Present Tense, Future Perfect

From Architectural Record’s 2019 Innovation Conference
Presented by Marlon Blackwell, FAIA Principal, Marlon Blackwell Architects

Learning Objectives:

  1. Use architecture and design to help develop a culture in communities where that culture may be unexpected.
  2. Enrich and dignify the experience of the place of those who engage in your work by helping them to develop a connection to the place on multiple levels.


This test is no longer available for credit

As a small practice located outside the centers of fashion, MBA strives to produce design excellence in buildings of all scales while achieving architectural diversity, civic dignity, and economic stimulation. Blackwell will present his firm’s work—including the Harvey Pediatric Clinic, Shelby Farms, and the Fay Jones School of Architecture—to highlight the importance of repurposing, placemaking, and abstraction, as well as and MBA’s ‘both/and’ approach that strives for complexity and contradiction and all the rich beauty it offers.

Marlon Blackwell is a practicing architect in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as the E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professor at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. Work produced in his office, Marlon Blackwell Architects (MBA), has received national and international recognition with more than 160 design awards—including the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture—and significant publication in books and magazines, including Architectural Record. In addition, Blackwell was a Resident of the American Academy in Rome in 2019, inducted into the National Academy of Design in 2018, and selected as a United States Artists Ford Fellow in 2014. He received the E. Fay Jones Gold Medal from the Arkansas AIA in 2017 and the 2012 Architecture Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A monograph of his early work, An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005.


Originally published in December 2019