Art & Culture
Museum & Exhibits

Architecture at Home

Saturday, May 7, 2022 to Monday, November 7, 2022
Rates/Admission Prices

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR 72712
Hours of Operation

Sat | Sun 10am — 6pm
Mon | Wed 11am — 6pm
Thu | Fri 11am — 8pm
Tue Closed

Architecture at Home, Crystal Bridges’ first architecture exhibition, brings together five prototypes for homes to spark a dialogue about contemporary housing. Through research, interviews, and innovative thinking, five architecture firms based across the Americas designed and fabricated 500 square-foot prototypes for a contemporary house to be displayed in the exhibition. Overall, this exhibition helps us better understand how architecture affects our lives, determine what makes a house a home, and celebrate the artistry in building and shelter.
Exhibited along the Orchard Trail on the museum’s grounds, and anchored by R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, a prototype for an experimental home, the forms and materials of the five structures articulate the many ways in which we could live. Visitors will be able to enter and explore these immersive, domestic prototypes. Interpretive elements will focus on use of materials, scale, form, light, and interaction with the landscape. Additional information, delivered in digital and physical methods alongside the structures, will explore the architects’ creative process, real-world barriers and opportunities, community stories that articulate the meaning of home, and the potential for the prototypes to become actual housing.
The five architecture firms participating in the exhibition are Studio SUMO, LEVENBETTS, MUTUO, PPAA (Perez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados), and studio:indigenous. These firms are led by architects from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, and each surveyed the needs, challenges, and opportunities of the Northwest Arkansas community to develop their prototypes.
Crystal Bridges acknowledges the complex and unequal realities of housing and recognizes that the Northwest Arkansas community is not immune to these challenges. Neither the Architecture at Home exhibition nor the museum can single-handedly solve the problems of housing insecurity, sustainability, or access to attainable housing. In creating this exhibition, however, Crystal Bridges seeks to inspire greater awareness of what is possible for housing through research and experimental design. The exhibition is inspired by Fuller’s lifelong mission of making “the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” With Architecture at Home, Crystal Bridges is eager to join a larger, active, and ongoing conversation around the concept of home and the realities of housing in our backyard and around the globe. The exhibition can draw attention to the serious impact of building on the environment and encourage activism toward enforcing protections and regulations that can make sustainable and attainable housing more accessible.
The five architecture firms, selected because of their unique personal stories and professional practice, are working with Crystal Bridges and our larger community to listen and share ideas on how housing can work for more people. Their housing prototypes are ideas—rooted in reality and hope for the future, but with an understanding that in order to succeed, we will have to change how we build, how society understands and values housing, and address the economic realities of materials and regulations. This exhibition utilizes their five solutions to help make change possible. We, you, and the larger community can move closer to a more equitable society through conversation, exchange of ideas, and action steps accelerated by this exhibition.
About the Architecture Firms
Studio SUMO, a research-driven practice founded by the architects and educators Yolande Daniels and Sunil Bald, is informed by a humanist approach to architecture that expands and evolves the field to serve constituents and communities. Small in scale and large in concepts, the practice has earned the respect of architecture communities globally through a design-research approach that explores materiality, spatial experience, and the social structures underlying the built environment.
LEVENBETTS approaches architecture from the mindset of an artist. Stella Betts’s and David Leven’s exploration of shape, form, and structure is essential to their creative process, counterbalanced by a belief that architecture must connect with and support the people who live in it. They understand that one’s relationship with a building pushes us to better understand the landscape in which we live while challenging the preconceptions of traditional building types. Focused on houses, housing, education spaces, and public libraries, LEVENBETTS has explored how people live and learn for over two decades.
MUTUO’s practice is informed by their upbringing and education in Brazil and Mexico. Fernanda Oppermann and Jose Herrasti have been developing “affordable-by-design” housing solutions that simplify construction while addressing the question of what makes a home. MUTUO finds extraordinary uses for ordinary materials and methods. They use design as a tool in their pursuit to discover new perspectives to alleviate big social challenges.
PPAA (Perez Palacios Arquitectos Asociados) is driven by an architecture of ideas rather than an architecture of forms. Based in Mexico City, Pablo Perez leans on the beauty of materials to ground the firm’s work in the history of a place while creating forms that signal their difference in articulating space. An advocate for attainable housing, PPAA has a track record of making buildings functional as well as beautiful. Their conception of architecture is based on an understanding of the body and the relationship everyone establishes with their surroundings. Furthermore, in order for architecture to be capable of conveying an idea of intention, it has to speak of the individual, or the sum of individuals, and the way they relate to their environment, on both a sensorial and emotional level.
Studio:indigenous explores the stories, architectural traditions, and needs of Indigenous people. Chris Cornelius’s research and practice opens up the architectural translation of culture. The firm’s work primarily serves Indigenous clients across North America, emerging from the earth in support of the tradition, beliefs, and needs of each unique project. Heavy research in housing forms and attainability drives the firm’s projects to make architecture more inclusive, culturally specific, and connected to people and place.
Architecture at Home is organized by Crystal Bridges and curated by Dylan Turk, special projects editor, architecture and design. The exhibition may travel to two additional venues after its run at Crystal Bridges.

Photo Credit:
Crystal Bridges of American Art