From Dan Maginn, AIA, LEED AP

"It's so easy to draw steel details, but it's a lot harder to make them than it seems."

“Steel is intriguing. There are a lot of things we can do with it on a smaller scale and a larger scale. Wood is not very forgiving, but if you make a mistake with steel you can grind it down again.”

“The Eameses are a model for us. We just really admire what they did. I particularly admire Charles' articles on understanding your constraints.”

From Jamie Darnell, AIA, LEED AP

“Doing renovation is a great learning experience. We're very constraint-based?all renovation is is constraints.”

“Some of the most important decisions we make get made in the field.”

“Any kind of visually interesting thing we do is usually about the composition of the forms or the way things come together.”

From Douglas Stockman

“Overintellectualism has its place, but you have to be grounded in something meaningful. Ultimately if you embrace the pragmatism of this kind of work and have something beautiful come out of it, you can feel very good about it.”

“What's really important to us is consistency.”

“We're rooted in functionality. Going from designing restaurants to houses to offices keeps us engaged. There's a resistance to just doing one thing.”

From David Dowell

“We're starting to get into planning in some interesting ways. We can look at planning issues with a fresh perspective. We also bring artists into the planning process.”

“The whole premise of el dorado is that it's not five partners' names?it's a whole firm. There's a lot of partner interaction. We'll steal [ideas] from each other all the time.”

“We all imagined we would be doing exactly what we're doing.”

From Josh Shelton

“I think a strong commitment to collaboration and pragmatism allows a steady flow of ideas back and forth between the five of us.”

“A residential project can have many overlaps with a light-industrial project, which in turn can have many overlaps with a piece of furniture that we are prototyping in our shop.”

“Collectively, we are searching across the board for use/value over style, for an eclectic problem-solving approach over singular answers.”

Craving more el dorado musings? Play the Podcasts on their Web site at