European Competition - 2023 - Archidiaries

Mutuus Studio

Mutuus Studio


(“Text as taken from the website”)

Jim Friesz

Jim Friesz co-founded Mutuus Studio in 2016. Jim leads civic and cultural projects with over two decades of experience working on museums, college facilities, offices, multifamily mixed use and restaurants.  He is passionate about working with the complex organization of civic projects with people that value community.

Currently Jim is leading the design of a project called The Grocery that is transforming a circa 1929 2 story 3,680 square building in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood into a community inclusive art studio residence of artists Demi Raven and Janet Galore where they host pop-up art exhibits, workshops, dance, computer camps for kids, music performances and activist gatherings.

Like the other partners in Mutuus Studio, Jim comes from an artistic background and is a lifelong practicing musician, offering a different perspective to our creative design process.  Most recently, Jim led an all-designer band (The Gray Band) who completed an original song and video for the 2020 Gray Awards presentation

Kristen Becker

Kevin is a Midwest native originating from Omaha, Nebraska. He received a Bachelor of Science in Design degree from the College of Architecture at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Later on, he became a graduate of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan where he received a Master of Architecture degree.

He is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction and a Fitwel Ambassador. His past experience includes custom design in digital fabrication, high-end residential and single-family homes, and commercial projects.

One of the aspects important to him is a connection to the outdoors. This led him to relocate to the Pacific Northwest, where he can be involved with a like-minded community, not only in outdoor recreation, but also in one who appreciates high-quality design and the integration with its environment.

Saul Becker

Saul co-founded Mutuus Studio with architects Jim Friesz and Kristen Becker in 2016. His creative practice is heavily influenced by his storied past as an artist, sailor, carpenter, art handler, and maker. Saul designs and fabricates the Mutuus Made line of lighting, hardware, and objects. You are more likely to find Saul on-site installing custom elements, photographing projects, applying patina to metal, or fabricating in the shop, than sitting behind a desk.

Saul grew up in Tacoma, Washington where you didn’t have nice things, you made nice things. Saul’s meticulous and hands-on approach to design brings craft and experimentation into our design process.

Saul Becker also runs an active studio practice as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor obsessed with landscape. He has had numerous solo shows in New York, Seattle, and afar. His work has been exhibited at Zeiher Smith & Horton, Greg Kucera, Artists Space, the Horticultural Society of New York, and Socrates Sculpture Park, among others.

Practice Ideology

We founded Mutuus Studio for others like us – those who share a mutual obsession for highly crafted design, and also for those that don’t feel like placing limits on what we design. Our work ranges from residential and commercial to hospitality and interiors. An integral and exclusive part of our studio is our Mutuus Made works that are offered exclusively to our clients. We design and fabricate custom objects, lighting, hardware and materials that enhance the architecture and interiors that we design. We approach each of our projects with attention to detail and limit the number of projects that we have in the studio so we can provide the utmost attention that our clients deserve.

Our name Mutuus (moo-tus) is a the latin word for “mutual / exchange”. The name reinforces our studio philosophy that design is inherently collaborative and mutually beneficial. Although each project has a project leader, all of the three partners work together collaboratively on all the projects and lend one anothers expertise to a given project.

Mutuus Studio’s three partners—Jim Friesz, Kristen Becker and Saul Becker — architect/musician, designer/dancer and artist/builder – each contribute a unique vision to the firm’s multifaceted design mission by drawing on their diverse backgrounds to inform their work. We believe that the interaction between various disciplines allows us to find new ways of seeing things.

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