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Approach

OFFICE 52 is a highly creative multidisciplinary design firm led by Isaac Campbell and Michelle LaFoe, based in Portland, Oregon.  Working at the intersection of architecture, planning and design, the firm is committed to creating buildings and spaces with conceptual rigor and artistic expression. Our portfolio builds upon more than forty years of collective experience creating award-winning designs for prominent institutions and organizations. This experience encompasses a diverse range of scales and typologies with significant projects for higher education, the creative arts, museums, civic and cultural institutions, master plans, commercial development, buildings for research and single family homes.  We have a particular depth and expertise in creating visionary campus plans and realizing large-scale projects for higher education.

Our design process is driven by thoughtful observation, rigorous research, and creative exploration. We work intensively and collaboratively with our clients to understand their stated goals, needs and constraints, while also exploring the unstated, inherent qualities of a project and its place.  We believe that architecture is the positive act of making places with ephemeral qualities that inspire people every day while also fulfilling essential functional needs.  This requires pragmatism and critical analysis combined with strong conceptual and imaginative thinking to create designs that are at once simple and functional, yet also elegant and layered with meaning.  Our approach is open-ended and iterative, using hand sketches, technical drawings, physical models, and various digital media and fabrication techniques.  It is a process of imagining, making, testing and re-imagining with no preconceived solutions or styles.  It is a creative journey that we take with our clients as active collaborators and participants.

Our success is built upon a careful understanding of our client’s needs and goals, and a deep respect for a project’s economic, social, and environmental context. We strive to create enduring designs of lasting value. We are leaders in sustainable design and have built relationships with some of the world’s best technical consultants, allowing us to integrate the finest engineering, technology and sustainable approaches into our buildings. We believe that our legacy is the built environment and that we will be judged by the aesthetic quality and sustainability of what we leave for future generations.