Architecture is for Everybody

Cyan is an architecture and design studio that works with buildings, people and communities. We seek to reimagine the ordinary, redesign the basic building blocks of our cities-bring architecture to everyone.

By blending public and private; hard and soft; natural and the human-made; by turning our dwellings inside out; we believe we can promote greater human connection, beauty and ecological sensitivity.

Buildings can be Soft 

What does it mean for a building to ‘wear it’s heart on it’s sleeve’?
What happens when we bring the hearth outside? When we let strangers in?
Buildings can make space for vulnerability, inside and out.
The historical, and often gendered baggage of the equation: public space=hard, private space=soft leads to isolation and fractures.
Let’s make softness on the outside, give people something to smile about on the sidewalk.

Buildings are Nature

Humans are fundamentally a part of nature and do not exist separately. Since the modern age buildings have developed as enclosed boxes with mechanically controlled environments that aim to separate the human from nature. Architectural strategies can provide ways to work with the naturally existing site resources like sun, wind and water to optimize this relationship instead of working against it. Doing our part to address the climate crisis involves accepting our place within natural systems and developing buildings that learn from nature’s resilient design and invites the outside inside, in a mediated and balanced way.

Buildings are Home & work

Home and work are increasingly intertwined. No longer can we expect to live a life of work/life separation. Homes need to facilitate flexible and variable livelihoods. Architecture needs to make space for local trade, mutual aid, and promote solidarity economies in times of disaster. The Insula is the most persistent building type throughout history, as resilient as a cockroach. Insulae (dwelling units over shop/space of trade) gives space for people to dwell, create and share and has existed in feudal, communist and capitalist societies alike.

Architecture is For Everybody

An ‘exploded view’ is a type of design drawing where elements of an object are pulled apart to show what is beneath. The drawing allows the viewer to see the larger context and understand the connections between parts of a whole. The ideal of the privately owned contemporary home, hides away it’s inhabitants and therefore shields our understanding of one another. An inside-out architecture works to explode this view. In North America, the home is crafted in the mold of the nuclear family. Buildings are frozen in time and perpetuate hierarchies and outdated familial structures. Let’s break apart the domestic program, let’s make it public. The boundary between public and private can be gradual and interlocking. We want a city full of porches, public bathrooms, collective houses and outdoor cooking. Bring the domestic out and the commons in.


Cedric Price, Hassan Fathy, Elizabeth Hawes, Rei Kawakubo, Stewart Brand, Ursula Le Guin, Donna Haraway, Andrea Zittel, Theaster Gates, Patti Smith, Paul B. Preciado.