Mei-Lan studied architecture at Cornell University where she completed several built installations. Continuing her focus on the smaller scale and working details, she worked under Caroline O’Donnell for the winning MoMa PS1 proposal “Party Wall,” which was built and completed in 2013. Later that year, she moved to Basel, Switzerland to work for Herzog & de Meuron on several high profile projects, including the National Library of Jerusalem, an intimate apartment complex in Miami, and a large rehabilitative hospital project in Denmark.

Dedicated to finding more meaningful interactions between objects and their contexts, Mei-Lan moved back to the US to focus on materiality and sculptural form, working for years primarily in stoneware on hand-built ceramic vessels. Her determination to understand various tools and craftsmanship led her to co-found UMÉ, where she is influenced by an emphasis on objects and their relationship within space. Mei-Lan is currently a Lecturer at UC Berkeley in the department of Architecture and was recently awarded Forbes 30 under 30.


Victor Lefebvre is a state-licensed French architect with a background in furniture design and woodworking.

Educated both in France and Japan, Victor practiced at Kengo Kuma Paris before a state research grant lead him to work in Kyoto for three years.

With more passion for working with his hands than his doctoral studies, Victor established a practice in Kyoto, working on a few residential projects in the area, including hand-built renovations of traditional homes, as well as competitions for Kengo Kuma in Tokyo.

He then returned to Europe as architect for Herzog & de Meuron in Basel Switzerland, working on high-profile competitions and residential projects, as well as on furniture and detailing projects in the studio’s in-house wood shop.

Victor moved to the San Francisco Bay Area working as a designer at Envelope A+D before co-founding UMÉ.

He now works on independent projects and travels around the world in his quest of careful details and new collaborators for the Studio.


Ms My has made cold process soap for over 20 years. She runs her studio with her two nieces out of Di Anh. Her passion lies in visiting the local markets sourcing lemongrass, jasmine, and cardamom to produce small batch scent stories depending on the season.


Akane Moriyama is a designer and artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. With her background of studying both architecture at Kyoto University of Technology in Japan and textile design at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Sweden, Akane works with textiles for architecture and art projects.

Since her first commission by architect Hideyuki Nakayama, "A Curtain for "House O" in 2009, Akane has been creating textiles for architecture projects in collaboration with various international architects.

She has also been commissioned by museums and galleries such as Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, Gallery Another Space, and Palazzo Bembo as a part of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014. She completed the large-scale art installation Cubic Prism in the courtyard of Goldsmith Hall in University of Texas, Austin as a winner of CURTAINS, a competition organized by the Center for American Architecture and Design.

Akane has been a guest lecturer at the School of Architecture at Lund University since 2011 and has lectured at both The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Boras and Kyoto Institute University.

View more of Akane's work at


Raised on a small vineyard and winery in Oregon, Julian is well versed in what it means to commit to a labor of love.

After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Julian headed back west. Heavily influenced by the act of making, Julian finds design solutions where the worlds of craft, material, and function align.

Julian currently resides in Oakland, CA with his Corgi, P Middy.

View more of Julian's works at


Takuya Kojo is a Japanese architect and product designer based in Kyoto, Japan.

He holds a Masters in Architecture from Kyoto Institute of Technology that he received while operating a historical house preservation project. He opened his own practice in 2015 and works on a variety of projects with a hands-on and detail-focused approach to design.

Takuya currently oversees the operations of UMÉ in Japan, where he provides his technical expertise and Japanese sensitivity to all ongoing projects.