ARTIST SPOTLIGHT_Jonny Rohrbaugh

Jonny Rohrbaugh is an architect, drawer, painter, and conceptual thinker. After receiving his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Michigan, he studied the integration of architecture, painting, and sculpture at SAIC. But architecture wasn’t always the plan.

“I was originally studying business. But then I took a visual studies class, and the first assignment was to read The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, a philosophical short story about an infinite library. It was very conceptual and changed my understanding of what architecture is.”

Jonny challenges the notion that architects should produce a definite object, and works to inspire a culture of creativity and nonconformity. Because, to him, architecture isn’t just about the buildings. “I see architecture as the way things connect conceptually.” 

Tekuma Artist Jonny Rohrbaugh

Often, Jonny uses his drawings to generate new architectural ideas. “I write a fictional story inspired by each drawing. Those stories help me connect to other fictional and narrative concepts.”

He didn’t always like to draw. But when he began studying architecture, he realized it was kind of unavoidable. “I knew that drawing was the most crucial part of being a traditional architect, so I forced myself to draw one building a day.” And now? “It’s habitual. I draw every day. When I don’t draw, it’s not a good day.”

Tekuma Artist Jonny Rohrbaugh

Currently, Jonny is designing a series of vinyl printed murals to be installed in the elevator lobbies of a large financial services headquarters in Miami. “They’re Miami street art inspired. The pieces are very much about storytelling, placemaking, and developing a brand value coherence throughout a space.”

To see more of Jonny’s work, you can find him on Instagram @jonny.rohrbaugh. Or visit his Tekuma profile!

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