Tom Farrage (designer)

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Art gate, facade, sliding wall at entrance atttMorphosis Studio in Culver City Art Gate and Facade.jpg
Art gate, facade, sliding wall at entrance atttMorphosis Studio in Culver City
Wood and stainless steel entry sequence at Otis Otis Lobby.jpg
Wood and stainless steel entry sequence at Otis

Tom Farrage (born July 17, 1958, in Blythe, California) [1] [2] is a metal fabricator, craftsman and art collector who frequently collaborates with architects, artists, inventors, engineers, and filmmakers. [3] Educated at the Southern California Institute of Architecture(1987), [4] he works in steel, stainless steel, bronze, copper, aluminum; mixed media wood, plastic and glass. He has a long association with what has been called the “L.A. Avant Garde” [5] award-winning architects Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, Michael Rotondi, Craig Hodgetts, Frank Israel (b. 1945, d. 1996) and Frank Gehry. [3] He is the owner of Farrage & Company, co-owner of Nakao::Farrage Architects in Culver City, California, [3] and is also the trustee of the Nathan H. Shapira Archives, in Southern California. [6]


Tom Farrage and Company

Founded in 1987, the first shop opened across the street from SCI-Arc, on the corner of Berkeley and Nebraska Street, in Santa Monica. [7] Thom Mayne was one of his first clients, arriving with plans for the Thom Mayne's 6th Street residence and a spaceship for his son Cooper. Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Ray Kappe, Robert Graham, Rem Koolhaas, Gary Paige, Daly – Genik, Susan Narduli, Charles and Elizabeth Lee, and artist Lee Jaffe soon followed. [7] The work has often been experimental, largely a collaboration with architects trying to break away from the limits of straight walls and flat surfaces characteristic of late Modernism.

Tom Farrage's Philosophy

Tom Farrage continues designing and building on the micro and macro scales. [7] He explained, “For me, metal work, which is my trade, and architecture, which is my avocation, are inseparable. Making small objects of steel bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, wood, concrete and glass is a rehearsal in the small for architecture in the large.” [7] He further expressed the collaborative process of working with other architects is a special opportunity bound to yield results that are sometimes expected, sometimes surprising. [3] Tom prefers to begin work at the embryonic stage of the design process, augmenting his own training and development. [8] In his design realm, he thrives to bridge the gap between a sketch and spaces people inhabit. [3]

Selected projects

Tube steel with gun metal blued finish with walnut wood treads and retractable feet. Morphosis NY Ladder.jpg
Tube steel with gun metal blued finish with walnut wood treads and retractable feet.
Interior by George Yu for Honda's Pasadena research facility Honda Advanced Design Studio.jpg
Interior by George Yu for Honda's Pasadena research facility
The Box at SciArc as a part of the "If Not Now, When?" show by Eric Owen Moss Architects Dancing Bleachers.jpg
The Box at SciArc as a part of the "If Not Now, When?" show by Eric Owen Moss Architects

Other collaborations

Selected bibliography


Best of Los Angeles, 2007


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  1. Farrage Comes Home To Design New School, Palo Verde Valley Times, August 22, 2003
  2. California's Arab Americans, Coleman Ranch Press, 2003
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 The Iron Giant: Farrage/co., LA Architect, January/February 2000
  4. "Eric Owen Moss Architects: If Not Now, When?". Southern California Institute of Architecture, May 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-09-03.
  5. New Slant, Frame magazine, March/April 2003
  6. "Works are kept in trust of Culver City Architect Tom Farrage" (PDF). Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Tom Farrage - Metal Fabricator, Domus, April 1992
  8. Tom Farrage, LA Architect, November/December 2006