OUR OBSESSION: We are crazy about building community. It’s our reason for being and it’s what fuels us as designers and architects. Our focus on Eat, Shop, Live and Play is the result of an extreme bias toward using design to foster interaction. We’re not interested in the austere or the exclusive. We were the kids in school who were on the dance committee.

A QUICK HISTORY: Our practice was started when architects Charles Kahn, Marites Abueg and Keith Morris merged firms to create a single studio offering services ranging from customized restaurant design to large multifamily buildings and united by a passion for craft and, of course, community.

PHILOSOPHY: We believe that good design is true to its social, historical and cultural context. For all projects, from remodels to new commercial buildings, we work to identify and express the character of the building, business or space.  We use a variety of tools – historical research, mood boards, community outreach — to elicit the essential values and qualities and represent them through warm, engaging design.

PROCESS: Our firm is highly service-oriented; every client relationship is unique and every design solution specific to the site, budget, brand vision, customer demographic, and schedule. We believe in the power of collaboration to find the best result and welcome input from clients, staff and the greater community to enrich our ideas.

EXPERTISE: Firm principals Charles Kahn, Keith Morris, Marites Abueg and Ann Slobod bring decades of experience to the practice. Each maintains a hands-on approach to the projects in the office while guiding a staff of exceptional designers, architects, project managers and one slightly obsessive code guru.  We thrive on challenges and are as proud of our intricate restaurant interiors as we of our record with entitlements for complex commercial projects.

Our portfolio illustrates the quality of our work but for a more personal take on working with us please ask for references, we’d be happy to share.

 

Please click on images below to read staff bios.
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CHARLES KAHN. 

Charles came to California from Alabama for the Master’s in Architecture program at U.C. Berkeley and immediately knew he was here to stay.  Enamored with the style, culture and landscape of the Bay Area, Charles began designing buildings that reflected the values that drew him to the region – openness, inclusiveness and community. A true people person, Charles excels in working with clients, city officials, contractors and the general public. He is renowned for his ability to work with disparate stake-holders to get complex and challenging projects entitled.  The office’s ethos of respect, kindness and vitality originate with Charles.  As managing principal, he ensures that our projects and policies are imbued with these qualities. Fact: He did very well with the girls at math camp.

Charles Kahn

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MARITES ABUEG. 

Marites moved to Berkeley from Ohio in 1991, after graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed architecture program and more importantly, marrying Keith Morris. After working on numerous public and private projects Marites designed  A Cote Restaurant in 2000,  her first restaurant (with Mark Becker Inc.) and was hooked on restaurant design’s perfect combination of food, communal gathering and sensory experience.  In 2003 she and Keith opened Abueg Morris Architects.  She and Keith have designed over 40 food-related projects. She’s design obsessed and focuses her work on beautiful and balanced lighting, conversation-allowing acoustics, “right” color, ergonomics, and brand-supportive look, feel and fit. She loves being a go-to resource and loves sourcing new materials and products.  Fact: As a teen, she cultivated her design taste at the “Trash & Treasure Barn” in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Marites Abueg

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ANN SLOBOD. 

As head of operations and marketing Ann wears many hats. She is responsible for marketing efforts including outreach, developing and maintaining the firm’s identity, proposal writing and promoting the firm’s mission. She also is responsible for overseeing the firms accounting, human resources, insurance, and contract review functions. She studied landscape architecture at U.C. Santa Cruz and Communications at U.C. Berkeley before joining the firm in 1993. Fact: She is a happy slave to two giant hounds.

Ann Slobod

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KEITH MORRIS. 

Keith worked for Charles Kahn 23 years ago, where he first learned the art and science of restaurant design projects. His love of technical detail dovetails perfectly with his love of orchestrating a team to create a highly successful project.  “It’s rare when we find time to meet in person anymore. A beautiful, well-designed space can foster and support profound, pithy, and poignant moments ”. Fact: He bought his “Ludwig Silver Sparkle” drum kit when he was 12 and plays it in two bands to this day.

