Karin Liljegren is the boss woman here at Omgivning. If you have a hard time pronouncing "Liljegren" or "Omgivning" then you can blame her Swedish heritage. Her past life consists of growing up as a Jersey gal with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UNC-Charlotte. She came to Southern California to get her Masters in Architecture from UCLA.
When she's not busy running this place, Karin works with her butler/confidant Alfred in developing fast cars and escape pods. She fights crime in Gotham City in a black bat costume with her sidekick Robin, where they both ...oh no ... I've said too much.
Ai started her studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She realized that California was the place to be, and received a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Cal State Northridge.
Ai will tell you she is half Japanese and half Indonesian, but we all know that she's 100% cat. She is truly a cat lady. In her spare time, she likes lounging in the sun, tree climbing, cleaning her paws, sharpening her claws on furniture, and swatting at dogs. 30% of the office is allergic to her.
In his peasant youth, Albert grew up with his uncle in a hut near Hyrule Castle, tending the hayfields and winning an unusual amount of design awards. (For his project "Constellation Peak" he was one of four finalists for the Calvin Family Traveling Fellowship.) Asleep one night, Albert received a telepathic message from Princess Zelda--she was locked in the castle’s dungeon! Albert awoke with a start, and found his uncle preparing to come to Zelda’s aid. “Stay in your bed, Albert, this is no time for inexperience!” Albert waited a minute or two, then, on horseback, tailed his uncle to the Castle. A lot of crazy stuff happened, Albert’s uncle got stabbed or something, and all the horses ran away. When Albert found Zelda crouched in her cell, the two fled through a secret passage in the castle sewers. Gross!
Soon, after stopping the evil Ganon and obtaining the Triforce, Albert bade farewell to Zelda and attended California Polytechnic University of Pomona. Then, in his labors at Peter Tolkin Architecture/TOLO Architecture, he endeavored to complete work on the Branch House in Montecito, CA.
Today, as he ventures down life's road with the fairy known as Navi, she constantly asks "Why this world, Albert?" And Albert always replies, "I'm interested in how the language of architecture can create spatial forms and structures that can impact not only an individual person but also a community or society.”
Bio coming soon!
The future of civilization rests in the fate of the One Ring, which has been lost for centuries. Powerful forces are unrelenting in their search. But fate has placed it in the hands of a young Hobbit named Andrew Lords, who inherits the Ring and steps into legend.
It was a daunting task for Andrew when he became the Ringbearer: to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged. But he is an Eagle Scout and up for the challenge. An Eagle Scout’s purpose is to keep civilization from the strong hand of ancient evils.
After tossing the ring into the lava, Andrew went back home to SoCal where he now has his BArch from Cal Poly Pomona and MArch from the Architectural Association in London. As a team member at Omgivning, ask him about automated parking, but DO NOT talk to him about Mordor.
Born and raised in Downtown LA, Base (aka Baseball aka Bougansteinville aka Beetle aka Bug) is a Cocker Spaniel/Chihuahua mix, and our resident Interior Barkitect. She attended her mother’s sister school, Woofbury School of Design and Barkitecture, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Interior Barkitecture. Her favorite colors are blue and yellow…because those are the only colors she sees. Please inquire about her rates.
Bolívar was born in Ecuador, where he bounced back and forth between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It was very simple, as both hemispheres met in his backyard. While there, Bo was training to be a Master Builder in LEGOLAND, but decided he wanted to spend his life in real-world architecture.
After moving to the Southland, Bo graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Woodbury University. Although he works on real-life buildings at Omgivning, he still dabbles in Legos and has built his summer home out standard-sized Lego blocks. It was constructed in 28 minutes.
From Rollingwood, Mississippi, was a guy named Brad.
He was a gator wrestling musician, and it sure was rad.
He thought "Buildings are cool. This will be my fate"
And he got himself a BArch from Mississippi State.
Soon the lure of California was a calling his name,
And Bradley headed west so as to not be lame.
At Omgivning he landed, where he designs without a frown,
He even plays guitar at gigs all over our town.
Brad loves architecture and tunes that shuck and jive
Next time you see Brad, do give a high-five.
Hatched out of a turquoise egg, Cassie Thomas is a swan that grew up in Swan Lake, Maine. Yes, that same Swan Lake, but with much less drama than those other birds. Unlike the other ballet-dancing swans, she was a figure skater in her human form.
One windy day, she skated off all of her feathers and stayed a human...and realized she was cold. She moved to a warmer environment, Santa Monica, where she earned her degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute.
She may be a talented interior designer and valuable Omgivning team member, but she misses her former figure skating life...except for that "turning into a waterfowl" thing. She doesn’t miss that.
