The work of Mark Cigolle and Kim Coleman of Los Angeles, California investigates the nature of architectural collaboration. In a design collaboration, a joint intellectual effort, the outcome of project is not predetermined, because invention and intervention from one collaborator actively alters the other's preconceived notions of where a project is going. The husband and wife team engages a wide-ranging set of architectural priorities: maintaining an architectural practice, acting as general contractor in building their design work, researching theoretical issues in an academic setting and teaching architectural design and theory. Each activity informs and reforms the ongoing collaborative process.
Current and ongoing work of the team can be characterized in three broad categories:
Live-work Houses: Working and living in the same place has generated a new programmatic typology which is likely to become a prevalent option, particularly in urban areas like Los Angeles. The framework of relationships between the activities of living and working has been explored in a series of houses, including Canyon House, Sky Ranch House, and the TR houses.
School and University Work: Place-making in the public realm and relationships between the external forces of context and internal forces of program are explored through educational work, including , most recently, a new building for Wildwood School in Los Angeles, California.
Computer Integration: The potential of the computer as it impacts on design process is an ongoing research interest of the partnership. The development of strategies that integrate the computer as an integral part of design process has been an evolving subject of the team's research over the past sixteen years.
After receiving bachelors and masters degrees from Princeton University, Mark Cigolle (A.B. Princeton. Graduate studies at Harvard. M.Arch. Princeton) worked in the offices of Michael Graves, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, and Peter Eisenman before starting his own firm in New York. Cigolle has taught architecture at the University of Kentucky, Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Virginia, and the University of Southern California.
Kim Coleman (A.B. Smith College. M.Arch. University of Virginia.) studied fine arts at Smith College and worked as a general contractor in Washington D.C. before pursuing a graduate degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. She began working with Cigolle in New York; the two formed a partnership and moved to Los Angeles in 1982. In addition to architectural practice, Coleman is also a professor at the School of Architecture, University of Southern California, where she has taught for the past twenty years.