Daniel Mihalyo and Annie Han of Lead Pencil Studio
A billboard made out of debris. A ghostly shell of a museum rendered in scaffolding and netting. The work of Seattle-based Lead Pencil Studio begs the age-old question, “Is it art or is it architecture?” Annie Han, 44, and Daniel Mihalyo, 41, are happy to split the difference. They founded the firm in 1997 because they wanted to practice architecture and spend equal time in the art studio. “We’ve spent the intervening years figuring out that balance,” Mihalyo explains.
The duo’s latest museum exhibition opened this June—it’s the second iteration of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual Architecture + Art series, which invites designers to create installations within the Will Bruder–designed facility. The Lead Pencil project, “Extended Collapse,” fills two galleries. With a marquee and video projections, the artwork riffs on the history of movie theaters and architecture on film.
Han reflects on the museum’s support of the project: “It is good for our culture in general whenever institutions take the risk of elevating the discourse among interdisciplinary art forms, bridging what otherwise would have been seriously balkanized professions.”