We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Preish and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
You mean that you are supposed to PLAN on starting a business?! No one told us that! Upon graduation from the Masters of Architecture program at NewSchool in 2011, there were not many available positions at the local architecture firms. In lieu of a difficult job hunt, several recent graduates (friends from studio) began tackling small scale design and build projects. We worked on the lobby design for a local software firm, interior build-outs for loft spaces in Barrio Logan, and designed and built the pig on top of the original Carnitas location. We compensated for our lack of architectural office know-how with constructing the projects ourselves. Projects snowballed over time and we added team members as our projects grew in scope and scale. Fast forward 8 years and at heart we are still the same team of designers, tinkerers, and builders, working on creative solutions to better the built environment.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Physically what sets us apart from other design studios is that we are a split-personality of design AND fabrication. We can build what others simply draw and pass along. There’s nothing wrong with designers that don’t build (many of them are our clients!), but we prefer to mate the two worlds to better the details, process, and efficiency. Also, it’s a bit selfish also, since it is so rewarded to see a design go from sketch to built wonder under the same roof. However, what sets us apart mentally is different. We consider ourselves “weirdos in a warehouse” and embrace the oddities that arise from that. Although we are professionals that design and manage our projects cleanly and tightly, we are also creatives that don’t enjoy the confines of a standard studio environment. It’s a constant struggle to grow as a company and retain this aloof organicness, but we are trying our best. Organized professionals in an oddball creative candy shell. That’s us.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Any solid trip to SD is beach centric. It is cliche, I know, but anyone from out of town deserves to have lunch drinks on the roof patio of George’s at the Cove, followed by a walk by the glider port to check out Black’s Beach from above. If they are the adventurous sort, we’d probably head down to TJ for a stop at Telefonica Gastropark or head further south to the Valle for some wine tasting. Man, 7 months into Covid and these trips sound amazing!! On a smaller, more intimate level, myself and the other Tecture owner’s live in the North Park, South Park, Golden Hill triangle. There are so many wonderful haunts in this area that I find myself forcing out-of-towners to stay with us so that we can walk and hop from place to place. Turf Supper Club. The Station. Lancers. Plumeria. The Kindred/Buona Forchetta combo. Too many fun spots. So I guess eating and drinking, with a stop at some beach views. That’s my itinerary.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s been a long and laborious process to get to this point, and we are proud to have carved our niche using blood and sweat. But of course there have been wonderful people along the way that have poked, prodded, guided, or shoved us in new and interesting directions. Early on several of our team worked for a guy by the name of Dominique Houriet. He is a local architect and designer that helped open our eyes to the design/build approach. His methods, whether in drinking beers while charring wood for a piece of furniture or drafting a contract, were both playful yet effective. He set us on a good path. Also, there have been clients along the way that have had faith in us to complete projects that were well out of our range of experience. These clients were able to see that we strive for excellence in our work and that they could harness that passion for their projects. Early on it was Matt Spencer of Kettner Exchange, and more recently it was Doug Hamm of Nolita. Big thank yous to both. And finally, we have to thank our parents! Most of us came from backgrounds where we learned how to build things at a young age. Whether it was helping dad on a car in the driveway, piecing together old trash bikes to create new beauties, or tinkering on landscaping projects in the yard, we were exposed to the act of creation. Talking through ideas and then creating them with your hands. Rewarding stuff all around.
Linkedin: Tecture Inc.
Jenny Siegwart Studio MAHA