5kits zhao

big ideas.


Our blog is a library of resources and ideas found by us or shared with us by our friends and client network. It’s a collection of articles, radio stories, infographics and videos that relate to our work and broaden our thinking: our favorite content from the internet and beyond. Original commentary gives insight into our process and poses questions about the world inside and outside of the studio.


Land Use

California’s drought is an ecological crisis, and like all ecological crises, it is tied to economics. Newspapers in California and across the country have been reporting the fact that income is the best predictor of household water use throughout the state, with wealthy neighborhoods and cities using an average of three times more water than […]

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Time-lapse view of installtion of Truth is Beauty at Burning Man in 2013. Bay Area-based artist Marco Cochrane creates sculptures with the intention of releasing the often-oppressed power of femininity. Specifically, Cochran’s sculpture Truth is Beauty, a 55-foot mesh and LED structure, represents a world without violence against women. The liberated pose of the female figure is meant to evoke […]

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  When you think about it, it makes sense. The Bay Area economy is back and booming. Social media giants are locating from Mid-market San Francisco on down the Peninsula, and bringing high-wage jobs with them. Anyone who wants to make it in the startup world, or just climb the corporate ladder is coming to […]

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Fast Company Editor Alan Webber talks about how Portland became the urban planning poster child it is, and ways to ensure that it gets even better. L Studio founder Marianna Leuschel grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and even held a college job at Willamette Week, a local paper Webber cofounded. Portland holds a special place […]

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Eric Rodenback and Stamen Design have mapped the mysterious routes of the corporate busses that shuttle Silicon Valley’s tech workers from their homes in San Francisco to their job sites at myriad suburban office parks in the South Bay. His point is stunning: “Just think about that for a moment: We can know within 20 […]

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It’s true. I hear it all the time. “We’re looking for apartments in Oakland.” This is the mantra of so many of my friends who are looking for a new spot, but can’t afford skyrocketing rents in San Francisco. Buying a house is not even on the table. A move to Manhattan is more financially […]

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It was a great honor for L Studio to work with CUESA, the organization behind the world-famous Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on a brand refresh and a suite of market graphics and promotional campaign. This article on Patricia Utterman’s blog outlines the grassroots story of the organization and market. Spurred by the Loma Prieta earthquake, […]

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This is placemaking in its most organic form. East San Jose natives Ryan and Christine Sebastian are putting the “there there” for a few hours at a time in strip mall parking lots around San Jose. They sell homemade ice cream in flavors that are mixed from the Filipino and Latino neighborhoods they came from: […]

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It’s about labor, environment, obesity, air quality, climate change… Oh yes, and happiness. In his recent note in the Opinion blog of the NYTimes, Marc Bittman points out the real importance of the Slow Food movement. Counter to the suspicion that caring about food is a pastime for elites, Bittman talks with Slow Food’s founder […]

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The Devil’s Slide Tunnel opened this morning in time for commuters traveling between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. For those on feet, hooves or bikes, the former path of Scenic Route 1 will be transformed into a trail with breathtaking views of soaring cliffs with crashing surf below. Please mind the edge! “After the tunnel […]

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