Documentation with a sense of place.
Melissa Chua, founder at Lean by Design, brings over 10 years of global experience producing videos and crafting brand identities for research institutions, ad agencies and real estate firms. She came to her own sense of place by immersing herself in diverse cultural contexts, creating music, practicing Raja yoga and pouring over architecture textbooks. Her resulting sense of form and aesthetic in architectural photography is informed by nature and the human condition. Melissa holds a BS in journalism and an MBA from the University of Illinois.
Quiet mastery, earth-centric flair.
People make community.
Our holistic approach to architectural photography and storytelling is personal. We capture architecture through the eyes of the communities and people it serves. Our video production services are journalistic, ethnographic,
and intentionally unscripted to grow your brand’s authentic voice.
Place makes it home.
We are drawn to the power, spirit and beauty of place, as well as the sanctuary of home. Therefore, our photographic style is organic in that it reflects the architectural order of nature while embracing the impermanent and the imperfect. Stories are composed in a whimsical yet photojournalistic way to make a space feel "lived in" and supported by a community.
Planet makes it sacred.
We work with purpose-driven clients in architecture, education and wellness who strive to improve the quality of life for others and operate in harmony with the earth. Client relationships are kindled with simplicity and elegance.
Purposeful storytelling, harmonic outcomes.
Architecture and cultural travel.
Travel definitely informs our worldview, expands our storytelling capabilities and allows us to excel in our international partnerships.
Click through the gallery below for a glimpse into Lean by Design's architectural journey around the globe and the iconic designs that inspire it.
We're available for editorial collaborations:
Ready to discuss?