photo by Jeannette Coleman, Ember Eye Photography

photo by Jeannette Coleman, Ember Eye Photography



Studioful: participatory design with people, places, and ideas.

Studioful Design brings the powerful practice of discovery through design to each collaboration for a joyful design process that leads to integrated works of art and architecture. Our projects are meaningful, resourceful, and beautiful.

Studioful Design was founded by Claudia Paraschiv in 2016 as a woman-owned, social enterprise engaged in architecture, community art, and neighborhood design.

Claudia graduated with her Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Southern California, and with her Masters in Architecture and Urbanism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has worked for XTEN Architecture and New Theme Architects in Los Angeles, and Butz+Klug Architects in Boston. Claudia was Artist in Residence in Four Corners, Dorchester 2015-16, and in Salem MA in 2017. She has taught at Wentworth Institute of Technology and the Boston Architectural College. Claudia is a registered architect in Massachusetts. License No. 50512.

CV and references upon request. claudia [at]


Our work is driven by the pressing need in architecture to engage people to participate in the creation of meaningful worlds: physical, social, public, environmental, and personal. 

We use the powerful tool of design to manifest our personal and collective values into beneficial built form. Through participatory design, we create purposeful architecture, art, and placemaking projects embedded in their local contexts that connect people to place, to each other, and to themselves.

Participatory Design Services

MINDFUL ARCHITECTURE Architecture to support life, imagination, and ecology.

Our Mindful Architecture Practice is a committed collaboration between client and designer. Together, we precisely frame your needs, imagine possibilities, and create an architecture to support your life. The process is a joyful, genuine dialogue of discovery based on three core principles:

Personal Narrative Your space is an expression of yourself. We collaboratively create your story in built form: an architecture that you recognize as yours will enhance your daily life, inspire your aspirations, and actively sustain what is important to you.

Cultural Context Your personal space belongs in our shared society. The impact of your personal design extends beyond your property line to the street and the neighborhood. The exterior design will be in dialogue with the existing built and natural environments, and we’ll work to enhance the surrounding public spaces as appropriate.

Ecological Responsibility We aim to use renewable materials safe for people and the environment across the material life-cycle from source to production to building. We design with passive systems of heat gain and natural ventilation to complement current technologies and keep your spaces comfortable in all seasons with minimal energy consumption. We also aim to work with local trades-people, manufacturing, and suppliers to sustain the local economy, building lasting relationships.

COMMUNITY ART art installations to explore local social, environmental, and policy issues.

Our Community Art practice centers on creating meaningful public works with local communities of all ages and abilities. We design customized projects, create immersive workshops, and make large installations for social impact. Our Community Art practice focus on social connections and ecological and civic stewardship. Many of our projects advocate local environmental issues, like plastic bag legislation, food waste legislation, and bringing visibility to pollinators.

Two processes of participatory art we have created and employed are The Public Art Salon and Civic Art Networks.

The Public Art Salon Community-driven physical improvement projects created over multi-week workshops in public space.

The Public Art Salon was developed in Dorchester, Boston in 2015 to create functional and beautiful projects with community members during weekly workshops. During the pilot program, we designed and built an art-integrated bench over 15 weeks. The Public Art Salon went beyond the physical project: we met for a few hours every Saturday to create, talk, eat, and be together in a drop-in friendly, collaborative, and accessible public plaza.

The project-based workshops bring to life a creative element to improve a specific place through the collective work and artistic expression of locals. The weekly meetings create a ritual of civic practice.

We have successfully led several Salons in Boston and Salem MA. Each Salon is a unique evolution of the people and place involved, but always integrates the values of creating connections, stimulating the imagination, and including everyone to create a project of civic pride.

COLLABORATE Use The Public Art Salon as an effective method to create place-based improvements through participatory projects in your community. We developed The Public Art Salon Handbook as a flexible framework.

Civic Art Networks were developed over several years for the Salem Arts Festival as a method to increase local participation in the festival. Over time, the participatory projects evolved to amplify local discussions of relevant issues through the medium of art. In 2016, Tidal Shift brought attention to the new plastic bag ban adopted by the city and worked with local ocean advocacy organizations and the City’s Recycling Committee to communicate the need for plastic bag reduction to the greater community.

Civic Art Networks involve individuals, groups, and organizations across all sectors to collectively create art across the neighborhood from schools to libraries to restaurants and cafes at multiple workshops leading up the the final installation.

The projects work best in conjunction with local festivals, community events, farmers’ markets, and other ongoing local gatherings. Civic Art Networks provide a place and a project to discuss relevant local issues during collective art making. In turn, the art project acts as a further conversation piece beyond the workshops.

NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN local urban design with neighbors.

Our Neighborhood Design practice is an intimate platform to engage local input for urban design.

Community Design Events Communities are design partners to architectural, landscape, and urban design professionals for capital projects.

Community Design Events enable local stakeholders to have a clear voice in the design of new capital projects in their neighborhood through hands-on collaborative input with local officials and design experts.

Too often community input is relegated to three meetings at City Hall. Designers and City Officials bemoan the lack of community participation. We bring the design to the stakeholders through fun, inclusive, and accessible Community Design Events on site.

Our multi-week events include participation from local artists, merchants, and other core stakeholders, informative signage, and interactive feedback elements to get involve as many people as possible.

The Community Design Events act as a productive dialogue of design between the community and design experts. We guide participants to understand plural needs and desires, project scope, feasibility and ongoing community engagement.

COLLABORATE Community Design Events enable relevant, inclusive community input for important projects that will impact the lives of people for years.

Contact us for workshops, consultations, and collaborations.

Located in Salem MA in a collaborative design space. 1 Jefferson Avenue, Salem MA 01970