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Design Conversation Series

Design Conversation featuring Darren Bradley & Craig Steely

March 11, 2024 | Design Series

Thursday, April 4, 2024
5:30 – 7:30pm
Liljestrand House
Design Conversation featuring
Darren Bradley & Craig Steely
The Imagined and the Image
A conversation about the relationship between architecture and photography.

Darren Bradley is an American architectural photographer with a passion for mid-century modern architecture and design. 

Born in 1972 in Honolulu, HI, Darren took his first pictures for a photography class while a freshman in high school. He was instantly hooked. He took his camera everywhere, turned his parents’ laundry into his darkroom, became the school newspaper photographer, and worked at a darkroom in college – but his obsession eventually faded, and when he moved to France to finish his schooling in 1995, he didn’t even bring a camera with him.

Upon returning to the US in 1998, he and his wife rented a mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, CA, and he was smitten. He began researching, exploring and appreciating modernist architecture more and more. This new awareness also rekindled his love of photography as he sought to document the buildings he was discovering. Things started taking off from there…

Darren’s work has now appeared in large-format art books, academic and professional architecture journals, and lifestyle magazines around the world. He regularly accepts commissions from architects, builders, developers and homeowners.

Based in San Diego, CA, Darren is an avid and active supporter of historical preservation efforts, volunteering for organizations including the San Diego Architectural Foundation, La Jolla Historical Society, Docomomo, and Palm Springs Modernism Week. Darren speaks French with native fluency, and holds a degree in history from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Craig Steely is principal of Craig Steely Architecture. With studios in Hawaii and San Francisco his buildings have been described as true and unique hybrids of these two environments. His work explores the boundaries of integration as well as emancipation from nature. They embrace the realities of the environment and our connection to it over the subjugation of it, all the while focusing on developing a singular architecture rooted in its context. Active projects include work on the Big Island of Hawaii and Mexico, as well as several along the coast of California — from Sea Ranch to San Francisco to Big Sur.

He received his architecture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While there, he was awarded a scholarship for international study and spent his thesis year in Florence, Italy studying with Cristiano Toraldo di Francia formerly of SUPERSTUDIO.  He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Hawaii, University of California at Berkeley, Cal Poly and at many conferences including the Monterey Design Conference.  His work has been awarded recognition by the American Institute of Architects and published widely in books and periodicals. In 2009 he was selected as an “Emerging Talent” by the AIA California Council. His office was chosen top firm in the 2013 Residential Architect Magazine leadership awards.

This home serves as more than inspiration. This magnificent work changed the way I think about my field, and I will be sure to visit again; as a student, volunteer, and as a professional.

— Nicholas Capria, UH Manoa Architecture, class of 2021

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The Liljestrand House is listed on the Hawai‘i State and the United States National Register of Historic Places.

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