A Design/Build Passion Takes Many Forms and Turns


Like many architects, Joshua Bender, our BIM Manager and one of our Project Architects, has a passion for design in all things, not just buildings. A dedication to designing and building with his hands started when he was a young child and kept a box of scrap parts and materials in his bedroom.  He would use these trash-saved-treasures to create his own inventions, from water bottle rockets and portable sports games to mouse trap propelled cars and booby traps to alert him of his older brother Matt’s menacing presence.

This devotion to creation led him to pursue a degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas and enroll in KU’s design/build class, Studio 804. As part of Studio 804, Josh helped design and build the first LEED Platinum house in Kansas City while gaining intimate knowledge on how a building really goes together during construction.

Once he graduated, Josh continued to nurture his design/build interests as he joined Footprint Construction in Topeka, Kansas and aided in building an Emerald National Green Building Standard home. Soon after this Josh joined M+H Architects and leveraged his drive to innovate through developing our BIM standards and Immersive Design process. While Josh has a passion for designing in virtual reality and has kept M+H at the leading edge of the technology, he still looked for an opportunity to craft tangible objects with his hands again.

Fast-forward to the fall of 2016 and the creation of Blackhall Woodworks LLC, a partnership of Josh and his brother Matt … yes the same menacing Matt that he used to devise against. Matt, now a business partner rather than a foe, is an Art Director at a marketing company with a graphic design degree and passion for furniture design. Josh and Matt plan to use Blackhall Woodworks as an additional outlet for their creativity as well as an excuse to get together, have a beer, and build. They have been selling items on their Etsy storefront since the beginning of 2017 with their focus on modern, Danish modern, and mid-century style floor lamps, with the hopes to expand their products to include more home decor and furniture items.  Whether designing buildings, advertising, or home décor their focus will always remain on designing every detail.