Mark Diaz | Design Guru
Mark Alan Diaz is a Miami native with Cuban, Italian and German roots, who has used his transnational background and later travels, to develop unique and award-winning designs and concepts throughout the United States. As a result, Mark has become known for fusing modernism and warm progressiveness, with raw materials and luxury architectural detailing creating his own signature style known as “RoughLUX”.
Mark received a Bachelor’s in Architecture and Design from Florida International University while working for some of the leading hospitality design firms in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. In the late 1990’s to early 2000’s Mark became involved with some of the biggest innovators in design and luxury hospitality world, that revolutionized South Beach’s legendary hot spots working closely with Jack Penrod and Stephane Dupoux on Nikki Beach, Pearl, Nikki Marina as well as their other exotic destinations worldwide.
Mark then moved to New York to begin working at one of the finest interior architecture and design firms, Barteluce Architects & Associates (now Callison Architects, as of 2011) revolutionizing fixtures and furniture offerings. Mark worked alongside the late Randall A. Ridless Interior Design for Bergdorf Goodman, Verdura, Lambertson Truex, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany’s, Burberry and Saks Fifth Avenue, and became the Assistant Furniture Designer for Cartier, and Assistant Project Architect for Madison Jaguar and Parkway Toyota.
Mark later returned to Miami and set his sights to transform the nightlife community concentrating on the desolate urban areas now known as the Design District and Wynwood (famous for its murals, galleries, and nightlife). Rolling Stone Magazine named “The Electric Pickle” one of the “Top Ten Best Nightclubs in America” which Mark consulted, designed, and constructed (which included an added second-floor concept, called the El Bolero Room).
Mark quickly became the most sought-after designer for Miami’s nightlife; including “Don’t Sit on the Furniture”, “Railroad Blues”, “Score and It - Espresso Lounge”, which have all received accolades and awards rating them “Best of Miami’s Bars and Nightclubs”.
Mark style and ability to not only design, but build his own creations, also captured a national audience as he became a finalist on the sixth season of HGTV’s top-ranked reality design competition television shows, “Design Star”.
In addition to concept and interior design, Mark has worked to build his own lifestyle brand of furnishings and fixtures. “Bully”, a home accessory line including ‘brass knuckles chandeliers’ combining combat weaponry with an edgy indulgence, has been exhibited at highly publicized events such as Scope Art Fair at Art Basel Miami Beach and Chrysler during Miami Fashion Week, garnering interests and accolades amongst peer design professionals.
In late 2014, Mark joined forces with Jugofresh, and ultimately won the 2015 Hospitality Design Magazine award, for the redesign of the brand’s concept and branding, and became the company’s Design Director (working alongside owner Matt Sherman). Together they transformed the brand into a thriving chain which now is the in store option for Whole Foods in the South Florida market.
Mark has also garnered praise and awards for his design of commercial marketplace’s, boutique shops and fast-casual restaurants.: namely Novecento Midtown, Xochimex Cantina Fresh Mex Grill, Barolo, Calaveras Cantina and the new kiosk brand standard for Segafredo, MIMO Market Wynwood, OSME Perfumery and VIP Lounge at one of Miami Beach’s historic performance venues, The Fillmore, formerly known as the Jackie Gleason Theatre.
Mark has continued to work on projects throughout the United States, and worked on projects in Pocatello, Idaho (transforming a neighborhood pool hall into a local hotspot), Pawtucket, Rhode Island (converting a dilapidated roller skating rink into an acclaimed restaurant and bar), and Indianapolis, Indiana (rebrand, redesign, and convert a separated restaurant and nightclub into a unified concept consisting of a 2900 square foot restaurant named Good Conduct, and a 1300 square foot speakeasy style nightclub named Miss BeHavin) .
Ultimately, Mark’s sleek design style brought him to Los Angeles, and amongst other projects, Mark has revamped one of West Hollywood beloved eateries, Fratelli’s Café, into a modern and luxurious neighborhood bistro. And after almost two decades in the design and hospitality business, Mark partnered with Michael Tipps and Homan Taghdiri, in rebranding and redesigning Salvage Bar & Lounge into Shoo Shoo Baby, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles Financial District (by creating a hidden intimate oasis with a 1940’s feel, while repurposing materials and furnishing from a long-forgotten era, into his RoughLUX style).