About Levi

Arklie Levi Hooten (born February 21, 1987) is an American Architect Intern currently practicing in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture + Design in 2010 before spending more than a year completing the construction of A New Norris House as project manager. It was as an undergraduate student that Levi and three team members of an independent study secured federal funding to construct a new prototype for sustainable housing in Norris, Tennessee.

He currently works for a large multidisciplinary architecture firm, GFF Inc. and is also a founding member of the Planning Agency.

Occasionally, he drops a travel blog post here.

October 19, 2015


October 19, 2015


I traveled to Oregon is August of 2015.

Levi Hooten

Architect Intern

Levi Hooten



Good Fulton & Farrell, Dallas, TX, US, Intern Architect

Apr 2012 – current

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, US, Research / New Norris House Project Manager

:: completed construction documents for delivery to a manufacturing partner while subsequently leading student members in the development of shop drawings and fabrication of custom constructions
:: worked with team members to secure the 2011 NCARB prize for the project and secured several charitable donations from environmentally minded product and material suppliers

:: led a seminar class of eight student members of the New Norris House project in the completion of design development of interiors, the design and construction of furniture, and finished exterior steel work

May 2010 – Sep 2011

Beeson Lusk & Street, Johnson City, TN, US, Architect Intern

:: worked for two summers on separate design competitions for BLS architects in an attempt to secure two city projects – a war memorial and a city elementary school new construction / renovation

:: gained additional experience in construction documents and the design devlopment of a small residence for a private client

Jun 2007 – Aug 2008


The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, BArch, School of Architecture + Design

Aug 2005 – May 2010

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar, DE, iAAD 2009

During my education at the University of Tennessee’s School of Architecture, I was able to spend one semester in foreign study at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Weimar, Germany.

Mar 2009 – Jul 2009


AIA East Tennessee Honor Award, Award


NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Research and Practice [A New Norris House], Award

The NCARB Prize was initiated in 2001 in response to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s report, Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice (The Boyer Report). As envisioned by Peter Steffian, FAIA, who served as Council president in 2001, the NCARB Prize Program was designed to encourage, reward, and showcase diverse programs and activities that wholly integrate practice and education in an academic setting.


Chancellor’s Citation For Extraordinary Professional Promise, Award

Given to graduate and undergraduate students for contributions to the university community through leadership and service during time as a UT student.


Hnedak Bobo Group Inc. Global Design Award, Award


Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement [EUReCA] SP 2009 [A New Norris House], 1st Place

EUReCA is an annual event that showcases research and creative activities by currently enrolled undergraduate students in collaboration with a University of Tennessee, Knoxville faculty mentor. Entries can be individual or group projects and are judged by a combination of UT Knoxville faculty members and community professionals.

The UT Knoxville Office of Research coordinates this unique competition to encourage, support and reward undergraduate participation in the campus research enterprise. An added value is the development of faculty mentoring relationships.


Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] National P3 Competition [A New Norris House], 1st Place

EPA’s P3 – People, Prosperity, and the Planet—Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future. P3 offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life.

The competition has two phases. For the first phase of the competition, teams were awarded a $10,000 grant to develop their idea. In April 2009, the team took to the design to the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington DC to compete for the P3 Award and a grant of $75,000 to take their design to real world application.


Alma & Hal Reagan Scholarship, Scholarship


Bullock & Smith Partners International Fellowship, Scholarship


Tau Sigma Delta Architectural Honors Society, Nomination





For some mountain people, this to just became a tradition. Every spring you redid the walls and ceilings with fresh newspaper.

-Shelby Lee Adams

In the twenty-first century, as it has been for a hundred years, the region continues to be laden with mythology, subjected to recurring debate, and held up as one of America’s enduring social and economic problems. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, novelists, educators, and big-city journalists created a dominant image of the central Appalachians as a hinterland populated by backward people left behind, more or less suspended in time as the rest of America modernized and prospered.

