Carmen Suero, Assoc. AIA, on the Stories of Clients

What inspires us as designers and architects? Carmen Suero, Assoc. AIA, Principal, Good Project Company, kicks off a new 1:1 Q&A series.

Something that inspires me is people’s stories. Having the opportunity to hear clients’ stories and then work with them to express those stories through design—is part of the ethos of our practice.

In our neighborhood, Leimert Park, we’re working with a business owner who wants to reimagine her space. She has been in the community for almost 20 years; she has gone through the Metro line construction, she has gone through COVID, and now she’s looking to the future to see how her space can offer new ways to serve the community. This informs us as we collaborate with her to develop the storyline of her business and its connection to the neighborhood.

The Japanese Institute of Sawtelle is another project that exemplifies why a client’s story is so important and why they inspire me.

The Japanese Institute of Sawtelle has been a part of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles for almost 100 years. Today it is a community center that offers linguistic and cultural education, as well as physical activities that continue to connect the Japanese American community in Los Angeles. Built by Japanese Immigrants on land purchased by the community pooling their resources, the center served as the point of embarkment and return from the internment camps.

This is an incredibly important story that guides how we honor the legacy and rich history of a place while also helping them to modernize and re-envision the center to adapt to the changing needs of their community.

Renderings: The Japanese Institute of Sawtelle. Designed by Good Project Company
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