What We Do
Andrea Mclean Design Office has been specializing in modern interiors and architecture locally and abroad since 1998. Our office has extensive experience in residential design at all scales and budgets from renovations to new builds. We also do office, retail, and hospitality design on request. Our projects always begin with a rigorous understanding of the project's site, existing conditions, as well as our client's lifestyle, budget, and needs over time.
Design should be thoughtful, site specific, and provide meaning to those who will ultimately interact with the spaces we create. Gaining a new appreciation or poetic response to the architecture we inhabit is our primary goal. Materials are key to this response; they should be beautiful of course, but they also need to make sense in their use. If this is achieved, then a project should in theory be timeless.
Nothing is permanent, except change. Plan for it, and embrace it. Successful design takes this into account. It's never only a visual solution.
Andrea McLean, Principal
Andrea works at all scales and is constantly involved in several projects, both residential and commercial. Form and function aside, her goal is to provide an elevated experience for her clients and go beyond their expectations.
Andrea holds her bachelor in Applied Design in Interior Design from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (1994) and her Master of Architecture from the University of British Columbia (2008). In addition to starting her own business in 1998, Andrea has had the priveledge of working at both Ledingham Design Consultants, and Evoke International Design Consultants.
Andrea has recently started a new business called The Aviary, a coworking studio for architects, designers, and creatives, from which Andrea will operate AMDO.
Andrea has been surrounded by design most of her life. Growing up in Winnipeg Manitoba, she lived through several renovations in her childhood home. Her mom and aunt, also an interior designer, began a furniture design build company called Crate Designs, a completely handmade line of furniture that resembled crates (similar to pallette DIY furniture that is popular today). Both Andrea and her cousins' homes were filled with crate furniture, and basements full of sawdust from their mothers cutting and assembling the furniture themselves.
Andrea began learning drafting in junior high school and continued honing her skills until the end of high school. Studying architecture had been her dream since childhood, but she felt too young after high school to be able to position herself in the conversation of architecture, and thus choose to follow in her aunt's footsteps and study interior design first. After graduating at the top of her class, Andrea embarked on several years of living abroad and extensive travelling.
She lived in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan for 5 years and speaks fluent Japanese. During this time Andrea explored in-depth Japanese cultural arts and architecture. It was her travels in developing countries like Cuba, Bolivia, and Malaysia that provided the foundation for her architectural thesis titled, Community Architecture: Native Housing in Bella Coola, for which she received the Abraham Rogatnik Book Prize. This distinction is given to projects that exhibit creative and poetic talent in a design that also enriches the environment and inspires the spiritual lives of the people using that environment.
Andrea lives in Vancouver with her Cuban husband and two daughters, Pilar and Hana.