graphic design, environmental design, architecture competitions, sculpture, experience design

Arizona Welcome Center

Verde Valley, Arizona


Prototype concept for a visitor's welcome and information center to be located at various entry points throughout the state.

The design capitalized on unique landscape features of the site; emerging from of the rocky and rugged terrain while simultaneously slipping discretely into the landscape. The design was influenced by elusive Sonoran Desert lizards, notably the Gila Monster. The complex angularity of the walls is derived by extrusion perpendicularly from specific tangencies found naturally on the site. Antithetically from a strategy of ease where the site is flatest and easiest to build on, instead the building seeks to fully engage the most engaging relationships to specificity of site and place. advisor: Gerald R McSheffrey

Primitive VR Apparatus. This panoramic photo sequence was taped together to create a 360 degree panoramic image. Suspended from the studio ceiling at a height of approximately 52" above the floor, studio visitors could stand with their head inside the ring and revisit the site in a semi-immersive manner.


Conceptual sketch. Emergence and disappearance.

Roof plan shading study

Plan view shadow study

Floor and roof plan

Longitudinal section

Floor plan



Michael LaForte
CEO, Creative Director

12752 Valley View St

Garden Grove, CA 92845



graphic design

experience design

environmental design


sculpture in expansive fields