John Cline

John Cline

Portland, OR, US

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Designer, woodworker and artist, John Cline hails from Northern Alabama which has been his family’s home for more than six generations. Before finding his footing at Auburn University, where John earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture, John campus hopped a bit and spent a year in the snowy mountains of Summit County, Colorado where he worked a myriad of jobs including doughnut maker and ski lift operator.

After graduating from Auburn, he traveled through Europe for several months. While this was a solo journey, he met many kind and memorable characters along the way.  Upon returning to the States, John settled in Chicago and began his architecture career.  After several years in the work force, John attended graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

John’s work begins with his love of drawing.  Working predominantly in pencil and pen and ink, his current work continues where his undergraduate thesis left off and explores his ongoing architectural education and mines his professional experiences through hard lined drawings.  The recent work are conceptual “sections”, “elevations” and “plans” sometimes seamlessly superimposed on top of each other.  The viewer is allowed to make interpretations as to scale, volume and texture.  Each piece attempts to create space for the viewer to inhabit while maintaining balance and composition throughout the entire drawing.

John uses drawing as a vehicle to explore ideas of the process of making.  Understanding process is critical for exploration, iteration, testing and the critical editing of ideas.  Through an engagement of process, ideas can be tested.  John believes process can begin to guide the work by articulating intent.

Through intense daily drawing exercises, John explores the relationship of the limited space occupied while making, testing various restrictions such as time or materials, and devise prescriptive assignments through which he can examine subtle variations within.  Drawings in its many forms – the ritual and craft of it, its tools, its tactility, the space of deep intellectual focus and concentration that it affords has remained a central theme in his work.

An evaluation or awareness of process can act as a springboard for future explorations and work.  The body of work becomes traces of active engagement to future explorations and experimentation

Currently, John is a Job Captain at SERA Architects and resides in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two children and two huskies.



Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, US, BArch, Architecture

Aug 2005 - May 2007

Auburn University, Auburn, AL, US, BArch, Architecture

Jan 1997 - Jun 2001