Designer Walk: Ben Johnston

Dates Playing: 11/14/2015

Venue: Bayou City Event Center

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Ben Johnston

Since co-founding Avondale Design Studio, Ben Johnston has become known for creating beautifully composed interiors that draw upon his clients’ own tastes and personalities. He does this while bringing the classic design principles of balance and simplicity to the spaces through clean lines and tailored details; sensibilities that he gained through his study and practice of architecture. Even though he enthusiastically works in many styles, Ben’s personal tastes bend toward a neoclassical architectural style, purified and somewhat monochromatic, but with layers of texture and character that synthesize various cultures and periods of design. He prefers tone-on-tone palettes that build toward a sense of inevitability and harmonious balance.

Ben is a sixth-generation Houstonian, giving him a unique perspective on the city’s chaotic 
urban development. From early on, it has been his goal to participate in projects that will help to beautify the city, leading him to first study architecture, and then later practice interior design. In 2002, Ben earned a Bachelors of Environmental Design from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and as an Honors Fellow. During his time at A&M, Ben studied design philosophy and classical painting in Italy and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa. Following these experiences, he enrolled in the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Texas. He was then selected as the first student from the university to complete a residency with the prestigious firm Cesar Pelli & Associates-Tokyo. Following this exciting experience, Ben returned to Austin and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005. He then returned to Houston where he launched his first design business with long-time collaborator and artist, Roberto Cervantes.

From 2006-2013, Ben served as a professor of Interior Design at Houston Community College, building its curriculum and reputation into one of the best-regarded design programs in the city. And then most recently, Ben began Avondale Design Studio with business partner and friend, Kathryn Berardo. Ben is a regular design advice contributor to ABC’s syndicated program, “Deals,” as well as to several lifestyle print publications, including the Houston Chronicle. He was recently named as one of Houston's ‘Most Beautiful’ by 'HTexas' magazine for his generosity and community service. In 2014, Ben was named as a ‘Rising Star of Design’ by the Decorative Center of Houston, and as of May 2015, Ben was honored to receive a PaperCity Magazine Design Award for one of his designs.

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