Lead Pencil Studio, comprised of Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, creates projects that traverse the territories of architecture and art. Adopting the term spatial inquiry to describe their in-between practice, Han and Mihalyo create environments and structures that serve as places of inquiry to understand the influences of architecture and art on the behavior, emotions, and politics of people.
In Diffuse Reflection Lab, Lead Pencil Studio will create a structure comprised of nooks, dioramas, tableaus, corridors, and vortexes that the viewer may use as a space for personal reflection. Installed in the VAC’s Vaulted Gallery, the two-story structure’s interior will employ reflective materials commonly used in industry and commerce. The piece will explore the impact of diffuse reflection and interreflection on perception, as experienced in manmade structures and employed in popular culture. Taking the approach of single-subject journals such as Cabinet Magazine, Diffuse Reflection Lab will address the topic of reflection through multiple disciplines and a host of perspectives in an effort to expand dialogue around a matter rarely considered.
Diffuse Reflection Lab simultaneously will be a body of research in built form, based around a narrow set of observable light conditions, and a set of ideas about the effects of reflected energy on objects and structures. The reflection of light informs and invents spaces, while it also edits what the viewer can see. Distortion and fine perception are a marked duality of reflection. It is notions such as these and the effects of reflection on our perception and understanding of space that Diffuse Reflection Lab aims to investigate and illuminate.
Generous support for Diffuse Reflection Lab comes from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, Stratus Properties, the W Hotel, and Lake|Flato. Support for Lead Pencil Studio’s residency comes from the Charles Moore Foundation.
Seattle-based Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo have been working together as Lead Pencil Studio since 1997. Han and Mihalyo met while pursuing advanced degrees in architecture from the University of Oregon in the early 1990s. They received the Van Alen Institute New York Prize in 2010, the Founder’s Rome Prize for Architecture in 2007–2008, and the New York Emerging Voice Award in 2006. Their past residencies include Headlands Center for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Lead Pencil Studio’s work has most recently been exhibited at Mass Art, Pulse NY Special Projects, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Boise Art Museum, the Exploratorium Museum, and the American Academy in Rome.