Sir Charles Darwin
Darwin is 50% Bassett Hound, 50% Blue Heeler and 100% fun guy. Don’t let his stubby legs fool you. He was the tallest dog in his graduating class at CalBarkeley, where he earned his Barkelers degree in Landscape Barkitecture. He’ll sniff out and roll around in the right landscape for you. Please inquire about his rates.
Dominic. A Haiku.
Dom is from Kansas.
He bikes into work downtown.
What a smart guy, guys.
This fun-loving pug is so happy to see you. As the youngest member of Omgivning, Ernie is a boundless chunk of energy and spunk. He graduated Cum Pawde at Woofbury School of Design and Barkitecture. Please inquire about his rates.
Bio coming soon!
Javiera may tell you that she is an architect that attended Smith College in Massachusetts and received her masters at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, but these are all fabrications. Javiera herself is a fabrication. She is a woman on the outside, futuristic robot on the inside. Don’t let her humanoid features fool you. She eats nuts and bolts for breakfast and “powers down” instead of sleeping. Her best add-on features: crushing a medium-sized sedan with one hand, being a great listener. She is actually unaware of her androidism, so please, whatever you do, DO NOT TELL HER!
Valparaiso, Indiana is famous for two things: Orville Redenbacher and Joel Chappo. Much like Redenbacher, Joel too is a popcorn magnate, but left the butter-soaked snacking game to attend Ball State University. This hilariously named school is where he earned his two degrees: a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design.
Joel is a proud owner of a genuine Eames Lounger, is dogfather to one of our barkitects, Roxy, and is wedded to the best architectural biographer in the biz.
Jonathan Giffin is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Architecture program, and studied abroad at Cal State Firenze. The world of architecture and big cities lead him to where he is today, designing for us here at Omgivning.
While living in Italy for school, he learned the ancient art of pasta-making from the matriarch of the family he was living with. He has made a promise to Nonna to eat pasta daily, and will gladly share his meal with you.
Other things that Nonna has taught Jonathan: crocheting X-Mas sweaters, sending work-appropriate memes around the office, and general IT skills.
Lauren grew up on a rainbow, which has led her to living anywhere rainbows land: from California to New England, and abroad to England and The Netherlands. Being raised in a sky spectrum has made her appreciate colors, sunshine, whimsy and springtime. Lauren suspended her colorful lifestyle to double major in International Politics and Studio Art at the Claremont Colleges, and received her Masters in Architecture from Yale.
She now resides in downtown Los Angeles with her dog, Sir Charles Darwin, and her Pegasus, Francis McEnroe, Esq.
Meiyee Apple Tam is an actor. You can see her in such roles as the Omgivning Office Manager extraordinaire and Website Biographer. Growing up in Texas, she bounced around Texas, moved to nation's capital, and found herself the clutches of LA life. Despite growing up in Texas, she had the thickest Canadian accent. We don't what that's aboot.
Although she is not a designer, she chooses to surround herself with designers because she enjoys being in the company of those who stress out quietly at their desks.
Morgan Sykes Jaybush
Fourth-generation Angeleno, Morgan Sykes Jaybush is one of the original members of Omgivning. He was born to be a part of the team, as he grew up in and around Downtown LA and has been a part of its revitalization for quite a while. He escaped big city life to try out coastal living while attending architecture school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and then lived life in Italy for several years.
Hop in his '66 Cutlass Supreme to cruise over to his house, where you'll find his collection of vintage designer chairs and clocks. He's the most upscale and organized hoarder you'll ever meet.
Nicole Stubblefield went through the ranks studying engineering, but eventually found her calling graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Architecture. In the midst of all this California architecture, she ran away to study abroad in Denmark.
Nicole is a food connoisseur who lives in East LA, and can tell you where to find the best burrito shack in all of Boyle Heights. She's also one of the tallest people in the Omgivning office at 5'10". Need help reaching for the mug on the top shelf? You know whom to call.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nikki attended the University of New Mexico where she earned her B.A. in Architecture and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte for her Masters of Architecture.
Fueled by hatch chilies and fry bread, the desert spirits have guided Nikki to visit over 24 countries where she spreads her Nikki Brown wisdom (also known as “Brownisms”) across the globe: how to build basic furniture, 36 ways to wrap a shawl around your body, and how to tell the difference between Moroccan spice and Monacoian spice.
Norella had a brief stint in real estate touring boring, unimaginative spaces. Even though all of that was lame, it allowed her to break out and exercise her creativity. She went on to graduate from Woodbury University with a degree in Interior Architecture. She also designs and produces furniture, so for each cool piece she creates, one boring thing is taken away from society.
