Diverse Architecture DPC.
Armando Ramos and Brian Slocum formed Diverse Projects (Diverse Architecture DPC) in early 2014 to combine our respective experiences and perspectives, to build upon almost 40 cumulative years of work in the fields of design, development and architecture, and to take advantage of the vibrant interchange of ideas and talent between two of the greatest metropolises of the world, New York City and Mexico City. Having both worked with influential practices of our time as well as emerging and boutique firms, we believe we bring a unique combination of skills and value to the table. The diversity and depth of our experience means that we carry the knowledge of a much larger practice, while maintaining the agility that is a major advantage of a smaller design firm.
“Diverse,” for us, means different projects - more than different - not just traditional architecture projects. We find value in any project and in alternative modes of working. The mash-up of cultures, foods, colors, smells, people, ways of life, and attitudes toward space fuels our design practice. Armando and Brian find practice as expatriates, immersion in another culture (Brian in Mexico, and Armando in New York/San Diego), to be an essential aspect of our work. Combining the best aspects of practice in each of our ‘home-bases’ allows us to make a more nimble office, streamlining our efforts on both sides of the border and permitting tailored work flows, be they for a master plan for a medical campus, office interiors for a multinational manufacturing corporation, consulting for developers, or research for a white paper.
We are very interested to bring a new model of design practice to the table. Our unique approach to each client and each project brings with it a high degree of flexibility and efficiency by dedicating resources and expertise as necessary and required to achieve optimal solutions. We have organized Diverse Projects according to the following four areas:
1. Planning. Both master plans and project planning involve a high degree of coordination and contingency planning. Beginning projects with the right ‘thought base’ is fundamental to the success of every project and involves the participation of all stakeholders in a given project, no matter its scale.
2. Architecture. At its most fundamental, architecture is about gathering information and proposing options. This happens at all scales of design, from an apartment renovation to a museum or a hospital. As architects we view our primary role as guiding a client through the design process to discover - working together - bespoke solutions that innovate and create spaces that are enrich the lives of those who live and work in them.
3. Collaboration. Working in teams is essential in the practice of architecture and design, but we like to take collaboration to another level. In addition to teaming up with the usual consultants (engineers, code consultants, lighting designers, etc.), we actively seek to work with our peers. We do this for several reasons: first, we recognize that we often have more to gain from sharing expertise rather than competing. Next, this allows us the flexibility to organize and administer projects in the most efficient way. Finally, this also means that we sometimes ‘consult’ for other architects with whom we enjoy working and where we believe we can contribute to the overall success of their projects. We also offer project management and technical consulting to young, growing firms to build the technical detailing capabilities and management skills of their young staff.
4. Research. Design is part science and part art, and we take each very seriously. This means constantly challenging ourselves and adding to our knowledge base. As we understand that it is not necessarily in our clients’ interest for us to learn on the job, we look for opportunities to explore and experiment outside of the context of the office by learning about new materials and construction processes, applying for independent research grants, entering design competitions, and teaching.