Andrew Holder, assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his practice The Los Angeles Design Group (The LADG) are the focus of a series of recent media, including an edition of Archinect’s Small Studio Snapshot, a feature on “Emerging Architects in USA” in the latest issue of Japan Architecture + Urbanism magazine, and a project profile in Architect’s Newspaper.
Founded in 2004 while Holder and his co-founder and co-principal, Claus Benjamin Freyinger, were graduate students, the LADG is known for its experimental approach to real-world projects. The firm recently received the 2017 Progressive Architecture Award Honorable Mention for its innovative design of a Ranch house addition in Los Angeles.
This fall, an art installation created by The LADG that explored concepts of the picturesque in contemporary architecture was on display at the GSD. Photos of the exhibition, The Kid Gets Out of the Picture at the GSD, are included in the Archinect piece. (Read more about the installation and its California counterpart.)
In their interview with Archinect, Holder and Freyinger discuss a range of topics related to starting and running their own small firm. From the standard difficulties that come with managing a business—“kvetch-hurdles” the pair terms them—to more conceptual challenges, such as how to impart design procedure to their team?
“How do we teach employees methods of experimentation? And then how do we teach discrimination and judgement as a common basis for distinguishing between good and bad form?” ask Holder and Freyinger.
While the pair does not have immediate plans to increase the size of their eight-person office, scaling up is ultimately the goal. “We love the challenge of being responsible for everything. So far we've only been small. We're curious to see what happens to small when it grows a little,” Holder and Freyinger tell Archinect.
Additionally, Holder and LADG are included in Japan Architecture + Urbanism magazine’s May 2017 issue, focused on emerging architects in the United States. The feature includes an interview with Holder and Freyinger, as well as a look at The Kid Gets Out of the Picture installation and other recent LADG projects.
Finally, Architect’s Newspaper’s May 1 issue looks at LADG’s recently completed work on the Armstrong Residence, a 1,894-square-foot renovation of an existing, split-level single-family house the Silverlake neighborhood in Los Angeles. Designed as an “upside down house,” with the living room located on the top floor while bedrooms and bathrooms are found below, the home’s stepped form takes inspiration from The Met Breuer in New York. (A gallery of photos of LADG's work on the Armstrong Residence appears below.)
At the GSD, Holder currently teaches fourth semester architecture core, as well as a seminar on the Bavarian Rococo. His academic interests include new ways of engaging historical precedent in design, and architecture as an inanimate subject. An essay by Holder, “Notes on More,” was featured in the most recent issue of the Harvard Design Magazine, Shelf Life (No. 43).