Amanda GunawanIn pursuit of balance.

Amanda GunawanIn pursuit of balance.

  • Words George Upton
  • Photography Justin Chung

Amanda Gunawan does not believe in designing for the moment. At OWIU—the architectural practice she founded with Joel Wong in 2018—Gunawan is designing refined residential and commercial spaces that are intended to evolve slowly with each inhabitant. “You have to leave space for people to come in and add their own touches,” she says. “You hope they will take your design and grow with it.”

OWIU stands for “The Only Way Is Up,” a motto that guides the progressive, considered projects of the LA-based practice. Here, Gunawan reflects on the importance of slower, more considered processes and why it’s important to take time away from work, even if it’s in the middle of the day.

Where does your interest in functional design stem from?
I went to Japan in 2016, when I w...

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