Staff Picks

A curious staff is a never-ending source of inspiration. Here are some books recently read and recommended by O+A’s employees. Some are design-related, some are not. All express the variety of interests that grow from living a creative life.

Al's Pick

Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics

By Esther Choi

A great artist, designer, historian, etc. that I’ve had the pleasure to meet and talk with a few times. She runs an awesome design platform called Office Hours aimed at supporting and providing industry knowledge to BIPOC designers. A review of the book: “It started as a series of dinner parties that Esther Choi—artist, architectural historian, and self-taught cook—hosted for friends after she stumbled across an elaborate menu crafted for Walter Gropius in 1937. Combining a curiosity about art and design with a deeply felt love of cooking, Choi has assembled a playful collection of recipes that are sure to spark conversation over the dinner table. Featuring Choi’s own spectacular photography, these sixty recipes riff off famous artists or architects and the works they are known for. Try Quiche Haring with the Frida Kale-o Salad, or the Robert Rauschenburger followed… Read More

Kokeith's Pick

The Water Dancer

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Great Juneteenth selection. Coates is a phenomenal writer and I recommend all of his books. Most people who are learning more about African American history and culture have seen his book “Between the World and Me” on a list somewhere. Unlike that one, “The Water Dancer” is a work of fiction, following the life of an enslaved Virginia man on a journey to reunite with the family he lost and fight in the guerilla skirmishes between the slavers and enslaved, but there’s a great fantastical twist that offsets the rich and dark historical elements of the book. Read More

Al's Pick

Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud

By Martin Gayford

Ever wonder how a painting happens? How a blank canvas turns into a picture (or more magically a portrait?) In 2003 the art critic Martin Gaylord sat for Lucian Freud, widely regarded as one of the great figurative artists of the 20th century. Gaylord kept a diary of the months-long process, and it’s a fascinating account of their interactions. A diary of sitting down? It doesn’t sound very dynamic, but the tennis match of conversation, quirky asides and thoughts on art combined with the physical reality of making a painting adds up to a lively memoir. Read More

Paula's Pick

Add to Wishlist Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

By Yvon Chouinard

Of course, I was most intrigued to read it because of its title. Let My People Go Surfing was originally written to be a ‘philosophical manual for the employees of Patagonia.” I was pleasantly surprised to learn about how Patagonia confronts the culture of consumption; its challenges and victories through its curious, experimental and unusual approach to business; but most of all, its respect for people, our planet and the synergy within. Albeit a completely different industry, I found many parallels between Patagonia and O+A’s philosophies. Read More

Kaylen's Pick

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls

I recently finished The Glass Castle, which was spectacular and heartbreaking and cringeworthy. For anyone who had to grow up early, this book might bring back scary memories or make you cry and laugh out loud because you too had to take care of your siblings when you were just yourself a child. I couldn’t believe what young Jeannette and her siblings had to do to survive their childhoods. However crazy a scenario they encountered, they managed to mostly make it out unscathed and their story of resilience is one for books. Read More

Dani's Pick

The Nightingale: A Novel

By Kristin Hannah

It’s historical fiction, which I thought was only for dads until I read this book. It’s a story of two sisters navigating the women’s war during WWII in German-occupied France. They are both on very different journeys to heroism and figuring out how to be a powerful, positive force in a time when women have been stripped of any semblance of power. I’ve never cried while reading a book, but good Lord I wept during a few especially heartbreaking moments. It’s also going to be a movie starring the Fanning sisters, so that’s fun. Read More

Eric's Pick

Load The Wagon: The Kansas Jayhawks Road to the 2022 Championship

By The Athletic

A compilation of stories and profiles from the 2021-2022 season of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team and their remarkable run to the NCAA National Championship. Based on a saying of the coach’s father, who passed away during the season: “Don’t worry about the mules, just load the wagon” — meaning don’t worry about things out of your control and just focus on what is important to you to get the job done. Read More

Alex 's Pick

The Overstory

By Richard Powers

A truly eye-opening and profound novel, this story weaves together the history and lives of its characters with those of trees. An entangled storyline rooted in wisdom, reverence and urgency for change, this book approaches the human/nature relationship in a deeply tangible and empathetic way. You’ll never look at a tree the same way again after reading it. Read More

Laura 's Pick

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art

By Mary Gabriel

I am fascinated by abstract painting and contemporary art movements so, being a female artist as well, I instantly gravitated towards this book. This book wonderfully portrayed the work and lives of some of the most famous female artists of abstract expressionism who were, and still are today, under-celebrated because of their gender. Read More

Elizabeth's Pick

Architecture & Human Rights: A Book on Urban Thinking

By Tiziana Panizza Kassahun

I saw this book on the shelves in the Palais de Tokyo and was immediately drawn to the strong typography. Turns out, you can judge a book by its cover, and the ideas contained inside are every bit as compelling as the design itself. As O+A heads into a new year focused on the idea of designers as activists, we will be looking for more books like this to add to our shelves. Read More


Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration

By Ellen Mara De Wachter

I found this book at the Berkeley Art Museum – Pacific Film Archive when I went to see the show “The world just makes me laugh” by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. This book is in interview or conversation format by 25 art groups/collectives (with some of my favorites too: Claire Fontaine, DIS, Gelitin, and SUPERFLEX) and speaks to the power of working with others in a creative manner and beyond. Read More

