Jennifer Bass and Lance Glover are founders of Treehouse Design Partnership, a Los Angeles-based firm specializing in environmental graphics, identity, book and furniture design. Jennifer’s book on her father, Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, co-authored by Pat Kirkham, is due out in November 2011. Lance also teaches at the Art Center College of Design and is a member of the improvisational music/video collective Health and Beauty. Below, the couple describes how the studio integrates their design practice with their many other interests, including art-making, instrument-building, writing and music.
We moved our office to this space about 12 years ago, a modest 1,000 square foot corner of a 1950’s bow-string truss warehouse on what was then a sleepy industrial block of Culver City– since then the neighborhood has changed dramatically, with new art galleries, restaurants and bars cropping up almost daily.
Our intent for the space, in addition to being a home for our graphic design studio, was to balance our various activities and interests. To that end there is a soundproofed shop for building things (with a combination of new and inherited tools from Lance’s grandfather), space for making music and storing music gear (the main floor often becomes one big rehearsal room, and our daughter Amanda’s drum kit sits in a loft space above the shop), places to stash Lance and Amanda’s silkscreens and Jennifer’s many objects from nature that she uses both in and for inspiration in her art (tumbleweeds, branches, seed pods, rocks etc.), an area for flat files, samples library, bookshelves, a small kitchen, and a few under-the desk snoozing spots for our two dogs, Ben and Puma.
It is a space unstructured enough to allow for continuous experimentation– the only fixed elements, aside from walls demarcating the shop and Jennifer’s office are the kitchen and the bookshelves- everything else is on wheels or portable sawhorses.
We find that working in this environment brings an open-ended sense to our time there– on those days we’re not crunching a deadline, when the skylight darkens it’s a cue that it’s either time to go home or to step away from the desk (or workbench) and make a little noise…