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.


New Economy

This week kicked off the COP21 climate talks in Paris, a city still reeling from the attacks on November 13th. In his speech on Monday, President Obama stressed the need to come to an agreement at this year’s summit, and how Paris’ hosting of the talks just weeks after the violence was an act of […]

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The latest issue of L Studio favorite GOOD magazine focuses on human potential. And they’re not the only ones. Last week, we arrived at the 50th Anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of the War on Poverty. This segment of his 1964 State of the Union Address is essentially a call to make government act […]

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Audio Slide Show: From Farm to Table from Orion Magazine on Vimeo. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we thought it would be apt to talk about the state of food in America. Not the obesity epidemic, or GMO’s (though those are related), but the infrastructure of regulation and food distribution that binds us to […]

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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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The US Forest Service has developed an app to help cities quantify the value of their trees. Landscape lovers know that they’re good for climbing, picnicking and napping under, contemplating, watching bud and bloom, and leaning against. But now planners and environmentalists are assigning dollar values to trees and other natural resources to tally up […]

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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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