What inspired you to start Telemachus Studio?
Carl: Well, we have always been interested in building. For me, I have been building and working with materials since a young age. Eventually the things I was making got bigger and more intensive. Once you realize how difficult it is to make things, you start to really care about the design. That is, you want to make sure you expend all that effort building the right things. So, we were in design school at Cal Poly Pomona learning about design and experimenting with various digital fabrication techniques. One of these led to a large real-world project so, all of a sudden we needed to form a company to handle it. This was the start of Telemachus Studio.
Melynda: Like Carl, I was building from a very young age, but probably different types of projects. But even with different types of projects came that same understanding of how difficult it was to build and how intense it could become to do it right. Carl and I met at Cal Poly Pomona on the first day of (architecture) school. When he says “we” in college, he’s referring to both of us since we began working together pretty much from day one in college.
What do you want to see reflected in your work?
With all of our projects we do our best to develop an overall design idea, then we use this idea to help make individual decisions. We like to think that a remnant of the idea remains within the project. It’s what you see or understand as ‘order’ when you walk through a space. Architecture is a very abstract medium, it doesn’t communicate anything directly like painting or sculpture or poetry.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Helping people, mostly.
Yes, just kidding. I think we get the most satisfaction from the realization of our projects… it’s that change from idea into built object. Plus, we get a lot of satisfaction out of making new spaces for people to live and work in. Environments can be very transformative… it’s a big deal for someone to interact with your work every day.
Who or what inspires you?
Carl: I think we’re most inspired by the energy of the city. It’s interesting how there is so much happening, all at once with multiple pockets of activity and no central guidance. Los Angeles is a young city… we are just now getting to a place where density is high enough to force serious evaluation of our infrastructure and public transportation. I think we have big changes coming over the next 10 years.
Melynda: In addition to the City and outside of the built world, dance inspires me. Choreography, music, dancers, lights, stage… it can be such an emotional experience. If I had to choose a favorite choreographer, it would definitely be the husband and wife team referred to as NappyTabs.
What is your favorite place or thing to do in Los Angeles?
Well in terms of things to do, we really like the Natural History Museum, Huntington Gardens, Griffith park and the Observatory… we like biking on the LA river and hanging out downtown, especially Grand Park (it’s probably our son’s fav hang out).
If you could pick a place to teleport to right now, where would you go?
Carl: I’d really prefer to have that teleporter for daily use. We spend way too much time getting from one place to another.
Melynda: I agree. With traffic in this City as bad as it is and with having projects from Santa Monica & Venice to East LA, we could definitely use a daily teleportation device!
What’s your motto for life and why?
I don’t think we really have a motto. We try to do the best we can with whatever the given conditions are. We try to keep in mind that the work we do will be around for 100+ years, so we try to put out our best effort without cutting corners. We like to think that every project adds something to the collective energy of Los Angeles…we take that seriously.
Thank you, Carl & Melynda!