Saturday, May 26, 2018

They Made Your Luck: Thank You to Our Heroes

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, we extend our gratitude to all the heroes who gave their lives to win our freedom.

The "Find Your Luck" window has been repurposed as a memorial thank you.  As we see it these heroes made the luck, the good, that we enjoy today.  The lucky 4-leaf clover has made a new appearance.  Can you find it?

They Made Your Luck

Heroes: 7 O'Clock Shadows

Friday, March 16, 2018

Trash to Treasure the Sparkflight Way

A new storefront display is now appearing on south Water Street. This temporary art installation is themed for St Patrick’s Day and Spring, and is constructed from salvaged materials. Discarded materials such as cardboard and newspaper were transformed by the Sparkflight team into organic letterforms and cheerful shamrocks.  A living grass lawn enlivens the front planter area.

The “Find Your Luck” text refers to popular notions of the leprechaun-guarded pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or the elusive 4-leaf clover, and also to the idea of making our own luck. Our studio’s intention is that this window will launch an initiative, in collaboration with the Henderson Redevelopment Agency, to re-energize empty storefronts on Water Street with revolving artist-generated displays.  If our luck holds, it will be a short-lived program due to new leases.

Can you spot the hidden 4-leaf clover in the window?

We've already spotted people enjoying this window for photo opps.  Come down to the Water Street District, grab a bite, and update your Instagram.


Monday, February 26, 2018

I CAN BE with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce

This February our office participated in the I CAN BE program with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce.  Our office volunteered at Foothills High School for a day to help high school freshman learn about career choices and options.  This program was created in 2008 and reaches about 2,100 students each year.  We were in the "Architecture and Construction" industry booth, and answered questions from students, shared our experience and challenged them with questions of our own.  It was a rewarding experience and we look forward to future participation.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Introducing Sparkflight Studios

Anne Johnson AIA is now Sparkflight Studios!
Our name reflects the energy and enthusiasm we bring to projects.  How we take the spark of an idea and help it soar.  Sparkflight Studios has a multidisciplinary approach encompassing architecture, design, graphics, and art.  Let us engage you in the creative process and see your projects take flight.

We hope you'll enjoy the new look as it rolls out in the coming months.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Favorite Tools - ARCHICAD

ARCHICAD supports our creative thinking process.  Its versatility and ongoing improvements allow us to discover new ways to improve project delivery.  ARCHICAD's connection with Rhino-Grasshopper allows us to propel our sculpture models from wireframe to art fabrication.  We deliver cost savings to our clients by exploding architectural forms into data and improving bid outcomes.  Client communication is enhanced by sectional models and walkthroughs.  After over 14 years of use, it’s exciting to see how far we’ve grown!

See post on Graphisoft here...

Monday, October 16, 2017

UNLV Places First in Innovation at 2017 Solar Decathlon

Image courtesy of UNLV Team Vegas
In its third effort at the biennial Solar Decathlon, UNLV's 990 square feet "Sinatra Living" entry placed second in the Architecture and first in Innovation.   Designed for desert living and aging-in-place, the project emphasizes:
  • Passive Design
  • Comfort & Accessibility
  • Home Automation
  • Electrical/Mechanical/Water Systems 
  • Sustainable Building Techniques
The Team Vegas website shows more background and imagery.
See the project under construction here...
Read local press here... and Vegas Seven here...

Innovations specific to energy use include use of a phase change material (PCM), Tesla battery storage, and a modular mechanical room:

  • PCM - cooling system works at off-peak hours and stores energy creating utility bill savings
  • Tesla Powerwall 2.0 battery - stores energy for high need periods or to sell back to utility
  • Modular Mechanical Room - used for solar thermal tubes to head radiant floors and hot water systems

For convenience and efficiency, the Sinatra Living home is automated with the Amazon Alexa system for presets and remote control.  Beyond basic home automation; integral sensors detect falls, unlock doors, reconfigure furnishings, and can be programmed to alert caregivers.  These aging-in-place features contribute to sustainability by allowing longer occupation of the home by a single resident and reducing the need for separate assisted living construction.

According to the official competition website, "The Solar Decathlon is an intensive course in sustainability for competing teams and visitors alike. Called a "living laboratory," the event is a live demonstration of energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable materials."

Competing teams are judged in 10 categories, must be able to transport and reassemble their homes at the site (Denver this year), produce their own off-grid power, cook and serve a meal and run a load of laundry.  Categories are:
  • Architecture
  • Market Potential
  • Engineering
  • Communications
  • Innovation
  • Water 
  • Health & Comfort
  • Appliances
  • Home Life 
  • Energy
Image courtesy of

The overall Decathlon winner was the Swiss team.  See their NeighborHub project here...
Scores and category information are available at the Solar Decathlon website.