Episode 15

As Built Interview with David Thompson, AIA

In this episode, Brian Jones interviews David Thompson, AIA, founder of Los Angeles-based architecture firm Assembledge+. Since 1997, Assembledge+ has built an impressive portfolio of award-winning residential, commercial, public, and planning projects.

David discusses how the firm’s ethos of collaboration applies not only to how the internal studio works, but also to how the firm works with clients and with contractors. He explains what “collaboration” looks like in daily practice and how it leads to superior project results. David also gives examples of how the firm’s design roots in SoCal modernism are able to be successfully translated for almost any climate and topography, as well as their design approach of creating an extension of the living space into the landscape rather than limiting themselves to the square feet of a physical space.


  • How David began his career in the design industry and identified his entrepreneurial spirit
  • The role of firm culture and maintaining a collaborative environment in the studio
  • What it means to have client collaboration
  • The importance of developing a strong relationship with builders throughout the construction process
  • Adapting the firm’s Southern California aesthetic to different geographic locations
  • Communicating design intentions with prospective clients
  • The idea of restraint in designing projects and how it plays a role in the firm’s internal process
  • The challenge of the traditional educational process, teaching a singular leadership approach that may not always work
  • Acknowledging that one is only as good as their team in executing architecture projects
  • The power of having the right people in running a practice, a lesson he learned early from his parents

Episode Resources

Connect with Brian and Patience

Connect with David Thompson, AIA


April 13, 2023