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Method

moss is a full service architecture and design studio in the Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview. Our work is diverse by design, and allows us to explore the best design solutions across varied project types including residential, commercial, breweries and wineries, retail, urban planning, custom furniture, restaurants, and LEED.

We assist our clients through the entire architectural and construction process, from site selection and design through permitting and construction. We work collaboratively with our design team and fabricators to create beautiful, livable, superior spaces.

We believe that successful design provides a solid connectivity with nature while responding to client needs, desires, and their vision of a comfortable, livable, and functional environment. We believe that sustainable designs can be cost-effective, preserve history, and result in a more beautiful, conscientious, and enduring design. Our designs integrate natural light and air, connection to landscape and green space, and the surrounding environment to create open, navigable spaces for present and posterity.

Our architecture emphasizes the creative use of sustainable materials to seamlessly blend landscape with the built environment, creating an enriching experience for occupants, and exerting a minimal impact on the surrounding landscape. Instead of supplanting or suppressing, we aim to create a mutually beneficial exchange between environment and edifice, where buildings don’t dirty, pollute or drain, but instead, clean, purify, and inspire. This approach allows us to create site specific, energy efficient, sustainable architecture.

moss

Moss, in the wild, is a simple, low maintenance plant that is green in color and sustainable. Moss refers to any species of the class Bryopsida and is part of the division Bryophyta. Bryophyta means the first green land plants to develop during the evolutionary process, and is thought to have evolved from very primitive vascular plants.

Similar to moss’ architecture, wild moss provides shelter for living organisms and creates a sustainable, green habitat for all living creatures.

People

moss green architect

Matt Nardella, AIA, LEED-AP

Architect / Founder / Bike Warrior

After graduating from the NewSchool of Architecture and spending nearly a decade designing sustainable architecture in San Diego, Matt returned to the character building climate of his native Chicago to found moss. His work is known for utilizing site orientation, creative use of green building techniques, and sustainable building materials. Matt understands the urban environment and how to sustain it as a community for all living things, and volunteers for the 47th Ward Green Council, Openlands Project where he is a volunteer Treekeeper, and as a guest laborer at Peasant’s Plot Farm. He has lectured on sustainable architecture and urban design nationwide. Matt enjoys The New York Times, cooking, wood working, and hydrology. He is not a fan of golf or flaxseed.

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Laura Cripe

Co-founder / Business Development / Permaculturist

Laura grew up in Chicago and has always had a love of the outdoors. Living next to a forest preserve instilled in her an appreciation of nature and the importance of green space in an urban environment. Her love of nature and passion for design, photography, organic agriculture and desire to maintain a wholesome connection with the environment has guided her towards sustainable architecture practices. She has 18 years of business development, management and marketing communications experience, holds a B.S. degree in Business & Management from National Louis University Chicago, and is a certified permaculturist and urban farmer. When not envisioning the future growth of moss design, Laura can be found with shovel in hand tending to the Edible Garden at Lincoln Park Zoo, eating, traveling and capturing those experiences (and owls) with her trusty Nikon.

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Chris Koster

Designer / Gardener / Amateur Margarita Mixologist

With a constant interest in trying to understand how things are put together, Chris enjoys both the design and construction side of architecture. His appetite for the “hands-on”, has led him to Bolivia to build adobe homes for communities in need. When not in the garden, tending to his chickens, or riding in circles around the velodrome, he enjoys watching reruns of Julia Child or whatever gastronome can be found on PBS. Sustainability is a common thread that knits together his interests in food culture, cycling, and design.

 

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Lety Murray, LEED AP

Designer / Good-Samaritan / Foodie

Lety holds a Professional BA in Architecture with a minor in Construction Management, and a BS in Environmental Design from the University of Houston and is currently working towards a DMBA (2016) from California College of the Arts.   She believes that design is the tool for innovative, compelling and sustainable social change and devotes many of her “spare” hours to volunteer organizations that address human and community needs through design. When she’s not applying her skills directly on design or community work, you can find her playing a mean game of fútbol in Logan Square, or in her kitchen experimenting and crafting meals/libations for friends and family.

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Della Hansmann

Designer / Wordsmith / Wanderer

Della earned her BA in Environmental Studies from UW Madison and her M Arch from the UMN College of Design and spent the first years of her architecture career working out of a straw bale cabin in rural Wisconsin.  She has circled the globe (traveling west) and has lived in a 300-year-old Dutch cottage, a 70’s era split level, a tent in a muddy Mississippi parking lot and a Chicago Courtyard Building.   She believes that small is beautiful, that less is more, and that we all have a responsibility to design a world better than the one we live in now.

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Emily Torem

Head of Journalism / Illustrator / Grocery Shopper

Emily holds a degree in Journalism from DePaul University. Previously, she has worked as an editorial intern at Newcity, Time Out Chicago, and Intersection Magazine in London. Born and raised in Chicago, she still has absolutely no sense of direction and frequently asks tourists how to get around. She is particularly interested in access to quality food/water, healthier urban spaces, and design’s role in each. In addition to moss, she volunteers for multidisciplinary arts space the Comfort Station, and Green City Market. In her free time, Emily can be found indecisively pacing aisles at Harvest Time, painting, playing guitar and attempting to learn five languages at once.

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Bosco

Napper / Captain of the SS Cardboard Box / Exterminator

A chronic over eater and moth chaser, Bosco has been searching for out of the way places to sleep for over a decade. He is way behind on filing.

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John Wolters (emeritus)

Designer / Cyclist / Coffee Fan

Whether he is collecting eggs from his five urban chickens or tilling the soil to grow tomatoes and rutabagas, he is constantly seeking ways to unplug from the grid. With too much space in his apartment, John offers travelers seeking reasonable accommodations a place to stay through AirBnB. He also shares his backyard with bee keepers in exchange for honey.

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Mike McIntyre (emeritus)

Designer / Furniture Maker / Baseball Player

Mike received his BA in Graphic Design in Nashville, Masters of Architecture in Chicago from UIC, and studied abroad in Barcelona. Mike’s passion for design and architecture has driven him to extend his skills to woodworking. When Mike isn’t busy doodling you can find him in the woodshop building furniture. Mike enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands, as long as there isn’t a Notre Dame or St. Louis Cardinals game on.