What Does a Game Changer Mean to You?
A former ASID national board member on the organization's commitment to game-changing design.
Charrisse Johnston, a principal with Steinberg Architects, a past ASID national board member, and past chair of the Society’s Student Advisory Council, discusses what it feels like to be in the company of Game Changers.
What exciting ideas did you discover or find particularly interesting in our 2015 list of Game Changers?
Ila Bê̂ka and Louise Lemoine’s work is fascinating and eye-opening. Interior designers have always focused on the actual users of a space, but getting those users’ evaluations is usually limited to dry post-occupancy surveys. By filming informal conversations with users, including the maintenance staff who could care less about the conceptual underpinnings of a building’s design, Bêka and Lemoine capture candid, democratic views of how spaces really work—the antithesis of elitist (and often incomprehensible) architectural criticism.
What was the original design that established your brand? How have you followed up that game-changing design?
The Animation Department for Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film & Television was both a challenge and a delight—a razor-thin budget, a high-impact design concept and incredibly imaginative clients.
The Star Clinic/Housing for Health Offices was a pro bono project for the Los Angeles Department of Health Services, dedicated to fighting homelessness in L.A. I am so proud of our team as well as the design.
What should we look for from you in 2015?
I’ve just joined Steinberg Architects and am thrilled to be building a new interiors practice for their four offices in the U.S. and China.