These architects came to Lifework via a salad. It was the fresh tuna in the Niçoise at Earl’s Gourmet Grub, a Los Angeles cafe, that first lured me in and then it was the incredible interior. The architects had not only mixed marble and plywood, they’d eschewed the standard white box interior for an undulating ceiling of plywood blades and a wall covered in what looked like a street grid carved magically into ply. It’s an impressive space. I tracked down the men responsible – David Freeland and Brennan Buck of FreelandBuck – and found out that their work setup was just as interesting as their designs.
David, you are based in Los Angeles and your business partner, Brennan Buck lives in New York. How does this bi-coastal set up work? Surprisingly it works very similar to a typical office. Brennan and I collaborate closely most projects and decisions in the office. With so many communication technologies available we’ve been able to maintain a very fluid collaboration. Video conferencing, the ability to share screens and watch each other sketch and draw has been especially useful. Locations on the east and west coast also put us in touch with many more people, merging different perspectives, environments, and atmospheres in our work.
There is a beautiful rich sense of patterning apparent in your architectural designs. I would go as far as to say that a hallmark of your work is this rich detailing that relies on digital technology. I wonder if this obvious comfort with technology enables you to work more fluidly between the two cities? An office grounded in paper sketches and balsa wood models perhaps wouldn’t flourish as well? Yes, I think this is very much the case. As the design process has migrated from analog to digital it has changed the way collaborations take place. It is no longer possible to collectively author a project just by sketching and drawing on the same piece of paper. For us that paper is the digital model that we alternately pass back and forth to develop options, editing and critiquing together.