"Motivated by aesthetic, driven by craft".
MRCW is a design & build practice dedicated to crafting beautiful, timeless structures. Whether it is architecture, interiors, landscape structures or furniture, design and construction go hand in hand, informing one another throughout the process.
Established in 2002 by husband and wife designer-builders, Monica Reskala and Christopher Weiss, MRCW operates a 3200 sq. ft woodshop with extensive inventory of locally and sustainably harvested lumbers, as well as, their Oakland Arts District design atelier and furniture showroom, Turtle & Hare.
Departing from a slow craft philosophy that if one is to make a product or create a space for human use, then one should do so as conscientiously as possible. This means:
- well crafted to last generations to come
- resourceful and sustainable
- supportive of the local economy
Like slow food and slow architecture, it is not an aesthetic, but a way of doing. It is not driven by short term goals but by a long term outlook.
Monica Reskala was born in Mexico City where she earned a degree in Graphic Design from the Autonomous Metropolitan University. The school, which implemented a curriculum based on Interdisciplinary Studies, gave Monica the opportunity to learn from and work with other disciplines in the design field –architecture, urban design and industrial design– as well as philosophy and critical theory.
Upon graduating Monica moved to California, where she pursued her studies in painting and sculpture. In 1992 she started her own design studio which she operated for 10 years. Her interest in modern design and her traditional training led to frequent collaborations with Chris and eventually to the founding of MRCW.
Christopher Weiss was born in New York City and grew up in Santa Monica, California. His interest in architecture began in a 7th grade drafting class. By the time he finished high school, he had completed several summer internships with architecture firms and an architectural extension course at UCLA.
He went on to study Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Then,after a 3 year stint in Europe studying at the Architecture Association in London, the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan ( KTH Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm and the Hochschule der Kunste (Art Academy) in Berlin, he received his Bachelors Degree in Architecture from U.C. Berkeley College of Environmental Design with an Individual Major in Urban Semiotics.
Shortly after graduation, Chris began a 5 year traditional Japanese joinery apprenticeship building both traditional and contemporary timber frame homes around the San Francisco Bay Area with Paul Discoe. The apprenticeship was followed by 3 more years as Lead Carpenter and Project Manager for the construction of Larry Ellison's Katsura Imperial Villa-inspired residence in Woodside, CA.
2014 Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco: "New West Coast Design 2"
2014 U.C. Davis Design Museum: "If a Tree Fell"
2009 Asian Art Museum,San Francisco: Furniture installation for Samurai Exhibition.
2006 Museum of Craft and Folk Art: "The Sensuous Curve: Scandinavian Modernists and their Influence on Contemporary California Design"
2004 San Francisco Design Center/Architectural Foundation of San Francisco: "It's a Small World" Benefit submission of the "There" meditation house.
2002 San Francisco Design Center Winter Market: Panel Discussion and Project Presentation