Tag Archives: Gensler

Give Your Interior Design a Boost – Hire a Lighting Designer.


Gensler Newport Beach teamed up with Moritz Hammer, Principal at KGM Architectural Lighting to complement their interior design on the T2 Development project with a great lighting solution.

Light Build Design sat down with Moritz Hammer to talk about the process.

1. When it came to this particular project, what was the biggest challenge?

The design is an interesting blend of open office and hospitality. Besides the usual private and open offices, the programming included lounge areas, a food service area and executive suites. Our challenge was to create a lighting design that unified these different spaces while accentuating the various functions.

2. How was this challenge overcome/resolved?

Linear light patterns were used to visually connect spaces through wood slat ceiling as well as ACT tile. A light cove along the circular hallway guides foot traffic around the perimeter while maintaining a clean ceiling design. Accent lights and wall washers are used to highlight furniture and vertical surfaces to create contrast and layers of light.


3. What advice would you give to your younger self, when you first started in the business?

The design and building industry offer many interesting job opportunities. If you find yourself doing something that does not satisfy or challenge you enough, look for other opportunities that might suit you better.

4. What are the top 5 things you look for when selecting a lighting application for projects?

Understanding the design is of utmost importance. The lighting should complement and enhance the design ideas. Once we have concepts in mind about what we would like to see, we select the appropriate tools (light fixtures) based on our needs. Those needs include many variables such as, do we want to see the light source such as a glowing lens or would we rather want to shield the light source as much as possible. What light levels do we want to achieve? How much flexibility do we need? What are our budgetary restrictions?


5. How did Light Build Design assist with this project?

Light Build Design was an integral part in the success of the project. Many design features required careful and constant coordination with the manufacturers regarding shop drawings, connection details and most importantly and ever challenging construction schedule.

6. Pros/Cons of your industry?

Lighting Designers get to work with many different architects and designers with amazing talents on a variety of project types. This exposure to design talent and the variety of projects is incredibly rewarding.

On the flip side the amount of projects and deadlines that a Lighting Designer has to juggle every week can be overwhelming.

7. Favorite thing about your job/profession?

Coming up with an innovative idea and seeing it being realized. Lighting Design is so special since you can only imagine the end result. If you design something that has not been done before, you rely on your experience to predict the outcome as closely as possible. Seeing the successful execution and how the light brings out the best in the architecture and interior design is my absolute favorite moment.

To read more about the project, click here.

LACC Red Bull North America Design Tour


The LACC proudly presented a design tour of the Red Bull North America Headquarters in Santa Monica on August 18th, hosted by Galia Mizrahi, Dir. of RE and Facility Services to a 90 person sell-out crowd. Patina supplied the scrumptious, artfully arranged appetizers while we mingled in the spacious Red Bull employee indoor cafe and outdoor patio, sipping beverages including cocktails made from various Red Bull flavors mixed with Vodka! Guests were welcomed by Bruce Morman, LA City Center Director, then Galia gave an informative presentation including a time-lapse video shot from demolition to project completion. Their 1630 Stewart building won the LABJ Gold Award for best TI Project 2015/2016 and the LA Business Council 2016 Architectural Award for Best Interiors.


We divided into 3 groups to tour the 1630 Stewart space and then continued to visit their newest campus addition at 2700 Pennsylvania. The tours were led by Galia Mizrahi, Amanda Kaleps, Nicolle Rossetti, Luis Garcia, Sonny Scott, Kersten Barr and Scott Johnson; group leaders were assisted by Kathie Palomino, Charlotte Cantillon and Marcy Paterik. Thank you to Alvin Oei, Sheila Shenasi and Hana Dorani for support before and during the event.

It was fun to see the iconic Red Bull sports and event culture. They thoughtfully placed GP Motorcycles, helmets, and larger than life murals and graffiti art installations throughout their facilities. Red Bull culture found its way into the kitchens and pantries with delightful installations of wall tile made of recycled skateboards! We were invited to shop in the company store open only to employees at the end of the evening.


Kudos to the architecture (1630 Stewart) and design teams at Wolcott; to the team at Gensler, architect for the 2700 Penn building; and the project teams at Systems Source and Howard Building Co. Our thanks also to Galia Mizrahi and her team at Red Bull North America for hosting, and providing valet parking and custodial staff for the evening.

The event was so successful that we welcomed 15 more people that our original limit of 75. It was also a resounding financial success for the LA City Center!

Everyone enjoyed seeing the iconic, popular symbols of Red Bull North America including their car, but what intrigued me most was the Red Bull space suit!

The furnishings throughout both buildings was both beautiful and functional, creating workspaces that invite collaboration as well as individual effort. It isn’t often that we collectively get the opportunity to tour the facilities of world-class, world famous companies. This tour was an event to remember!

See more photos of the event here! Special thanks to our event sponsors: ARC Engineering, HBC, Interface, Knoll and Systems Source.

Susan Zale, Assoc. IIDA
United Interiors

IIDA 2015 San Diego Architectural Tour Recap


Thank you to all of those who participated in the first annual IIDA San Diego Architectural Tour! We appreciate the efforts of the Design firms, our sponsors and the committee in putting this together.

