... by architect Andrew Dunbar and landscape architect Zoee Astrakhan. After years of working in separate disciplines, the arbitrary distinctions were just too constraining, so Interstice was born as a multidisciplinary firm of architects, landscape architects urban designers and visual artists. Over the past ten years, this critical practice has grown designing public and private spaces on projects of multiple scales, focused on the broadest possible interpretation of the constructed realm.
As an integrated practice, IA combines professional services concentrating the experience of these shared disciplines to create a civic minded practice, where all staff are active citizens and advocates for better communities. Working with private clients, City Agencies, Redevelopment Agencies, Task Forces and other institutional organizations we design collaborations rather than dictating solutions, viewing constraints as opportunities, we reach for the unexpected by exposing root problems. Personally and professionally, we reside in the city and create from an immersed point of view. Our work is inspired by constant research into the urban condition and those idiosyncratic social, historical and ecological aspects that make each project challenging and distinctive.
IA is a collaborative of civic-minded individuals that embrace sustainability as integral to lasting and relevant planning and design. As designers, educators and urban activists, we strive to imbue material and space with identity, to create simple and sustainable solutions through intelligent infrastructures. We are material explorers and strategists prioritizing long term, fundamental change creating solutions where things not only appear different, they are different.
Collaborating closely with our diverse clients, from private residential, to institutional and civic agencies, IA works without walls, in a very big room, with lots of extra chairs...
Zoee Astrakhan is a licensed landscape architect in California and has over fifteen years of Landscape Architecture project design and management experience. Zoee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Design of the Environment from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania (1993) where she was awarded a Certificate of Merit for Design Achievement and the Van Alen Travel Fellowship. She is a LEED accredited professional and taught design at California of the Arts from 2000-2005.
Zoee is the studios head of project management and operations. Zoee is in charge of the administrative management of the projects within the office. She is a designer collaborating on all projects and directs the flow of information between all parties involved in the design process.
She has an explicit interest in the contact between landscape and architecture, which occurs distinctly in an urban context, as well as an interest in the development of strategies to design distinctive complex interfaces between landscapes, buildings and civic infrastructures.
Zoees extensive civic design experience has provided her the opportunity to work directly with several municipalities, development agencies, utility districts, private developers, public artists, and special interest community and cultural groups in the Bay Area. Recent project experience much of it in the areas of health care facilities, public institutions and urban landscape projects.
Andrew Dunbar is a licensed architect in California with over twenty years of architectural project design and management experience. He is a founding principal and director of Interstice Architects and is the studios design leader. Andrew is a LEED accredited professional, and holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University, where he graduated with Distinction (1989), and a Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania (1993). Andrew was awarded the AIA certificate of merit for design achievement, The Presidents College Prize from the Order of Architects of Quebec, and the Hugh McLennan Memorial Travel Scholarship among others.
Andrews early professional design career was shaped by his experience as a senior designer and project architect with Saucier Perrotte in Montreal. Andrews extensive travel, urban research, and broad project experience in Canada, Europe and the Bay Area, encompasses the design of major public cultural centers, including museums, theaters, universities, and libraries as well as the design of private courtyards, custom residential projects, commercial buildings and interiors, public street-scapes, multi-acre campus landscapes, parks and master plans. His work on the Scrap House which received the AIA SF, Special Achievement Award exploited his inventive interest in developing prototypes for unorthodox building assemblies and materials.
Andrew has spent over a decade teaching art and architecture at Bay Area institutions including California College of the Arts and University of California Berkeley. He has taught Graduate level architecture design studios as well as various interdisciplinary art and architectural studios from Foundation 2, 3 and 4-Dimensional studios in Bachelor of art, architecture and Master of Architecture Programs. Andrew is an accomplished painter, artist and maker of architectural and functional objects. His work from studios in Barcelona, Vienna and Glasgow has been the subject of the traveling exhibit City Works through the support of the Hylcan Foundation Award.
He has written articles for Art Papers and has published papers on visual theory and representation as well as lecturing at McGill university, University of Montreal, University of Toronto and Waterloo among others, including California College of the Arts and Berkley in the Bay area. As visual artist, teacher, and architect his work evolves from an ongoing experimentation with materials and various processes of making, which is applied reflexively to the making of architecture and landscapes through a critical investigative lens.