Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri are Commune—an inter-disciplinary collective of artists that work in the design realm. Commune is a design firm, but they are also much more than that; they invent moods and spaces for residential clients and for public space, design graphics and branding concepts, and create products that are beautiful without being wasteful.
The Commune team is also known for creating unique spaces like the ACE Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, the ACE Hotel Downtown LA, the Standard, Farmshop, and showrooms for Heath Ceramics.
The firm also collaborates with artists and makers (like British furniture maker George Smith, Pendleton blankets, Paper Chase, and our friends at Heath Ceramics—among others) to curate entire lines of goods approached from a holistic and often wabi sabi perspective. They have helped to reinvent and reinterpret Southern California cool for a new decade.
Roman Alonso became a friend many years ago (beginning one Halloween night) but, friendships aside, I’m also drawn to Commune because of their Bauhaus design approach: they seamlessly combine many disciplines and unify art with craft, while keeping simplicity important. Perhaps it was their collaborative approach to each project or their use of local, artisan labor; regardless, the environments they create make every element considered but without feeling dictated. Commune spaces have a distinct sense of place, without feeling formulaic.
The Commune team recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, publishing the beautiful coffee table book, Commune: Designed in California. The photos show scenes from individual homes (including the homes of each founder) and commercial spaces like the ACE hotels, and several restaurants and boutiques. It also showcases some of their collaborative work in furniture, tile, linens, and ceramics.
I’m continually inspired and admiring of their commitment to excellence… Purchase (and love) a copy of the new Commune book here.