Design is an act of optimism.
Reflecting on 2023
Our work is the culmination of a collaborative spirit and shared vision for creating spaces that push the boundaries of design and add wonder to everyday experiences. In 2023, we worked in 25 cities around the world on multidisciplinary projects ranging from dynamic districts to revitalized parks that unify communities to resilient master plans.
We welcomed project completions and celebrated new wins, took part in design competitions, and amplified the voices of our diverse team of designers at events around the world.
As we reflect on 2023, we look forward to a new year filled with meaningful projects and boundless potential for shaping inclusive, dynamic spaces.
Transformative Places of 2023
Every project aligns with our mission of crafting transformative spaces that merge disciplines to create the unexpected. This year, we celebrated the opening of cultural hubs such as Houston’s newest landmark Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts and Austin’s high-fidelity vinyl listening bar Equipment Room.
We saw the success of spaces that embrace indoor-outdoor connections in projects across scales including the office redesign of 800 | 900 Culver Pointe and Slot Canyon, an idyllic residence inspired by its Palm Springs desert locale.
The Hyper-Abundant City, featured at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, introduced a resilient masterplan for the future of the city’s Apgujeong district. Prioritizing resiliency and people-first design processes, we announced our involvement in the Watts Community Center, a future hub of learning, culture, and wellness for all residents of Watts, and the West End Mixed-Use District, a mixed-use master plan that will revitalize the area adjacent to FC Cincinnati’s renowned TQL stadium.
A Global Perspective on Hyperlocal Design
In competitions throughout the year, we strengthened our global perspective and commitment to attunement through hyperlocal design. Some of the highlights include:
Milestones & Achievements
As we pushed the boundaries of design and our own practice, we achieved new milestones highlighting our projects, thought leaders, and collective achievements.
- Co-CEO and Partner Andy Lantz explored the evolving post-pandemic workplace landscape in The Wall Street Journal’s Year in Review.
- Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts was featured in the Arts & Culture and Extreme Heat issues of Architectural Record in addition to the 20th anniversary issue of the Architect’s Newspaper.
- Design Director Jason Shinoda and Managing Studio Director Nate Cormier detailed the hyperlocal design process behind Palm Springs Downtown Park in Landscape Architecture Frontiers (LA Frontiers).
- Urban Land Magazine highlighted RIOS’ forward-thinking approach to soundstage design.
- Creative Director and Partner Huay Wee spoke with Madame Architect about art, cultivating a multidisciplinary approach, and owning unique strengths.
- Founding Partner Mark Rios was honored with the USC School of Architecture and USC Architectural Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Architizer named Spotify at Mateo Campus one of the top seven spaces that blend branding with the built environment.
- Three RIOS designers were celebrated at Interior Design’s first 30/30 program in Los Angeles.
Projects across disciplines received over a dozen awards for their innovative design solutions, positive impact on their surroundings, and design excellence.
- Architizer A+ Awards, Architecture +Workspace Category Popular Choice Winner: Spotify at Mateo Campus
- American Architecture Awards, Honorable Mention: The Ellison Institute of Technology
- Southern California Development Forum Awards, Honor Award: Watts Community Center, 800 | 900 Culver Pointe, Beverly Hills Financial Offices, West Edge
- World Landscape Architecture (WLA) Awards, Award: Palm Springs Downtown Park
- China Real Estate Design Awards (CREDAWARD), Merit Award: The Ellison Institute of Technology
- Westside Urban Forum Design Award: 4204 Glencoe (42XX)
- Los Angeles Business Journal Commercial Real Estate Awards, Redevelopment Category, Gold Award: 800 | 900 Culver Pointe
- LABC Los Angeles Architectural Award, Under Construction Category: 4204 Glencoe (42XX)
- ACI SoCal Chapter Concrete Awards, Flatwork Category: West Edge
- Best in DFW Awards: The Echo Lounge & Music Hall
The diverse experiences and backgrounds of our designers catalyzed important research and thought leadership.
- Global Cultural Districts Network – Montreal: We introduced Culturescape, our approach to shaping inclusive, flexible cultural spaces through dynamic, non-traditional programming.
- Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop: RIOS, in collaboration with Arup, designed and engineered a living terracotta façade system that improves building performance, increases biodiversity, and fosters connectivity to regional ecology.
- London Real Estate Forum: RIOS presented sessions on the future of workplace design and the rise of innovation districts.
- Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat International Conference: In the spirit of this year’s theme, Humanizing High-Density, we spoke on how vertical green walls and roofs can reintroduce biodiversity and create a broad ecological network for livable cities.
- ULI Fall Meeting: The annual conference was filled with RIOS project site tours and speaker sessions exploring the forthcoming Watts Community Center, soundstage and studio design, and adaptive reuse strategies.
- Facades+ Los Angeles: As this year’s co-chairs, RIOS team members participated in panel discussions on biophilic façade design, the future of fabrication materials, and more.
- ASLA Conference: RIOS designers presented on topics exploring the community-driven design of Balboa Cultural District, landscape strategies for water independence, hyperlocal design processes, and prototyping.Netw
From providing hands-on mentorship Shadow Days for local high school students to volunteering at LA Mission, TreePeople, and Huma House, we demonstrated a collective commitment to creating positive social impact. In this spirit, we are delighted to introduce RIOS+, a non-profit 501c3 founded by RIOS, dedicated to fueling design education and community projects in our home neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more on RIOS+ in the new year.
Looking Ahead to 2024
We are optimistic about the impact our projects will have in creating a better future for cities in the year ahead. In 2024, we anticipate the completion of transformative projects including the nature-forward Treehouse Hotel Sunnyvale, dynamic mixed-use development 4204 Glencoe (42XX), redesign of the iconic Sony Scenic Arts Building, a new high-rise residence in Dallas, and the Campus at Horton, one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the western United States.
We celebrate a remarkable year filled with wonder, innovation, collaboration, and a collective community-first ethos. Thank you to our team and the community of designers, architects, engineers, and partners that have helped realize these spaces for a better tomorrow.