New Book on Arizona’s Master of Modernism: Michael P. Johnson

By lexy

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Take a transportive journey through the life and work of Arizona-based architect Michael P. Johnson in a new book, Michael P. Johnson: The Unshakeable Search for Architectureby esteemed architecture critic Louise Noelle. This beautifully written book (with text in both Spanish and English) supplemented by over 70 pages rich with images and floor plans, explores the architect’s unique style and take on architecture.

Drawing influence from the social, political, and economic climate of the ‘60s, as well as minimalist art, Johnson’s work is truly modern, characterized by simple, clean, unmodulated surfaces created using industrial materials. Johnson believes that the viewer’s attention should be focused on a building’s actual presence within its surroundings, and he works with a clear focus to combat the over-adornment of architecture in pursuit of profundity. In his work, the meaning is intrinsically present in the physical act of experiencing a building.

Perhaps it is best to use the eloquent words from Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa’s foreword to the book to express this idea: “Mature works of architecture are processes and worlds rather than objects, and they speak of life rather than design…Michael Johnson’s search has been a patient personal exploration, which has laid the solid foundations for the maturely unwavering focus of his buildings. ”

As the creator of some of the most distinctive modern structures in Arizona, Johnson considers the surrounding landscape in all of his work – an important element with Arizona’s particularly striking nature. He uses geometric volumes to juxtapose the natural setting. Like many modern masters, he requires full control of the interior design of his projects to ensure harmony between the interior and exterior of a space – a clear labor of love. His masterful body of work has earned him numerous accolades including the Ceramics Tiles of Italy Legend Award in 2008.

On Thursday, August 13 at 6:30pm at DWR Scottsdale Studio, Michael P. Johnson alongside his longtime friend and colleague, architect Edward M. Jones, will share a presentation on Johnson’s life and work, followed by a discussion and book signing. Copies of the book may be purchased at the event and refreshments will be served.

Ellsworth Residence 

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Bradley Residence 

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