KIRKLAND GALLERY is located at 40 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please note that the entrance is on Sumner Road and you will need a Harvard Graduate School of Design ID to enter the building. If you would like to visit the gallery and are not a GSD student, please contact us at

2018.10 Observer / What I Like About This Building


Observer / What I Like About This Building is a two-person show featuring recent sculptures and drawings by Henrik Ilvesmäki and Bijan Thornycroft.

This piece explores the power of the beholder. As a person perceives the world around them, they bind together their memories, imagination, and senses to create a subjective, malleable reality. The video depicts the author’s experience of this phenomenon, and invites viewers to notice their capacity for initiating such transformation.


What I Like About This Building objectifies the concept of critique, such that judgement itself can become subject to criticism. When displayed on the object of its interpretation, critique can promise a story of that object but one of many. Small labels are adhered to all public parts of 40 Kirkland stating what the author likes about that part. The statements speak from the background in order to foreground it. Read together, they narrate not in terms of phenomena, history, or technique, but purely of what one person can observe as pleasurable about the building.

Observer is a video installation. The daily cycle pictured in the video loops to create a continuous experience. The viewers of the piece should be seated while watching it.

Observer - what i like about this building.jpg

Henrik Ilvesmäki and Bijan Thornycroft

2018.11 Sugar Thief

2018.10 Object of Memory