VERDA's Pick

The Serpent of Venice

By Christopher Moore

I loved it, I read it a few months ago. A raunchy slapstick Shakespeare meets Game of Throne with some historical facts that takes crazy and fantastical twists and turns. Read More

Mindi's Pick


It is not a book but I have been really into catching up on my Kinfolk subscription. It is a quarterly publication that delves into home, work, style and culture. Kinfolk promotes quality of life and connects a global community of creative professionals from London to Tokyo.  Read More


October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

by China Mieville

I love a well written history book that reads almost like fiction and China Mieville is a perfect writer to give us a story of this tumultuous and dynamic moment that changed the politics and reality of Eastern Europe for decades afterwards. As a writer of weird fiction, he is able to weave through with vibrant prose, an amazing tale of this gory upheaval. I recommend it highly for history buffs as well as language lovers. Read More


How to Fly a Horse

By Kevin Ashton

It is a book about the creation process and its purpose to express that creation is something we are all born with inside! Not only genius have the innate ability of creation, instead the book explains that creation comes from hours and hours of work and try and fail. Good news: everyone is creative. Read More

AL's Pick

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

By Stephen Greenblatt

This celebrated life of English Lit’s greatest writer paints a clear and enthralling picture of what living in Elizabethan England was like and then by using Shakespeare’s works, extrapolates what it must have been like for him. The result combines biographical detective work, urban history, literary criticism and a kind of speculative poetry to create a vivid portrait we haven’t seen before: unhappy family man, social climber, cautious political tight-rope walker, highly competitive show biz professional—and oh yes, almost as an afterthought, genius. Read More

ANNIE's Pick

The Girl on the Fridge

By Etgar Keret

A beautiful collection of short stories by an Israeli author. Very conceptual, very clean. A nice read to get you thinking about things outside of your normal realm. Read More

AL's Pick

The Killer Angels

By Michael Shaara

Before I read this Civil War novel I had only a vague notion of what took place at the Battle of Gettysburg.  This fiction illuminates the history better than a purely factual account ever could.  Shaara puts you in the heat and smoke of the battle–and in the minds of the generals, especially Longstreet and Lee, whose disastrous decisions sent thousands to their deaths. Read More

ANNIE's Pick

Under the Skin

By Michael Faber

Part thriller, part sci-fi, part social commentary, this story of a girl on the hunt for hitchhikers is as relatable as it is horrifying and spectacular in that fact. Read More

TARI's Pick

The Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture: City, Technology and Society in the Information Age

By Susanna Cros (Editor)

Each entry has a definition, synonyms, and a visual diagram or reference project. This book stretches your thinking, by expanding your conceptual terminologies. It inspires architectural strategies and operations as they relate to contemporary architecture and its influences on the environment, technology, and the global society. Read More

RITA's Pick

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

By Andrew Bolton, Harold Koda, Tim Blanks, Susannah Frankel, Solve Sundsbo

I love this book, aside from the amazing photography, it showcases McQueen’s ability to express complex ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion and the environment through fashion. His work has a strong narrative that I appreciate.  And the front cover has a hologram of a skull and McQueen’s face…so cool! Read More

VERDA's Pick

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

By Robin Sloan

Best book I read in 2014. Read More


Colour Mania

By Victionary

I just love the way this book shows you harmony through color despite diversity in how color is being used. As an aspiring designer in branding and package design, I find this book to be a visual feast and a constant inspiration when working on my own projects. Read More

DAVID's Pick

Creative Confidence

By Tom Kelley and David Kelley

The book encourages everyone to engage into the creative process and more importantly to see themselves as creative thinkers regardless of their background and profession. It invites individuals and groups to open up to new ways of creative thinking and problem solving by always keeping humanity at the center of the process. Read More

JON's Pick

The Strange Library

By Haruki Murakami

It has a great unique book cover/flaps that open up and let you enter into Murakami’s universe. Read More

Continue Reading


In addition to interiors (and exteriors and branding), O+A produces freestanding publications and objets d’art. Below are recent examples of work created by some of the same designers who dreamed up workspaces for Uber, Yelp and Cisco.

February 2022

Eco Plan For 2022: Rethink Everything

By Studio O+A

Read More

August 2021

Artist Series #14: Pop-Up Poems From O+A

By Studio O+A

Artist Series is coming out of hibernation and shaking off the funk for a celebration. It’s O+A’s birthday! 30 years! 11,000 days of design, sweat and tears. So we put it all together on a microsite, with doodles and poems to keep it light. Read More

October 2020

October Studio News

By Studio O+A

Read More

April 2020

Artist Series #13: The Earth Still Needs Your Help

By Studio O+A

On this year’s Earth Day, we are hopeful as we look forward to the future and think about change and thoughtful ways we can make a difference. The latest Artist Series offers a playful diversion that also doubles as a reminder of all the things that we need to be doing right away. Our version of the “fortune teller” might truly predict the future if we all start making the changes that we must now. Read More

FALL 2019

Food for Thought Truck [Book]

Written and Designed by O+A; Published by Artifice Press

How a San Francisco design firm turned an ice cream truck into a mobile studio and took it on the road in pursuit of new perspectives. Read More

