RIOS was founded in 1985 as a multi-disciplinary design firm that maintains that design is everything in the built environment. This innate understanding led to an ethos of design as a continuum, a notion that defined transdisciplinary practice and a body of work that celebrates the connection between people and place.
The practice operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, urban planning, interior design, graphics and signage, exhibit, and product design to inform design at all types and scales — from plates to parks. We believe, fundamentally, that design is better when you think inclusively about ways to solve a problem and we practice this way within our studios and interdisciplinary teams.
We are problem-solvers, innovators, and creative thinkers. This proclivity can be seen in the offshoots of RIOS, like notNeutral and Guillermo, but also in our unshakable nature as storytellers revealing the potential each project has to celebrate our diversity and humanity. Our work is irreversibly connected to the narrative of place and the complex order of human culture, creating solutions that are joyful, authentic, and unexpected. Each project is a genuine expression of the important stories that connect us and reveal location, ecology, culture, and ethnography.
RIOS, a fully licensed California Corporation, was founded in 1985 as a multi-disciplinary design firm. We have been recognized for skill and design excellence across the broad spectrum of design disciplines, including as a finalist for the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for landscape architecture, and as ‘Firm of the Year’ by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects. Our consistent body of unique design work and our redefinition of the boundaries of design practice has also led to numerous national and local AIA and ASLA awards, as well as recognition for graphics, interiors and furniture design. Our work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Architecture, Architectural Record, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Metropolis. The firm released Not Neutral: For Every Place, Its Story, a robust visual collection of its diverse portfolio.