Dwelling: To Have or to Be

Architecture is practiced within a culture of consumption so pervasive as to be almost invisible. That, taken with the pressures assumed by a system that rewards market conformance, results in a culture of mediocre dwellings. Banal houses are often compensated for with greater square footage, freighted symbols, and technological amenities. This can happen in so-called traditional or modern houses. In a rush to meet the client’s stated or assumed needs, having often trumps being. One might pry open the writings of Fromm, Bachelard, Heidegger, and Alexander to better understand dwelling. There are helpful moments in those writings, but a more…

Advocates Show Legislators that “Design Matters”

On Advocates for Architecture Day, architects from across the state visited every Capitol office to communicate the importance of architectural design for urban planning. The message that "Design Matters," and that architects not only care about energy and resource conservation but are also doing something about it, resonated with all the legislators and staffers with whom we met. As a memento of their visit, the architects left behind a limited-edition screen print of a sketch of the Governor’s Mansion created by El Paso member Morris Brown, AIA. They also shared a copy of our 2013 Advocacy Brochure, which details the Society's…

Advocates for Architecture Day 2013

Register for Advocates for Architecture Day 2013 For more information about the event, including a list of key issues for the 83rd Legislative Session, visit the event page.  

Advocates for Architecture Day 2013

“Advocacy is to politics as marketing is to practice,” said the Society’s Senior Advocate, David Lancaster. “If you don’t actively do it, your profession and your business suffer.  “If you’re going after a project, you want to know as much about your potential client as possible,” he continued. “If you want to convince a public official on the merits of your argument, it’s easier to sell a friend than a stranger. Remember the old saw, ‘Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start digging a well.’” Over 200 members assembled in Austin January 25, 2011, for the first Advocates Day, and…

W. Eugene George, FAIA (1922-2013)

The historic preservation community is saddened to announce the passing of our dear, dear friend and teacher Gene George. W. Eugene George, FAIA, died peacefully at his home in Austin, with his wife Mary Carolyn by his side, on January 16 after a short illness.  He was the teacher of scores of architecture students at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture and the Architectural Engineering Department over the many years he served on the faculty there. In 1997 he was the first recipient of the professorship established by the San Antonio Conservation Society at the University of…

Merging the Natural and Built Environments

Architecture Digest named Weiss/Manfredi one of its "Innovators for 2012." Learn more about this New York firm's visionary design projects combining architecture, landscape, infrastructure and art in the magazine's feature on their work. For more details about our Design Conference and how to register, visit the event page.   Architectural Digest Innovator: Weiss/Manfredi A Manhattan architecture firm’s eco-friendly projects inventively merge the natural and built environments When the Brooklyn Botanic Garden decided to add a new visitor center, it chose a site beyond a parking lot, away from busy streets. But Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, among the architects who competed…

Michael Van Valkenburgh on Austin’s Waller Creek

The New York City landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh is playing a prominent role in redefining urban spaces throughout the country with active and engaging parks. He spoke about the winning proposal for Waller Creek that his firm developed in conjunction with Thomas Phifer and Partners. Austin is a city of many parks; the revitalization of Waller Creek will be a welcome contribution to a community that cherishes green space and water. What attracted your team to the Waller Creek competition? Several things, including the creative vibrancy of Austin as a city, the uniqueness of the assignment (especially the implications…

Klyde Warren Park: Dallas’ New Landmark

Designed by the Office of James Burnett, the 5.2-acre Klyde Warren Park — the deck park over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway — creates a welcome urban green space over the recessed freeway between Pearl and St. Paul Streets in the center of the Dallas. Among the aspirations of designers and downtown advocates is for the park to promote increased pedestrian, trolley and bicycle use between Uptown, Downtown and the adjacent Arts District, contributing to a more walkable city center. Bisected by the existing Olive Street bridge, the park is organized by a pedestrian promenade that begins at its southwestern corner,…

Spring Lecture Series Underway at Texas Schools

Available schedules are listed below. Visit school websites for the most up-to-date information. Rice School of Architecture Spring 2013 Lecture Series Schedule Jan. 16: Pedro Gadanho Towards a New Commons: Architects Changing Roles Curator Of Contemporary Architecture, MOMA, New York Wednesday, January 16; 6pm Reception, 7pm Lecture; MFAH RSA/RDA Lecture Series: New Commons, Curated By Neyran Turan Jan 23: Luis Callejas Unsolicited Public Space Principal, Lclaoffice, Medellín, Colombia, And Cambridge, Usa Wednesday, January 23; 6pm Reception, 7pm Lecture; MFAH RSA/RDA Lecture Series: New Commons, Curated By Neyran Turan Feb. 6: David Gissen  Recent Histories Associate Professor, California College Of The…

For a Gardener: In Memory of Ruth Carter Johnson Stevenson (1923-2013)

It is difficult to imagine a Fort Worth without Ruth Carter Stevenson. Her generosity and, perhaps more important, her voice in matters of public aspiration were unique. It is popular to speak of global cultural and humanitarian concerns being manifest locally, and Ruth was the embodiment of this idea. She was born into a certain privilege in 1923 as the daughter of Amon G. Carter, the legendary publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram — a man whose form of promotion for Fort Worth was generally aimed at pushing the city past any perceived accomplishments of nearby Dallas. Through her refined…