For the fifth year, Facings of America, the Scottsdale tile and stone showroom, sponsored Design for Dogs, a fundraiser for Arizona Animal Welfare League. This year, 13 design teams created architecturally stylish doghouses that netted $11,000 at auction.
When Scottsdale-based graphic, packaging and product designer Rachel Lakin and Los Angeles-based toy designer Ted Lubin were brainstorming doghouse ideas, Lakin uttered the words “Barkminster Fuller.” The two knew then and there that their creation would be a tip of the hat to architect and futurist Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, best known for his geodesic domes. Lubin and Lakin both concepted and sketched it out, then Lubin crafted the doggie dome out of poplar and furniture-grade Baltic birch. “It has a lot of pieces and angles,” explains Lakin. “If you get one wrong, it would throw the whole thing off.” After it was done, the doghouse design sparked an idea for Lubin. “I think I might use it as a prototype for a cool chair,” he muses.
Brandon Boetto of SlabHaus, a decorative concrete studio in Phoenix, created his doghouse in part as an homage to Arizona’s copper-mining history. Three copper “pillars” connect the concrete roof and floor, and link two concrete planters (in case puppy is a houseplant aficionado). Removable copper food and water bowls are inset into a concrete base. Boetto further detailed this doggie domain with an on-trend ipe wood deck and a solar panel that powers dramatic downlights on the planters and below the deck. “I like modern design and our state’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle,” says Boetto. “This doghouse reflects that design aesthetic.” Unlike human houses, Boetto’s canine design does have a certain advantage. “It’s easy to clean,” he says. “You just hose it down.”
With a timely emphasis on harmony and getting along, a heavy-hitter team made up of members from the Phoenix offices of Gensler, the global architectural firm; Kitchell, the general contracting and development company; and Airpark Signs & Graphics, created a doghouse that’s a visual ode to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Made of MDF board painted with what’s known as Taliesin Red and lined with contemporary blue carpeting, the two-level structure includes angled slats that create a sense of shelter while allowing pets to see out. The “harmony” angle? It was made to shelter a dog on the bottom, a cat on top and attract hummingbirds with a pole bearing a feeder—a design for co-existence that could be taken to heart by two-legged creatures.
Photography by: photos of tailiesin and barkminster fuller homes By Michael Morefield/courtesy of Arizona Animal Welfare League | photo of slabhaus home courtesy of slabhaus