In this episode of Talking Practice, host Grace La interviews Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, partners and co-founders of Johnston Marklee and Professors in Practice of Architecture at the GSD. Sharon and Mark discuss the beginning of their partnership, which is deeply rooted in a shared connection to Los Angeles. The pair reflect on the demands of oscillating between project types– designing for single-family homes and for institutionally scaled projects– explaining how this spectrum of work influences their working dynamic and office culture. They provide insights into the “art of finding the problem” and how they foster an economy of means through strategies for building components. Mark and Sharon also describe their interest in exhibitions and the significance of interiors.
As practitioners and professors, Mark and Sharon discuss the role of art and history in designing spaces, teaching students and guiding academia. For more on Sharon and Mark’s work, check out Mark’s lecture – “Five Footnotes Towards An Architecture” and Sharon’s spring 2023 option studio – Barnes’ Barns in the Grid of Des Moines”.
About the Show
Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Principal of LA DALLMAN, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.
About the Host
Talking Practice is produced and edited by Maggie Janik. Research Assistance is provided by Victor Ohene. The show was recorded at Harvard University’s Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade.
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