Marlon Blackwell

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Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, practices architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Working outside the architectural centers of fashion, his architecture is based in design strategies that celebrated the vernacular of the specific site and draw upon them, and seek to transgress conventional boundaries for architecture. It’s a feat of architectural magic to design buildings that are of the world and of their place at the same time. Work produced in his professional office, Marlon Blackwell Architect, has received national and international recognition, numerous AIA design awards and significant publication in books, architectural journals and magazines including Architectural Record, Architecture Review, Architect, Arquine, A+U, Detail, Dwell, Men’s Vogue, Metropolitan Home, Contract, Residential Architect, the Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary Architecture to list a few. The office of Marlon Blackwell Architect was announced as the Top U.S. Firm of 2011 by the Residential Architect magazine, October 2011 issue. Most recent honors includes the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in Springdale, Arkansas being selected as the Best Civic and Community Building at the prestigious World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Spain in November 2011.

At the University of Arkansas he has co-taught design studios with Peter Eisenman (1997 & 1998), Christopher Risher (2000) and Julie Snow (2003). He has been a visiting professor teaching graduate design at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Spring 2001 and 2002 and was recently the Elliel Saarinen Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. He also has served as the Ivan Smith Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida (Spring 2009) and the Paul Rudolph Visiting Professor at Auburn University (Spring 2008) and the Cameron Visiting Professor at Middlebury College (Fall 2007). In the Spring of 2003, he was the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and has also been a visiting professor at Syracuse University (1991-92) and Lawrence Tech University (Fall 2001). He was most recently the Thomas Jefferson Professor of Architecture at the University School of Architecture.

Jonathan Boelkins

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Jonathan Boelkins began working with Marlon Blackwell Architect in January of 2007. Jonathan’s role in the firm currently includes all phases of design, production and project management. As a project manager, Jonathan has supervised the completion of several noteworthy projects including the Visitor’s Pavilion at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Porchdog House.

Jonathan led the transition to Building Information Modelling at Marlon Blackwell Architect and has attended numerous seminars on emerging technology in architecture including the ‘TransFORM’ seminar by Bentley Systems, and ‘BIM and Process Change’ at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He regularly serves as a lecturer on technology and as a design juror at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture.

His administrative duties within the firm include writing proposals and organizing marketing materials, including directing the documentation of completed projects, preparation of publication drawings and diagrams, and dissemination of project information to a wide variety of publications. He has also organized competition entries, including the Cottages at Fallingwater, recently featured in ’Competitions’ magazine.

In 2008, he participated in Ghost Studio 10 in Nova Scotia with Brian Mackay Lyons, featured in Monocle magazine and Architectural Record. Before graduating with high honors from the University of Arkansas, having also spent time at Leeds Metropolitan University in England, he received numerous academic, design and writing awards. His paper ‘The Vietnam Memorial: A Post-modern Reflection’ was published in the University of Arkansas Journal of Undergraduate Research. He also holds a degree in Business Administration and Professional Piloting from Geneva College in Pennsylvania and is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor. 

William Burks

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Will began working with Marlon Blackwell Architect in August 2010 after graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Architecture in 2009. Will's role within the office includes production, project management, and technology deployment within the firm.  While in school he gained valuable experience in parametric design software and attended Bentley’s Smart Geometry Conference and Autodesk’s Autodesk University. His expertise with design software has brought new technology to the firm in the areas of 3d modeling, rendering, digital design/fabrication, 3d printing, and rapid prototyping. He is currently managing the integrated project delivery for the Steven Anderson Design Center addition to Vol Walker Hall on the University of Arkansas campus.

As well as working at MBA, Will gives presentations at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture concerning digital design techniques to both students and professors. He also founded; a website that specializes in teaching contemporary digital design techniques to architecture students. He also has a background in photography, software/hardware development, server deployment, and web design.

David Jaehning

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With a designer’s sensibility and a photographer’s exacting focus on details, David Jaehning is an expert technical leader on our project team. David has extensive experience in concept design through construction administration through is tenure at several internationally renowned architecture firms including David Chipperfield in Milan, Italy, and Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland, as well as the architectural powerhouse of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in San Francisco, United States. David has led a variety of project types including museums, civic, commercial, residential, and hotels. In David Chipperfield’s office he was the team leader on the Restoration of Castello Sforzesco in Milan, and the Urban Redevelopment of the University Hospital of Santa Chiara in Pisa. David’s role in the office Marlon Blackwell Architect includes project design and management specializing in the technical and material development of design proposals. He is the project team leader in the office of Marlon Blackwell Architect for the Steven L. Anderson Design Center at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, currently in the early phase of construction with the estimated completion date of Summer, 2013.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in 2001 and Bachelor of Architecture in 2002 from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. 

