About the Project
“A House of the Ozarks” is an interdisciplinary project intended to bring the residential architecture of Fay Jones to a wide public audience by providing a digital recreation of his family home on the web and at an interactive kiosk. Jones’ chapels, Thorncrown and Cooper, are frequent destinations for tourists in northwest Arkansas, and popular wedding venues. His houses, however, remain largely unfamiliar, regionally and nationally. With the significant exception of the Fay and Gus Jones house itself, now owned by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design and restored to its condition in the late 1950s, they are privately owned and inaccessible to the public. Yet as a set, these houses are a crucial part of America’s architectural history, and, arguably, they offer important signposts for its future. Dating from the 1950s-80s and located primarily in the Ozarks of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, Jones’ houses are directly relevant to 21st-century discussions of scale, quality of life, and sustainability. Through their low, hill-hugging profiles, these houses anticipate critiques of the oversized, alienated American house found in the small house movement, while in their local materials, interlocking flow, and use of light, they offer a rich source of inspiration to the search more sustainable, thoughtful, and meaningful alternatives. Given that most of the houses cannot be visited physically, A House of the Ozarks seeks to unfold their design story through digital means, with the wider goal of public education about the deep connection between architecture and the humanities, even, or perhaps especially, if that architecture is residential.
This project was able to be realized through a collaborative effort between The Tesseract Center of Immersive Environments and Game Design and the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. We also received help from other groups in the University including the University of Arkansas Libraries’ Special Collections in gathering information, photos, and documents, and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies in gathering photogrammetry data from the Fay Jones House.
Responsible for developing the application, Tesseract is a game development and visualization studio housed at the University of Arkansas and directed by David Fredrick, Associate Professor of Classical Studies in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. The core mission of Tesseract is the creation of immersive/game-based content for courses and research, with undergraduate and graduate student developers playing an integral part.
The project’s content expert and primary investigator, Greg Herman is an Associate Professor in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. FJSOA+D is a professional design school providing excellence in teaching, research and service within a vibrant intellectual community that generates an energy and passion for great design, while nurturing the talent, intellectual agility, optimism and resourcefulness our students need to develop into the leaders in their respective design disciplines and in their communities.
This project is supported by an award from the Chancellor's Discovery, Creativity, Innovation and Collaboration Fund for 2017-2018, with additional funding from the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.
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