-Encyclopedia of Appalachia

The photographs of Shelby Lee Adams captured a truly profound image. It is easy to be distracted by the personalities of the Napier Family in the photo as Appalachian people can seem so estranged to those who have never engaged with that type of people. The rugged family sits in a living room in the typical portrait style in which Adams recorded so many rural families with. However, it is not the personalities in the foreground that make the photograph so interesting. In the background, one notices that the walls are covered in Newspaper. What is actually a common practice in the area is quite ironic. Appalachia has isolated itself from its surrounding environments so

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much that the greatest role of mass media toward Appalachia has been to understand its people. However, the people of Appalachia have continually succeeded in separating themselves from the mass media altogether. As the Napier’s sit in their living room at night in conversation, they have surrounded themselves completely with one of history’s greatest tools of communication.

It is the same mass media that has continuously failed to correctly perceive the region. In some instances, mountain folk were romanticized as thoroughly noble pioneers, in others ridiculed as inbred, violent, and barely civilized, but in any case socially and physically isolated from the rest of America and different from other Americans. Perception and Appalachian people has been a problem since mass media became a factor. Media have always attempted to captivate the general public with interesting perspectives of Appalachian culture, whether they be true or false. This has been a problem for decades. English historian, Arnold J. Toynbee, critically wrote in 1947, the Appalachian mountain people today are no better than barbarians. They have relapsed into illiteracy and witchcraft. They suffer from poverty, squalor and ill health. They are the American counterparts of the latter day White barbarians of the Old World Rifis, Albanians, Kurds, Pathans and Hairy Ainus; but, whereas these latter are belated survivals of an ancient barbarism, the Appalachians present the melancholy spectacle of a people who have acquired civilization and then lost it.
The cultural misunderstanding has caused the people of deep Appalachia to repress the culture contained outside of the mountainous regions. The threshold between inside (Appalachia) and outside becomes more easily perceived as the culture outside of the region continues to evolve into a more global society while the people  within attempt to preserve the way they choose to live. Both sides are contributing to the mass isolation within. The threshold becomes a communication barrier.
The inability for people to keep up with the outside world has also had economic The sad stories of former coal mining communities and the logging industries paint a sublime, empty picture of life in Appalachia affected by the attempt to keep up with modern economies.

The region remains a place of stunning natural and cultural extremes, though in the latter third of the twentieth century, it moved closer to the nation’s social and economic mainstream. Like the rest of the country, Appalachia was transformed by modern technologies, albeit in ways that were often contradictory, and in certain ways painful, unwelcome, and even destructive….communities became ghost towns…local retailers failed and Main Streets declined as franchises and outsized chain stores sprang up along bypass roads and highway interchanges in county seats across rural Appalachia. The absent industries of Appalachia have left physical scarring of the landscape.

There has been a great deal of research on the topic of social isolation. Generally it relates to the scale of only one person. Doctors and scientist continually diagnose and analyze those who choose to separate themselves from others as a sickness. The story of a child who has been born into a severely isolated situation tells the tragic story of isolation at the scale of the person. Genie, the infamous feral child was socially and experientially isolated from other people. She has never been able to develop social skills and cannot communicate as her situation was not uncovered until the age of 13. Because her isolation happened in her developmental stage, she can never truly recover.
The region of Appalachia has also suffered from its lack of communication. However, the region of Appalachia has not been retarded by its developmental life. It is only in the last century that it has suffered from the absence of communication. Communication, as it is with the scale of the person, could help to heal isolation at the scale of the community and the region. The most advanced cultures on earth are those that have an ability to communicate. The threshold that separates the region of Appalachia from surrounding, global cultures could be transformed to increase communication to the region rather than prevent it. It is just as difficult for the people who view Appalachia on television and internet sources from their living rooms to understand the isolated inside as it is for those people who are on the inside to understand the periphery
Abramson, Rudy, and Jean Haskell. Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Knoxville, TN: The UP of Tennessee, 2006.

Adams, Shelby Lee. Homepage. (March 2007.)http://shelby-lee-adams.blogspot.com/(accessed September 12, 2009).

Curtiss, Susan, Victoria Fromkin, Stephen Krashen, David Rigler, and Marilyn Rigler. “The Linguistic Development of Genie.” Language 50, no. 3 (1974): 528-554. http://www.jstor.org (accessed September 14, 2009).


