Collaborative Design: Farmer Payne Architects

Collaborative, a ubiquitous word used to fuse so many disparate entities, should have been reserved for a scenario like this: the collaborative design process of Farmer Payne Architects. A creative merging in the truest sense, the new firm grew from a long-standing friendship between two architects: Jackson native Jamie Farmer and Scott Payne of Louisiana. The two met as intern architects at Carney Logan Burke, where they gained invaluable experience working on high-end contemporary homes and luxury commercial buildings.

Jackson Hole has become known for its incredibly high-quality design standards,” Farmer says. “Jackson clients expect their architects to coordinate every piece of the project.

After collectively logging 11 years at CLB, Farmer and Payne each set off on their own, forming eponymous firms—Farmer in Jackson and Payne back in his hometown of Shreveport. Traveling on parallel tracks, they each built their personal portfolios before joining forces at the start of this year.

For Farmer and Payne, working together is a natural fit based on trust and expertise. Both bring a background in construction—Payne studied construction management and Farmer spent summers working construction. Such experience means their designs are simultaneously well-planned and innovative.

As principal architects, their collaborative approach considers all aspects of each project, from building a close relationship with the client to enlisting a contractor and design team early on so as to ensure a seamless design-to-build process. Tapping their well of experience in Wyoming and Louisiana, they assess their clients’ needs and tailor a team accordingly. “We get the team on board in the beginning,” Farmer says. Such early assembly ensures everyone is fully engaged in the success of the project, all working together toward a collective vision.

Eschewing a set style, Farmer and Payne embrace clean, refined designs. “Our style is rooted in connecting with the context and the people, which translates into greater versatility and diversity,” Farmer says. Consider their first project as a firm: A 5,000 sq. ft. home in the bayou of Louisiana, blending modern with colonial influence. Working onsite, Payne is leading the project management side, while Farmer is working with the design team in Jackson. The two communicate constantly, and trust each other to fulfill their respective roles. “We anticipate each other’s every move,” Farmer says.  

The merger has expanded the geographic scope of their respective practices. Most often, new clients find them through referrals from real estate agents or contractors. Farmer and Payne consider their clients to be their primary collaborators, listening and evolving their ideas throughout the design process. As principals, they are committed to being hands-on with every project. Keen to grow as firm, they never want to lose that personal connection to each client. “We will always be actively involved throughout the whole process,” Farmer says.

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