“Independent design shops are hubs for creative communities,” says Dwell in its November 2021 feature, “Step Inside America’s Best Independent Design Shops.” One of the four Southwestern U.S. design shops called out by the acclaimed international magazine is Phoenix, Arizona’s Local Nomad, designed by CAPLA Senior Lecturer in Architecture Oscar Lopez and fellow principal Mihir Bavishi of s p a c e BUREAU.
“The focus at this store is handcrafted goods from independent designers and makers,” says the showcase. “Think wood-arch cutting boards, colorful throw blankets, and marbled latte mugs.”
For Lopez and Bavishi, craft was an essential pursuit in their design of the mid-century shopping plaza space. “The project wanted to give a handcrafted feel to the space to match the quality of curated goods offered inside,” says Lopez of the 1,100-square-foot store opened in 2018. “The aim of the project was to connect to the roots of the plaza and of the area in Central Phoenix where the project is located, while at the same time trying to move away from the traditional aluminum storefront aesthetic that is found in most typical strip malls.”
Since founding s p a c e BUREAU in 2016, Lopez, Assoc. AIA, and his practice have received eight AIA Awards for built projects on the local, state and regional AIA level. He has been a lecturer at CAPLA since 2016, teaching second-year and master’s architecture studios and serving as American Institute of Architecture Students faculty advisor and leader of summer study abroad programs. He is a recipient of the 2021 AIA Associates Award, 2018 AIA Arizona Associates Award, 2019 AIA Mountain Region Jason Pettigrew Leadership Scholarship and 2020 AIA Arizona Presidential Citation.