We had a great turn out! 75 people attended the event. If you missed out, we put together a short video of the day and each of the locations toured. Watch it here.

Tanya Villalpando

Interview with Carlos Posada, IIDA LEED AP


Gensler LA is a talent-rich firm, and Principal Carlos Posada is a bright star in their firmament. Born in Colombia, Carlos immigrated to the US to study architecture, particularly urban design and landscape architecture in Washington D.C. in the 1980’s. He worked for the District of Columbia on beautification projects from 1989-1992, but switched his practice to corporate commercial interior architecture with boutique design firm Lehman Smith McLeish in DC., where he specialized in projects for high-end professional clients. It didn’t take too long to be noticed by Gensler principals in D.C.; Carlos was recruited in 2001. The following year, he traveled to LA to work on a major project that led to his transfer to their DTLA office, with a mission to grow that segment of the market. Carlos is their regional leader for professional service firms, and is always on the lookout for people who are curious, do their research and strive to improve.

He is also the IIDA SoCal VP Professional Development, a position he has enjoyed since July 2013. Carlos is absolutely passionate about several things: his work; local artists and their work; and discovering the people who contribute in our industry with fresh ideas, who bring value to their organizations, who are invested in a better outcome for clients, and who elevate their practice for the betterment of everyone. Carlos further developed the IIDA SoCal Chapter Speakers Series during his tenure on the Board to bring such gifted professionals, “the stars in our community” and their ideas to all of us.

Carlos also strongly supports the IIDA’s legislative platform which would empower NCIDQ licensed, design certified interior architects and interior designers who have been in practice for a minimum of 3 years to legally stamp and approve their own drawings without the need for an architect. Although he isn’t sure yet what direction his involvement with the IIDA will take when his term on the Chapter Board expires this June, it’s a sure bet that Carlos will continue to be a design industry champion.

Susan Steinlauf, Industry IIDA
United Interiors

Meet Bethany Carlson—San Diego’s IIDA City Center Co-director!

She fell into the Interior Design world while in high school. Bethany knew she wanted to do something creative, but being a starving artist was not going to be it. She explored several different options and through an internship at a residential firm she developed a passion for the way in which people are affected by and interact with spaces. After achieving a bachelor degree from Ohio University (Go Bobcats! she says), she joined Mosaic Design Studio, a commercial interiors firm in Columbus. While at Mosaic, she acquired a large knowledge base of design, project management, client management, and onsite coordination. This is how she first learned that the best designs come from whole team collaboration. Bethany found that for her, design is more analytical than artistic and see design much more as providing value and problem solving beyond the aesthetics. In January 2013, she had the opportunity to drop everything and move to San Diego. “Packing up my life, my pup, and driving across the country was one of the easiest things I’ve done. That’s how I know it was right!” says Bethany. After 9 months of working from home, she joined LPA, Inc in order to collaborate directly with architects and further her knowledge of different markets. “I am so blessed to be a part of LPA. We are much more like a tight knit family than simply co-workers. The amount of passion and creativity I am surrounded by feeds my passion for this field every day.” She become the IIDA San Diego City Center Co-director in July 2014. She feels impressed and grateful for the SD design community’s openness and friendliness. Her goal in being a part of IIDA is to really connect the interior designers to each other to share our knowledge and be united advocates for our field and education. She looks forward to building deeper roots in this community!


1. What is your favorite activity?
Exploring San Diego – There is so much to do & so much to see in this city. I love trying new activities, seeing new places, and am always looking for partners in crime. Being able to be outside year around is a great bonus! I’ve been working on perfecting my surfing tricks aka somersaults.

2. What 5 things inspire you the most right now?
My co-workers—they are incredibly intelligent, open, passionate people.
The San Diego design community. I love to learn things directly from other people & thrive off of others’ passion.
The unique design occurring in San Diego with all of the new restaurants and shops. It’s great to see design being such an important element in creating a full picture brand.
Office Lovin’ website—Great resource for commercial office interiors imagery and projects from around the world. http://www.officelovin.com/
Last but definitely not least, my clients. They are constantly pushing us to think of new solutions for their spaces.

3. What is your favorite destination outside of California?
Chicago. It’s a great, clean, active Midwest city.

4. Beer or wine?
Beer! I’ve become a beer snob thanks to San Diego. But I’m completely okay with it.

5. If you had to live in a zoo or library, which one would you pick? Why?
The Zoo! How fun would that be! I was a bookworm when I was younger, but right now I’m enjoying learning through experience more.

Tanya Villalpando

SD City Center – Desk Talk with Michelle Tello

Gensler, San Diego
1. What is your favorite iconic chair?
Ohh that’s a tough one . . . I have to go with a two way tie between the Saarinen Womb Chair and the Platner Lounge Chair. They are both comfortable, classic and a conversation pieces.

2. What is your favorite California destination?
Hmm . . . aside from Sunny San Diego . . . . I’d have to say San Francisco. There is always something exciting happening. I love going to the Ferry building Farmers Market, taking a ferry across to Sausalito and walking through the cute little shops. I also love that the city is always so alive and there are so many interesting neighborhoods to explore.

