The Architectural League Questionnaire:
Lola Sheppard and Mason White

Lola Sheppard and Mason White are the founders of Lateral Office and Directors of InfraNet Lab. They received the League’s Emerging Voices Award in 2011. Click here to read the interview.

What word or phrase do you most overuse?
MW: Well, you said “agency” about eight times today…

LS: I guess that is true! Agency it is.

If you could have designed any building in the world, what would it be?
MW: Hmmm…I like the question’s ambiguity…a pre-existing building?

LS: I was thinking something like an architects headquarters – a program that doesn’t exist.

MW: It would have been nice to take credit for the Chilean mine rescue pod, although I think NASA gets credit for that…

LS: Kind of ironic we can’t answer this [laughter].

MW: Would be nice to do a school, if you mean programmatically.

What typeface most represents you?
MW: I have a soft spot for iso peur – but whenever we export using it, it crashes….

LS: I’d have to say something like univers narrow, something sans serif – definitely sans serif.  But, we have battles over this.

What is your favorite airport?
MW: Island Airport in Toronto, hands down.

What is the one thing you always pack when you travel?
LS: Try and bring a copy of The Walrus – it is a Canadian version of The Atlantic Monthly.

MW: Maybe we should just say: Walrus…

What architect from the past do you most admire?
MW: Bucky Fuller

LS: Cedric Price

What is your favorite city or town?
MW: I wish I could like London more…I’d say New York, but that’s playing to the home crowd.

LS: Maybe Reykjavik?

If you could own any masterpiece of art, what would it be?
MW: An Andreas Gursky photograph.

LS: I was also thinking definitely a photographer.

What book has had the most influence on you?
MW: Well an author, Reyner Banham.

LS: More recently Easterling’s Enduring Innocence, but I could go with Banham.

What is the last song or album you listened to?
LS: Florence and the Machine – if we are going to be honest.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?
LS: My hat when I am not losing it.

Name one obsessive architect behavior that you have.
MW: Checking our email – you never get any work done.

What is your idea of misery?
MW: Bathroom tile details

What is your idea of happiness?
MW: Travel

LS: Yes

If you weren’t an architect, what would you be?
MW: A failed musician

LS: Probably something in social policy