HISTORY

Building a home.

Building a legacy.

DesignBuildBLUFF is built upon the foundation and earlier achievements of the University of Utah’s Design+Build Studio, founded in 2000. Led by Hank Louis, adjunct professor and principal architect of Gigaplex, the program began by creating a series of bandstands for outdoor concerts in Park City, Utah.

Endowed with a three-year minimum grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, secured with an invaluable link with the Community Development Corporation, the program and its members, permanent and transitory alike, strive to strengthen relationships within the Red Mesa Chapter, the Navajo Nation at large, and the town of Bluff, fascinating in its diverse, worldly and talented population.

Since its creation, hundreds of devoted students have participated, working alongside generous and invigorated professionals and volunteers in order to attempt to achieve our mission, while at the same time creating provocative structures aimed directly at the bull’s-eye of the human spirit and far from the status quo.

As the arc of DesignBuildBLUFF grew, the timing was right to open the door to more universities. With expanded living quarters and ten years of an experiential learning curve, Hank approached campuses who had expressed interest in participating. With the cooperation of the University of Utah, we restructured our status and became a public non-profit. We have recently welcomed students from the University of Colorado to Bluff. In the next 12 months, along with the University of Utah and the University of Colorado, we hope to include students from Arizona and New Mexico. Previously one semester annually, we will now increase to a year-round program increasing our production from one home per year, to as many as four, with increased outreach programs.