is a Los Angeles-based design studio founded 2004 with a reputation for holistic work across the fields of architecture, interior design, graphic design, product design, and brand management. The firm has designed residential, commercial and hospitality projects worldwide, a wide array of home and lifestyle products, as well as graphic and branding concepts for the fashion, arts and entertainment industries.
The studio values the strength of the collective mind, believing that authentic creativity and innovation come from collaboration. The true virtuosity of their work comes from their collaborations with each other as well as with other members of the community. Since its inception, Commune Design has worked with artists and craftsmen across the U.S. and beyond.
Founded by Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri, Commune Design is noted for its eclectic assemblages that work in harmony with their surroundings, while paying homage to historical, traditional, and international design. The firm’s environmental sympathies are expressed in their conscientious selection of materials, and echoed in their appreciation for original architecture and its elements.
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Roman Alonso was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Upon graduation from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in film and art history, Roman began working in publishing at Connoisseur and Mirabella magazines in New York. He then moved on to public relations and marketing, first at Barneys New York where he was the Director of Corporate PR and then at Isaac Mizrahi & Co where he was Vice President and Image Director. In 1998, he co-founded Greybull Press in Los Angeles, an art publishing company focusing on photographic books.
Steven Johanknecht grew up in upstate New York. Following studies in Communication Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Steven spent a year in Rome with Temple University graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art. He moved to New York City where he became Vice President of Display and Store Design for Barneys New York during twelve of the store’s most influential years. He later worked as the Vice President of Retail Design for Donna Karan, Retail Image Director for Banana Republic and Design Director for Studio Sofield.
Pamela Shamshiri was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Los Angeles. Upon graduation from Smith College with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture and art history, she attended New York University where she earned her Master of Fine Arts in production design. In 1998, Pam returned to Los Angeles and co-found Sham Interior Design & Events with her brother, Ramin. She traveled around the world working as a production designer on films and music videos with directors such as Lasse Hallström, Spike Lee and Phil Morrison and for commercial clients including Nike, Vogue, Sony, AT&T and the Bronx Zoo.
The firm has gained quite a lot of awards and titles for their work:
The AD 100 | 2016
Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design | 2015
Elle Decor A-List | 2015
Wallpaper Magazine Design Awards: Best New Hotel (American Trade Hotel, Panama City, Panama) | 2015
Conde Nast Traveler: Gold List (American Trade Hotel, Panama City, Panama) | 2015
Hospitality Design Awards: Best Luxury Upscale Hotel (American Trade Hotel, Panama City, Panama) | 2015
IHMRS Gold Key Awards: Best Eco or Socially Conscious Hotel (American Trade Hotel, Panama City, Panama) | 2014
LABC Los Angeles Architectural Awards: Hospitality Category (Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles) | 2014
Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award (Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles) | 2014
Wallpaper Magazine, Best Urban Hotel Awards: Runner Up (Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles) | 2014
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SEE ALSO: Top Interior Designers | Axel Vervoordt