Building Forever: Misty Floro and Pai Edles of Morfosis

For Morfosis principals Misty Floro and Pai Edles, design, like love, requires both going big and getting real

Introduction and Interview Gabrielle de la Cruz
Images Misty Floro and Pai Edles (Morfosis)

“All I can say is that I sat in Misty’s class and we just ended up clicking. That was 2008, and this year will be our 16th together!,” recalls Pai Edles, co-principal of the multi-disciplinary design studio Morfosis. The designer and her partner Misty Floro established their practice in 2013, specializing in commercial and residential interior design. Morfosis is recognized for its out-of-the-box approach, and also performs graphic and brand identity designs.

While often seen wearing monochromatic outfits and incorporating neutral colors in their designs, Edles and Floro are proud members of the colorful queer community, believing that design, like love, should be authentic and brave. This Valentine’s Day 2024, we asked the studio principals to look back on their journey as business and real-life partners and talk about what it takes to make a work and life relationship work.

Morfosis principals Pai Edles and Misty Floro

Kanto: Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day, Misty and Pai! Let’s start with a little story. Can you walk us through the growth of your work and life partnership since the day you met?

Misty: Happy Valentine’s Day, Kanto! Thank you for thinking of us for this special. Pai caught my eye at the Philippine School of Interior Design. I was the nerd, and she was the party girl. But beyond that boisterous exterior, Pai was really actually very thoughtful and caring. And also very funny and spontaneous. I guess those were the qualities that attracted me to her the most. 

Misty: After graduating from PSID, we both worked at different companies for a few years. It was only in 2013 that we were able to put up Morfosis. We decided to start the business together since we felt that it was the natural thing to do. We took on starter projects—small spaces of friends and friends of friends. We worked until the wee hours and our office then was a small desk in my bedroom. Today we have our own space, a growing team, and hopefully, more projects!

PAI: We would also like to share that we got married in the USA in August of last year. We had our elopement ceremony at Sol to Soul, a private 10-acre sanctuary at the edge of the starkly beautiful Mojave Desert, in Pioneertown, California. As designers, we felt like it was fitting to celebrate in a place that was distinguished by Conde Nast Traveler in 2021 as “the coolest Airbnb in California.” It was breathtakingly beautiful, and we feel thankful for the opportunity to do so to mark our 15th year together.

Kanto Morfosis Building Forever Misty Floro and Pai Edles 2024

I actually saw your social media wedding posts and stories. Truly happy for you! Having been together for almost 16 years, how would you describe your dynamics as a couple and as business partners?

Pai: Thank you! Misty and I just really blend well together. I’m so thankful for that. We hardly ever fight, whether it’s personal or professional.

Misty: Call it cheesy, but we’re one of those couples who love being together 24/7. We don’t like being apart. In fact, Pai often gets anxious when I’m not around. So working together works out well for us. 

I think being together for more than 15 years and working together for 11 has also made us so in sync. We often can guess what’s in each other’s minds and even finish each other’s sentences!

You say that your work and life partnership means being together 24/7. How do you leave space for your individual pursuits? What do you do when you’re not working?

PAI: To achieve work-life balance, we dabble in our own hobbies and interests. I personally enjoy doing art. In November 2023, I joined an exhibit in Japan, where some of my work has been displayed. Misty enjoys answering the daily NY Times crossword puzzle, watching the latest Korean dramas and BTS videos, and online shopping, of course.

Misty: We both love to eat and travel. But we’re also the type who love to just stay at home on the weekends with our cats—two silly boys! We named them after our favorite food, Pasta and Popcorn. I would say that our favorite thing to do is really just spend time with each other.

Cat Flat by Morfosis

What have you learned about each other in terms of working and staying together? What values do you hold dear?

Pai: A few years back, we took an online test called The Creative Types by Adobe Create. I came out as a “Visionary,” while Misty came out as a “Thinker.” I think this reflects our dynamic quite well. I often think up the big ideas, and Misty is usually the one to turn them into something realistic or doable, resulting in a creative synergy. At Morfosis, we have a no-holds-barred approach to crazy ideas, which we then refine into something that works.

Misty: As a couple, our values align. For one, we both believe that open and honest communication is key in a relationship. We are both free to express our thoughts and emotions to each other. We listen to each other and support and encourage each other. Second, we are big on mutual respect and trust. Lastly, we try to have fun and be spontaneous (well, this is more Pai) so that each day is never boring.

You’ve come a long way since that first meeting in PSID! What other dreams do you have for your practice? What do you look forward to doing together?

Misty: Looking ahead, we’re enthusiastic about embarking on new and exciting projects that challenge traditional design boundaries. We aim to maintain a vibrant and dynamic work culture, ensuring that our team continues to thrive and excel. Recently, we’ve expanded into the design-build business, which we call MorfoBuild, furthering our commitment to creating tangible, positive transformations.

Pai: Our philosophy revolves around instigating positive and meaningful change through interior design. Our motto is “Experience more at Morfosis.” We’re deeply committed to leveraging the power of design to positively impact people’s lives, whether by enhancing our clients’ businesses or creating more functional and aesthetically pleasing environments. On that same note, we are also cooking up a new concept for a social space at our headquarters that will be open to the public. And we’d love to share it with you soon!

The coming years are sure to be exciting, and we look forward to simply experiencing everything together. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! •

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