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Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP

Professor of the Practice


Architect DOUGLAS V. PIERSON, AIA, founded pod architecture + design in 2016 with his partner in work and life, Youn Choi. Together, they lead a hybrid, integrated design studio that provides services in Architecture, Interiors, Environmental and Experiential Graphics, Urban Design, and Master Planning – all within the same studio. They recently relocated their multi-faceted firm from Los Angeles to North Carolina’s Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill metropolitan region.

Doug grew up in and around Washington, DC, first attending the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., then the Lettres program at the Université Paul Valéry in Montpelier, France, before earning his Masters in Architecture degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

Architecture: Doug spent the early years of his career working at several architecture firms in Europe and Australia before landing in the prestigious offices of Hodgetts & Fung Design Associates in Culver City, CA. His next move was to renowned architect Frank Gehry’s Los Angeles office, Gehry Partners LLP. For both firms, he helped develop modern, progressive urban and suburban master plans as well as academic, commercial, civic, cultural, and residential architectural projects.

Before launching pod a+d, Doug was a partner in the firm entitled form, environment, research (fer) studio L.L.P. in Inglewood, CA. For 10 years, Doug contributed to (fer)’s award-winning reputation as a major innovator in contemporary design. He has led the design teams for many award-winning, nationally recognized architectural projects including Connie & Ted’s restaurant in West Hollywood, CA, and The Green Building, the first LEED Platinum building in downtown Louisville, KY.

As a partner at (fer) studio, Doug also worked with his former employer, Gehry Partners, on various residential projects including: An Artist’s House in Venice Beach, CA, a Conductor’s House in Santa Monica, CA, and an Art Collector’s House in Marina Del Rey, CA.

Through pod a+d, Doug has reinforced his exemplary skills at master planning and architecture through world-class projects, including Rabbit Hole Distillery’s entire campus in historic downtown Louisville. The modern, one-of-a-kind distillery opened to much fanfare on “Derby Day” 2018. Since then, it has garnered awards and praise from local and national media and the bourbon industry. Kentucky Distillers Association president Eric Gregory called Doug’s distillery design “a modern monument to our historic industry.”

Art: While he was working in Europe, Doug served as designer and curator for numerous art exhibits. He has also designed and developed several international traveling art and design exhibits, including “The Work of Charles and Ray Eames,” “Pablo Picasso,” and “Howard Hodgkins Paintings.”

By participating in both architecture and art and experiencing first-hand the varied urban landscapes at home and abroad, Doug attained a level of innovative, multifaceted design that acknowledges international influences and fuses architecture, art, and culture.

 pod a+d: Within his firm’s interdisciplinary practice, Doug focuses on one-of-a-kind, cost-effective, client-driven architectural designs and visionary master plans with a richness and depth that inform every project. As an architect practicing in the 21st century, he is also keenly adept at achieving “green,” sustainable architecture within every project and plan.

When he’s not working, Doug travels with Youn and their two children to remote corners of the globe to explore, discover, and learn.