Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, founded Lehrer Architects (LA) in his native district of Los Feliz in Los Angeles as a Sole Proprietorship, in 1985. 26 years later, the business, now a California corporation, is still thriving in the award-winning office space at 2140 Hyperion Avenue. The professional staff members at LA have extensive experience in designing, managing, master planning and working with community and cultural organizations on projects throughout Los Angeles and beyond. As such, the firm, its people, and their experiences are all very much rooted in the various neighborhoods and their communities.
Lehrer Architects' approach to design grows out of a deep love and respect for the community and unwavering focus on its improvement. Michael Lehrer has developed a unique relationship of an architect's communal role: a leader, using design to improve quality of space and quality of life.
Whether the projects are commercial, residential, or institutional, public or private, LA's practice focuses on the making of home and community – from individual to family to neighborhood to city creating places that sanctify the rituals of life.
PROCESS / THINKING
Taking our cues from you, a rich process, particularly focusing on what is known, and what must be discovered and invented, can be orchestrated. We are passionate about drawing desire and dreams out of our constituents. Engaging stakeholders—staff, students, administrators, funders, neighbors, etc—in the design process can be a transformative “community building” enterprise in and of itself.
The creative process at LA fuses mixed media design methods: hand-drawn renderings and physical models with the latest two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer software to shape space in novel ways. LA encourages the exploration of materials and techniques to solve design problems through the use of our Research and Development (RaD) Room.
The use of physical and digital modeling is essential to the LA design process. LA explores the understanding of spatial relationships through models of varying scale, ranging from macro to micro. These models often serve as excellent promotional assets for clients in fund-raising and project clarification with investors involved.
The LA team actively researches the latest products, materials and building technologies. Staff is required to distribute the knowledge learned with other designers through a shared server folder and at weekly staff meetings. This type of research and information sharing assists all the design teams in staying on top of the latest trends in technology.
The integration of all of these methods allows LA to easily and effectively understand unique client needs. Integration of project investors is critical to the LA design process. Early engagement in this process assures all needs are met.
We are passionate about design and passionate about making. It’s a continuum, from sketchbook to life drawing to the RaD Room. It’s all under the aegis of architecture and practice. Making is a primal pleasure. If you provide the techniques, everybody gets giddy making something. It’s being stimulated by the stuff you create, the pleasure of making it, and the ability to share. Everybody can get fortified in different ways. Our Artist in Residence program is a testament to this CULTURE OF CREATIVITY.
We have completed design work on the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech where the agenda is to create a sanctum for creative, revolutionary scientific dialogue and dreaming about the future of interplanetary travel. Its mission is to bring world class scientists from decidedly diverse, even clashing, disciplines together. They understand the creative process and its centrality to great science. We do too.
For LA, the arts and sciences are profoundly inseparable. We are expert and preoccupied with notions of how we learn and how we train ourselves in meta-cognition, that is, how to access the left and right side of our brains as needed to be great learners and doers.