El Malpias: A Diné Collection of Pomes by Marie Adele Little

Marie Adele is a junior studying architecture at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning. Marie Adele is involved in the American Institute of Architecture Students, Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society, LoboTHON, and Chi Omega fraternity along with Honors College. Her submission, El Malpias: A Diné Collection of Pomes, earned her the WRHC Open Media Award! Read our exclusive interview with Marie Adele below! 

What was your inspiration for El Malpias: A Diné Collection of Pomes? 

The juniper berries at El Malpias and the history of the park were my main inspiration. The second year architecture studio I was enrolled in took a class field trip to the site (El Malpias) and studied the park for a couple of hours. Then we extended our research online and in the studio with study models. The Native Americans that originally lived in El Malpias used juniper berries for all sorts of things, one of them being to craft jewelry. The prompt of the project was to design an artist’s retreat, so I chose to create a jeweler’s retreat inspired by the shape and orientation of juniper berries clustered together. 

What was your biggest challenge while creating the piece? Biggest moment of triumph/success? 

I pulled two all-nighters for this project and it almost made me drop out of the program, but I have great friends and professors in the program who helped push me to the finish line. The two more substantial obstacles were keeping up with the intensity of the program and devising the layout of the structure in a way that portrayed the “clustering” of juniper berries but avoided crowding spaces too tightly. The highlight of success that made it all worthwhile was listening to the feedback I received during my final critique of the project and celebrating with my friends afterwards over a job well done. 

What is your favorite part about this medium of creativity? 

There are so many things I cherish in a well designed building, but one of my favorites would be the implementation of lighting techniques and the attention to details. Lighting techniques set the tone for spaces. An artist’s studio requires a different type of lighting than a gallery for displaying their work would. The little details eventually compose the entire design, it all adds up to one building. 

Do you have any other creative hobbies? 

I paint with watercolors, dabble a little in embroidery, play a couple of instruments, and like to sculpt with clay when I can. 

What is your dream future career? 

I’m working towards becoming an architect and a real estate developer! 

Do you have any writers/ artists that inspire you? 

I admire architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and all sorts of musicians, but my fundamental source of inspiration is nature. Nature is both functional and delicate, a science and an art, like architecture. 

If you were a color what color would you be? Why? 

I think I’d be a warmer shade of a pastel green, with a tinge of a buttery yellow. Like sunshine on a green lake in the middle of June. I’d say I’m a pretty positive person and I am always trying to become the best version of myself. Green and yellow are colors representative to elements of warmth and growth. 

What inspired you to submit to Scribendi? 

It was definitely a spur of the moment situation, but I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. I’m trying to be more spontaneous and open minded, so this was an experiment with that mindset that produced some favorable results. 

Anything else that wasn’t asked but that you’d like to discuss? 

I’m grateful to have the opportunity to speak about my work and what I’m passionate about! I hope to continue inspiring people through architecture and that readers enjoyed learning about my project. Thank you!