2016 Emerging Design + Technology: Call for Papers

Download the 2016 Call for Papers The TxA Emerging Design + Technology conference brings experimental research and exploration among academics and practitioners to a broad audience of designers, practicing architects, construction industry executives, building products manufacturers, students, and other researchers. It takes advantage of the collection of over 3,000 representatives of these fields at the Texas Society of Architects Annual Conference and Design Expo to create a forum for sharing new ideas being formulated in schools of architecture and elsewhere. Selected academics and researchers will have the opportunity to present their papers during three 90-minute sessions at the Texas Society of Architects 77th Annual Conference and…

Almost White Box

In his 1984 Pritzker Prize acceptance speech, Richard Meier, FAIA, recalled discussions on color with his children, who professed to love green and blue. They were confounded by their father’s strange choice of white, prompting Meier to explain how all of the rainbow’s colors could be seen in this single color. “The whiteness of white is never just white,” he said. “It is almost always transformed by light and that which is changing.” How white became synonymous with Modernism and contemporary architecture can be traced back to Le Corbusier’s famous houses. Certainly one does not think of Villa Savoye without…

Blank Canvas

Working with an architect for the first time, Dr. Maggie Hart and Patrick Woodson began their journey with an inspired vision for an irresistible but challenging site in West Austin. Their ideal house was perfectly illustrated in a design publication — a project by Dallas-based Malone Maxwell Borson Architects (MMB). Magazine in hand, the couple began their search for an architect who could bring this family of five closer to their vision.  Nervously, Maggie decided to call Michael Malone, AIA, the founding principal of MMB. Surprised to find Malone fielding his own phone calls, the couple was reassured by his…

In Place — Thoughts on a (North) Texas Vernacular

The size of Texas and its ecological, geological, and social diversity are obvious — as is its youth, in any real cultural terms. At not quite 200 years of post-indigenous settlement, it remains to be seen whether one can say that there is a “Texas” architectural vernacular. To the extent that there exists a signature formal or tectonic language, or a material palette tied specifically to the state, one might say that it resides in the white limestone work with standing seam metal roofs and cedar porches which seems to immediately refer to the Hill Country or Spanish-influenced South Texas.…

2016 Prosperity Conference

The word on the street is that our economy is booming and all is well in our industry. But maybe there are still questions to be asked and ways to improve your business. What is the Texas economy looking like now — what is ahead? Are we changing the way our firms operate to take advantage of the highs and protect the company when the inevitable lows return? What best practices can be shared to strategize our growth? How do we “get what we want” for the firm? For our clients? For our staff? Explore these questions and more at…

Where Texas Ends

The Franklin Mountains are the southernmost expression of the Rio Grande rift, an uplift of Precambrian rock that runs from Colorado down through New Mexico. The ridge dissipates long enough to create El Paso del Norte, a gap formed by the Rio Grande that holds the cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. A military base and cement factory mar the range’s leeward side, but its windward side, intact and austere, looks out over the cityscape to Juárez beyond. This slope, littered with lechuguilla as well as weathered gray stones and quartz crystals from an abandoned mine, is the site…

Robert E. Velten, AIA: 1929–2016

Robert E. Velten, AIA, dedicated Brownsville architect – photo courtesy AIA LRGV Robert E. Velten, AIA, of Brownsville passed away on May 16. A native Texan, Velten practiced architecture in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In a way, he was entering the family business, as his father was a prolific contractor in Brownsville. Velten received his Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Texas A&M University. After serving in the Air Force, he worked for Henry D. Mayfield, Fehr & Granger, and A. H. Woolridge before opening his own architectural practice in 1959.  Velten put his stamp on his hometown, notably designing the F.W.…

Logic Tobola, FAIA: 1940–2016

St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, a moveable prototype designed by Tobola – image via Tobola Design Award submission, 2015 Logic Tobola II, FAIA, passed away on May 21. Tobola was born in El Campo, Texas, in 1940 and lived on his grandparents’ farm in a Czech community. He attended The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and proceeded to serve as a practicing architect for more than 50 years. He was an associate and then a partner at the firm of Pierce, Goodwin, and Alexander. Later, he returned to the farm in El Campo and established his own architectural…

UTSA Undergrads Honored by AIA COTE

A rendering shows the transformation of the big box structure and parking lot – rendering courtesy UTSA University of Texas at San Antonio undergrads Isaias Garcia Coronado and Daniel Rodriguez Suarez have been honored by the AIA Committee on the Environment for their project proposal, “Banding for Knowledge.” Selected as one of the winners in the 2015-2016 Top Ten for Students Design Competition, their project re-envisions the use of an abandoned big box store in San Antonio. Their work is on view at the AIA Annual Convention this week in Philadelphia.  Daniel Rodriguez Suarez, left, and Isaias Garcia Coronado, right – photo courtesy…

Jim Williamson Named Dean at Texas Tech College of Architecture

Jim Williamson – photo courtesy Cornell University The Texas Tech School of Architecture has named Jim Williamson its new dean. Himself a graduate of Tech’s undergraduate architecture program, Williamson will assume his new role on August 1.  After receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Tech, Williamson went on to earn his graduate degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and studied at the Architectural Association of London. An associate professor of architecture at Cornell University, Williamson has also taught at Harvard, the Rhode Island School of Design, Rice University, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Columbia…