he Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) announces Layer: A Loose
Horizon, which explores the threshold between perception and logic and continues the
trajectory of exciting, viewer-driven installations on which LA-based architectural practice Layer
has been establishing its name. While software and digital fabrication have become
indispensible elements of architectural design, enabling greater complexity of forms, the artists
of Layer —Lisa Little and Emily White– challenge the ability of these tools to render
environments that truly engage the visitor. By combining a computational approach with a
perceptual one, the artists create a physically engrossing and intellectually stimulating spatial
Their intervention begins at the outside façade of the museum, where the installation is first
evident, extending out from the second floor open-air window. The low-relief, web-like structure
plays with depth, proportion and interiority as it bridges the exterior of the museum with the
interior space of the lobby. Upon entering the lobby, the visitor will encounter the installation
from its other side, and experience its continuation into the lobby as a series of shapes reaching
across the space, evoking the sense that one is being enveloped by the façade. The project is
an instance in a series of possible permutations. Sketches and early digital iterations of the
piece will also be on view in the PMCA Project Room, revealing the artists’ process.
Layer is a Los Angeles based architecture practice founded by Lisa Little and Emily White, who
both hold a Master of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
Together they have created works for New Children’s Museum in San Diego, Skirball Cultural
Center, among many others. Their installation Fat Fringe, a collaboration with Materials &
Applications in Silver Lake, was in included in the PMCA’s 2010 California Design Biennial.