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 studioSUMO, 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.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website