Laura Johnston Design Associates
Light and its power to transform our experience of the built environment and landscape inspires the work of Laura Johnston Design Associates. Changeability - marking the passing of time, adds an intriguing dynamism to the many commssioned works undertaken across the UK, which interact with their surroundings in varying ways throughout the course of a day and through the changing seasons.
At the heart of the practice is artist Laura Johnston’s passion for the materiality of light and her innovative approach to materials. In 1997 she completed the UK’s first practice-led PhD exploring the architectural potential of coated glasses and has become specialist in their application in architecture and landscape. Since establishing the studio in 1996, following the award of a Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, numerous large-scale commissions have been completed across the UK. A major work, entitled ‘Shoal’, commissioned by the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, in 1998, was the first dichroic glass installation to be seen in the UK and this launched the work of the artist to an international audience. The careful positioning of each glass element in the free-flowing sculpture created a work that animates the interior space through an ever-changing projection of light and colour. The artist has gone on to complete a number of tensile, suspended works incorporating glass and metal that have pushed further her mastery of these materials, exploring qualities of reflection, transmission and refraction in a range of architectural settings.
A sensitive engagement with the site during the design process informs the creation of the commissioned works. The positive impact of light and colour on our senses and our experience of architectural space is of particular interest to the practice and is the subject of Laura Johnston’s post doctoral research, which is continuing to inform her approach to commissioned works.
Describe your creative practice in 20 single words.
Integrated, innovative, transforming, dynamic, inspiring, architecture, landscape, light, shadow, glass, well-being, sculpture, installation, tensile, suspended, changing, collaborative, research, experimental
Describe your influences using 30 single words or short phrases.
Materiality of light; Claritas; Changeability - marking the passing of time; optics; Delight in seeing; Shifting atmospheres; Turrell; impressionism/Pointallism; Phenomenology in architecture; Constructivists; Le Corbusier; Calatrava; Electron microscopy.