About Our Lab

We are a San Diego-based creative design lab specializing in experiential design, interior design and brand. We are committed to helping people articulate and bring their creative vision to life.

We create inspiring spaces for life, work and play, including ground-up design and renovation of residential, commercial, retail and institutional spaces. We’re inspired by travel, art, nature, creators, innovators and thinkers.  We seek to create enduring environments and brands that realize our clients’ visions, deliver surprise and delight. We’re continually expanding our knowledge of the world from our Cedros Design District design lab, and the planet beyond.

At our core, we are passionate about taking the journey with our clients, whether we are creating an engaging brand, a dream home or a workplace environment that inspires creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Let’s get started!

McCulley Team Photo

The Principals

John McCulley

John McCulley founded McCulley Design Group, now McCulley Design Lab, in 1988 with the vision to integrate the disciplines of interior design, product design, graphic design and environmental design into a total design resource for progressive companies. McCulley also consults in the custom design of residential environments, furniture and architectural products. Residential project locations have included Rancho Santa Fe, CA; La Jolla, CA; Cardiff, CA; Del Mar, CA; Palm Springs, CA; Telluride, CO; and Jackson Hole, WY.

Prior to founding McCulley Design Group, John established and directed the award winning Retail Environments Resource at Fitch + Richardson Smith, an international product and retail design firm with offices in London, Columbus and Boston. As well, John has served as an Assistant Professor of product design, graphic design and interior space at The Ohio State University, Montana State University, and taught industrial design at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

John holds a BFA in Industrial Design and MFA with a concentration on Japanese Philosophy and Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

Janet McCulley

Janet McCulley has developed her unique brand of creative expression through two decades of progressive marketing, creative and experience design projects. Janet finds her joy in collaborating with dynamic clients on everything from naming and brand development to strategic planning, creative design direction and experience design.

Prior to joining McCulley Design Lab, Janet served as founder and CMO of specialty retailer Muttropolis and Chief Trend Correspondent and “Trendologist” for Discovery Communications’ AnimalPlanet.com. Janet also served as a Senior Marketing Executive at the multi-unit restaurant chain Jack in the Box, Inc.

Janet holds a BA in Communications from The University of California, San Diego.

Our Mantra

  1. Good ideas are usually simple ideas.
  2. Design in the absence of thoughtful content is decoration.
  3. A strategic design process takes discipline for all parties involved.
  4. Design the experience first... not the objects.
  5. Great design connects with people on an emotional level.
  6. Dogs are good.
Let's talk about your next project!