How/when did your studio begin?
AJCD was founded and established in 1971 by our very own founding father Anthony J. Casella.
In 2010, after many years working with Anthony, the general running of the studio and business was taken over by his daughter Ara Salomone, who is now our Director.
Over the years, the team has changed and evolved, and currently we find ourselves operating as an all-female firm. It wasn’t planned… it just sort of happened that way.
Who is involved?
The folks of AJCD have remained the same all-girl line up for several years now, with:
Director/ Graduate of Architecture: Ara Salomone;
Graduate of Architecture: Jessie Nguyen;
Interior & Industrial Designer: Amy Clark &
Sarah Woodward in Accounts
– each bringing their unique skill sets to the firm to round out the 4-person team.
We constantly have a student or two in the office, we all had work experience opportunities in the industry whilst studying, and feel it is valuable to give the same support to up and coming individuals in the field.
Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Travel & music & film & art & fashion... nature & plants & the elements & sustainability.... food – we often come up with great ideas when we have an amazing meal together!
Are there any locals?
Within the field, we adore Iwan Iwanoff’s Perth works; we follow the work of March Studio, MAKE Architecture, Foolscap Studio and Austin Maynard Architects pretty closely as we really appreciate each of their unique business structures, their presence within the design community and of course their project work.
Perth is seen as an emerging city, particularly for creative industries – do you feel like there are more opportunities in WA right now?
Absolutely! We have been noticing more and more that clients and actually the public in general are gathering a more comprehensive understanding of the value of creative industries and of creativity in the built environment especially. We have seen a large majority of our clients coming to us lately with a more well-rounded understanding of the design process; with broader, braver briefs and with more open-minded attitudes when it comes to giving us imaginative freedom than in the past.
There are a lot more young, talented, creatively focused professionals that are staying in Perth rather than moving East or O/S for creative work opportunities and many who are forging their own way here in the West, creating their own opportunities which is really inspiring.
What kind of projects is the studio known for?
Primarily retail, residential, hospitality, small hotels and pop-up installations.
We love retail for the fact that you get to be really playful and for the fast turnaround of the process – you get to see the ideas brought to life so quickly! Each of our fit-outs so far has had a totally different aesthetic, and a totally unrelated brief – from super minimalist and clean, to really moody and masculine, to really raw and industrial; so we’ve avoided any kind of ‘pigeon hole’ stylistically. Having said that, repeating elements in our work you can usually identify are; really precise and unique detailing, clever ‘secret’ bits and pieces, totally custom cabinetry and the use of raw/natural materials.
What should we expect to see from the studio/organisation in the future?
A LOT more residential work in the immediate future. And 2 really exciting business collaborations where AJCD will be joining forces with some of our favorite builders to provide a really holistic service entailing concept and design through to project completion all ‘in house’.
We’ve got several beautiful homes currently in various stages of construction which are going to be really exciting to see go up. We’ve got a lot more residential projects in the pipeline to commence ideation in the coming months, also some super fun temporary pop-up installations are in the works, as well as a couple of new retail and hospitality fit-out projects.
Keep your eyes peeled all over Perth for our site signs – we recently put up some new ones!