British legal philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham introduced to society a new visual argument for behavioral manipulation in 1789. The Panopticon, a new typology for prison design, became a precedent for modern ideas of surveillance. It was only years after Bentham publications that philosopher Michael Foucault brought light to Bentham design and related writings as a comparison to the way modern societies control the general behavior of the public. Foucault calls the Panopticon a piece of political technology. It increased power and reduced space.

Contemporary film and communication technology have allowed those who seek power to take the concept which can be found in Bentham prison and become increasingly more transparent while using less and less space. Currently,

Contemporary Big Brother control methods blow away physical architecture. Camp X-ray, at Guantánamo, began as open cells, divided only by wire mesh, covered by sun shade sails, which gave complete day and night surveillance with floodlights. Modern versions of masks designed by Ludwig Friedrich yon Froriep (1846), which rob a prisoner of sight, hearing and the ability to speak, were to be seen worn by the prisoners, along with fluorescent uniforms, which marked them as easy targets, in the few photographs available to the world media. With wrist and ankle manacles a person can be immobilized, without architecture.

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Bentham’s social manipulation transcended not only defined space in modern surveillance, but also its original program. His prison sought to control those who had already been punished. Modern surveillance is used currently for monitoring the preemptive public at unprecedented levels. In the city of London, there is an estimated one camera for every 14 citizens. One great separation between Bentham’s original plan and current monitoring methods is the ability of proximity. In his book Zoomccape, Michael Schwarter discusses at length the ability for the camera to transcend the ordinary physical limitations of the being. People can now understand spaces with easy acquirement even though these are spaces that could never be understood as a first-hand experience. This gives the person the greater tools to understand landscapes differently. The same can be said for the cameras ability to understand the actions of people. While Bentham’s design greatly reduced the need for space, contemporary technology has almost eliminated the need for space completely. Social control has far transcended the walls of prisons. It has become almost undetectable.

In his book, Foucault went on to say that “visibility is a trap.” In Bentham’s prison, the prisoner is able to be seen but cannot see the one who observes him. The effectiveness of the design is executed with the ability to see and not be seen. This, while a seemingly accepted truth, is actually a myth. While the person who observes cannot be seen by those he watches,

he is monitored and controlled with equal degree by his own conscience. Maybe Foucault realized this and found the irony within the design. Artists Yoko Ono and John Lennon created a film in 1968 that finds the reflective nature of monitoring. The film, titled “Rape” is the story of a girl who is violently pursued by the camera—the presumed predator. After 70 minutes of watching the chase of an attractive young girl and witnessing her sad demise, Jonas Mekas states that two things are interesting to watch: one is the girl and the other is the audience. The “self-conscience and hence uncomfortable complicity” of the sequence allows the viewer to realize that surveillance does not only change the behavior of the one who is being watched but the behavior of those who witness as well. Visibility is indeed a trap.

Much of modernism dealt with transparency and utopian ideas of the connection through the production of glass. The idea of Surveillance has been made possible through the means of glass production. Diller and Scofidio claim that “transparent glass is no longer invisible. Rather it is a display surface that modifies behavior on both sides. Again, the one who views is not unsusceptible to consequence.

While then surveillance will always have ideas of structuralism rooted within its use, there could be other approaches to surveillance. There is the possibility of thinking about surveillance as record or archive. French photographer and anarchist

Henri Cartier-Bresson used surveillance as a means of understanding. History is typically written through interpretation. It is therefore subject to the biases of the writer. Surveillance provides a raw approach to recording. Sarah Hermanson states that photojournalism is the act of documenting “a particular event, place, or person.” While Bresson was extremely successful from an artistic standpoint alone, his ability to perceive things exactly as they happened will provide better evidence of the times over manipulated recitals of what the subject thought might have happened.


Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne, and Peter Weibel, eds. CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother. MIT Press, 2001.

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1977.

Hermanson, Sarah. “Henri Cartier-Bresson.” MoMa 3, no. 6 (September 2000): 31-32. http://www.jstor.org(accessed September 14, 2009).

Liu, Catherine. “A brief genealogy of privacy: ‘CTRL [space]: rhetorics of surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother’. Grey room (Spring 2004): 102-118. Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCOhost(accessed September 12, 2009).

Schwarzer, Mitchell. Zoomscape: architecture in motion and media. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004.

Chicago Manuel Citation Guide


001 – Presidio Modelo (model prison), Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. SRC

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