Cade Hayes and Jesús E. Robles, Jr.

February 19, 2019
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Spotlight Award and Lecture 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 

This lecture is available for one AIA/CES Learning Unit. Watch the lecture, download the pdf, and submit for credit.

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DUST is an architectural practice based out of Tucson, Arizona founded by principals Cade Hayes and Jesús E. Robles. Drawing inspiration from the desert and mountains that surround them, the firm has captured attention for their great sensitivity to material and context.

The office is as concerned with craftsmanship and the process of making as it is with design. Both Cade and Jesús have backgrounds in fabrication and care deeply for the materiality of their designs, having previously worked and trained with welders, carpenters, and builders. DUST’s design-build process carries their projects from initial conceptions all the way to the construction of the final building, rooting the firm in the master-builder tradition. 

DUST’s designs are lauded for their tactile quality and inherent respect for the site itself. 


Many of their projects - mostly single-family homes in arid, desert-like climates—utilize soil and earth from the site as a building material. Their minimal interior spaces and simple and intuitive floor plans allow for the raw materials they favor in their designs to be highly expressive.

In addition to locally sourcing materials, thoughtful site placement allows the architects to harness cross ventilation strategies and thermal mass to minimize the need for electricity. These efforts not only create a meditative space rooted in the landscape, but they also provide answers to the complex question of how architects can build ethically in an era where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly visible.