Molly Reichert and Andrea J. Johnson, are two designers who share a passion for saunas and the construction of social art spaces. Together, they designed and managed the build of Little Box Sauna in 2015.
Molly Reichert, Senior Instructor, Dunwoody College of Technology, incorporates technology in both research and design practice with computational design and fabrication, and has a unique skill set of design+build practice, with several years of experience in rough and finished carpentry. Her practice engages in an interdisciplinary form, moving fluidly between the disciplines of architecture, art, design, urbanism and our relationships to each of these. She was educated at Smith College and UC Berkeley and has taught digital design and fabrication courses at UC Berkeley, San Jose State, and the University of Minnesota.
Molly has worked on numerous award-winning public projects including Meander for the Lowertown Stadium, the master plan for Frogtown Farm in St. Paul, MN, LakeForms for the Minneapolis Creative City Challenge, and TönöSauna for the Art Shanty Projects. TönöSauna, ‘Shack Sauna’ in Finnish, is a wood burning sauna built from a salvaged 1966 Avion travel trailer which offers an alternative social and civic space, a mobile platform for public talks, art and presentations in which people can rest and warm themselves during the harsh winter months of the Upper Midwest. In addition, Molly Reichert is internationally recognized in the sweat-bathing community and has presented her design work at the International Sweat Summit in San Francisco, CA. She has visited countless saunas, banyas, and public baths around the world.
Andrea J. Johnson, AIA, LEED, NOMA, is an architect and educator, whose work focuses on relationships of text and visual arts with spatial practices. Andrea has worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and FiedlerMarciano in New York, and now runs AJJAstudio, a multi-disciplinary studio combining architecture, art and poetry. She is also a member of MINN_LAB, a Minneapolis-based design collective. Andrea earned her M.Arch from Columbia University and B.A. from Stanford University in Urban Studies and Poetry.
At the University of Minnesota, Andrea is Associate Director of the Master of Science in Architecture – Research Practices program, and teaches in the undergraduate and graduate architecture programs, including a study abroad course to Russia complete with banya outings. Her research areas include the creative space of artist studios, spatial writing, Lean and IPD, and equity in the profession. Before coming to UMN, she was an adjunct instructor at CUNY where she taught History of New York City Architecture and design studios focusing on bolstering individual and community health.