Assistant of Operations, DesignBuildBLUFF
We begin our tour of DesignBuildBLUFF in the campus bathroom, which is more of a bathhouse meets bike closet. Tucked into the backstreets of small-town Bluff, Utah, DBB is a nonprofit that works in conjunction with graduate students to design and build housing on the Navajo Reservation. Cindy Bithell, Assistant of Operations, explains that DBB looks to combine elements of traditional Navajo dwellings with modern components and design. It’s scrappy program, both in philosophy and practice, with students working to build homes on low-cost, low-impact principles. Functional reuse is the name of the game as their materials are often donated or creatively recycled. From the bathroom built with old school lockers and the bricks of an industrial byproduct, fly-ash, we head across the yard to a bundle of old storage containers, now dorm rooms, and a woodshop with windows that take a unique spin on the stained glass aesthetic: stacked layers of repurposed carpet samples.
By Molly Esteve