Julie Smith-Clementi and Frank Clementi of the Los Angeles-based firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios have announced that they will be stepping out into their own independent practice, aptly titled Smith-Clementi. The two have left their industrial brick studio space in South Los Angeles’ Leimert Park to re-establish their practice on a smaller scale. “Its like starting at the beginning again,” Frank remarked over the phone.
The original firm was established in 1985 as a multidisciplinary design firm and has since “tried to preserve a small office culture,” said Frank. “But as it grew, it had to satisfy big office expectations.” The pair agreed that establishing an independent studio was the best way to reconnect with their craft while working through creative projects as they see fit. Because the two found that their former studio was “interdisciplinary by acquisition,” the goal of Smith-Clementi is to instead “work alongside other small offices” in related creative fields, according to Julie. And while RCH Studios was primarily focused on projects in the Los Angeles area, Smith-Clementi will seek a more geographically-broad client base.