Commune stands for community. A community of like-minded architects, interior designers, graphic designers, artists, artisans, craftsmen, and builders led by principals Roman Alonso and Steven Johanknecht.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela Roman’s family emigrated to Miami where he attended high school. He later attended Boston University where he graduated with a BA in film and art history. Following his studies, he worked in publishing for Connoisseur and Mirabella magazines and subsequently went on to work for Barneys New York as the Director of Corporate PR. In 1990, while working there, Roman met Steven Johanknecht. He later went on to work at Isaac Mizrahi & Co where he was Vice President and Image Director. After moving to Los Angeles in 1998, he co-founded Greybull Press, an art publishing company, and met Pamela and Ramin Shamshiri. In 2004, together with Steven, the four started Commune.
Steven Johanknecht grew up in upstate New York. After receiving an Associates Degree in Communication Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, he transferred to Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia to study painting and art history and after a year in Rome with Temple University graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He moved to New York City where he eventually became Vice President of Display and Store Design for Barneys New York during twelve of the store's most influential years. He later worked as the Vice President of Retail Design for Donna Karan, Design Director for Studio Sofield and Retail Image Director for Banana Republic.
Commune is made up of a diverse team of architects, interior designers and graphic and product designers. They have graduated from some of the top schools including UCLA, NYU, RISD, Pratt, Harvard, U Penn, SCI ARC, Brown and Columbia and worked for a range of firms such as Waldo Fernandez, Michael S. Smith, Kelly Wearstler, SOM and Barbara Barry. The rich and varied experiences of our team are reflected in the holistic approach and collaborative mindset brought to each project.