We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Mercier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I officially started (fer) studio back in the summer of 2002 but in reality I started it probably a number of years prior in my mind and actions. For me starting this business was part of a longer trek that I started as a young adult and maybe even sooner as I always imagined I wanted to some way find a very personal way to contribute to the world, one close to my heart.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
First of all I would like to widen the category you have offered to become business / practice / firm / creative /artist as I think all of these together better fit what (fer) studio is, does and is about.. When this business was invented and as we continue to re-invent it everyday, we are always looking to modify and creatively alter any business model we operate under. When I started (fer) studio back 2002 I had just come out of long and amazing 10 years of working at Gehry Partners and as such, much of how the business was and is built today is based on that model and I owe Frank Gehry my continued thanks for that. At the same time we have, over the years, evolved into our own unique environment as an independent practice. Located in an artist warehouse complex in Inglewood California and having my own professional and independent practice as artist myself, outside my work as President and Founder of (fer) studio, has brought a unique position to the offices work and design process. My daily practice shifts between architecture design, business development, artwork design & development, finances, exhibition organization and/or participation work, project management, construction administration and back.. This unique experience of moving in and out of a variety of disciplines and their related mindsets really occurs because only a few steps away from the office I also have my art studio which I share with my wife who is a photographer. This proximity situation as well as having active careers as a Architect/Business Owner & Professional Artists both requires and helps me support this mixture of creative, constructive and business oriented thinking and I think works as a blessing in disguise as it keeps ones mind moving between very different worlds and offers some amazing insights to solutions one might otherwise not come upon.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow,I can’t wait, with all this Covid world continuing to keep us all apart I got super excited just dreaming this up – LOL!
Ok, so I would probably start with an early morning pick up from their hotel, breakfast and a morning leisurely walk at along Dockweiler beach. That would lead to a trip to Inglewood to see the artist warehouse compound we are located in and tour (fer) studio and my adjacent Art studio. Next we would head out to take a tour of the john lautner sheats-goldstein residence (https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/john-lautners-sheats-goldstein-house) followed by a drive over to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s hollyhock house at the Barnsdall Art Park (https://www.barnsdall.org/hollyhock-house). From there we are headed downtown LA for lunch at the restaurant sixth & Mill Pizzeria (https://sixthandmill.com/) designed by my office (fer) studio. Next we jump over to Hauser & Wirth (https://www.hauserwirth.com/locations/10069-hauser-wirth-los-angeles) to see the latest gallery show on exhibit and to pop into the bookstore there. From here we head back out to PCH and take a drive up to Malibu to stop by the Malibu Lumber Yard (https://themalibulumberyard.com) on our way to Zuma Beach (https://beaches.lacounty.gov/zuma-beach). After hanging at the beach for a bit we head south again and then turn inland to have evening drinks at Calamigos Ranch and Inn (https://calamigosguestranch.com) as I absolutely love the bar and lobby of this small hideaway resort hotel with its large wooden decks that stretch-out below a canopy of California oaks and a large stone fire place! Next we head back downtown LA for an amazing Italian dinner by chef Angelo Aurianna and host Matteo Ferdinandi at their most amazing LA restaurant, Brera Ristorante (https://www.breraristorante.com) (http://www.ferstudio.com/work/officine-brera). This is another (fer) studio design that we are super proud of and the food here is incredible! After that we either call it a night, yes I am getting old – LOL of go for night cap at the bar at the City Club on the 51st floor of the City National Bank building (https://www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/City-Club-Los-Angeles). Ok now that’s it and we call it night!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
yes, I would like to recognize all of the amazing and creative individuals whom have worked in and for (fer) studio over the past 19 or so years. All of these people in their own way have shaped and formed the success of (fer) including all of wonderful our clients and engineering consultants. Together everyone’s participation has guided the studio’s evolution through good times and bad and I want to acknowledge all of these individuals as being part of (fer) studio’s Form Environment and Research efforts! Thank you all!
Linkedin: (fer) studio
Other: http://www.artnet.com/artists/chris-mercier/the-fa%C3%A7ade-of-painting-a-ipvud-jutFzGIB4dcB-hvQ2 https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Christopher-Lawrence-Mercier/F021356EEBA409AA https://patch.com/california/culvercity/architect-christopher-mercier-fer-studio-unveils-mural-rogers-park-inglewood https://giojournal.com/space-man/ http://modernartblitz.com/2017/11/08/modern-art-blitz-with-christopher-mercier-episode-92-part-2/ https://iconiclife.com/los-angeles-architect-christopher-mercier-unifies-smashbox-co-founder-davis-factors-environment/ https://la.indymedia.org/news/2016/12/294388.html http://getthefunkoutshow.kuci.org/2016/11/architect-christopher-mercier-joins-me.html
Karen Patterson Mercier – Kreatif Photography – http://www.kreatifphotography.com – Projects Photographed – 6th & Mill Pizzeria, Fullerton Residence, 68th Street Multi Family John Gaylord Photography – http://johngaylordphotography.com – Projects Photographed – Santa Monica Residence Jack Coyier Photography – https://jackcoyier.com – Projects Photographed – Kim Residence Joshua White Photography – https://www.jwpictures.com – Projects Photographer – Factor Residence