Robin Standefer and partner Stephen Alesch, creative minds behind the design team Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors have put their mark on everything from chic hotels to sets for major motion pictures. (Not to mention our stylish set at HuffPost Live.) Although you'd imagine that these spaces' designs have nothing in common, Standefer assures us how relative the projects are in actuality. And in their new book Things We Made published by Rizzoli, the designers accompany stunning photography of their twenty years of work with narrative which explains that no matter the scope of the project, it's always about evoking an experience and creating a story.
Take for example their work at the new Facebook offices in Menlo Park, California. They were asked to create a cafeteria that feels comfortable, cozy, inviting and like a home...for 6,000 employees. Formerly the offices for Sun Microsystems, the designers' challenge was to deconstruct the corporate tone of the space by pulling layers away and completely reinventing it to reflect its new users who didn't want it to feel like a typical tech company or overly "designed." In the book, Standefer says:
"Look at the Facebook page. It's so simple. They have a serious interest in keeping the quality of that page about the experience and what's happening on it, and not about the graphics."
The result? A "camp dining hall" like interior with Americana-inspired picnic tables and fixtures and inviting lounge areas that foster a sense of community. The livable designs include warm lighting, exposed wood ceilings and glass doors that open to an outdoor dining area for BBQs, perfect for relaxing after working long hours.
Another one of our favorite projects detailed in the book? In 2000, the pair worked for close friend and author of their book's foreward, Ben Stiller, on the cult film, Zoolander. Similarly to their other work, their goal was to create something that is lasting and always feels current, and more about an ethos than a style. In the book, Alesch says about the set:
"The 'Walk-Off' scene was great. We made a massive runway in a decaying old powerplant. We built a throne for David Bowie, who would be the judge."
Click through the slideshow to see some of Roman and Williams' amazing designs and check out their new book Things We Made, available now.