Meryati Johari Blackwell

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Having lived, studied, worked and travelled in Asia, Europe and the United States and as the other founding partner of the office of Marlon Blackwell Architect, Meryati Blackwell brings to the firm an east-meets west sensibility that informs and enriches the interior environments of each project. Meryati’s expertise in interior spaces and materials, paired with her architectural education and training helps provide our projects with just the right amount of customization. With over 20 years of experience in architectural offices in the United States, Malaysia, and Singapore, she has worked with many project types such as hotels and retail spaces, office buildings, stadiums, libraries and university buildings, as well as residences. Her talents in design and expertise in the preparation of construction documents, code research, and design detailing as well as her ability to coordinate work with various consultants makes her a highly valued project manager. She is also a LEED Accredited Professional and currently the LEED project team leader for projects of varying levels of certification within the office.

During her tenure at Marlon Blackwell Architect, Meryati has been integrally involved in the realization of numerous noteworthy projects including Blessings Golf Clubhouse, the Fred and Mary Smith Razorback Golf Practice Center, the Fulbright Building, Keenan TowerHouse and the L-Stack Residence where she also served as the General Contractor. The L-Stack Residence's total integration of the interior environment and style with the progressive site-specific solution resulted in the project being awarded the highest honor of the American Institute of Architects National Housing Award in 2008. Meryati’s latest interior design venture is the completion of the Museum Store of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s.

She received her Bachelor of Architecture and Planning from the University of Miami, Florida with a minor in Fine Arts in 1988. She also studied architecture at the Architectural Association, London, England, and the Instittutta Archittura de Venezia in Venice, Italy.

Bradford Payne

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Since joining the firm in October 2008, Bradford continues to grow as a designer and professional.  Through rigorous design and research, his responsibilities have grown from digital and physical modeling to project management, and presentation and construction drawing.  His work in the firm ranges in scale from residential to large educational projects.  He has been involved, in various levels, with several award winning projects including the Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, and is currently the Project Manager for the Fayetteville High School Addition and Renovation.  He developed a method of hybrid drawing techniques in college, and pursues its investigation through the work at Marlon Blackwell Architect.  Combining skills in both digital and hand media, he continues to find new and innovative methods of experiential documentation.


Bradford graduated in 2008 with a Masters of Architecture from North Carolina State University.  His professional foundation includes internships with PBC+L Architecture, Tonic Design and Tonic Construction, in Raleigh, NC.  In 2008 he participated in Ghost Studio 10, in Nova Scotia with Brian MacKay-Lyons.  Notable work includes The NCMoA “Art as Shelter” at Tonic, featured on the cover of Metal Magazine, and “1000’ House” at Ghost Studio 10, featured in Monocle magazine and Architectural Record.  He is currently finishing his IDP hours and is anxious to begin his licensure exams.

Michael Pope

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Michael began working with Marlon Blackwell Architect in 2005 as he began studying architecture at the University of Arkansas.  Since then, Michael's duties have expanded from building physical models to developing awards and publications submissions, and producing presentation and construction drawings. He graduated as the second ranked student in his class as well as receiving high honors. In January 2010 he joined the firm full time and his responsibilities now include project management, physical and digital model building, presentation and construction drawings, LEED project submissions, award submissions, and publication submissions.

Stephen Reyenga

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Before graduating, Stephen began working with Marlon Blackwell Architect on a part-time basis, providing aid in digital visualizations and rendering. While in school, he had the opportunity to travel and take studios in Rome and Mexico City gaining invaluable exposure to urbanism both ancient and modern. After graduation, he worked for the University of Arkansas Community Design Center gaining further exposure to urbanism through the intense study of community fabrics and new models for developing sustainably. While at the UACDC, he served as a project designer for the award-winning publication Low Impact Development: A Design Manual for Urban Areas. In 2010, he began working at Marlon Blackwell Architect.  In addition to design work, his responsibilities include preparing digital renderings and presentation drawings, while becoming more involved with project management and construction drawing production.