“Binge Worthy” | Abstract: The Art of Design

Abstract: The Art of Design. Courtesy of Netflix

Many times, I’m asked what inspires me when it comes to design, and often I refer to my favorite museums, movies or cities I have visited. Rarely have I said, “you have to check out this documentary!” with pure excitement in my voice, but I constantly find myself saying this about a Netflix original documentary series called “Abstract: The Art of Design”. What’s even more surprising is how little people know about it, especially design professionals. After watching this series, it not only helped me to appreciate other designers within their area of expertise, but I felt compelled to design the hell out of something…anything! Continue reading

A Celebration of Deep-Rooted Culture | The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture view of the National Monument. Photograph by Mike Johnson II

As a Washington, DC native, I have seen the city transform drastically over the years.  Some for the better and some for the worse, but one constant is the deep-rooted culture of African Americans. While attending DC public schools, Black History Month wasn’t just celebrated in February, it was woven into the fibers of our education every single day.  I hadn’t realized how significant this was until I visited The National Museum of African American History and Culture with another African American who had not grown up in a major city as I did. I quickly grasped that my education was unique and that not all African Americans understand our cultural history as well as they should.
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An Immersive Digital Playground | ARTECHOUSE

Kingdom of Colors by Thomas Blanchard & Oilhack. Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

As a designer, I feel that it’s important to constantly look outside of our profession for inspiration and creativity. It helps me appreciate unique perspectives of art, music, film, technology and culture that can be incorporated into design and ARTECHOUSE has been a great source for all five. “ARTECHOUSE is an innovative art space and creative powerhouse dedicated to showcasing and producing experiential and immersive large-scale installations with artists who are forerunners of the new age in the arts and technology.” Continue reading

A STEP Above the Rest | Breaking Boundaries 2017

Coach “G”, director of counseling and the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.  Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

What happens when you combine a story telling session about building successes from failures and a Baltimore all girls’ high-school STEP team, set against a beautifully restored theatre originally built in 1915? Inspiration, excitement, honesty, determination and creativity are just a few words I would use to describe this year’s IIDA Mid Atlantic Chapter (MAC) Breaking Boundaries event, but ‘magical’ describes it best. Continue reading

“It’s all in the Details” | Cosmo Couture 2017

Since 2010 the International Interior Design Association’s Mid Atlantic Chapter [IIDAMAC] has held a unique and exciting fundraising event called Cosmo Couture.  This year’s fashion show, at Howard Theater (620 T St NW Washington, DC), partnered 24 local architecture and interior design firms with manufacturers to create one of a kind garments to reflect the theme “environments”.  Continue reading

“Mies Would be Proud” – A New Visionary Path for IIDA, a Cheryl Durst Interview

The reception desk that doubles as a check-in or impromptu meeting space at the new IIDA Chicago Headquarters. Photograph by Mike Johnson II, AIA, IIDA, LEED ID+C

During Neocon 2017, arguably one the of busiest periods for the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the Mid-Atlantic Chapter had the fortunate opportunity to interview Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, regarding the new IIDA 15,300 SQF Chicago Headquarters. Continue reading