AIA 2012 Institute Update: The Road Ahead

In the May 19 AIA Business Meeting at the AIA Convention in Washington, D.C, AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA, EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, and CACE (Council of Architectural Component Executives) Director Vicki Long reviewed the past months and months ahead in the annual “Institute Update.”   Continue reading here.    

The AIA is Defined by Its Membership, It’s Up to You to Help Direct It

June 03, 2012 Michael Cowan, AIA AIA Austin Chapter Director Many non-members list cost as the number one  “con” to joining the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Few people in the architecture profession have been exempt from money issues in the past few years, and the decision to pay AIA dues may be more of a debate now than it has been in the past. In recognition of this problem, the AIA has instituted a dues installment program that helps to mitigate immediate cost, along with a financial hardship/unemployment/partial employment waiver if needed. “You only get out of something what you put into it.”…

New Book Highlights Noted Courthouse Architect

Esther Robards-Forbes Austin American-Statesman May 16, 2012 A 327-page tome on courthouse architecture might not seem like a fascinating read to most, but Meister, through a combination of detective work and storytelling, takes the reader through Gordon's life and architectural career, which was fraught with more political machinations and backstabbing than you can shake a drafting square at. Gordon, who was born in 1863 in Virginia, grew up in San Antonio and came of age during a time of upheaval and change. His career would span the nation, and he would see the expansion of the railroads, the emergence of…

Beyond LEED: The Importance of Creating Living Buildings

By Ariel Schwartz Co.Exist Jason McClennan is the CEO of the International Living Future Institute, the organization that runs the Living Building Challenge–a green building standard that goes far beyond LEED and perhaps every other performance standard for the built environment (the first Living Buildings were certified in 2010). The recently revised standard consists of seven "petals"–or performance areas–for buildings: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity, and beauty. Within those performance areas are a number of imperatives, including healthy air, appropriate sourcing, urban agriculture, net zero water and energy, and social justice. I spoke to McLennan about the future of…

The Urban Conspiracy Theory

Everything in Stephen Balut's 75-square-foot makeshift apartment serves a multitude of purposes. His couch is also his bed. His ottoman is his dining room table. And his walls – they're his connection to the outside world. A world that will watch him eat, sleep, and live for the next month. "Kids want to know what's going on," Balut said, "Or you see a couple stop and wonder, and ponder if I'm part of a living art exhibition. Which in a way, I am." Balut is calling the project "The Urban Conspiracy Theory." "I'm trying to ask people to reconsider how,…

Turrell Skyspace Opens in June at Rice University

By Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle May, 6, 2012 Ever twirl yourself dizzy as a kid, with your neck craned toward the sky? That's how I felt recently watching a sunset light show from inside the new James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University. But it was clouds moving — not me. I sat on a granite bench inside a grassy pyramid whose open ceiling hovers like a spaceship, viewing the advancing dusk through a square oculus in the ceiling's center. The sky also drifted by in a long horizontal line between the ceiling and the upper deck. A breeze blew softly…

99% Invisible: Design for Airports

Click on the link below to listen to the podcast about airport design. http://soundcloud.com/roman-mars/99-invisible-32-design-for-airports Hear Roman Mars live during his keynote address at the Texas Architects Convention in Austin, Oct. 18-20. Roman Mars is host and producer of 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture. With nearly 2 million downloads, the 99% Invisible podcast recently reached #2 in the iTunes rankings for all podcasts, as well as #1 in both the Arts and the Design categories. His work has been heard on Radiolab, Morning Edition, The Story, Weekend America, and Re:sound. He is also the host, producer,…

Advocacy: Architects Fight for U.S. Energy Law

by Andrew Heaton April 30, 2012 Architecturesource.com The profession must not only advocate for change with regard to what it sees as policies that do not support effective and sustainable architecture, it must also, as seen in this case, actively support existing policies which many in the profession do believe promotes and encourages optimum architectural practice. While there may be legitimate arguments both for and against the amendment outlined below, this issue highlights the broader role of the architectural profession in advocacy and policy debate. From before the days of the Roman architect Vitruvius, author of the earliest surviving written…

Bungalow Modern

The Heywood was not content to swoop in and plant a modernist statement on its admittedly little piece of prime real estate, a 1200-sf arts and crafts bungalow located conveniently close to downtown but tucked comfortably into its unassuming, small-scale context. Instead, owners Kathy Setzer and George Reynolds wanted to join the East Austin community they loved for its unique qualities and contribute to its entrepreneurial spirit. They commissioned Austin’s KRDB to transform the little house into a fine boutique hotel that is an invigorating yet responsible and respectful member of its established community. For the team of client and…

Mexic-Arte seeking $10 million from city for new downtown building

Austin American-Statesman Jeanne Claire van Ryzin April 29, 2012   "We could build a plain box, but we have the chance to build an iconic structure that will drive tourism and be a landmark for the city," said John Hogg, president of the museum board. Mexic-Arte occupies a three-story building on the southeast corner of Congress Avenue and Fifth Street. Conceptual plans by Mexican architect Fernando Romero show a cylindrically shaped six-story building clad in translucent material. Hogg said that the building's unusual shape is a reference to the Aztec calendar. "It's representative of Mexico and Mexican culture," he said.…