Keith Morris

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BUDDY WILLIAMS. 

Having lived and worked as an architect in South Africa, Lesotho, England, France and Boston, MA, Buddy Williams brings a wide range of experience to Studio KDA’s practice of contemporary green design. As a senior designer and project manager, Buddy provides design solutions that are consistently inspired, practical and informed by principles of sustainability. Fact: Buddy’s home includes chickens, bees, hamsters, garden beds and humans, large and small.

Buddy Williams

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DARSHAN AMRIT. 

Hailing from Ketchum Idaho, Darshan learned about architecture first by designing vacation homes in Sun Valley with his step father then as a designer for Gensler. After a brief foray into fine art Darshan joined the Studio in 2007. He integrates and utilizes these experiences to bring careful project management and a high level of refinement to projects of all sizes. Fact: He’s not East Indian – his parents were hippies.

Darshan Amrit

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KIM FISHER. 

Studio Director and Senior Project Architect, Kim Fisher, blends her sensitivity to form, scale and context with a passion for detail. Kim is highly adept managing very complex projects with multiple stakeholders and dozens of consultants to create buildings of superior quality. She has extensive expertise in retail buildings and centers and often manages projects with budgets exceeding $40 million. Fact: There is nothing Kim can’t do with a spreadsheet.

Kim Fisher

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TIFFANY ROSE AMRIT. 

Tiffany was drawn to architecture through her desire to create beautiful things that enrich everyday life. She heads the residential interiors division of the firm, teaches in the Interior Design program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is a Certified Interior Designer. Tiffany joined Studio KDA in 2001. Fact: She is most at home in the kitchen – designing, cooking or eating it doesn’t matter.

Tiffany Rose Amrit

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VIET TRUONG. 

Enamored by the complex urban fabric of the Bay Area, Viet’s work seeks to enhance the inter-relationship between people and their surroundings. He loves commercial buildings and place making and works to go beyond the commonplace to delight our senses by tapping into local regional and cultural values. Viet joined the firm in 2005. Fact: Viet is always building something, literally.

Viet Truong

OUR OBSESSION: We are crazy about building community. It’s our reason for being and it’s what fuels us as designers and architects. Our focus on Eat, Shop, Live and Play is the result of an extreme bias toward using design to foster interaction. We’re not interested in the austere or the exclusive. We were the kids in school who were on the dance committee.

A QUICK HISTORY: Our practice was started when architects Charles Kahn, Marites Abueg and Keith Morris merged firms to create a single studio offering services ranging from customized restaurant design to large multifamily buildings and united by a passion for craft and, of course, community.

PHILOSOPHY: We believe that good design is true to its social, historical and cultural context. For all projects, from remodels to new commercial buildings, we work to identify and express the character of the building, business or space.  We use a variety of tools – historical research, mood boards, community outreach — to elicit the essential values and qualities and represent them through warm, engaging design.

PROCESS: Our firm is highly service-oriented; every client relationship is unique and every design solution specific to the site, budget, brand vision, customer demographic, and schedule. We believe in the power of collaboration to find the best result and welcome input from clients, staff and the greater community to enrich our ideas.

EXPERTISE: Firm principals Charles Kahn, Keith Morris, Marites Abueg and Ann Slobod bring decades of experience to the practice. Each maintains a hands-on approach to the projects in the office while guiding a staff of exceptional designers, architects, project managers and one slightly obsessive code guru.  We thrive on challenges and are as proud of our intricate restaurant interiors as we of our record with entitlements for complex commercial projects.

Our portfolio illustrates the quality of our work but for a more personal take on working with us please ask for references, we’d be happy to share.

 

CHARLES KAHN.

