D U S T is an alliance of architects, craftspeople, artists, designers, and builders with practices rooted in the master-builder tradition: a collective of people grounded firmly in the tactile, in pursuit of the intangible.

The studio explores ideas and ethics rooted in a reverent intimacy with craft and place. Ideas unfold in the creative space of intersections and find form through a respect for material and an unwavering attention to craft by skilled hands.

The seeds of this practice were planted in the late 1990s on the vast plains of the Llano Estacado in West Texas; the studio was born in Tucson, Arizona in 2007 as a collaboration between Cade Hayes and Jesús Robles.

Their architecture stands as both a concrete marker on the landscape, and as a frame focused on the essential, where ephemeral moments can find their place in the timeless realm of memory.

D U S T provides full Architecture, Planning, and Construction services.


We have learned to move through our world as keen observers and listeners – continually looking for those moments that move us to our core. Those guiding the way have been our mentors, elders, nature, and the poets and artists of our time.

We listen first, and then respond –to the elements, to the marks and lessons left by those who have lived here before, to the spirit and culture of place, and to our fellow dreamers: the clients.

We understand architecture and its construction as a reflection of human survival, culture, and evolution. We look to our environment for clues and refer to the means and methods of cultures past, present, and evolving into the future. As architects and designers, even more so as builders, we revere and understand the importance of our craft and the craftsperson. This is rooted in the idea that it’s the people who put their hands, minds, and hearts to a project that give it its true form and beauty.

Our process allows for a communion with the world we inhabit, a discovery of situations and meanings that root the work in an intimate connection with the environment, both natural and built. Part of our creative process stems from what we think of as infinite roots: capturing a moment in light and shadow, the feeling of mud stuck to your hand, the smell of the desert after a rain. Many of these experiences we turn into memory, and then from memory back into life.

We invest in what we consider to be an active partner in this work: time. Our work is patient, unfolding in moments of pause, the space between action. We trust time to continue this work, long after our hands have left a project – as the client begins their own process of discovery through the lens of our work.

Through our work, we challenge norms, question values, seek the virtuous, and look to engage our senses with the world around us, stretching our eyes past the horizon.

We measure the integrity of our work by the quiet pleasures and experiences enjoyed by all those who encounter it. As we work, we connect to the project as individuals; our hope is that an architecture born from intimate connection will provide for a profound relationship between the building and the individual who encounters it.

We strive to touch this earth lightly, sowing the seeds of reverence as we go. We believe architecture lies in the realm of memory and the experienced. Through the intimacy of spaces and moments lived, we strive to blur the lines between the built and natural environments, dream state and reality, time and space.

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