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Primo Orpilla will present a lecture at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall, on the U of A campus, as part of the fall lecture series in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Orpilla is the co-founder of Studio O+A in San Francisco, a multi-disciplinary design firm at the forefront of new thinking about work and the workplace.

In his lecture, “Workplace + Belonging,” Orpilla will discuss how society is in the midst of a fundamental rethinking of the purpose and efficacy of the workplace. Every modern office is an ecosystem of interconnected activities — some in harmony, others in conflict — all requiring designated spaces. Studio O+A has pulled those spaces together by creating unique design stories, inclusivity and fluid space types.

Every company has a history; every site has a meaningful relationship to its neighborhood or its city; and every CEO has a passion that leads the company. Orpilla will discuss how these elements contribute to keeping a corporate ecosystem healthy by making every inhabitant part of a larger narrative and every space a logical outgrowth of the client’s roots and culture. For 32 years, Studio O+A has pulled those spaces together by creating unique design stories.

Studio O+A’s groundbreaking designs for Netflix, Adidas, McDonald’s, Yelp, Microsoft, Nike and many other companies have demonstrated the power of design to make the work environment a catalyst for creativity and a vehicle for change. In addition to his firm’s commercial work, Orpilla has overseen a diverse roster of experimental projects — from pop-up art installations to speculative office prototypes to new-wave furniture design.

When the pandemic necessitated a global shift to working from home, Orpilla directed a team to develop new space types for hybrid offices and the next generation of work. The result of the work was two digital guides: “A Toolkit for the Times” and “The Eco Playbook.” Both guides are downloadable from Studio O+A’s website.

A frequent lecturer on design and the future of the workplace, Orpilla speaks globally at schools and design conferences, encouraging young designers to make personal experiences their model for creating a better world.

This is the Evo Business Environments Endowed Lecture in Interior Architecture and Design.

Orpilla will also present a lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, as part of the Architecture and Design Network’s June Freeman Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by the Fay Jones School.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. 

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