Design Director and Founder, M-Rad
M-Rad Inc. is a multidisciplinary architecture, design, development and marketing studio focused on revolutionizing the architecture industry. The firm’s mission is to transform the industry by creating bespoke solutions to universal problems. M-Rad Inc.’s unique, multi-faceted business model allows the team to be engaged in every step of the architectural process; from design and development to marketing and branding. By expanding their scope, M-Rad can create enhanced and more interconnected experiences that allow communities and cities to thrive. M-Rad believes that the architect’s duty isn’t limited to the project simply being designed or built, but rather extends to seeing through an entire project to ensure a building’s intent and functionality is fully expressed. This integrated point of view aims to keep educating the architect as well as the communities they impact.
Matthew Rosenberg, an international award-winning designer, currently leads a multinational team working on projects around the world. After working for MAD Architects in Beijing, Rosenberg returned to Los Angeles to launch M-Rad Inc., whose mission is to revolutionize the architecture industry and resolve its inefficiencies by expanding the scope of the architect. In less than five years he has built a client list with the likes of Amazon, Equinox, SpaceX, Ring, Blue Bottle Coffee, Virgin Hotels, Zappos, WeWork, TopGolf, and over 50 other curated partners and clients. Rosenberg has developed projects around North America in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Nashville, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Saskatoon, and has started to expand to Italy, Portugal, Taipei, and Australia.
Rosenberg’s most recent acclamations have landed him on Forbes ‘Small Giants’ list while Inc. Magazine has named him one of the ‘Top 10 Designers Every Business Should Have On Their Radar.’ He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (University of Saskatchewan), a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture (Dalhousie University), and a Masters of Architecture (SCI-Arc) which he received alongside a Selected Thesis Award. He has also studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal and the Louvre in Paris.
I’ve always recalled wanting to be an architect. Post graduation , I attempted to work for other people, but it never seemed to feel right because I couldn’t understand why I should work for someone for 90 hours a week for poor pay when I could work that many hours and do exactly what I want to do.. The fear of having to go back and work for someone else is enough to keep me going forever.
One method I’ve been inspired by over and over again, and which has been applied at M-Rad, is the concept of investing in the projects the firm is designing—expanding our scope and control as the design team. This approach allows us to have a hand in curating entire city blocks and neighborhoods, which in its own right is a point of inspiration, especially in Los Angeles, where neighborhoods have experienced extreme and rapid levels of change. Building functional and healthy communities as these areas evolve is more important than ever, and M-Rad’s direct investment is largely a part of the resulting, positive impact.
Recently, M-Rad has been awarded a number of high-profile projects that have broken ground as a result from our approach to investing in the properties we are design. The set of projects in motion range from fully-integrated tech campuses to luxury camping suites, creating a diverse portfolio. Most integrated in its application of investment to result, is our Los Angeles-based Hello Saturn project, which emerged in the midst of the city’s housing crisis. Designed to provide the community with much-needed low-income housing, while also serving to better both the neighborhood and its inhabitants, the project has taken root around our firm’s multi-faceted approach.
M-Rad invests directly in its employees and their outside endeavors that often connect with the goals of the firm to generate success across the board. In addition to providing payment for certifications and educational experiences, M-Rad has taken up involvement in employee initiatives, such as, Cardborigami, which through the creative use of materials, provides an instant space for the homeless to create shelter. A mission supported by another mission, Cardborigami is led in part by M-Rad team members that have cross-pollinated their career and personal interest outlets to create an incubator-style environment that benefits all parties.
There was a time when I had a few decent sized projects in the studio and about six employees that didn’t have much in the way of experience. I still wasn’t paying myself (and didn’t actually start paying myself until the end of our fourth year but I knew I had to get a more experienced team in place so we could properly implement these projects. These were our first significant projects as M-Rad Inc. ,which made their success critical to building our reputation as a firm. I ended up letting go all but one employee and starting from scratch, convincing a couple of more experienced architects and designers to join the team and quit their previous jobs. There was a week when everybody had left and I walked into a 5,000-square-foot building with only one employee. That was a feeling of complete shock and excitement all at once. I look for that feeling at every turn.
Love what you do. It’s impossible to burn out doing what you love. You’re going to have really tough days and you will definitely have long ones, but if you love it, you’ll want it to last forever. If you feel burnt out, you’re in the wrong field or doing the wrong thing.
I have a talent for connecting people. I enjoy coordinating and curating partnerships between people who don’t often get to connect, or would not think to reach out to one another. Mediating is an important part of the networking process, and I am always happy to help forge new bonds and partnerships that can prove to be mutually beneficial and lead to incredible projects.
I think that persistence is critical to the success of most people. There will always be a reason to not do something, but the second you can release those constraints you realize most things are not as hard to achieve as you might have made them to be. We self impose these restrictions on ourselves.
After coming to the realization that quantity over quality was not the way to go with M-Rad’s hiring process, I was left with a single, fantastic employee. When we began hiring a brand new team, we were highly selective in our methods, and had the opportunity to hire some incredibly talented individuals. We are now in a place where I can truly say that my biggest professional success has been hiring the right people, who have in turn helped make M-Rad a success.
I don’t have my own motto, but I do live by the words, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
From a professional perspective, I really respect Frank Gehry and Bjarke Ingels in how they have built their successful businesses from the ground up. From a personal perspective, I look up to Frank Sinatra and am endlessly impressed by his talent and his timeless appeal.
I enjoy going to the beach and taking in some sun along with the salty air. I specifically love the Scorpios Resort in Mykonos, Greece, which has inspired one of the projects that M-Rad is currently working on.
Gaetano Pesce’s iconic armchair for B&B Italia, which was displayed in an installation at this year’s Salone del Mobile, is one of my all-time favorite pieces of furniture.
To make three new connections.
Try and make at least three new connections a day—be it by cold calling, or emailing people. In addition to this, try something that makes you uncomfortable at least once a day.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
Los Angeles is such a vibrant city, with incredible weather to boot. There’s never a dull day in the City of Angels, with a constant stream of art and culture events. L.A’.s natural beauty also certainly stands out, as it is ideal for outdoor activities, offering mountains for hiking and beaches for relaxation.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Driving to the gym.
10:00 AM – On a call for a meeting and drinking third cup of coffee.
12:00 PM – I’ll be having lunch at the Soho House in West Hollywood or Malibu.
7:00 PM – Got home glass of wine preparing dinner
11:00 PM – I will be catching up on emails before I go to bed.