Photo by Michael Williams, Teppei Teranishi, Char Beck, Scott Gustafson
By Ryan Zoradi
In 2010 we reached out to Scott M B Gustafson of the Los Angeles based design firm MAISON ORION regarding the creation of our Apolis: Common Gallery. Scott had been a loyal Apolis patron and even wrote a blog post detailing what the first regionally branded Apolis store should look like. When we moved forward with the project, we decided Scott’s interest in craftsmanship, quality materials and social activism would make him our perfect design partner.
Scott grew up in Libertyville, IL, a small town north of Chicago. He went to architecture school at Kansas State University and graduated in 1999. Upon completion of his studies, he spent five years living and working in Southern Arizona where the natural beauty of the desert and the immense cultural history sparked his passion for fine-tuned, regionally appropriate architecture. Since then, Scott has lived and worked in Colorado and California and the quest for sensitive design solutions continues in the work he does.
MAISON ORION was founded in 2007 when Scott began working with the artist Jackie Sumell on her collaborative art project with Herman Wallace entitled “The House That Herman Built”. Herman Wallace has been in solitary confinement for almost 40 years and in the course of their lengthy correspondence, Jackie asked Herman about the dream house he would like for himself, and thus began this incredible project. In 2009, Scott undertook another key project working with the Cloud Horse Art Institute (Šunkawakan Mahpiya Oklolakiciye) , a non-profit educational foundation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to design their new campus. Though the Lakota Indians were traditionally nomadic, their nuanced understanding of the landscape translates easily to contemporary notions of sustainable design.
During the design process for the Apolis: Common Gallery, Scott worked closely with creative director Raan Parton and the rest of the Apolis team to establish the goals for the space. Functionally, it needed to work as a retail store, a meeting hall, an art gallery, an office and a cultural embassy. Flexibility was identified as a key component so the space could be easily reconfigured for the various types of events planned to take place as well as support changing retail display scenarios.
We are pleased to share with you the following images depicting the Apolis: Common Gallery design process and final result. We also invite you to come visit us at 806 East Third St. in LA’s Arts District.