December 2019

Artist Series #12: You Are What You Read

By Studio O+A

The latest edition of our periodic Artist Series and this year’s holiday greeting is a little accordion-style chapbook from the firm.  O+A always tries to come up with something unique to ring in the New Year, but we wanted to call special attention to this year’s offering as a kind of group portrait of our studio and an example of the talent that simmers beneath the surface of a designer’s commercial work. Read More

May 2019

Artist Series #11: Weekend Arts

By Studio O+A

This edition of the Artist Series recognizes McDonald’s new multi-floor headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop. Read More

May 2018

Twelve True Tales of Workplace Design

By Studio O+A

An exclusive look at the inner-workings of Studio O+A, the San Francisco-based studio led by Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander. Read More

November 2016

Artist Series #9: NeoCon 2016

By Studio O+A

Last summer at NeoCon O+A designed installations for Kimball Office, IIDA and IdeaPaint/Happier Camper. Artist Series #9 commemorates those three projects with a 4-color risograph booklet, created by Olivia Ward, that focuses on design as it relates to space. Read More


Typologies: O+A’s Field Guide to Space Planning

Written, Designed and Published by O+A

A succinct guide to the alphabet of space types with which designers create new work environments. Ten “typologies” illustrate the basics with examples from the portfolio of O+A. Plus bonus feature: an architecturally-angled love story. Read More


Artist Series #4: Uber

By Studio O+A

The understated palette of Uber’s San Francisco headquarters inspires one of O+A’s most adventurous colorists—Alma of Capital One Labs fame—to shelve Hot Pink and weave a tapestry of gray and beige. Read More

JUNE 2014

Artist Series #3: Things Change

By Studio O+A

When O+A moved from Howard to Tehama the company’s chroniclers recorded the journey in an 8-page Zine. Never mind the journey crossed a single city block—O+A covered it—and lived it—as an adventure. Read More


Artist Series #2: Happy Holidays 2013

By Studio O+A

Read More


Artist Series #1: Cisco

By Studio O+A

The first in the series takes inspiration from the sun-lit spaces of Cisco’s office overlooking San Francisco Bay. The resulting art—creatures in a treehouse, geometrical sculpture, botanical water colors—expresses the underlying concept of the series: every eye sees something different. Read More

Continue Reading


Since its first company profile in the SF Business Times in 1999, O+A has caught the attention and imagination of the international press. This selection of recent appearances in magazines and on websites demonstrates how good design is always news.

February 2022

The Winners of ARCHITECT's Inaugural Architecture & Interiors Awards


Meet the projects honored in the first-ever ARCHITECT Architecture & Interiors Awards, including our latest project adidas EVE (East Village Expansion)—a 182,000 sq ft office structure and a 31,000 sq ft boutique fitness center for the sports giant’s North American Headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Our collaboration with LEVER Architecture and GGN received an Honor Award, the highest achievement. Read More

January 2021

The New Yorker: Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever?

By The New Yorker

Ever since The New Yorker contacted us for an article on workplace design, we have eagerly anticipated the result. “Has the Pandemic Transformed the Office Forever?” by John Seabrook is out now. It’s an in-depth examination of how months of working from home has caused companies, landlords and designers to look again at what an office is for. Read More

December 2020

AN Interior: Top of the Heap

By AN Interior

For AN Interior’s third annual top 50 list, published in the Fall 2020 issue of AN Interior (out soon), we gathered the architects and designers from across the United States creating the most exciting interiors today. While the future of design is anything but certain, especially in 2020, these firms offer hope that the environments in which people play, work, and learn can continue to become more beautiful and humane. Read More

December 2020

A New Typology For 2021: The Home Room

By WorkDesign Magazine

Primo Orpilla wrote a piece for Work Design Magazine that explores post-pandemic workplace typologies and 2021 design trend predictions. In it, he introduces the Home Room, a transitional space between the changing area and the work area that celebrates team culture and functions as a customizable “nest” for staff to personalize. Read More

December 2020

These are the best COVID-19 signs we’ve seen

By Fast Company

You can’t help but look at these and smile. Which is odd, because they’re informational COVID-19 posters. You know the ones. “Wash your hands.” “Keep six feet of distance.” All typically conveyed in a clean, no-nonsense fashion. But with a range of splashy, high-contrast colors, asymmetrical layouts, and a bunch of googly-eyed, anthropomorphic monsters, this new poster series by the San Francisco-based interior design studio is the 2D equivalent of a warm hug. Read More

September 2020

Signs of the Times: Wayfinding in the Age of COVID-19

By Metropolis Magazine

With the pandemic as the impetus, three design firms reimagine the future of wayfinding, graphic communication, and circulation. Whether it’s arrows taped on the floor of a grocery store, a poster on the laundromat window telling you to keep your mask on, or a flashing displays above the highway, signs are now a ubiquitous part of our “new normal.” The message? Stay inside, wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay six feet apart. Read More

November 2020

Here’s How Interior Designers and Architects Envision the Office of the Future

By Out of Office Magazine

Hermetically-sealed high-rises with wall-to-wall cubicles will no longer be the norm. But how will the new wave of workplaces look, function and feel in a post-COVID landscape? Read More

November 2020

C-19 Poster Series by Studio O+A Infuses Life-saving Messaging with Positive Vibes

By Interior Design Magazine

With COVID-19 persisting throughout the U.S., and select offices beginning to slowly welcome back employees, the question of how to do so safely is on everyone’s minds. It’s an especially daunting task in crowded cities like San Francisco, where some buildings are normally occupied by thousands of workers. The predicament has led hometown firm Studio O+A to devise a solution. Read More

