2015 Design Excellence Awards | Meet the Jurors

P R I M O   O R P I L L A,  I I D A

Primo - HeadshotPrimo Orpilla, IIDA is the award-winning co-founder, with Verda Alexander, of Studio O+A, the San Francisco design firm responsible for groundbreaking workplace designs at Facebook, AOL, Microsoft, Yelp, Levi-Strauss, and many other companies.  A leader in the field of “democratic design,” Orpilla’s expansive, open-plan environments—which stress sustainability, accessibility and careful coordination of function and form—have become a signature look for some of the West Coast’s most forward-thinking tech innovators.

Orpilla and Alexander established their firm in 1991 with an eye to bringing the agility, creativity and speed of execution then prevalent in the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial economy to the offices in which that economy was being hatched.  O+A’s design for the new Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, received the International Interior Design Association’s 2010 Northern California Honor Award and was a finalist in Frame Magazine’s 2009 Great Indoors Awards in the “Concentrate and Collaborate” category.  The firm’s AOL West Coast Headquarters won the 2011 FX Design Award in London for Best Workspace Environment and Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Category Award for Environments.

Early in 2011, Contract Magazine named Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander Designers of the Year, culminating months of recognition in the international design press. O+A’s design of Giant Pixel and Yelp were listed as FastCo Design’s “The 10 Coolest Office Spaces of 2014” and Uber was named as Interior Design Magazine’s “Top 10 Most Popular Design Projects of 2014.  In 2014 Uber won Gold in the Spark Spaces Award and has been nominated for the German Design Award.

A strong advocate for design education, Orpilla has been a consistent supporter of the San Jose State University Interior Design program from which he graduated.  He and Verda Alexander have mentored students at CEDIM in Monterrey, Mexico, at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. Primo is a featured speaker for WORKTECH, a leading international workplace conference series.  He has spoken in locations around the world, including London, Melbourne, and Sau Paulo.  This year he will lecture at the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid.



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