Stanford Residence

The Curious Life

For IDEO founder David Kelley creative exploration begins at home.

Home Reboot

When IDEO founder and Stanford University professor David Kelley sought to remodel one of the university’s modest faculty homes, it was inevitable that the process and the project would be unlike any other. This reimagined home, created in partnership with JENSEN and Johanna Grawunder, represents a fresh departure for the design visionary as he immerses himself in a different mode of living – one that’s on campus, bikeable, and centered around a life of exploration and exchange.

Quiet Disruptor

In reworking the compartmentalized floor plan of the original 1960s home, the trio sought to distill the design to experiences central to day-to-day life — workshop, living area, and bedroom.  From the street, the house is curiously simple at first glance: a stealth ranch-style home, paired back to the essential lines of its suburban vernacular, and painted shadow grey. New features are expressed as subtly disorienting counterpoints — a large, concealed pivoting front door, a curved protrusion screening a bedroom patio, and an abstracted “barn” workshop addition.

Curated Space

Staying within the existing footprint, the design simplifies and opens up the interiors: A bedroom blends into a kitchen, which blends into living rooms, both inside and out. Minimal details and neutral finishes anticipate an evolving composition of Kelley’s art and design collection, including custom pieces by Ettore Sottsass. The courtyard, once closed off from the house, is now its undisputed heart— the place where Kelley receives visitors, hosts meetings, or reads in solitude.

Tinkerer’s Paradise

The home’s open and connected spaces ultimately flow to Kelley’s workshop, a separate, modern structure dedicated to unbounded exploration. The studio’s angled, industrial frame, wrapped in wood and glass, offers a clever reply to local pitched-roof mandates, while also fulfilling Kelley’s wishes for a raw and tough space that is ready for anything. The studio and home stand in playful dialogue with a hardy, climate-conscious landscape design, a setting often graced by one of Kelley’s vintage cars—just as he had imagined it.

David Kelley


2021 AIA California, Honor Award
2021 AIA San Francisco, Merit Award


The New York Times, “A Design Expert Makes Space for Tools and Memories,” May 2021


Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Chris Kalos
Margarita Urquiza
Project Team
Yusheen Yang
Ryan Golenberg
Collaborating Designer
Johanna Grawunder


Strandberg Engineers
Geotechnical Engineer
Murray Engineers
Civil & Land Surveyor
Nterra Group
Building Envelope
Blanco Architecture


Donecho Construction


Matthew Millman
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