art (oh you fancy huh?)

Billboard advertises air

Suzanne Lubar, CoDesign

Non-Sign II is the brainchild of the Seattle art and architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio. Even crazier: It was commissioned by the federal government.

Lead Pencil Studio’s Daniel Mihalyo sheds light on the concept:

Borrowing the effectiveness of billboards to redirect attention away from the landscape… this permanently open aperture between nations works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond.

How the installation came about: Lead Pencil Studio was shortlisted for a project to design public art at a new northern-border control station through the GSA’s Design Excellence program. The concept had to go through two rounds of approval, and Mihalyo insists the jury was “excited about the proposal from the start and the second round involved only small refinements and pragmatic issues.”

Well, we think it is awesome, and we’re elated that the government’s supporting Lead Pencil Studio. Headed by Mihalyo and Annie Han, they’ve built a career on blurring the divide between architecture and art; questioning the idea of consumer culture has been a recurring theme. They’ve produced a raft of evocative installations: outdoor scaffolding in the middle of the Oregon grasslands, full-scale shops (without any merch) in an old shop, and so on.

[Images by Ian Gill courtesy of Lead Pencil Studio]

Suzanne Lubar, CoDesign


Lead Pencil Studio accomplished 3 great things with this project:

1. Designed an innovative, thought-provoking billboard piece while using zero words

2. Brought attention to the beauty of the environment and the importance of preserving it

3. Changing the landscape of highways across the nation

oh you fancy huh?