Colby Mayes was raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He received a bachelor degree from the University of Kentucky, College of Architecture in 1997. During his studies, he participated in a study abroad program with architect Daniel Libeskind in Berlin- Germany and worked for Studio Daniel Libeskind on "Stonebreath"- a memorial in Berlin commemorating the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
From there Mayes moved to Southern California to work for Frank O. Gehry and Associates from 1998-2004. In 2004, he started his own firm MO | MAYES OFFICE in Santa Monica, CA which focuses on a variety of small to large scale contemporary projects.
Based in MO's Santa Monica office, MO: research + development was established in 2007 to provide a home for the research and development projects of Colby Mayes. MO: r+d is a development company counterpart to the design firm of MO.
Before launching MO, Mayes worked for Frank O. Gehry and Associates from 1998-2004 where he participated in many of the firm's most innovative and award winning projects both nationally and internationally. Most notably was Mayes's design and technical contributions on the Marques de Riscal Hotel in Elciego, Spain which has become Frank Gehry's most recognized international hotel to date.
Other national and international projects Mayes was involved in during his tenure at Frank Gehry's include:
EXHIBITIONS: The Art of the Motorcycle, Guggenheim Museum in New York City; Frank O. Gehry Retrospective, Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
HOUSING: Ronald McDonald Center in Germany; Maggie's Cancer Center in Scotland.
OFFICE: Ustra Tower in Germany.
HOTELS: Winery/Hotel Marques de Riscal in Elciego, Spain; Astor Place Hotel in New York City.
MUSEUMS: The New Guggenheim Museum in New York City; Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto, Canada
EDUCATIONAL: Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University in Ohio; .Art Center College of Design with Alvaro Siza in Pasadena, CA.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Venice Gateway: Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy.
Established in 2004, MO | MAYES OFFICE is an award winning, interdisciplinary design firm that focuses on a variety of small to large scale contemporary projects.
MO believes the best design derives from a synthesis of our surrounding elements which tectonically shape and individually comprise the character of a building; the relationship of the building to the sky and street-scape; the quality of natural light and how it filters through the space; the use of renewable energy sources and the relationship to the environment; how you circulate through and around the building; the symbolism of form; how the building functions for its intended use; and most importantly the ability to increase your quality of life.
Our work is developed by bridging multiple disciplines and resources ranging from art, music, science, typology, fabrication, sustainability, structure, materials, patterns, program, urbanism, technology, and use - to a larger network of social, cultural, and environmental considerations. Our collage methodology results in a variety of plausible solutions and scales which are developed, tested, transformed, and shaped into the best possible solution for any specific problem or client. The results of this process can vary in many different scales and programs - ranging from art, product design, furniture, sculpture, interiors, residential, commercial offices, retail spaces, restaurants, hotels, mixed use, development, educational, cultural institutions, to large - scale urban and rural master planning.
The scope of MO's research constantly shifts and expands as each individual project has the potential to engage in a unique set of parameters, specific to its condition and client. Every project is a solution to a specific programmatic need, site, and aesthetic. One of the studio's greatest strengths is their versatility and working with a client and their program. Clients are intensively involved at every stage of the design process to ensure their present and future needs are met. MO provides a high degree of personal service, coupled with respect for the precious resources of cost and time; thus characterizes our client relationships.