Before joining the faculty of the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, Mira Henry spent several years as a project architect, immersed in the everyday, banal details of how buildings get built: construction drawings, material specs, and building codes. She became an expert in seeing the world the way an architect sees it. But as a progressive architectural thinker, Henry’s inspiration has been to deconstruct that vision, to “unsee” the very forms and representations that constitute an architect’s basic language.
Through speculative experiments and conceptual drawings, Henry discovers in static architectural details an unsettling range of figurative expression, including, for example, the way the profiles of roof eaves resemble human heads. Wallpaper, with its ability to mask, transform, or animate a space, is also a prominent element in her work. Her projects explore how these features animate our subjective experience—what she calls our “shifting fantasies”—of architectural space.