The Death of Aesthetic: An Experiential Approach to Design

June 03, 2020

Designers are often asked to define their aesthetic, pigeonholing decades of ever-evolving work into phrases like “Warm Contemporary” and “Coastal Luxe”. We’ve often described our work as “crafted modern” – a clean-lined, meticulously detailed, modern aesthetic that is transformed by materials, finishes and furnishings that reveal the hand of the maker, artisan or craftsman.

But a one-style-fits-all-clients approach gives more weight to a cookie cutter look than a project’s unique set of considerations – namely client personality and preference, site, landscape and local community, and its unique purpose. Workshop/APD founding principals Matt Berman and Andrew Kotchen have spent the last twenty years honing a signature approach to design that emphasizes user experience over “signature style”.


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So how do we do it?

By focusing on materials, craftsmanship, a merging of interior and exterior spaces, and the user experience we have created common powerful thread that ties together work in luxury homes, high-end residential development, hospitality, and more, while allowing a collaborative team of nearly 50 architects and interior and product designers to contribute their vast, highly varied perspectives and expertise to realize projects that are perfectly suited to a client’s needs and desires. The result is a portfolio that -although it conforms to exceptionally high standards for design and construction – cannot be pigeonholed. And we prefer it that way.

User Experience

A client-centric Approach means taking the time to determine how clients want to live, and creating tailored spaces designed to foster meaningful experiences.

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Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle

Connecting a project’s interiors to the location and landscape results in designs that are perfectly of their place and time. The ability to move seamlessly from indoors to patio, pool, gardens, beach or woods forges a deep, meaningful connection to nature and expands spaces exponentially.

Materials & Craftmanship

Whether it’s technology or time-honored techniques, craftsmanship transforms materials and spaces and brings design to life.