Janet Echelman is an artist who defies categorization. She creates billowing sculpture at the scale of buildings, choreographed by wind and light. The art shifts from being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in. Using unlikely materials from netting to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge engineering and material science to create focal points for urban life on five continents.
Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Her TED talk, “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages and viewed by millions. Echelman’s art ranked #1 on Oprah’s “List of 50 Things That Make You Say Wow!” and received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.
Echelman’s path has been nonlinear. After graduating from Harvard, she applied to seven art schools, and was rejected by all of them. So, she decided to create a life as an artist herself. For five years, she painted in a Balinese village while studying craft traditions. But she didn’t find her full voice as an artist until her paints went missing on a Fulbright in India – which forced her to embrace an unorthodox new art material.
Los Angeles, CA
Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee are the founding partners of the architecture firm Johnston Marklee. They have taught at major universities including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Princeton University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the Technical University of Berlin, and ETH Zurich. They have held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto.
Since its establishment in 1998 in Los Angeles, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with awards and publications. To date, the firm has been awarded over 30 major awards, and a book on its work entitled, House Is a House Is a House Is a House Is a House, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. This followed a monograph on the firm’s work, published in 2014 by 2G.
Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning seven countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Current projects include the Menil Drawing Institute, on the campus of the Menil Collection, complete in September 2017; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, complete in the summer of 2017; and the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California.
The firm’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich. Johnston Marklee are the Artistic Directors for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
St. Paul, MN
Jonathan Muecke has evolved a design practice that resists standard divisions between design, art and architecture, instead focusing on refined forms that investigate notions of positive and negative space, positional relationships to structures and the innate desire to read notions of functionality into objects that relate to human scale.
He studied architecture at Iowa State, interning at the architectural office of Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland before studying design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Shortly after graduating in 2010 he was awarded the Veuve Cliquot prize at the Design Parade 5 at Hyères, France. In 2014 he was awarded the pavilion commission from Design Miami.
Muecke¹s works are in the collections of national and international museums including The Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Montreal), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
New York, NY
Chat Travieso is a Brooklyn-based artist, designer, and educator. His work has been commissioned by or organized in collaboration with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance, The Architectural League of New York, Design Trust for Public Space, the NYC Department of Transportation, the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, the Elsewhere Museum, and the Cambridge Arts Council. He has worked as a teaching artist with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Hester Street Collaborative. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Designboom, CityLab, and BOMB Magazine as well as the books Pop-Up City: City-making In a Fluid World (BIS Publishers, 2014) and Supernew Supergraphics (Unit Editions, 2014). His residencies include the New York Studio Residency Program, LMCC Process Space, and Smack Mellon Studio Program. He is the recipient of a New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowship as part of his Smack Mellon residency, a Community Arts Fund Grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Matthew J. Quinn Prize and a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Moulton Andrus Award and the Harvey R. Russel Scholarship from the Yale School of Architecture, and the F. Grainger Marburg Traveling Award from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He is a 2003 YoungArts winner in Visual Arts and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an M.Arch from the Yale School of Architecture.
Marlon Blackwell is one of the nation’s most respected regional modernist architects. His practice takes place primarily in Arkansas and combines vernacular traditions with rigorous formalism. Throughout his body of work, nature has been a persistent inspiration and he strives to create spaces that respond to the physical and cultural eccentricities of a place. Working in the second poorest state in the country, Blackwell’s architecture uses an economy of means for a maximum of meaning and he makes spectacular buildings with very small budgets. His projects have ranged from a Honey House to the University of Arkansas School of Architecture to a spare orthodox church. He was the architect for the Ruth Lilly Visitor Pavilion and the Crystal Bridges Museum Store at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville. He is the principal at Marlon Blackwell Architects and the head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Blackwell is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Prize, American Institute of Architects National Honor Award, the American Library Association Design Award the Best Civic and Community Building Award from the World Architecture Festival.
Rolling Hills, CA
Doris Sung works at the intersection of architecture, applied technology and design to explore the possibilities of thermobiometals. She creates temperature sensitive, responsive installations that engage the public and reflect on the potential of materiality on the environment. She describes her practice as embracing a paradigm shift away from the static towards the dynamic and her provocative objects and dynamic surfaces inspire us to think differently about the entire field of architecture. Sung is an Assistant professor at USC and principal of DOSU Studio Architecture. Her kinetic structures and installations have been shown at MCA/SB, Materials&Application Gallery, MOCA and the TextielMuseum in the Netherlands. She is the recipient of the 2013 World Technology Award and American Institute of Architects Honor Award.
Stephen Luoni is the Director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC), a non-profit that specializes in interdisciplinary public works projects combining landscape, urban, and architectural design with a focus on shaping urban design approaches to issues of sustainability. Luoni’s design and research have won him more than 80 honors, including Progressive Architecture Awards and American Institute of Architects Honor Awards.
New York, NY
Landscape architect Kate Orff founded her firm, SCAPE, in 2004. With a background in environmental science, the political and social sciences, and fine arts, she merges ecology and strong form to create rich, bio-diverse, textured landscapes that magnify the relationship between people and place. SCAPE’s projects range from a pocket park in Brooklyn to a 1000-acre landfill regeneration project in Dublin, Ireland. Kate is the Director of the Urban Design Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
New York, NY
Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto started their internationally recognized firm, Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture, in New York in 1986. Reiser and Umemoto work at various scales from furniture design to residential and commercial buildings to landscape design and infrastructure. They established their firm as “an innovative laboratory in which significant social, cultural and structural ideas are synthesized into a tangible, dynamic architecture.” Reiser is a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University, and Umemoto has taught at various schools in the U.S. and Asia, including Harvard, Hong Kong, and Columbia Universities, as well as The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Los Angeles, CA
Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich founded their architecture firm, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, in Los Angeles in 1999. In their practice, they integrate digital technology with an extensive consideration of form and innovative materials. Working at various scales, they have recently completed a ten-story apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, and a mix-use corporate headquarters in Chengdu, China. Among their many honors are awards from both the Architectural League of New York (2011) and the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Chapter (2011). Huljich is on the architecture and urban design faculty of UCLA, and Spina is on the design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).