We had the good fortune of connecting with Karin Liljegren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risk = evolving and moving forward. Risk is essential to growth. The greater the risk, the bigger the growth. Failure with risk is also part of our growth. I quit a wonderful job of 15 years that I loved to start my own company in the middle of the Great Recession in 2009. I was also recently divorced and a new part time single parent. This was my greatest risk and my greatest reward. 10 years later my business is thriving with almost 40 employees.
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?
Omgivning drives the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles through the adaptive reuse of existing buildings. Omgivning is the only architecture and interior design firm in Los Angeles that brings buildings and spaces to life through urban and historic revitalization, policy innovation, and custom design. We like to think Macro to Micro. On the MACRO scale, we are urbanists. We see our projects as points in a larger network of social and cultural activity. Drawing on our extensive connections and collaborations, we work to amplify local histories, facilitate neighborhood growth, and advocate for policy reform at the city and county level. On the MICRO scale, we are humanists. We prioritize the details that give meaning to our lives. Texture, form, color, light, and the character of an existing space become cues to creating spaces that people can thrive in. They can enhance wellbeing, social connections and privacy, whether we are eating, working, or relaxing. Working on projects from such different lenses is broad and all encompassing. We also work on almost all project types – hotels, bar/restaurants, multifamily housing, retail and office. It’s difficult to be knowledgable in all of these areas at the same time, but the thing that ties it all together is existing buildings or spaces. It’s both difficult and powerful to be so versatile but within a specific slice of building type.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My former bosses Barbara + Wade. My ex-husband and co-parenting partner. My son. My amazing staff.