we know about it, that we don’t. 
Ground up house in Venice coming starting construction in 2018.

If you had three hours off—or a full vaca—where would you likely be? 
3 hours?  The beach, or on a hike—somewhere outside.  Full vacay?  Next planned- Madagascar.

Been to the Design Awards before? Name a moment that stands out, whether behind-the-scenes, hilarious, or inspiring. 
Yes, seeing everyone in one place & new & exciting work is always inspiring.
Last updated: 11-Oct-2017 06:47 PM
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