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.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Henderson morning commute

There are no words.  Yet we are here, and standing together.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Did you know we're a DBE?

Since 2010, we've been a listed DBE vendor with Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).  The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program dates back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and "level[s] the playing field by providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts." (NDOT DBE website)

We aim to work with prime contractors to provide services that are not typically provided by architectural firms such as graphic mural creation and sculptural elements.  Our extensive architectural and construction experience supports delivery of exceptional spaces.  Our collaborative approach means that getting to the finish line is an enjoyable experience.

The interior cityscape and mural design at the RTC's Mobility Training Center is one example of the type of project we excel at.  Read more here...

Our registration is NV20235437NUCP and our commodity codes are:

NAICS 541310 / SIC 8712Architectural Services
NAICS 541430 / SIC 7336Graphic design services
NAICS 541490 / SIC 7389Other specialized design services

CAGE 5NN25 (AJA) / 8DPZ1 (SFS)
DUNS 081036880 (SFS)

PSC codes:

DUNS 831707265 (AJA) / 081036880 (SFS)

Friday, May 26, 2017

On The Boards

Just in time for summer, we've been working on some cool interiors and hot exterior upgrades.  Take a look at what we've been up to below and click on the photos for a closer look.


Sushi Burrito Bowl
Delicious sushi burritos coming soon!  Our fresh interior design for a new restaurant abstractly highlights the ingredients that make this food so tempting.

Futuro Academy Charter School 
This Fall, 150 lucky students will begin their school year in shiny new facilities at Futuro Academy, a public charter school.  Phase 1 of the design includes over 49, 000 square feet of a vacant grocery and retail stores transformed into a center for learning. More about this project here.

Vera Johnson Manor A
Our  76-unit multifamily housing renovation is now in the field.  Over the next year, these 30-year-old apartments will emerge as attractive, contemporary dwellings.  Check back soon for the "after" photos.  More about this project here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Earth Day 2017

EV Charging Stations at Clark County Government Center

Just before Earth Day this year it was gratifying to see all six charging stations at the Clark County Government Center Photovoltaic Shade Structure project in use.  Smart coupes, a Leaf, and a BMW were all benefitting from the solar array.

It got me thinking about what could be done in our corner of the world to celebrate earth day.  Is it driving more efficient or electric vehicles to reduce carbon fuel reliance? Pitching in at a local clean-up event to improve habitat conditions?  Or auditing your waste reduction plan?

In honor of Google announcing that they'll reach 100% reliance on renewable energy this year, here's their Google Doodle.

2017 Google Earth Day Doodle
More doodle history here...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

On Top of Industry Trends

Our entire team spent an exciting two days connecting with hundreds of cutting edge users of Building Information Management (BIM) software.  We've chosen Graphisoft's ArchiCAD since the firm's inception because it allows us to generate 3D imagery and capture project data while we design.

BIMx: 2D section links to 3D model
Highlights of the conference include new ways to connect the office with mobile information that benefits our client and contractor relationships.  Answering a construction question in the field by looking at a model together ensures better communication.  Walking a client through a conceptual model is a powerful way to involve them in the vision for a project.  Exciting new virtual reality (VR) options use gaming technology to allow clients to fully experience and architectural space in the near future.

Here's how to access BIMx VR using Google Cardboard: