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Modal Design  

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The work of Modal Design, led by Daniel Monti, is at once simple and complex; resolving inherent contradictions and reconciling differences through architecture as a yet-untapped resource for a world in flux. Daniel Monti’s peripatetic youth exerts a powerful influence on his approach to the discipline of architecture in general, and his own practice in particular. Born in Venezuela to Argentine parents, his family lived in seven countries by the time he was eighteen, moving nearly every two years to locations as disparate as New York, Indonesia, Iran, France, and Texas. His experiences living indifferent countries, along with subsequent extensive travel, inform Daniel’s acute appreciation for cultural differences, and how those differences are translated into architectural forms.

EDUCATION
Daniel received his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he began to formulate his investigative philosophy of practice. His decision to attend Harvard was based — in part — on the curriculum, which is equally balanced between theory and practice. This notion of balance is integral to his practice and has been expanded since his time in school to include reconciling nature and the built form, the banal or ordinary and the specific, and a project’s programmatic requirements and the art of architecture. The ideas that Daniel first explored in his graduate thesis, including efforts to make the public more observant and less complacent, are the same ones that he currently examines in his practice. Much as the mission of art is the heightened awareness of the viewer, Daniel believes in the capacity of architecture to increase awareness about the choices one makes about how they interact with the built environment.

PRACTICE
STUDIO CULTURE
Daniel is a registered architect in California with over ten years of professional experience as a principal and lead designer. He established his architectural studio, Modal Design, in Los Angeles in 2004. The Modal Design team works together to achieve the best project. Instead of providing a client with a polished version of his first solution, Daniel begins each project with a series of investigative exercises intended to result in the best, perhaps inevitable, solution. At the outset he identifies the immediate solution and then initiates a generative process until the design evolves.The studio culture is largely experimental, conducive to productive research, and allows the best ideas to emerge from the exploration of many possible resolutions. Daniel’s tectonic approach…

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