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Meet Pauly De Bartolo of De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studio (DBRDS)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pauly De Bartolo.

DBRDS was formed as a partnership between Pauly & Ivan Rimanic, both having relocated from Sydney, Australia in 2005. They were invited to the US by an Australian architecture & development company looking to start an international office, their role being to lead conceptual design & entitlement process for projects in several US states.

As the recession hit in 2007/2008, it was obvious that the Australian team was heading back, they decided to stay in San Diego to open their own design practice. They were both in relationships (now both married) and felt that California was far too much fun to walk away from…. so they stuck it out through some very, very rough years.

Since 2008, they have grown their office to a steady team of 4, with projects all throughout California, Arizona & Texas. Being a design focused office, they take on multiple typologies of project, from Single-Family to Multi-Family, Hotel, High-Rise and Master Planning.

Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not.

In 2008 it seemed most of our profession was doing anything but architecture & design, you literally could not pay someone to hire you, so in essence, our business was created out of equal parts necessity and blind ignorance.

We had no idea of the obstacles we would face, and so what we didn’t know, didn’t hold us back.

Architecture school teaches you how to design in idealistic situations, now how to be business minded, so our biggest challenge has never been designing, or building relationships, but how to run our business. Being entrepreneurially driven is thrilling, and exhausting, but we wouldn’t change it at all. Each day we face a new set of challenges, all our own, and that’s awesome.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with De Bartolo + Rimanic Design Studio (DBRDS) – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are an Australian-born, California-based practice specializing in modern design projects of all typologies. We believe that dynamic and intelligent design can inspire the way we live and connect.

We promote socially-impactful responses through the implementation of sustainable planning strategies and contextually-sensitive solutions at every opportunity to strengthen the benefits to the clients we work with and the communities we work within.

We study the regulations to find creative solutions, integrating where applicable the developmental benefits of the inclusionary affordable housing density bonus program to maximize project outcomes for our clients.

We are an integrative and collaborative studio as we actively engage ideas from our clients and consultants, ensuring that each design embodies our core values and aspirations as a design practice.

We value the relationships we build as much as the projects.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The opportunity, the landscape, and the people. San Diego is an easy town to live, the weather is gravy, but the adventure is what gets me up each day, I love creating my own adventure through my business & collaborators we work with. Super exciting.

On the other hand, because San Diego is so easy to live in, its taken for granted. We don’t strive for greatness as a City as much as I think we did 100 years ago. I wish we were a more progressive, visionary City… we want to be world class, but we mostly adopt band-aid solutions to our issues.

We have the opportunity as a city to be one of the worlds greatest cities, but we are not working hard enough to get us there… we need to think bigger again!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 363 5th Avenue, #203 San Diego CA 92101
  • Website:
  • Phone: 858.220.5262
  • Email:

Image Credit:

Darren Bradley Photography

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