3. What is your favorite color?
Coral. To me it’s the perfect blend of all of the colors of a sunset.

4. What is your go to outfit?
All black everything.

5. Where would we find you on the weekend?
Not going to lie, probably doing some shopping. Even if it’s window shopping it’s my favorite thing to do.

6. Gold or silver?
Silver. But can I say Champagne instead though?

7. Beer or wine?
All of the above.

8. Beach or mountain?

Tell me a little about yourself (education, goals, time at Gensler, interest, etc.)

I studied at Design Institute of SD, graduated in 2013 and have been at Gensler ever since. I’m very grateful to work with such talented positive individuals, it motivates me to constantly give my best. The culture of Gensler is probably my favorite part of working here, it’s a creative and collaborative environment, and I love that every day is a different experience.

I think a career goal I have is to find my design “niche” or specialty. I’d like to dip my toes in the different project types; hospitality, technology companies, law firms etc. and find what my “thing” is. The idea of getting a glimpse into all of the various realms of design is exciting.

An ambitious personal goal is to explore/ visit a different country every year. I love getting a taste of different cultures and seeing how everyone(every country) has created and designed their own architecture, wardrobe, cuisine, and language is so extraordinary to me and truly invaluable.

OK now tell me 5 things you can’t live without! Lol
1. Tea
2. Shoes
3. Traveling
4. Family(do they count as a thing?)
5. And sadly . . . my iPhone

Tanya Villalpando

10 Questions with Carlos Posada

Carlos Posada, IIDA, LEED AP, Gensler

What is your favorite iconic chair?
Wassily Chair by Breuer

What is your favorite California destination?
San Francisco

What is your favorite color?
Blue, it has always been blue :)

What is your go-to outfit?
dark jeans and a dress shirt with some cool boots!

Where would we find you on the weekend?
trying out a new fun restaurant

Gold or Silver:
Stainless Steel?

Beer or Wine:
Wine. Love my Central Coast pinot noir!

Beach or Mountains:
Mountains. And if they are next to a beach even better.

Online or Print Magazines:

Open or Private Offices:

Born in Colombia, studied architecture in Wash DC where I lived for 19 yrs. Have been practicing Interiors for 21 yrs now and I love it. I am very passionate about what we do and believe that we have the chance to improve peoples lives daily.

LA Haunt 2013 Recap

First Place - Gensler


The competition at LA Exchange on October 30th was fierce as twelve design teams competed for judge’s scores for IIDA’s Haunt Couture 2013:  “GRAND PRIZE – Come on Down!”  10 design teams and 2 student teams put their design skills and their top models on stage to the delight and thunderous applause from the audience of designers, students, vendors and contractors from the interior design community.

This year the Haunt Committee wanted to do something different from anything that was done before.  As the inspiration for the fashion creations, the teams were given iconic 20th Century product designs that were truly “game changers.”  These iconic products such as TV sets, sports cars and Swiss Army Knife that were showcased as the “Grand Prizes” on some of 20th Century’s most famous game shows. Co-Chairs Michelle Marotta and Sean Kim were the telegenic “Game Show Hosts” providing the narrative throughout the show.

Second Place - ZGF

As the Polaroid camera as their inspiration, Gensler was sponsored by Kimball Office and Bernhardt Textiles. The model came out all in black representing an old fashion camera with paparazzi on her heels. Shedding the black box and revealing a Technicolor Polaroid dress underneath, the model shimmied right into First Place with Gensler Principal, Rob Jernigan.

Third Place - SAA

The Second Place was claimed by ZGF showing that “(Girls) Run the World” sponsored by Arcadia Contract and Unika Vaev. The model shrouded in black was escorted down the runway flanked by female Swiss Army Guards. The model dropped the shroud to reveal a red leather train, black shorts and thigh high boots showing that women can be strong and powerful.

A very close Third Place won by SAA’s runway performance was inspired by an Airstream trailer, sponsored by Knoll Office and Knoll Textiles. The model enchanted the audience in a silver robe with silver stud detail and a large chiffon collar framing a doll face in a mysterious Chinese Opera make up that transformed into a strong masculine stoic bearded Chinese armored warrior.

The Honorable Mention was won by HOK for their great team dynamic, always meeting their deadlines, and dedication that went above and beyond and deserved a special recognition.

The panel of celebrity judges included Luis Camacho, Madonna’s choreographer and original dancer of “Vogue”; Eric Patrick, comedian and star of “Real World New Orleans”; Alex Purcell, LA based interdisciplinary designer; Lindsey Nolan, celebrity stylist; Onelia Estudillo, CEO of LA Conspiracy; Mark Saffell, Venice based furniture designer of 5D Studio; and Susanne Mackintosh, MTV producer and jewelry designer for “The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”

A special thank you goes to the event cater Food Fair by Diego, Craft Brew Alliance (Widmer, Kona, o mission and Redhook) Pulp Studio for providing custom designed trophies, and to all of our volunteers. Haunt Couture could not have been possible without the generous support of all of our Chapter Sponsors, event sponsors, and team and fabric sponsors!