top of page
R0018526.JPG

Vision

Our company was founded on the simple idea of allowing the forces of nature to sculpt design through form-finding. This is a process in which optimal geometries can be derived to achieve design elegance, a purity of form in which nothing is extraneous and one solution serves many functions. This desire for nature drives us to seek new technology for experimentation and to more clearly realize intuitive forms and the spaces we sculpt.

JS.jpg
Joseph Sarafian, AIA

CEO/Co-founder

Architect Joseph Sarafian, AIA is a founding partner of Form Found Design. His future-forward approach to architecture is an evolving process of inquiry, exploring advanced computation to harness the geometry implicit in nature. This pursuit of organic, intuitive form necessitates a complexity of technique and advanced technology in the design and construction phases. His experience in digital fabrication tools and their radical reappropriation into the architecture industry has led him to develop research, publications, and exhibitions that explore the relationship between architecture and technology. Joseph is a Professor of Architecture at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA.

Ron Profile4.jpg
Ron Culver, AIA

COO/Co-founder 

Architect Ron Culver, AIA is a founding partner of Form Found Design.  Ron leverages his 30+ years of experience in both architecture and construction to innovate in all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. Ron built a world-renowned portfolio while founding design and construction firms in both the US and Canada. Ron developed a hybridized, prefabricated component building system in which a structural steel frame was customized with an adaptable all-in-one, panelized wall assembly system, calling it “Adaptabode”. Ron believes in giving back to the profession in the form of keynote lectures and mentorship on professional practice and licensure.

OUR PROCESS

We explore novel design solutions by studying the forces in nature, listening to the needs of our clients, and applying our own design expertise. We endeavor to innovate and create new opportunities for design to impact society.

We believe that design starts by asking questions.

1

DISCOVER

2

DESIGN

3

DELIVER

Through research and collaboration, we begin by asking questions, while bringing our own inspiration and expertise to the table. Only after a deep understanding of the site, can opportunities be identified.

We believe in an iterative design process. Only through testing ideas can a solution be found. Our approach employs the latest software and hardware to design and coordinate complex projects at all scales.

Coordinating the project among consultants, we produce detailed construction documents to ensure the realization of our design intent. Our team will then oversee the project through construction.

Planning Expertise

We have extensive experience in design and entitlements of projects of many scales and types.

The Approval Process

We have acquired approvals for many projects in the following regions:

DESIGN

We have experience in designing the unconventional.

Plannig Anchor
We have coordinated and executed complex projects that have required:
Snow 1B_People.jpg
  • Lot ties required to complete a project

  • Variances to allow extraordinary adjustment to Zoning requirements

  • Major Modifications to allow large scale relaxation of setbacks

  • Modifications to allow moderate relaxation of setbacks or other dimensional regulations

  • Public Hearings to coordinate large-scale mixed-use developments

  • Public Hearings to coordinate single-family and duplexes – new construction and additions

  • Architectural Review Board Approvals (with Public Hearings)

  • Ellis Act execution to remove rental units from the market

  • Urban Forestry Approvals

  • Coastal Zone approvals for single-family and multi-family projects

  • Specific Plan approvals for single-family and multi-family projects

  • Edison, DWP and Sempra (SoCal) Gas approvals and design coordination

  • Radius Maps and neighbor approvals of a project

  • Fire rebuilds with specific departmental and state requirements to comply with special concessions

  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) approvals

  • South Coast AQMD to comply with Air Quality requirements

  • California Accessibility requirements

  • Fire Department requirements

  • Department of Transportation coordination

Cleft House5.jpg
Approval Jurisdictions
We have gained approvals for many projects in the following jurisdictions:
  • Malibu

  • Santa Monica

  • Los Angeles

  • Venice

  • Playa del Rey 

  • West Hills

  • Bel Air

  • Topanga

  • Studio City

  • West Adams

  • San Pedro

  • Beverly Hills

  • Culver City

  • Marina del Rey 

  • Lakewood

  • Long Beach

  • Anaheim

  • Pasadena

  • Glendale

  • Palmdale

  • Mammoth CA

  • Lake Las Vegas, NV

  • West Vancouver, BC

  • North Vancouver, BC

  • Vancouver, BC

Design

Design

We have experience in designing the unconventional.

