Marlon Blackwell, FAIA
Founder, Marlon Blackwell Architects
E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professor, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design; University of Arkansas
Marlon Blackwell, working outside the architectural mainstream, will discuss his architecture and design process as being based in design strategies that draw upon vernaculars, building typologies and the contradictions of place; strategies that seek to transgress conventional boundaries for architecture. Rather than a removal from reality, abstraction is the process of connecting to place, looking for possibilities of maximum meaning with minimal means. Blackwell will demonstrate how these ideas of reinterpreting the familiar are generated from careful observations of intersections of nature-made and culture-made conditions particular to an architectural situation. Using examples of selected design works from his firm, Marlon Blackwell Architects, he will speak to a resilient architecture that can be achieved as interplay between details, form, and place. In particular, he will illustrate the necessity of being responsive to environmental factors, the specificities of place, and material culture that ultimately provide an architecture that can be felt as much as it is understood, as immediate and tactile as it is legible, contributing to the fundamental civic dignity of communities.