rhiza A+D is an architecture studio and design workshop located in Portland, Oregon. Founding partners Ean Eldred, Richard Garfield, John Kashiwabara, and Peter Nylen share two decades designing architecture and urban plans along with designing and building public art, furniture-lighting, and temporary visual & performance installations. Whether designing or building, our practice is rooted in a respect for craft and a dedication to creating innovative cultural, site and climate sensitive objects and spaces.
In the mid-90’s Ean, John, Peter and Richard began working together, forming part of RIGGA art & architecture. As RIGGA we designed and built furniture, sculpture, architecture and performances in a warehouse turned studio- workshop on the edge of Portland’s Old Town. Through collaborating we realized ideas could be rapidly expanded and assumptions rigorously vetted, as well as expediting our fabrication and building process. From this beginning we were able to foster a working process in both designing and building that has sustained us to today. We continue to believe in the physicality of making as integral to idea generation and the design process; where decisions made, become decisions felt.
“No ideas but in things.”- William Carlos Williams.
In this spirit, rhiza A+D took root in 2005 at our current studio and workshop located in the Lower Albina manufacturing district. In our studio-office we can be found preparing architecture construction and permit drawings alongside digital 3d and physical sculpture models or mockups. Working in a studio environment allows us merge the latest digital modeling systems with hand drawings, models and our oversized brainstorming chalkboard wall.
The name rhiza stems from the word rhizome- meaning: shared roots- a metaphor for our collaboration. With our roots in collaboration, we are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. Whether designing an individual client’s house or working with multiple stakeholders on a public art project, we value the unique perspectives offered by one another, our clients and communities. Experience has taught us that successful creative outcomes rely on collaborative problem solving, clear communication, shared goals and an ability to work with budgets and timetables. We love the world of making and sharing this world with others. We believe it’s a good idea to listen, since a good idea can come from anywhere.
While providing architecture and artwork design services we listen to and work closely with our clients through all phases of the project as needed; initial planning & programming, schematic design, design development, structural engineering coordination, energy analysis with mechanical, electrical and plumbing coordination, construction documentation, acquiring permits, bid & schedule estimating & negotiating and construction administration.
When making public art, sculptures or installations our process starts with hand drawings and developments through parallel digital and physical modeling. Our workshop is an idea laboratory where wood, metal, plastics, foam, clay and re-purposed materials are shaped into beginning sketches and gestures of an idea. From here we move our concepts from paper, digital and sketch models into fabrication of full scale artworks.
Our workshop supports our ability to create and fabricate in a range of scales. From architectural mockups & full-scale components to the production of large scale sculptures. The workshop is certified in steel and aluminum welding as well as equipped to cut, form, bend and assemble a wide array of materials as projects require.
Throughout all of our projects we provide a rigorous design process from idea generation and development to material experimentation and production. Our roots and sustained relationship to the world of building helps us deliver innovative, efficient, and sustainable artworks and architecture.