Charles came to California from Alabama for the Master’s in Architecture program at U.C. Berkeley and immediately knew he was here to stay.  Enamored with the style, culture and landscape of the Bay Area, Charles began designing buildings that reflected the values that drew him to the region – openness, inclusiveness and community. A true people person, Charles excels in working with clients, city officials, contractors and the general public. He is renowned for his ability to work with disparate stake-holders to get complex and challenging projects entitled.  The office’s ethos of respect, kindness and vitality originate with Charles.  As managing principal, he ensures that our projects and policies are imbued with these qualities. Fact: He did very well with the girls at math camp.

MARITES ABUEG.

Marites moved to Berkeley from Ohio in 1991, after graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed architecture program and more importantly, marrying Keith Morris. After working on numerous public and private projects Marites designed  A Cote Restaurant in 2000,  her first restaurant (with Mark Becker Inc.) and was hooked on restaurant design’s perfect combination of food, communal gathering and sensory experience.  In 2003 she and Keith opened Abueg Morris Architects.  She and Keith have designed over 40 food-related projects. She’s design obsessed and focuses her work on beautiful and balanced lighting, conversation-allowing acoustics, “right” color, ergonomics, and brand-supportive look, feel and fit. She loves being a go-to resource and loves sourcing new materials and products.  Fact: As a teen, she cultivated her design taste at the “Trash & Treasure Barn” in Ashtabula, Ohio.

ANN SLOBOD.

As head of operations and marketing Ann wears many hats. She is responsible for marketing efforts including outreach, developing and maintaining the firm’s identity, proposal writing and promoting the firm’s mission. She also is responsible for overseeing the firms accounting, human resources, insurance, and contract review functions. She studied landscape architecture at U.C. Santa Cruz and Communications at U.C. Berkeley before joining the firm in 1993. Fact: She is a happy slave to two giant hounds.

KEITH MORRIS.

Keith worked for Charles Kahn 23 years ago, where he first learned the art and science of restaurant design projects. His love of technical detail dovetails perfectly with his love of orchestrating a team to create a highly successful project.  “It’s rare when we find time to meet in person anymore. A beautiful, well-designed space can foster and support profound, pithy, and poignant moments ”. Fact: He bought his “Ludwig Silver Sparkle” drum kit when he was 12 and plays it in two bands to this day.

BUDDY WILLIAMS.

Having lived and worked as an architect in South Africa, Lesotho, England, France and Boston, MA, Buddy Williams brings a wide range of experience to Studio KDA’s practice of contemporary green design. As a senior designer and project manager, Buddy provides design solutions that are consistently inspired, practical and informed by principles of sustainability. Fact: Buddy’s home includes chickens, bees, hamsters, garden beds and humans, large and small.

DARSHAN AMRIT.

Hailing from Ketchum Idaho, Darshan learned about architecture first by designing vacation homes in Sun Valley with his step father then as a designer for Gensler. After a brief foray into fine art Darshan joined the Studio in 2007. He integrates and utilizes these experiences to bring careful project management and a high level of refinement to projects of all sizes. Fact: He’s not East Indian – his parents were hippies.

KIM FISHER.

Studio Director and Senior Project Architect, Kim Fisher, blends her sensitivity to form, scale and context with a passion for detail. Kim is highly adept managing very complex projects with multiple stakeholders and dozens of consultants to create buildings of superior quality. She has extensive expertise in retail buildings and centers and often manages projects with budgets exceeding $40 million. Fact: There is nothing Kim can’t do with a spreadsheet.

TIFFANY ROSE AMRIT.

Tiffany was drawn to architecture through her desire to create beautiful things that enrich everyday life. She heads the residential interiors division of the firm, teaches in the Interior Design program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is a Certified Interior Designer. Tiffany joined Studio KDA in 2001. Fact: She is most at home in the kitchen – designing, cooking or eating it doesn’t matter.

VIET TRUONG.

Enamored by the complex urban fabric of the Bay Area, Viet’s work seeks to enhance the inter-relationship between people and their surroundings. He loves commercial buildings and place making and works to go beyond the commonplace to delight our senses by tapping into local regional and cultural values. Viet joined the firm in 2005. Fact: Viet is always building something, literally.