Spring 2020

COVID-19: Six Feet Apart and Closer than Ever

By Studio O+A

O+A has formed its own post-COVID task force to study what workplace design is going to be when we’re all back at the office. That team is at work right now formulating new strategies and protocols for a pre-vaccine workplace. We’re assembling all the good thinking we can on the subject and making it available here. Read More

February 2020

Studio O+A Gives a 21st-Century Update to Oakland’s Breuner Building Lobby

By Interior Design Magazine

The Breuner Building has helped define Oakland’s skyline since the John Breuner Furniture Company built the Art Deco beauty in 1931. And while the city has changed radically over the last 90 years, the Breuner looks good as new, thanks to a careful refreshment of the 218,000-square-foot lobby and common areas by San Francisco-based Studio O+A. Read More

February 2020

Is There Such a Thing as a “Design Activist”?

By Metropolis Magazine

Architects and designers are no longer merely service providers, and it’s no longer enough to routinely fulfill project briefs. At a recent Think Tank panel hosted by Studio O+A in its San Francisco offices, panelists acknowledged this new reality, even if the discipline across the board hasn’t. But there are signs that it is catching up. Read More

March 2020

San Francisco–Based Tech Start-Up LiveRamp Has Grown Up—Literally

By Contract Magazine

The design of LiveRamp’s offices juxtaposes contemporary accents and bold graphics with the rawness of the building’s original infrastructure. The company’s playful spirit is evident in its mix of comfortable nooks, vibrant colors, and vintage chandeliers. Design Director, Joseph Rodriguez, spoke to Contract Magazine about the design’s evolution and pushing boundaries in inventive ways. Read More

March 2020

U.S. Designers Share Ways They're Thinking Big During the Pandemic

By Interior Design Magazine

Interior Design Magazine interviewed several designers from around the country about big ideas and new ways of thinking during the COVID-19 crisis. Studio O+A co-founder, Primo Orpilla, offers his take on working remotely, the potential effects of the pandemic on design, and gives a refreshing and optimistic perspective on the projected economy in industry. Read More

April 2019

Four Designers on How to Design a Space That Honors a Brand’s Identity


Whatever the design project you’re working on, client vision is key. When it comes to designing a private home for an individual, the process is usually relatively straightforward, in the sense that it’s just one or two minds conjuring up ideas for you to tackle (though not always). But when venturing into commercial territory and signing on to work with a brand—say, a digital startup seeking to make its presence known offline—translating that company’s identity into a tangible aesthetic can pose its own unique hurdles. AD PRO gets the rundown from four designers on how they tackle the challenges of designing spaces for a brand. Elizabeth Vereker, design director, Studio O+A Read More

April 2019

12 Pet-Friendly Interiors

By Interior Design Magazine

Four-legged friends will feel right at home in these pet-friendly homes and offices. Blend Labs Office by Studio O+A. When Blend Labs reimagined their tradition-bound workplace, a pet-friendly environment was a must. Read More

April 2019

Creative Voices Thriving In Chicago: Designers and Architects Team Up to Talk


When the Chicago-headquartered International Interior Design Association (IIDA)  moved their headquarters from the art and design epicenter at River North and the Mart to the Mies van der Rohe-designed One Illinois Center at Michigan and Wacker a few years ago (now adjacent to the Chicago Architecture Center), the new location put them at the heart of public engagement, culture and commerce. Read More

By dezeen

McDonald's HQ in Chicago includes Hamburger University for new recruits

March 2019

Fast-food company McDonald’s has moved into a new headquarters in Chicago, where employees have access to a multitude of workspaces and new hires are enrolled in a collegiate experience. When McDonald’s made the decision to transplant from it home of 47 years in Oak Brook to a nine-storey building in the West Loop, the company enlisted Studio O+Aand IA Interior Architects to rethink its work culture and environment. Read More

April 2019

McDonald’s new HQ makes it look more like a wellness startup

By Fast Company

Read More

May 02, 2019

With a roving food truck, a Californian design studio gives and gains urban insight


SAN FRANCISCO – If you had to pick the most appropriate vehicular mascot of San Francisco, food trucks would be a front-runner. Locations such as the SOMA StrEat Food Park and pop-up events like Off the Grid in the city have popularized dinner-on-wheels and made the boxy trucks fixtures in traffic from Embarcadero to the Sunset, almost as unmissable as the countless army of Toyota Priuses. But local Studio O+A had life outside of hospitality in mind for the small white step van that had once been used by the State of California for maintenance, then by a gelato entrepreneur. For some time, co-founder Verda Alexander had been imagining what an ideal mobile office would look like for commuters and nomads. But instead, a different idea emerged. What if the team became nomads themselves, taking a design studio to the streets in the name… Read More

March 18, 2019

mcdonald's chicago HQ features a fast food museum and a giant jacob hashimoto installation

By designboom

when mcdonald’s decided to relocate to a 9-story building in chicago’s west loop, the company envisioned a new headquarters that would speak to an increasingly urban and health-conscious culture. to make the move an architectural event worthy of its business impact, mcdonald’s hired not one, but two design firms — IA interior architects and studio O+A — to turn a lean, light-infused shell constructed by gensler into a ‘celebration of the company’s spirit.’ Read More

