Principal / Owner
I’m always trying to design spatially – I start and end with the human‑scaled experience of a space, rather than designing buildings as though they are objects.
Principal Edward Lalonde possesses a rare combination of playful creativity and rigorous pragmatism. For him, this translates to an architectural practice where good design emerges through experimentation and dialogue, but requires conceptual rigor in order to develop fully.
“I want there to be a clear narrative with my designs, whether for projects big or small, public or private,” he explains. “I’m always trying to design spatially – I start and end with the human-scaled experience of a space, thinking it through from the inside out, rather than designing buildings as though they are objects.” At the same time, Edward is known for his ability to balance a project’s larger conceptual narrative with the client’s individual needs. It is through this dialogue with clients that Edward’s most innovative solutions have emerged.
Edward began drawing and making things with his hands at an early age, influenced by the creativity and ingenuity of his grandparents. His grandmother, painter Margaret Putnam, created a significant body of work, primarily known for her landscapes and figures. Edward was most drawn to her abstract work characterized by experimentation with vivid colors, proportions and shapes. His grandfather, a self-educated engineer and inventor, was a lifelong tinkerer who designed and built a range of machines, including devices to allow his wife to continue painting after she developed Lou Gehrig’s disease late in life. This balance of refined craft and pragmatic functionality has continued to inform his design ethos. Rooted in the belief that artistry and performance are inherently linked, Edward approaches design as an opportunity to creatively navigate constraints while integrating a rigorous level of technical detail and care.
Before joining Olson Kundig in 2008, Edward worked with Steven Holl in New York, whom he credits for his rigorous yet understated work ethic and core design sensibility. He holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architecture from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from Washington State University. Edward currently serves on the Professional Advisory Committee for the School of Architecture at University of Washington and is also actively involved at his alma mater WSU, where he has been an invited guest critic for the School of Design and Construction. In addition, Edward contributes to several firm-wide staff development initiatives, reflecting his keen interest in mentoring the next generation of concept-driven architects.