2018 EDGE - wrk-shp


The LA Design Festival created the EDGE Award to recognize recently emerged talent. By “emerged” we mean talented individuals who have received some exposure on the world stage but are still writing their own stories and determining their own paths. They’ve been tested and overcome hurdles. Through those experiences, they’ve found their own voices but they’re still exploring their potential.

EDGE candidates were nominated through a public process and selected by the LA Design Festival Board. By coincidence this year, the 2018 EDGE Awards recipients are all creative groups (couples and collaboratives).

Ryan Upton and Airi Isoda bring beauty to the everyday.

They met in architecture school at the University of Southern California, but Airi eventually became frustrated with the glacial pace at which the industry moved. Hungry for a creative outlet, she happened upon an amazing exhibition at MOCA that drew the link between fashion and architecture, and started taking technical fashion design courses before launching her own clothing line in 2012 upon graduation. Meanwhile, Ryan continued down the architecture path, working on modern residences and restaurants, but eventually joined Airi at wrk-shp.

Since then, the talented duo have never looked back. They like to design everything from buildings to all objects in between. wrk-shp clothing is designed using textiles from Japan and produced in California, while their furniture and home products are made by local, highly-skilled craftspeople, and no matter wherever or whatever they are up to, this dynamic pair is always thinking of ways to bridge architecture, design, and everyday things. wrk-shp truly brings beauty to the seemingly mundane.

Among their latest projects, wrk-shp is currently working on a new Commonwealth store in the Arts District in LA (after designing two retail stores for the brand in the Philippines), and their Spring/Summer 2018 collection is inspired by the Danish architect Jorn Utzon, particularly the architect’s summer villa on the island of Majorca

Photo courtesy of wrk-shp

Christine Joo