March 7, 2019

AN Interior presents its top 50 interior architects and designers for 2019

By the Architect's Newspaper

Welcome to AN Interior’s second annual top 50 list featuring the talented architects and designers transforming interior spaces. These emerging and established firms from all corners of the United States demonstrate novel and exciting approaches that push the envelope in how we inhabit residential, hospitality, retail, and work spaces. Read More

March 7, 2019

A Tour of Sapphire Ventures’ New Palo Alto Office

by Officelovin

apphire Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in innovative technology companies, recently hired interior design Studio O+A, to design their new office in Palo Alto, California. Read More

February 26, 2019

Mobile Design Studio and Social Outreach Program

By Contract Magazine

Read More

February 25, 2019

Fast Company thinks Studio O+A is #4 of Design’s Most Innovative Companies!

By Fast Company

We’re honored and again very proud of Canopy, Primo Orpilla’s shape-shifting workstation designed for Kimball Brand #FCMostInnovative At O+A innovation is the road always taken. An innovative approach to making McDonald’s new HQ in Chicago an 8-story celebration of the company’s culture. And our Food for Thought Truck heading south next month to continue its road adventures in Los Angeles. No day’s the same at O+A! Read More

February 25, 2019

IA Interior Architects and Studio O+A Collaborate on McDonald's New Chicago Headquarters

By Interior Design Magazine

Read More

February 15, 2019


By ELLE Decor Italy

DA UBER ANCHE GLI UFFICI SONO… “DI PASSAGGIO” Superfici raw e arredi eclettici, ma anche un riferimento ironico alle compagnie rivali: per la compagnia californiana che ha rivoluzionato i trasporti Studio O+A mette a punto una dichiarazione d’amore all’incompiuto FROM UBER ALSO THE OFFICES ARE … “PASSAGE” Raw surfaces and eclectic furnishings, but also an ironic reference to rival companies: for the Californian company that revolutionized transport Studio O + A perfects a declaration of love for the incomplete Read More

December 19, 2018

Studio O+A Designs Sapphire Ventures' Palo Alto HQ

By Dexigner

Sapphire Ventures provides venture capital to innovative and disruptive companies ready to scale up. To redesign the interiors of the company’s Palo Alto headquarters, Studio O+A embodied the dichotomies at the heart of the company’s culture: elegant/industrial, intense/warm, edgy/comfortable. Sapphire’s office is a marriage of contrasts-cozy, home-like kitchen and lounge spaces adjoin crisply modern work areas. Warm wood segues into cool tile. An industrial light fixture contrasts with classic, tailored conference room furniture. Round corners of white oak separate glass-walled meeting spaces. Read more: Read More

November 12, 2018

San Francisco design firm serves up fresh ideas from food truck in Eastchester


A new food truck has parked next to Café Smitten in downtown Bakersfield, and it will be there until the end of the week. But it’s not serving cheeseburgers or mini-tacos, it’s serving fresh ideas for revitalizing the neighborhood. A team of designers from the San Francisco design firm Studio O+A have accompanied the “food truck” from the studio’s headquarters to Bakersfield. Their goal is to collaborate with the community for a week, and leave behind a vision for how a small portion of downtown Bakersfield can be transformed. Read More

November 7, 2018

Cisco Meraki / Studio O+A

By Studio O+A

It’s not often a design firm gets to go back and check in on past projects. Usually, we visit a few weeks after move-in, but it’s rare that we get to see a space a few years later. Meraki’s expansion to a new floor offered an opportunity to observe how the company had grown into (or in this case out of) the space O+A designed for it four years ago. Read More

Septembre 18, 2018

Design trip: the office in a foodtruck touring California

By OnOffice

At LDF in 2015, Studio O+A had the idea of putting an office in a food truck. Now its placemaking mission is touring California. What if design were a catalyst for change? And what if you could push the boundaries of agile working, hit the proverbial road, and activate spaces through design? This is a story about flexible working, community-building, a converted food truck and a quintessentially North American road trip. Read More

June 2, 2018

Inside the High-End Mailrooms Wealthy Residents Visit When They’ve Got Mail

By The Wall Street Journal

Some real-estate developments in New York, Florida and California are turning the lowly space into an attractive gathering spot; a hangout spot to chat over catalogs. Read More

May 22, 2018


I’m often asked for my definition of “good design.” Like design itself, the answer to that question changes constantly. When I first started in this industry 30 years ago, good design was all about efficiency—getting function out of a space by arranging its occupants in tidy, reproducible patterns. When tech came along with its “question everything” culture, good design became more focused on meeting individual needs—the need for comfort, for self-expression, for really good coffee somewhere nearby. Read More

May 2018

Dynamic, responsive and nurturing: Dive into today’s workplace

By Frame Publishers

As the industry continues to tackle questions about the format of the office of the future, The Other Office 3 is a testimony to today’s myriad creative interpretations that support our continuously evolving methods of working. Three months after the release of this must-have reference tool, Frame speaks to Primo Orpilla, co-founder of Studio O+A, about the firm’s approach to office design, as well as the future of the workplace. Read More

April, 2018

Technology Special: The Future of the Workplace

Metropolis Magazine

In this special section that appeared in Metropolis Magazine’s April 2018 issue, award-winning design firm Studio O+A examines and imagines the future of interiors in a tech-driven world. Read More

