Workstead is a Design Studio based in New York City.  Founded in 2009 by Stefanie Brechbuehler, Ryan Mahoney, and Robert Highsmith, the studio designs one-of-a-kind projects and products that balance beauty with necessity. The award-winning studio is sought after for their attention to detail, and their disciplined process that considers both client and community.

With a network of skilled fabricators, the team collaborates with craftsmen and artists across all mediums.  Internationally recognized for their work in interior design, lighting, and furniture, the studio brings their meticulous approach to hotels, restaurants, and residences.

With longevity as its foundation, the studio is responsible for the atmosphere of such iconic getaways as The Dewberry Charleston, Rivertown Lodge, and The Wythe Hotel. Projects and products have been featured in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, T Magazine, Wallpaper, and recognized by Hospitality Design, Interior Design Magazine, and NYCxDesign through numerous awards.






Project Conceptualization

Feasibility & Project Scoping

Documentation of Working Drawings


Quotation Leveling & Review

Construction Administration



Globally recognized Lighting Collections

Custom Lighting Design and Fabrication

Custom integrated Case Goods and Furniture

One-of-a-kind Soft Goods and Interior Finishes



Identity Design

Collateral Development

Signage & Wayfinding

Top-tier Media Placement & PR Strategy

Professional Photography

Project Copy Creation and Editing




Robert Highsmith Robert Highsmith

Robert Highsmith

Principal B.A. Furman University, M.Arch RISD

Born in Wilson, North Carolina, Robert Andrew Highsmith has always had an interest in sound, materials, and architecture. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Furman University in South Carolina. After fifteen years of formal training in music, his interests led him to architecture, a trade practiced in his family for 4 generations. He received his Masters in Architecture, with Honors, from Rhode Island School of Design. Before creating WORKSTEAD, he spent time working for Richard Berliner in Los Angeles, Stempel Form in Utah, and Skinner Lamm and Highsmith in North Carolina.

Stefanie Brechbuehler Stefanie Brechbuehler

Stefanie Brechbuehler

Principal B.I.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, M.Arch RISD

Stefanie Brechbuehler is a designer. Born in Switzerland, she has lived in places as far flung as the desert Southwest to Venezuela. She received a Bachelors of Interior Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Masters in Architecture, with Honors, from Rhode Island School of Design. She also studied at the School of Art and Design in Zurich. Before creating WORKSTEAD, she worked with Gensler, Roman and Williams, Stempel Form, Gluckman Mayner, and Michael Graves.

Ryan Mahoney Ryan Mahoney

Ryan Mahoney

Principal B.F.A. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, M.Arch RISD

With a background in sculpture, set design, and architecture, Ryan Mahoney joined WORKSTEAD in 2010. He received his undergraduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and worked for Redmoon Theatre in Chicago where he designed and built sets. He went on to the Rhode Island School of Design to receive his Masters in Architecture, graduating in the same class as Stefanie Brechbuehler. He worked for a small New England architecture firm for several years before joining WORKSTEAD.

Nadine Lynch Nadine Lynch

Nadine Lynch

Senior Designer B.F.A. Interior Design, New York School of Interior Design
Jon Whitaker Jon Whitaker

Jon Whitaker

Managing Director B.F.A. Interior Architecture and Design, Academy of Art University San Francisco

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