WORD brings a high level of energy, intensity and thoughtfulness to everything we take on. We are firm believers that architecture is a progressive social art, and necessarily collaborative by nature. Each project becomes a true partnership as we strive to infuse our clients’ needs, aspirations, personalities and beliefs into the work. The combination of those qualities with our own diverse experience and expertise produces uniquely tailored, extraordinary results. We seek to always transcend our clients’ aspirations and expectations.
We also believe that there are fundamental responsibilities that all of our designs must address. WORD champions a socially inclusive, publicly accessible, humanitarian and sustainable architecture. By implementing these convictions incrementally through our work, we are confidently leading by example and hoping to help others embrace these necessities of the modern world.
We pride ourselves on being service-forward with all of our clients. The availability and candor we offer is paramount and unmatched. We value honesty and transparency, and freely share our experience and knowledge of the process.
WORD has the capacity to design and deliver projects of all types and scales. Our design sensibilities tend to harmonize well with clients who appreciate a progressive culture and lifestyle.
Our work has been recognized by numerous media outlets both in print and popular design blogs such as Elle Decor, Wallpaper, Architectural Digest, Dezeen, ArchDaily, and DesignBoom. Our designs have also been honored with a number of juried awards and people’s choice awards from associations such as the AIA and the Los Angeles Westside Forum. Recently, WORD was also recognized as one of ten international Design Vanguards by Architectural Record Magazine.
Chris Warren, AIA, LEED AP, is the founding principal and design director of WORD. Architectural Record magazine named him as a Design Vanguard in 2020, and he was also recently selected as one of four Emerging Talents in architecture by the prestigious Monterey Design Conference. With over twenty years of experience, Chris has played an essential role in projects ranging in scale from a masterplan for a new city district in China; a 4,500 unit Olympic athletes’ village; NOAA’s satellite operations headquarters near Washington DC; an adaptive re-use creative office for production; and a corner café in Los Angeles – all of which have earned multiple design awards.
Originally from the Denver area, Chris attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and went on to achieve his masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He then immediately moved to Los Angeles, where he spent his formative professional years working on over twenty commissions with Pritzker Prize laureate Thom Mayne at Morphosis. He later co-founded the award winning Studio Shift and also began teaching at the University of Southern California, where he delivered the commencement address to the School of Architecture’s class of 2011. Most recently, Chris has taught design programs in Shanghai, Rome, Como and was a visiting professor of urban design at Washington University of St. Louis.
As a multi-racial American (of Korean and European descent), Chris believes that architecture and design can be a cultural tool used to bridge our differences and highlight our commonalities. And as an experienced advocate for the power of the designed world, Chris wholly believes in its potential to enhance lives.
“Thoughtful design has the ability to influence our actions, set the stage for our emotions and linger as the framework of our memories.”