Design Universal was established in 1995 to fill a need for affordable, high quality, contemporary architectural and design services. DU is a husband and wife architectural and design team working on both residential and commercial projects. "Our approach has been to balance the pragmatic and the artistic", says founding principal, Robert Thibodeau,

The work at DU is informed by the principles of what we call "Regional Modernism" where contemporary modern design is tailored to the specifics of climate and lifestyle. The use of locally produced materials, local labor and construction techniques helps contribute to work that is symbiotic with its site. We typically educate our clients about nontoxic materials and strategies for passive heating and cooling.

While DU has worked all over Southern California, most of their projects have been in the Venice/Santa Monica area, where the two founders live and work. DU has been a primary contributor to the reshaping of Venice as a community that not only opens its arms to artists and art, but to exciting new architecture and design as well.

Yasi Vafai, Sci-Arc 1985 to 1990, UCLA School of Architecture 2000, and Robert Thibodeau, UC Berkeley 1982 to 1986 and Sci-Arch 1989 to 1993, live and work in Venice California. The office, established in 1995, is located in the heart of the Venice arts district at the corner of Abbot Kinney Blvd. and California Ave. The office is small and homey. We typically have two-three employees and ourselves.