sharon johnston and mark lee discuss the ‘slow art’ of architecture

specific view johnston marklee

‘culture is the whole reason we want to be architects’to say Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee in this short film directed by tomboy. the 3-minute film is the first in a series called “view-specific,” where artists and architects talk about their creative process and share personal stories.

in this first profile, the founders of LA-based architecture firm johnston marklee discuss the difference between art and architecturethe “chance decision” to open their office, and how the small buildings they undertake are like rooms in the city. ‘it’s a quiet thing but I think it’s deep’, notes Sharon Johnston. the film takes viewers through the johnston marklee studio and on location at past works, exploring and experiencing them through a new lens.

main tomboy video

Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee first met when they were students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). the couple then founded johnston marklee in 1998 in los angeles. the award-winning architectural firm has a diverse portfolio with projects of varying scale and typology, spanning 14 countries across North and South America, Europe and Asia.

johnston marklee’s work is visually arresting with a carefully considered aesthetic, and their approach is rigorous while remaining open and experimental. although the studio is based in los angeles, their work and outlook is largely influenced by their time spent traveling on projects and teaching, giving them a multi-dimensional point of view.

sharon johnston and mark lee discuss

sharon johnston and mark lee discuss

sharon johnston and mark lee discuss

specific view johnston marklee 4

sharon johnston and mark lee discuss

specific view johnston marklee 6

project info:

Name: specific view
created and produced by: tomboy
with: sharon johnston and mark lee

cinematography by: mason hayden
edited by: ben schwaber
music by: alessandro marineli
sound recording by: Jose Castro
mixing & sound design by: much freer
color by: Nick Metcalf
titles by: michele brianza
thanks to: nichole valliere, niles roth, michael kuhn, trevor king, tatiana rudzinski, various small fires, UCLA and all owners

designboom received this project from our DIY Submissions feature, where we invite our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | design boom

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