Discipline: Architecture – design

Charles Sharpless

Discipline: Architecture – design
Region: Fayetteville, AR
MacDowell Fellowships: 2021

Charles Sharpless is a practicing architect and a professor of design based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His award-winning architecture and design practice, Somewhere Studio, which he formed with Fellow Jessica Colangelo has a diverse body of work that seeks out the possibilities for design to create a more equitable community. Salvage Swings, a pavilion that was designed and fabricated by the firm in 2019, utilizes salvaged construction waste wood to create a modular outdoor playscape for children. The project has been in installed at Lighthouse Park in Roosevelt Island and currently resides at the Amazeum in Bentonville, AR. Currently, Sharpless is working on another urban wood utilization project that seeks to find uses for the lumber from trees in urban forests that require removal due to disease.

In addition to public space design projects, Somewhere Studio is active in the study and design of housing as a vital component of the built environment. Sharpless is an assistant professor of interior design at the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, and he received a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University.

During their 2021 MacDowell residency, he and partner Jessica Colangelo developed a series of drawings exploring the use of pattern, color and perspective as a design tool for architectural speculation. The series includes abstract spatial compositions and multiple-perspective juxtapositions that study the relationship between material assemblies and their perception as layered spatial devices. Their award-winning architecture practice, Somewhere Studio, won the Figment City of Dreams pavilion competition in 2019 and is currently developing an experimental pavilion using urban waste wood at the University of Arkansas.



Charles Sharpless worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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