Often, the best business ideas are those that satisfy an unanswered need. For designers Sergio Max Legon-Talamoni and Sonia-Lynn Abenojar, the sense that their community was missing a much-needed resource was the impetus for launching their Seattle-based design practice, La Union Studio. Noticing a lack of BIPOC designers who could serve the many minority- and immigrant-owned businesses in the region, Legon-Talamoni and Abenojar decided to take the leap and launch their own practice. Centered on cultural placemaking, the duo has built a small but mighty portfolio, with several more projects on the boards.
Tell us about the name “La Union.”
Sonia-Lynn Abenojar: La Union is the town in the Philippines where my parents are from. Sergio Max Legon-Talamoni: We gravitated toward the name because it means “unity and connection.” These are the through lines of our practice, no matter the scale or project type.
What inspires you and your designs?
SA: We love community-focused projects that celebrate identity through art, culture, music, food and people. These are the things that move us, and we are inspired by the many ways you can highlight these cultural aspects through design.
How do you measure success?
SLT: We want our clients to feel represented in the design process and in the finished product. To us, the mark of a successful project is one where our community is seen and heard.