Marlon Blackwell: Figures and Types

Architectural vernaculars at their best are like familiar faces in which we recognize a deep character and rediscover the essential qualities we value most in architecture; for the environments we build and the places we make. Maxwell's work seeks to recreate strangeness "beautiful and sublime" to revive and intensify these places and what is familiar by complicating, by defamiliarizing our relationships with them. Drawing upon the specificities of local situations allows for permutations of type that are resistant to diminishments of the vernacular through commodification so evident in most commercial development.

The field of view for architects is larger than the subject of architecture. Observed through a lens whose angle is wide and focus microscopic, nature and material culture provide rich reservoirs of ideas and images that motivate his work as an architect. Biological and geological analogs and metaphors inspire my methods, which are most often inductive. Blackwell's intentions are to amplify small things manifest in the larger. Fundamental to his work are evolutionary and adaptive types and fluid and dynamic forms. What emerges through the mixing and hybridization of figures and typologies is a transmutation of place, a secular vernacular that in place becomes spiritual.

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