January 31, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: Installation

Gutting an office building to make a new home for the illustration and fine art departments at the Art Center College of Design, Darin Johnstone created classrooms, studios, and offices, of course. He also included a gallery, intended to host exhibitions by local artists. Once the skylit 400-square-foot space was complete, however, administrators asked Johnstone to inaugurate it with an installation focused on his own architecture.

“It gave us a chance to further investigate aspects we were exploring during the renovation,” he says. Results took shape in both two and three dimensions. Speculative, design, and process drawings hung, straightforwardly, in rows on a wall. Other drawings were printed on vinyl-coated theater scrim, which he used to form a truncated upside down pyramid suspended above the polished concrete floor with the help of screws in the sidewalls. Visitors could walk around the pyramid, enter it through an aperture, or look down from a catwalk.

“We were interested in using the sunshine from the skylight and windows as a carving tool. From certain viewpoints, the piece read as a solid mass. From others, it was more ephemeral,” he explains. Overall, he adds, “It was a rumination on presence.” Or how to turn a gallery into a study hall. 

Project Team: Sandra Hutchings; Jesus Guerrero; Aida Hassan.

Recent Projects