AMES, Iowa — Sharon Johnston, FAIA, founder and partner of Johnston Marklee & Associates in Los Angeles, will deliver the final keynote lecture of the 2022 AIA Iowa Convention this month in Des Moines.

Johnston will present “Art & the City” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the Iowa Events Center. Her talk is sponsored by the Iowa State University Department of Architecture.

Johnston will discuss the firm’s current and past work in the context of art institutions and their relationship within the fabric and scale of cities. She will explore the relationship of architecture and urbanism “through case studies that demonstrate the integration of cultural projects, from workplace to performance space, into new buildings and adaptive reuse environments that are materially effective, structurally efficient and programmatically flexible.”

About the speaker

Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has received more than 50 major national and international awards. A book on the firm’s work, House is a House is a House is a House is a House, was published by Birkhauser in 2016. Monographs include 2G N. 67, El Croquis N. 198 and A+U N. 614.

Diverse in scale and type, projects by Johnston Marklee span 14 countries across North and South America, Europe and Asia. Recent work includes the Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios at the University of California, Los Angeles (2019); Menil Drawing Institute on the campus of the Menil Collection in Houston (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago renovation (2017); and Dropbox global headquarters in San Francisco (2016).

The firm’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich.

Johnston and partner Mark Lee were the artistic directors of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. In addition to her work with the firm, Johnston is a professor of practice at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She has taught at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, and has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University in Houston and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.


Deborah Hauptmann, Chair, Department of Architecture, 515-294-7185, deborah@iastate.edu
Emily Lyon, Marketing & Events Director, AIA Iowa, elyon@aiaiowa.org
Heather Sauer, Director of Strategic Communications, College of Design, hsauer@iastate.edu