Talking Shop with Four Under 40

Today, the never-ending advent of technological innovations makes entrepreneurship and leadership more accessible. Cloud computing, total connectivity, and unknowable amounts of information are available at the swipe of a little glass screen, anytime, anywhere. Even as we do more with finite time and resources, the scope and potential of the work continues to broaden. These four young professionals demonstrate that starting your own firm is not always a singular path and that community leadership can go hand in hand with one’s practice.  Brantley Hightower, AIA, spent much of his early career asking the question, How is architecture relevant? The founder…

On the Proposed Reorganization of the AIA Board

Members may have seen John Nyfeler’s post on the Texas Architects blog about “Repositioning the Institute: What It Means to the Texas Society of Architects.”  First, I fully support the concept of repositioning the AIA. However there is an issue that deserves more specific attention, and that is the restructuring of the AIA Board of Directors. I do not support the current proposed redesign of our governance model. I urge all members to look closely and with a critical eye at the proposed governance model. As all architects know, good or bad is contained within the details of a given design. Many…

Streamlining the Path to Licensure

Each year, the leaders of the Texas Society of Architects (president, president-elect, EVP, and AIA board representatives) meet with colleagues from other AIA “large states.” This group includes California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, and Michigan. At the 2012 meeting, the licensure process for architectural registration was a primary topic. Out of that discussion, Texas leaders agreed to convene a committee to examine the licensure process and bring recommendations back to the Large States Roundtable in 2013.  The Path to Architectural Licensure is the result of that effort. This document reviews changes in the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and Intern Development Program…

Texas Architects’ IgCC Roadmap

According to the EPA, buildings account for 36 percent of total energy use and 65 percent of electricity consumption. Much of Texas is in drought conditions, with many portions of our state in severe distress. As our society, government, and culture wrestle with the economics, politics, and ethics of these challenges, it becomes increasingly imperative that our buildings be designed and constructed to use fewer resources. As the responsible representative of architects in Texas, the Texas Society of Architects has long been a supporter of sustainable standards for buildings, including ongoing programs of advocacy and education for our own members,…

Giesecke and Vosper at Texas A&M

In the midst of the Great Depression, two architects transformed the campus of Texas A&M University with 10 new buildings in just five years. The resulting architectural legacy has received less attention than it deserves, particularly in comparison to the acclaimed campus of the school’s rival, The University of Texas at Austin. The two universities were in fact founded together. In 1839, plans for a state university were originated by the Republic of Texas, but it was not until 1876 that land grants and an endowment finally facilitated the official opening of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in…