This dog and vegetable lover lives in Downtown Los Angeles, only a block away from the Omgivning headquarters. Unlike most Angelenos, she doesn’t have that gross commute you have to take to work. Norella wins.
From the frozen tundra of Minneapolis/St. Paul emerged Peter Rindelaub, LEED Architect. Pursuing his need to live in winter wonderlands, Peter attended The University of Colorado, where he earned his Bachelor in Environmental Design, and then went back to the home state to get his Master in Architecture from The University of Minnesota.
Feeling like he wanted to thaw out, Peter sold his fishing-hole ice auger and bought hiking boots and sunglasses when he moved to Los Angeles in 2007. He still keeps an ice scraper in his car in case of emergency and for the plain novelty of it all.
Here are ten facts about Randi Robins:
1. She has no middle name, in spite of all that creative naming elsewhere.
2. More of a TV person than a movie person (fave show: Broad City).
3. Current life goal is to get a shiba inu, become a lunatic dog mom.
4. Graduated from ArtCenter College of Design. With honors!
5. Serbian grandma showed nine-year-old Randi how to make a burek (a flaky spinach feta pastry). Randi’s burek is now nearing perfection.
6. Age 14 Randi: attains black belt in Tae Kwon Do; age 15 Randi: quits Tae Kwon Do.
7. Extensive house plant collection.
8. Loves pink apartment buildings.
9. Believes that design, as an essentially anthropological field, references the old by default and that it can draw upon that “baggage” to create something new and interesting.
10. Conscious of designing with a balance between utility and novelty, Randi inspired by the anomalies, eccentricities, and kitsch that are a result of design (or of the lack of it).
University of Michigan grad Roberto Vazquez came to Los Angeles after realizing he didn't want to live in a state shaped like a mitten anymore. As one of the original members of Omgivning, this Architect is living the dream of turning underused structures into beautiful spaces to be enjoyed by everyone.
Roberto is Omgivning's token father, to a bouncing toddler named Xavier. He will undoubtedly pass to his son his love of aesthetics, V-neck t-shirts and salad. Roberto loves salad.
Sara chose the world of design and architecture in an attempt to affect her surroundings. She earned a Masters in Architecture, moved to LA, and joined the Omgivning team, where she can carve out enjoyable spaces for the masses.
Sara is a part of our large group of upper Midwestern refugees where she escaped from the frigid temps of Detroit, Michigan. Sara is so Detroit. How Detroit is she? Her mother is a Pontiac Firebird and her father is named Red Wing Groesbeck…as in, they named the hockey team after him.
Sarah Cahill, LEED AP, is a Wildcat from the University of Kentucky, where she got her degree in Architecture. Growing up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, she always enjoyed being taken into the city, where she began her love of buildings and architecture.
As a member of Omgivning, shaping and refining the character of Downtown Los Angeles is something she is proud to be a part of. Other things Sarah is proud of: her brand spanking new Winnebago, the ability to recite to you every lyric from the 90's Smashing Pumpkins catalog (not the weird later stuff), and being a force to be reckoned with at sci-fi trivia. Don't fraking test her.
Shannon’s love for architecture was sparked in elementary school after creating a model of San Buenaventura mission for an elementary school project. She would later leave her suburban town of Simi Valley to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she got her degree in Environmental Design. Shannon now lives in Burbank where she tends to her flock of flamingos and is reviving the Truffula tree population. When she is not baking tremendously good treats, she is likely trying to convince someone that the movie “War of the Buttons” deserves much more acclaim than it gets.
Teenage Shayna is one listless summer away from joining the Peace Corps. Hoping to enjoy her youth while it lasts, she's disappointed when her summer plans deposit her at a sleepy resort in the Catskills. Her luck turns around when the resort's dance instructor, Johnny, enlists Shayna as his new partner. Shayna’s father forbids her from seeing Johnny, but she's determined to help him perform the last big dance of the summer. Because of that one special moment, she decides against the Peace Corps and instead attends Johns Hopkins University and UCLA for Interior Design. In other words, nobody puts Shayna in the corner.
Once upon a time, a Chestnut-backed Owlet by the name of Ms. Madeleine Buttonmasher was soaring across the San Fernando Valley, where she found a child by the name of Yukie. The majestic bird noticed Yukie was creative in the arts yet also mathematical and logical. The wise old owl encouraged her to take the architecture path and with Ms. Buttonmasher by her side, Yukie earned their Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona.
Today, you’ll see Yukie and Ms. Buttonmasher enjoying their favorite activities, like exercising, dancing, and eating candy all around town. Yukie also currently lives in one of Omgivning’s projects. Ms. Madeleine now lives in Studio City, because Yukie’s building doesn’t allow birds.