2020 Gold Medalist Marlon Blackwell, FAIA: Anywhere, Any Scale, Any Budget


Marlon Blackwell’s reputation is based on award-winning work, creative solutions for sometimes challenging budgets, and striking designs that are often unlike anything else around them. But, is Blackwell a modern regionalist or a regional Modernist? It’s a key question in this first installment of an AIA Docuseries honoring its award recipients.

Marlon Blackwell’s transcendent body of work spans an extraordinary 30+ year career that is purely authentic, emerging from a deep understanding of site, landscape, art, and craft. In this exclusive interview, Marlon shares what it means to invest in a place and how he brings the world to him in Arkansas.

Learning objectives

  • Learn about Marlon Blackwell’s unified approach to a range of architectural types including residential projects, agricultural and vernacular structures, healthcare clinics, and cultural buildings.
  • Explore Marlon Blackwell’s interpretation of vernacular modernism through award-winning projects that participate in the traditions of the Ozarks and the legacies of contemporary design.
  • Identify the ways in which Marlon Blackwell stretches budgets and works within challenging constraints to deliver projects that are materially rich and rooted in the landscape.
  • Understand how Blackwell balances teaching, business, and design as the only architect to have won National AIA Awards in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Education, Healthcare, Libraries, Small Projects, Regional and Urban Design, Housing, and Technology in Architectural Practice.
  • Observe how the AIA Honors & Awards program is transforming to create greater transparency and recognize more diverse contributions from a range of architects across the country.
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