Reflections and Projections: Our Year in Review

As we say goodbye to 2017, we reflect back on this year and the projects and experiences that have evolved our practice. It is with optimism and excitement that we open the door to 2018 and the transformation that awaits.

2017 Reflections


Hello, Expo
In 2017, we pulled up our Larchmont roots and moved to Leimert Park where the Expo Line meets the future Crenshaw Line, opening in 2019. Our expansive bow-truss home allows us space to explore, be curious, and test our ideas. We’ve established a creative workshop for routers, laser cutters, and the like, but also clean studio spaces for video, photo production, and prototyping. Our workplace is our laboratory; it’s flexible, a little messy, and a critical part of achieving our best work.



Guillermo and notNeutral
notNeutral’s design-driven lifestyle products continue to capture the hearts of an entire coffee culture. This year, we launched the VERO Cortado, a specialty glass for the popular Cortado drink, but with clean lines and facets that adeptly serve up your favorite neat whiskey. This year also brought about the creation of Guillermo, a line of versatile shirts inspired by the latin guayabera, reinvented for modern life.

Not Neutral Book.jpg

For Every Place, Its Story
Design is never without story. It’s those stories that inspired us to publish Not Neutral: For Every Place, Its Story. This 16-pound, 600-page monograph explores the people, culture, and history behind everything from city plates to city parks, and expresses the joyous optimism inspiring 32 years of Rios Clementi Hale Studios design projects and 15 years of product design at notNeutral.

Available for purchase at


2018 Projections


New Horizons
We are intrigued by the many factors that make places different from one another. In 2017, our work took us to places like San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin — and beyond — to reflect the cultural meanings inspired by local people, culture, and history. If there is a common thread in our work, it is a process that leads to a solution that can answer no other question.



A new home on the web
In 2018, our website will be back and better than ever. To correspond with our move, we launched a new brand that reflects our bold creativity. Our new website will reflect the ethos of our book, Not Neutral, For Every Place, Its Story, allowing us to share the narratives that have defined our work for the past 32 years as we uncover the unique story of each place.



Elevating experiences
If you need some inspiration in the new year, notNeutral’s new CALA teaware will elevate the experience of steeping, serving, and drinking tea. The collection, an honoree in Interior Design Magazine’s Best of Year Awards, is comprised of a modern porcelain teapot, Asian inspired teacups in two sizes, and a striking Western-style teacup and saucer. You can also look for our Guillermo line to expand into new fabrics that reflect a modern urban lifestyle for every body.



Rios Clementi Hale Studios