Life gives form to Architecture
RoTo has envisioned, designed, and built a wide range of project types of varying type, scope, and complexity -- locally, nationally, and internationally. We are involved in all phases of a project’s life, from visioning, land use protocols and policy, program development, design, and project delivery.
Masterplanning & Urban Design
The depth of our knowledge and experience comes from 35 years of both professional and education-based practice. In teaching we invent and explore potential concepts and in the professional studio we execute and deliver projects based on these concepts.
The projects range in scale from design objects to city-scale developments. We offer strategic consulting through our initiatives to individuals, commercial clients, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, ranchers and farmers, eco-planning of rural communities, and socio-cultural restoration and resilience.
We extend our professional services to include programming and predesign services to clients seeking to innovate in their market sectors. We are happy to work with clients at early, conceptual, and startup stages of their ventures to guide them to a successful project outcome.
Urban Public space is essential to Social formation, coherence, and conservation. Urbanization is a dynamic process characterized by a formlessness that is given form and purpose by creative strategies that integrate a dynamic long term vision providing a framework for the short term cycles of more spontaneous human interactions. Urban design operates at the intersection of three disciplines, urban planning, architecture, and landscape architecture.
The shaping of urban space and shaping social behavior is the primary focus, in the context of varying political, economic, social, and environmental forces. The impact of urban structures upon human health, behavior and thought, is what is at stake.
We have worked with Indigenous People (Native Americans, Tibetans), on cultural resilience, with Iranian families with large land holdings to find alternatives to conventional land use and development strategies. We have also worked with commercial developers with under valued and under performing assets to achieve radical unpacking of hidden value.
Exterior form expresses and interior space embodies. Generally, the values and vision of a client are expressed in the Architecture they live and work in. The exterior expresses symbolically and the interior embodies spatially. The exterior form and materiality of a building may be adapting to context, conforming to the internal functions, or responding to technical performance criteria but within the building, the considerations shift scales and purpose as they address how we live, learn, work, pray, and play.
A complete Architecture is a total aesthetic and a holistic experience. This extends to the creation of immersive environments for living and working tailored to the occupant. Musical experience design, design for wellbeing, and sustainable environments create a holistic space for creativity, healing, and productivity.
Environmental Graphics & Wayfinding
This area of design consultancy is done with our chief design collaborator, world renowned trans-media artist/designer April Greiman / Made in Space.
Environmental way finding precedes signage and begins with architectural and spatial clues for people to orient themselves. Next, comes environmental graphics and signage. We provide full services in these areas and have a capability to work at any scale and in all media from print to motion. New companies and organizations sometimes commission us to create an entire identity system for them including web presence.
These are evolutionary imperatives. Each of us is responsible for making sense of an over abundance of uncategorized and unmediated data that is streaming at us. Trans-disciplinary learning, rapid absorption, and a synthetic mind are now our most valuable assets to help manage this problem.
Institutional teaching formats must keep pace with the ways students actually learn, with greater open mindedness, and being responsive to student centered, experience based learning, that integrates human interaction enhanced by communications technology.
Prof. Rotondi being a founder of renowned SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and its second Director, has been a witness to and participant in this unparalleled educational and social experiment. The design of an educational facility or complex begins with an evaluative comparison of pre-existing systems to state of the art theories and practices, and how best to implement change in ways that enhances and evolves. Change is inevitable and constant, at best.
Long term visioning in the context of a varying shorter cycle requires purpose, practice, and meaning; encoding adaptability, flexibility, performance, and endurance. It includes the best ways to synchronize social, business, and financial models.
A long-term strategic plan establishes core principles and values that regulate growth, set the rules of engagement, and inform overall behavior and operations for the life of a project of any size, complexity, or time horizon. Key objectives are endurance and performance.
RoTo Architects’ sister company Rotolab was conceived as a place to deepen research, both pure and applied, to the projects we explored in our studios at SCI-Arc.
RotoLab is a solution engine from the world of architecture and design, and applies the architectural mind to solve wicked problems outside of traditional architectural practice. Its solutions focus on unique, real-world projects for the future of work, play, learning and wellbeing.