Coupler Detail.jpg
Desaturated.jpg

The first ever robotically-cast concrete pavilion in the world, built for Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos.

 

When Amazon reached out to Form Found Design to build a pavilion for their robotics conference, FFD proposed a new collaboration between robot and builder that allows for the rapid prototyping of concrete. The MARS Pavilion combines the precision or robots and the freedom of fabric to achieve an otherwise impossible organic geometry.

 

Industrial robot arms manipulate fabric sleeves, creating an adjustable formwork into which concrete is poured. No two components are the same in the structure, which is designed to be a catenary to keep every member in compression. Steel fiber is introduced in lieu of rebar, yielding a 25% increase of compressive, tensile and flexural strengths.  A uniform steel connection detail is used throughout, creating a consistent means for assembly. The pavilion is currently wrapped in its individual components, in Los Angeles where it awaits its next home.

 

Connections were fabricated with aerospace-level precision by American Best Engineering. Footings were fabricated by Aero Welding.  Walter P. Moore provided engineering support and ABB Robotics provided industry collaboration and support. Helix Steel and CTS Cement sponsored the Pavilion's exhibit at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles. Both companies are currently strategic partners.

Speaking Engagements

2024
Build it Better Podcast, College to Conception - OCC Does It All With FrameCAD
2023
Detailed Podcast, Episode 58: Light Gauge Steel | Home of Hope
2023
AI in Architecture & Design, Lecture for the American Society of Interior Designers
2022
Lecture, American Concrete Institute Conference, Orlando, FL
2022
Detailed Podcast, Episode 23: Helix Steel | MARS Pavilion, by Cherise Lakeside
2022
Lecture, Finnish Architectural and Concrete Award Webinar in Helsinki Finland
2021
Lectured at Temple University Tyler School of Art and Architecture
2021
Keynote Speaker: Computational Design: NEXT 3.0
2020
Lecture on Computational Design at USC in Alvin Huang’s Graduate Seminar
2019
Arch 210/215/220 | Architectural Technology, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa CA, Presentation: Adaptabode, Design of Hybrid Prefabricated Structures
2019
USC BIM BOP Conference, USC, Los Angeles CA, Presentation: Slim BIM, Best Practices for Small(er) Firms
2019
EYRC | Ehrlic Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, Culver City, CA, Presentation: Robotic Design in The MARS Pavilion
2018
Poly Skins | Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA, Presentation: The MARS Pavilion and Robotics in Design Workshops
2018
Walt Disney Imagineering, Glendale CA, Presentation: Robotic Concrete Fabrication
2018
CSI Nite Conference, Los Angeles CA, Presentation: The MARS Pavilion, Programmable Matter
2018
Robotics in Construction Summit, Autodesk Build Space, Boston MA, Presentation: Robotic Design in The MARS Pavilion
2017
Amazon MARS Conference
2017
MARS Pavilion A+D Museum Exhibit
2017
Tilt-Up Future Think Conference, Dallas, TX Presentation: The MARS Pavilion, Concrete Prefabrication and Robotics
2017
Tehran, Iran Skype Lecture
2017
ACADIA Conference, MIT, Cambridge MA Presentation: Towards the Creation of Programmable Matter
2017
USC Architecture Generation Next Lecture
2016
Now Next Future AIACC Lecture, UCLA
2016
Facade Tectonics International Conference, Los Angeles, CA Presentation: Fabric-Formed Robotic Facades
2016
Rob|Arch | Robotic Fabrication in Art, Architecture & Design Conference, 2016 Sydney, Australia, Presentation: Fabric Forms: The Robotic Positioning of Fabric Formwork
JS3.jpg
CONTACT US
Number

Your details were sent successfully!

© 2024 Form Found Design, Inc.
FFD Logo
Houzz Website.png
bottom of page