The Voice for Texas Architecture

Design Conference History

This annual forum explores design and creative thinking with the ultimate goal of inspiring new notions and approaches to the making of buildings and places.

Design Conference History

This annual forum explores design and creative thinking with the ultimate goal of inspiring new notions and approaches to the making of buildings and places.

Ten years ago, Michael Malone, FAIA, and Mark Wellen, FAIA, led the establishment of the Texas Society of Architects Design Conference. This annual forum explores design and creative thinking with the ultimate goal of inspiring new notions and approaches to the making of buildings and places.

Over an extended weekend, three to four speakers, selected for their relation to a central theme, share their work, ideas, and experiences with 80 to 100 architects. A highlight of the weekend is the informal time the group spends together, sharing meals and visiting sites of architectural interest, while sharing stories and forging new relationships.

A sense of purpose and humility pervade the work of the speakers at these conferences. Their personal stories, memories, and details of journeys taken illuminate the work they share, which reflects a reverence for the land and a keen understanding of human nature.

Past Conferences

2020 Design Conference

Passage
El Paso | February 28 – March 1

Speakers
  • Jorge Ambrosi, AMBROSI | ETCHEGRAY (Mexico City)
  • Jorge Gracia, GRACIASTUDIO (Tijuana)
  • Elaine Molinar, AIA, Snøhetta (New York)
  • William Palmore, New York Institute of Technology (Long Island)

2019 Design Conference

Unexpected
Tulsa/Bartlesville OK | February 22-24

Speakers
  • Hans Butzer, Professor, OU School of Architecture (Norman)

  • Wendy Evans Joseph, FAIA, Studio Joseph (New York)

  • Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, Johnsen Schmaling Architects (Milwaukee)

2018 Design Conference

Other Worlds – Chasing the Light & Other Mysteries
Houston | February 16–18

Speakers
  • Timothy Morton, ​Rice University (Houston)
  • Linnaea Tillet, Tillett Lighting Design Associates (New York)
  • Nic Lehoux, Nic Lehoux Architectural Photography (Vancouver)

2017 Design Conference

Clarity
Marfa | February 24–26

Speakers
  • Carlos Jiménez, ​Carlos Jiménez Studio (Houston)
  • Rick Joy, FAIA, Rick Joy Architects (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Christine Ten Eyck, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects (Austin)

2016 Design Conference

Designing + Building
Amarillo/Palo Duro Canyon | February 12–14​

Speakers
  • Andrew Freear, ​Rural Studio (Newbern, Alabama)
  • Cade Hayes and Jesús Robles, Jr., D U S T (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Dan Rockhill, Rockhill and Associates/Studio 804 (Lecompton/Lawrence, Kansas

2015 Design Conference

Craft
Denton | February 27–March 1​

Speakers
  • Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Kundig Architects (Seattle)
  • Dr. Kathryn O’Rourke, Trinity University (San Antonio)
  • David Salmela, FAIA, Salmela Architect (Duluth, Minnesota)

2014 Design Conference

Borderlands
Austin | January 31–February 2

Speakers
  • Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Marlon Blackwell Architect (Fayetteville, Ark.)
  • Rand Elliott, FAIA, Elliott + Associates Architects (Oklahoma City)
  • Victor Legorreta, Legorreta + Legorreta (Mexico City)
  • Victor Trahan, FAIA, Trahan Architects (New Orleans)

2013 Design Conference

Collections
Dallas | February 22–24

Speakers
  • Marion Weiss, FAIA, and Michael Manfredi, FAIA, Weiss/Manfredi (New York City)
  • Thomas Phifer, FAIA, Thomas Phifer and Partners (New York City

2012 Design Conference

Architecture in the Hinterlands
Midland | February 17–18

Speakers
  • Brian MacKay-Lyons, Hon. FAIA, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • Edward Bosley, Executive Director, Gamble House (Pasadena, California)