The Studio 48: Align the Grain

by Tim Alatorre

Chris Allen, B’Arch ’06, LEED AP, of CWA Studios fame, share how he started a successful furniture business and his plans for become a master builder. Buildings completed in six days and roads that practically pave themselves.

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Show Notes

Site News

  • All call for an Assistant Producer
    • Send applications to tim at
  • New Facebook Fans
    • Julien Stockwell
    • Brieanne Taylor Marshall
    • Lucy Bignan
    • Sean Lopes

Cal Poly News

  • Maya Workshop
    • Sat. Nov. 20th, 9am – 5pm, Berg Gallery
    • By David Stamatis of Emergent and Clayton Taylor of UCLA Suprastudio
    • If you are interested to participate, please be on-time and have Maya 2009, 2010, or 2011 installed and running on your computer. Please also have the rendering plug-in Maxwell 2 installed and running on your computer. Free Trial Software is available from Autodesk online.
  • 2011 Next Generation Accessible Bus Design Competition
    • Deadlines:
      • Abstract: December 1, 2010
      • Poster: April 29, 2011
    • Public transportation plays an important role in creating an accessible society because it is critical for ensuring employment, citizenship, social role participation, and social interaction for people with disabilities. This design competition challenges the public (students, transit professionals, designers, and futurists) to think creatively about what they envision for “The Next Generation Accessible Bus” of 2030. Designs must incorporate advanced technologies and accommodate people of all ages and abilities equally. For more information please see the Next Generation Accessible Bus Flier .

General News

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cal Poly or Berkeley? Cal Poly
  • Parallel bar or T-Square? Parallel bar
  • Facebook or LinkedIn? Facebook
  • Drafting dots or tape? measuring tape
  • Ad Markers or Prisma? Prisma
  • Pen or Pencil? Pencil
  • Chisel or Router? Router
  • Cherry or Mahogony? Cherry
  • Cr aftsman or Dewalt? Dewalt
  • What’s the Meaning of Life? pride in what you do or who you are

SCORE: 23.2


  • What have you been up to since graduation?
    • Did the construction thing up until graduation
    • After graduation, he planned to get a job at an arch firm…
    • Instead he got a job working with a door and window fabricator
      • Architectural Ironworks – deal only with steal and bronze
    • The switched to Kornreich Architects in SLO
    • Started his own custom woodworking company
  • How did you start into carpentry?
    • He felt a need to build and have a hands on aspect
    • Casework was the more universal place to start and there was a demand
    • It started building back into furniture design from the casework clients
    • Some of it is a hobby aspect, but it allows for care and attention to detail
  • How did you start into carpentry?
    • Started building as a kid, a three story wood fort in the backyard was the start
    • While at Cal Poly, Mary Laport (worked in the Art and Design Department), approached him and he had his first official side job, and it started there
    • The perfection and attention to detail was appealing to him
    • It’s developed and evolved, but it’s also about the tools that you have as well as the skill and talent
  • What are you plans for the future?
    • Would like to have a design build firm in the future
  • Are you seeking licensure?
    • Yes
  • What advice would you give to current Cal Poly Architecture students?
    • Get your hands dirty.

About the Author

Tim Alatorre