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Newport Beach, CA—We’re pleased to introduce Klaude Matias, Project Designer in our Newport Beach Studio, as this month’s Studio W Spotlight team member. Klaude started with Studio W as an intern in our Sacramento Studio in 2019, and transitioned to a Project Designer in our Newport Beach (then Irvine) Studio when he graduated from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona in 2021. Klaude excels at creatively transforming technical project drawings into visual representations. A few of his notable projects include Sowers Middle School Reconstruction for Huntington Beach City School District, the K-8 Conversions at Three Campuses for Natomas Unified School District and the Santa Ana Scholarship PREP Charter School for Red Hook Capital Partners.

Klaude is an exceptionally talented artist, with a passion for painting, fashion and drag. Learn more about Klaude…


What is your hometown, or where do you live currently and what do you like about it?
My hometown is Sacramento, but I moved to Orange County when I started working at the Irvine (now Newport Beach) office! I love that there are many active and alive communities here based in the arts that I see myself being a part of and growing with.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I love all-you-can-eat buffets! There is something about the way the mass variety of food is lined up for picking and choosing under, usually, golden lights. I get into my mukbang fantasy every time.

What is your favorite song, movie or book?
My favorite show is RuPaul’s Drag Race. On top of presenting drag artistry at its fiercest, it creates a beautiful platform for discussing shared issues many queer people face today, such as homophobia, gender identity and addiction.

Who is your hero or a person that inspires you?
I am always inspired by my parents’ journey to get my family to America and the heart they’ve led with since then. From living impoverished lives in the slums of Philippines, they became the firsts of their families to make the monumental leap of immigration with the simple goal of providing a better life for their four children.

What is a typical weekend for you?
I started doing drag in May, and ever since then my weekends have been filled with creating my next looks and supporting other local queens. I take voguing and waacking classes on the weekends, which in itself has been such a ride, considering I was not a dancer before!

How did you find architecture?
I was an avid painter throughout high school, so I wanted to choose a technical field that still carried a bit of artistic expression.

What is a building and/or destination that inspires you and why?
I feel inspired whenever I am in a community-based makerspace. The way makerspaces are sectioned off for different trades such as metalwork, woodwork and sewing makes me feel like there really are endless things that can be created in this one big space. Just the other day, I met a woman who was converting her van interior to be livable; she was making all the casework and wiring for electricity from scratch!

What is your most memorable project and why?
My most memorable project is our current Sowers Middle School Reconstruction project in Huntington Beach. As a designer, I’ve had my hand in its stages of development which granted me many learning opportunities, especially considering the scale of this project.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Studio W Architects?
Considering that I started in the company as an intern in Sacramento and now working full-time in the Newport Beach Studio, I love that I get to keep in touch with people in Sacramento through the projects we still work on together. Our company feels unified in that way, so I always look forward to our inter-office gatherings.

What project have you worked on at Studio W that made you grow the most professionally? Why?
I would still say the Sowers Middle School Reconstruction. From helping develop drawing sets, to creating color boards and even flying a drone for a flythrough video, this project called for a breadth of tasks that allowed me to grow my own knowledge and skill set.

Sowers Middle School Reconstruction | Huntington Beach City School District