March 8, 2018

AN Interior’s first ever list of top 50 interior architects

Studio O+A is in AN Interior‘s inaugural top 50 interior architect list, featuring emerging and established firms across the U.S. While these architects’ and designers’ talents certainly go beyond interior work, they are deftly pushing the boundaries of residential, retail, workplace, and hospitality spaces and cleverly reimagining the spaces we inhabit. Read More

February 27, 2018

"Office: a new definition of space"

By Havard Business Review Polska

As part of the project “Office: a new definition of space” we talk with the creator of Facebook offices and uber, Primo Orpilla puts important questions about the role of technology in our offices and personal life. Read More

February 14, 2018

Behind the design of the energetic LiveRamp Offices


In San Francisco, California, design studio O+A created an energetic and collaborative space for tech company LiveRamp. Located on the 16th floor of the Standard Oil Building, the 24,147-square foot environment supports both collaboration and social connection between employees. We asked the design team about the project. View photos of the office by Emily Hagopian in the slideshow above. Read More

February 2018

The Other Office 3

By Frame Publishers

Studio O+A is featured in the latest volume in Frame’s series of books on workplace design.The Other Office 3 highlights inspirational interiors that are setting the trends in creative workplace design. Read More

Workplace, the Film

By Gary Hustwit

Workplace is a documentary about the past, present and future of the office. Hundreds of millions of human beings spend billions of hours in offices every day. How can we make them better places for people to work and collaborate? What’s the next wave of digital tools to connect the office, the city and the planet? How has the office evolved over the last 100 years? And do we even need offices anymore? Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized) follows the design and construction of the New York headquarters of R/GA.  Appearances by Bob Greenberg, Primo Orpilla, Norman Foster, Nick Law, Barry Wacksman, Chris West, Julia Goldberg, Nikil Saval, Amanda Carroll, and more. Read More

January 2, 2018

What Apple’s New Office Chairs Reveal About Work In 2018


Apple design chief Jony Ive keeps a low profile, but he’s social with a handful of Brits who sit atop the world of industrial design, including Jay Osgerby and Ed Barber, founders of the studio Barber Osgerby. A few years ago, the duo paid Ive a visit. Over a pint, they shared what they had been working on: a new office chair that would be the first from the furniture maker Vitra in several years. The pitch around the design wasn’t that it was technical or flashy. Rather, the idea was that it was “quiet,” with soothing curves that could blend in anywhere, even a home.[…] “Younger generations are spending a lot of time at work, so we’re trying to create a residential vibe,” says Primo Orpilla, founder of Studio O+A, which has designed interiors for tech giants ranging from Uber to Microsoft.… Read More

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Office Posturing

Bloomberg Businessweek

If you know one office chair by name, it’s probably the Aeron. Released in 1994, its radical, high-tech exoskeleton design was a sensation, and the chair went on to become that rare piece of furniture to emerge as a pop-culture signifier. Ln 1995 it appeared as the lone piece of set decoration in a Levi Strauss […] “The Aeron was a symbolic way to attract talent and people during the dot-com era,” says Primo Orpilla, co-founder of Studio O+A. Read More

DECEMBER 5, 2017

Two designers talk education, technology, and what the future holds for design's next generation

Perspective IIDA

With 60 years of professional experience between them, Primo Orpilla, FIIDA, and Jon Otis, IIDA, have gleaned plenty of insight into what prepares young designers for the real world. Orpilla, principal and co-founder at Studio O+A, was recently named the global chair student experience at the International Interior Design Association.[…] Read More

DECEMBER 6, 2017

How 5 Technology Companies in NYC Are Incorporating Design Into Their Workspaces


In recent years, marrying design with technology has become a common practice among architects and interior designers as they design workspaces for companies across numerous industries. So it should come as no surprise that when some of the top names in the design industry were tapped to create workspaces for a handful of corporations in the technology sector in New York City, they would look to technology for inspiration. From live-streaming monitors that nod to one company’s television roots to a major with a mission to achieve zero-waste status by tracking its progress via open-sourced technology, businesses today are realizing the benefits that come when you blend design with technology. Here are five tech workplaces in NYC leading the charge. Read More

DECEMBER 6, 2017

Kimball’s canopy benching system – a flexible solution for open plan workspaces

Workdesign Magazine

Kimball’s recent launch of ‘Canopy’ illustrates how far we have come with the design of furniture systems that work in today’s more open and flexible workspaces. Based on the “benching” concept, the multiple components are purposely planned to be utilized as everyone’s needs change throughout the day or as people shift about in activity-based workplaces and no longer need to be confined to the same desk and chair day after day. Read More

November 15, 2017

Business of Furniture

With Kimball/s launch of its newest benching system, Canopy, it is taking open plan benching design to another level. Conceived by Primo Orpilla of Studio O+A and developed with the design team at Kimball, Canopy moves beyond conventional open plan benching to give each user a versatile work space that changes according to the needs of the moment. Read More

November 6, 2017

Studio O+A Brings Youth & Understated Elegance to Wealth Management

The wealth management field operates in an era of rapid change; financial planners must be able to communicate agility and “a feel for the future” to clients who at the same time want complete confidence that their money is secure. To help San Francisco-based Cambridge Associates find this balance between security and agility, Studio O+A designed interiors for new space around a concept of understated elegance, blending rich history and youthful, modern ways of working. Read More

