A+A works at the intersection of culture and commerce, providing experience strategy and design services for visitor attractions, museums, retail experiences and digital environments. Our work explores the graceful convergence of digital and physical realms. We begin with your story, and typically develop deep client relationships that extend over many projects and years.

Business Model

Modeled more on the film industry than a traditional agency, we are a core team of creative leaders, and assemble seasoned associates on a project basis. After over thirty years of managing multi-disciplinary, multi-million dollar projects for major museums, government agencies and global corporations, we have refined our on-demand methodologies to a fine art. Enhanced each year with the latest technology and software solutions, and complemented by a deep network of virtual services, we work seamlessly with our clients and associates undistracted by the typical challenges of managing a global multi-office firm. Our focus every day is on meeting the needs of our clients.

Our Teams

Teams are typically made up of professionals with skills ranging from strategy, 3D design, architecture, user experience design, graphic design, illustration, digital design, content development, research and writing. Many of our associates, throughout the USA and Europe, have worked with us for over a decade, and are committed to working independently and collaboratively. Discipline-specific associates are typically complemented by rising young talent—resumes are welcome! Our teams work collaboratively with internal client teams, often softening the typical boundaries between client and consultant.

Tomas Ancona

Tom Ancona has over thirty years of international experience designing and directing large-scale interdisciplinary projects for government, cultural and corporate clients. Tom approaches his work from both a narrative and design perspective, weaving rich and engaging stories through physical and digital environments.

Mr. Ancona’s experience consists of two eras. For the first seventeen years of his career his focus was on the planning and design of cultural attractions. From 1980-85, Tom worked at several prominent architecture and design firms in New York and Boston. At Cambridge Seven Associates, he led the exhibit design efforts on numerous museum projects that ranged in topics from submarines to basketball, tennis and football.

In 1986, he moved west and established Ancona + Associates, inc. For eleven years he operated an exhibit planning and design firm located in the South of Market district of San Francisco.

In 1997, he was recruited as Global Creative Director of Nike Retail, a move which brought him to Portland, OR, and subsequently launched his work in the commercial sector. At Nike (1997-99), he was responsible for leading a group of sixty designers and managers, and directing the design of seven Niketown stores around the world.

After completing the Niketown program, he joined the San Francisco based e-business consultancy Scient to establish and lead their European business as Managing Director of Customer Experience. (2000-01).

Since returning to Portland in 2002, Mr. Ancona has refreshed A+A to bring together the experience gained in both the commercial and cultural sectors. In recent years, A+A engagements typically are expansive programs that address customer and visitor experiences over time and place.

Mr. Ancona studied architecture and design at Cornell University, Columbia University, and Parsons School of Design. He received his BA in American History (High Honors) and Fine Arts (Honors) at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Ct. He is a graduate of George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA.

In Portland, Tom has served on the board of the Architectural Foundation of Oregon. He is a member of SEGD, TEA, AAM, ULI, NCPH and NAI.

Tom is married to collage illustrator, Laura Tarrish. They have two daughters. The eldest, Olivia Ancona, is a contemporary dancer, who after training at Juilliard, is now based in Berlin and performs and teaches throughout the world. The second daughter, Natalie Ancona, is a graduate of Wesleyan University and is a documentary film editor in Los Angeles.

Tom is an active soccer player in all seasons, among all ages, throughout various Portland leagues.