For those of you who live downtown, you've probably already experienced the crazy cool urban park constructed from repurposed shipping containers in East Village called Quartyard. The three friends and creative minds behind this project are David Loewenstein, Philip Auchettl and Jason Grauten. They all bring a different talent to the mix and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
Their company is called Rad Lab and just a few years ago they came together to provide cutting-edge design and development within both a public and private space. Quartyard is a perfect example of what these guys can do, turning a vacant 25,000-square-foot lot into what is now an eco-friendly outdoor community for people to enjoy coffee, food and live entertainment. And with summer around the corner, they plan on hosting cultural events, farmers markets and film festivals as well.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Quartyard?
Loewenstein: We wanted to create a place that we wanted to go to. A place that was outside, had live music, and great rotating food options.
Auchettl: Experimenting and breaking the "rules" in San Diego, to do something that has never been done here before.
Grauten: At the same time we tried to bring community and culture together while still keeping the feel of your outdoor living room. Quartyard's tagline is Your City Block.
Q: You have cool artists and bands perform there, who would the three of you love to see perform there and why?
Loewenstein: Chili Peppers, Mumford & Sons, and of course my man Snoop Dog.
Grauten: Mumford & Sons would be awesome, Arcade Fire, and Black Keys.
Auchettl: I would love see Delta Spirit here, but to bring in some Australian legends like Matt Corby or Wolfmother would be amazing.
Q: Besides Quartyard, what other projects are you working on that you're excited about?
Loewenstein: We are working on a few other fun projects, the newest and most impactful centers around the idea of creating a community that solves veteran homelessness by providing a community of support within a series of small homes.
Q: If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?
Auchettl: I would have to say Iron Man, that bloke crushes it and he built his own super hero strengths. He's pretty much a bad ass.
Loewenstein: I would be superman, he is almost indestructible and has some awesome super powers, he can fly, he has laser eyes and unlimited strength.
Grauten: Haha, you would be Superman, "almost indestructible," that is until he comes across a small precious green gem. I would be Wolverine hands down.
Q: Where did the name RAD Lab come from?
Loewenstein: RAD Lab stands for Research Architecture and Development Laboratory. We wanted to come up with a name that was fun, easy to remember and descriptive to our field of focus: design and development.
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
Loewenstein: The people. Everyone has such a positive attitude and exudes excitement about their own projects. It is always more fun to work in an environment where the client is passionate about the transformation.
Auchettl: The amount of opportunity is incredible, I came to this city and loved it. It's big enough with an easy going attitude similar to a small beach town.
Grauten: The fact that you can do business in your flip flops.
Q: What are the talents that each of you brings to the table?
Auchettl: I focus typically on the big picture and try to push us all in the right direction.
Loewenstein: I focus on more operational and logistical feasibility, how to enhance that profit margin.
Grauten: My design eye for sure, attention to detail and the creative side of the business.
Q: If you had to be on a reality show, which one would you want to be on and why?
Grauten: I would probably be on "The Amazing Race."
Loewenstein: I would like to be on the show "Wipeout," the obstacle course looks like it would be a blast to run through.
Auchettl: You would wipe out so quickly! I would give "Survivor" a go.
Amber Mesker is an entertainment and lifestyle reporter for DiscoverSD. She loves providing readers updates on Hollywood gossip, San Diego fashion and cool weekend events. You can follow Amber and laugh at her fun, crazy life at @ambermesker