October 25, 2017

Cambridge Associates by Studio O+A

In an era of rapid change a wealth management company must demonstrate agility and a feel for the future while projecting the enduring values that give clients confidence their money is secure. Cambridge Associates’ new San Francisco office combines the spaciousness and light of a modern collaborative environment with the timeless materials—wood, glass and steel—that have always been architectural (and financial) symbols of permanence […] Read More

October 17, 2017

Workplace Typologies for Worktech 17 in Dubai

Worktech Dubai’s 2017 edition saw some phenomenal presentations and insights from thought leaders in the field of workspaces, architecture, design and wellness […] Among the line-up of accomplished speakers was Primo Orpilla, co-founder of Studio O+A, the creative mind behind some of the most stunning offices in Silicon Valley, with the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and Uber among them. Primo was present at Worktech Dubai 2017 to share his thoughts and ideas on the latest trends and technologies gaining traction in the West Coast region. Among them included Typologies – A field guide of sorts to O+A design methodologies. The guide is a primer of sorts behind the design intent of different workspaces in an office. Read More

OCTOBER 10, 2017

SNAP Interviews Studio O+A

SNAP: What is your secret to office design that also helps tell a brand’s story? Verda Alexander: It’s not really a secret. It means getting to know your client. We’re like a nature writer who eats worms and sits in treetops to understand what it’s like to be a bird: We immerse ourselves in the client’s culture, and from that we create a narrative we use to guide our design development. All our recent work can be reverse-engineered from walls, lighting, furniture, and finishes back to the brand’s narrative […] Read More

August 2, 2017

Be Original Americas welcomes its first architecture firm, Studio O+A

By Jordan Greenblatt

This summer, Be Original Americas is expanding its membership to include architecture and design firms across the country. Studio O+A, a San Francisco–based firm (and winner of a 2016 National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum) was the first architecture and design firm to join. Read More

August 1, 2017

Studio O+A, Top 3 of the Best Office Architects in San Francisco

By Jack Cookson

San Francisco is home to some of the world’s most recognizable, profitable, and fastest-growing companies. And behind every successful company is a workspace. This is where these architects come in. Included on this list are architects who have built some of the most inspired offices and campuses in the Bay Area. Read More

May 17, 2017

O+A crafts an unexpectedly modern workplace for a finance company

By Olivia Martin

“Finance” usually conjures images of staid blue suits, brass plaques, and hallways lined with nondescript carpet. But when wealth-management firm Cambridge Associates moved from Menlo Park, California, to San Francisco, Amy Callahan, the firm’s managing director of operations, sought out San Francisco–based design studio O+A to “push the limits of a traditional workplace.” Read More

November 19, 2016

The Analog Spaces in Digital Companies

By: David Sax

imo Orpilla, the co-founder of the architecture and design firm Studio O+A, has been designing offices for digital-technology companies for more than thirty years, basically since the start of the PC era. Read More


Artist Series #6: Design is Metaphor

Design Annual

O+A is featured in the CA Design Annual 2016 in the self-promotional design category for our Artists Series promoting our Yelp 55 Hawthorne project. Read More


Kimball Showroom

By Kyoungeun Lee

Kimball Showroom at NeoCon 2015 was a collection of spaces illustrating how the company’s versatile furniture could be adapted to the many kinds of work and leisure activities a modern office typically must handle. Read More


Business or Pleasure?

By Floor Kuitert

Even though most of its clients are firm believers in the power of technology, Studio O+A designs only human-based workspaces. Read More


Best of Year

By Edie Cohen

If there’s one thing Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander know about, it’s the contemporary workplace. They know a lot about office furniture, too. Put all that knowledge together, and you have a stunning showroom transformation. Read More


Dossier Living San Francisco

By Marlana Kratochwll, Ines Marini, Daniel Karp

Éstas son las oficinas de Uber, la compañía nacida y criada en San Francisco que está revolucionando el transporte urbano. Sus hacedores, Studio O+A, nos cuentan cómo cada uno de estos espacios refleja también una nueva manera de trabajar. Read More


House Beautiful: Ofise Donus Vakti

By Neslihan Korkmaz

Read More


Business Next: Technology Giants New Headquarters

By Rachel Li

Read More

NOVEMBER 10, 2015

TC Cribs: Minted's Visually Stunning Office

By Sarah Buhr

Stunning is the word for Minted’s interior. The two-story, 32,000-square-foot office space was originally built in 1909 and boasts large windows with lots of natural light, high concrete ceilings and walls covered with art, and turned over books, complimenting a mix of hard and soft textiles. Read More

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

The Next Hot Thing in Cool Office Design

By Christine Lagorio-Chafkin, Inc.

