Born in the San Gabriels and raised on the Maas, Metaphor is a reminder that things are rarely what they seem. We believe successful projects always resonate far beyond their boundaries, whether that means capturing a beautiful memory, engaging a complex ecosystem, or leading a collective movement. For us, architecture is a social discipline. The things we make demonstrate their value not only through their craft and beauty, but through the relationships they form, reinforce, or challenge.
The design process is not a passive or theoretical exercise.  It is a conversation with the materials we use, the techniques we employ, the relationships between elements, and embedded stories about the past and future. We are inspired by craftsmen and artists, by the manipulation of texture and light, by a good guitar riff, a sweet snack, and the smell of a damp forest. We learn by doing, and embrace the act of making as an integral part of our practice. The best days are not the ones we spend at the computer or drawing table, but the ones we spend in the workshop or on a building site. 
Zegwaardstraat, Rotterdam, Nederland
Firebaugh First, Firebaugh, California
The architectural and urban ideas in our work exist in a perpetual dialogue with the ecosystems in which they operate. The forces of wind and water and fire sometimes appear to resist our intervention, and we balance creativity with humility to create resilient projects that respect their environment. In other cases, development and extraction has destabilised the physical or biological landscape, and we are responsible for the restoration of vibrant habitats where humans exist in a rich network of biodiversity. 
Our discipline does not exist in isolation. We have always operated in a rich context of ecological and cultural phenomena. We believe that this context enriches our work, and that our work must offer something in return to its context. This relationship is not always friendly. Our most successful work often subverts or opposes the conditions we find. However, we begin by immersing ourselves in the environment, developing our response through careful study and reflection.
Transformation Strip Malls, Los Angeles, California
USC School of Architecture, Los Angeles, California
Our practice has been shaped by social and political movements, demanding equitable neighborhood investment, criminal justice reform, access to affordable housing, inclusive migration policies, sustainable agricultural practices, and healthy public spaces. Rather than responding to these issues as crises to be managed, we see them as opportunities to contribute to the pursuit of spatial justice. We are responsible for stimulating the collective imagination before a project is conceived, and for the impact of our interventions on generations to come.
Despite our obsession with the spatial, tectonic, and material implications of our practice, we often reflect on our work as a backdrop for the rich social environment that exists within and around it. Our cultural and social sensitivities are our most valued skill. Whether we are collaborating with a single family, a small neighbourhood, or an entire city, the interactions that we foster and amplify are the most carefully considered characteristic impact of the work.
Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California
Star and Garter, Manchester, England
Personal and collective memories transform beautiful spaces into meaningful places. As designers and builders, we can imagine this transformation and provide the physical basis for a deeply emotional process. Sometimes, this transformation has already taken place, and our role is to amplify, support, or guide the process. This doesn't mean that our work is less important. Rather this puts us in direct conversation with the users, stewards, and caretakers of the place, and challenges us to contribute our professional expertise to a project that exceeds the scope of our own involvement.
metaphor architecture
JP Luikart
Louise Rogier
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