Now that every big startup has an open seating plan and giant amphitheater, what’s next in office design? We talked with top designers and architects to get their impressions of the present and visions for the future. Read More


City Slickers

By Mark McMenamin and Athena Waligore, Interior Design

The city is your office was developed into 10 typologies to organize the two-level, 13,000 sq ft space. Read More

JULY 28, 2015

Acxiom's Corporate Cultural Shift by Studio O+A

By Rachel Calton

When US data giant Acxiom wanted to bring about a shift in its corporate culture, it called in San Francisco’s Studio O+A to give its new California office a stripped-back aesthetic. Read More

JUNE 2015

The Fantastic World of Yelp

By Ana Elena Lopez

Ubicadas en la emprendedora zona Silicon Valley, en San Francisco se encueñtran las nuevas oficinas de Yelp, que por medio de un diseño art decó logran el perfecto ambiente de trabajo. Read More

MARCH 19, 2015

Yelp-Hauptsitz in San Francisco

By Ulrike Nicholson, AIT Magazine

“Yelp moved its headquarters into a just renovated high-rise from the 1920s in the San Francisco financial district and occupies twelve stories. The plan for the spatial design developed based on the corporate culture is by Studio O+A.” Read More

JUNE 2015


By Ron Nyren, Contract

“This eleventh floor is the more rebellious cousin of the Uber headquarters. “We wanted this to feel like a startup but in an elevated and refined way.” Read More


Acting like a Start-Up

By Andrew Blum, Metropolis

“The firm’s surface design is nearly beside the point, as bold as it is. In talking with Orpilla and Alexander, what’s striking is their emphasis not on any particular aesthetic but on their specific programmatic recipe for creating “high performance offices”—spaces that don’t merely accommodate work but try, very explicitly, to supercharge it.” Read More

APRIL 1, 2013

Interview with Denise Cherry

By Kei Wakabayashi, Wired

“Trends in office design have changed significantly in the last few years. One of the trends is that the office space has become a more open environment. It has become a thing of ambiguous boundaries, such as the living space, workplace, and play have blurred.” Read More


No Dead Zones: Studio O+A's giant office for Cisco

By Edie Cohen, Interior Design

“If anyone knows how to build out a lively workplace while hewing to matters of efficiency, it’s founding principal Primo Orpilla. “They were looking for personality,” Orpilla recalls of the first client meeting.” Read More

JUNE 2013

Giant Pixel

By Lydia Lee, Contract

“The offices of many tech startups are bare-bones, but the founders of Giant Pixel, a company that programs gaming applications, wanted their first office to reflect their love of midcentury modern and science fiction–inspired design.” Read More

JUNE 17, 2013

Social Capital

By Paige Magarrey, AZURE

“Office life is no longer show up at nine, take your lunch at 12, and leave at five. It’s so much more than that,” explains Denise Cherry, O+A’s director of design. And while some employers entice staff into clocking long hours with resort-like amen­ities, the interiors O+A conceives are fun filled without being playgrounds.” Read More

JANUARY 31, 2014

Studio O+A: Office culture by design

By Mary Ann Azevedo, SF Business Times

“In 1990, Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander had just founded Studio O+A in Fremont. The design firm’s base was largely tech-oriented and interiors were on the simple side with lots of cubicles.” Read More

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

A 'Blah' Office Can Have Serious Repercussions. Is It Time for a Redesign?

By Stephanie Orma, Entrepreneur

“From drab cubicles and cardboard curtains to game rooms and concert stages, startup offices run the gamut from bare-bones to over-the-top. But if the look doesn’t jibe with your company’s brand, you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity to attract investors, draw the best talent and boost employee productivity and morale.” Read More

APRIL 2014

Noises Off

By Eva Hagberg, Metropolis

“Until individuality came back, particularly in San Francisco in the tech scene, and particularly in the iconoclastic start-up tech scene, where people began to want something a little different.” Read More

JUNE 19, 2014

How Yelp Brought A Sprawling Campus Feel To Downtown SF

By Shaunacy Ferro, Fast Company

“…fostering a sense of community can be hard when employees are isolated on different floors, so O+A aimed to cultivate the culture of a vertical campus, where employees still have a chance to circulate across floors and bump into each other.” Read More


A Well-Balanced Feel

By Drew Himmelstein, WHY

“Workers are looking for something more than a desk: they want to spend their days in an inspiring space that contributes to their purpose, facilitates their cognitive and physical well-being, and allows them to concentrate and interact productively with their colleagues.” Read More

DECEMBER 3, 2014

Office space: What does the ideal workplace look like?

By Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail

“Visually, O+A’s interiors are designed to cleverly express the prevailing Bay Area values of creativity and innovation. The dot-com cliché of the foosball table seems to be fading, in favour of a new formula that includes art, music rooms and custom-made furniture and design elements.” Read More

OCTOBER 27, 2014

Over And Above: Studio O+A designs HQ for Uber

By Edie Cohen, Interior Design

“O+A tackles the logistics of space-planning first, then layers on the design elements to support the client’s vision. Not so here. Kalanick insisted, right from the outset, on design, design, design—to play to the 700 employees as much as to visitors.” Read More

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

Move over Silicon Valley, San Francisco is new hippest tech scene

By John Defterios and Adeline Chen, CNN

“Primo Orpilla has seen the change first hand while designing spaces for the likes of crowd-sourced company review platform, Yelp, and taxi app, Uber. The offices of just three or four years ago, they’re definitely more hierarchically set up.” Read More

JANUARY 31, 2011

Designers of the Year

By Holly Richmond, Contract

“What do you get when a practical realist meets an eternal optimist? In the case of Verda Alexander, the pragmatist, and Primo Orpilla, the idealist, the possibilities are endless. As the founders and co-principals of studio o+a, based in San Francisco, as well as husband and wife, they have committed their hearts and souls to the idea of innovative creation.” Read More

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