DesCon 2014 Held in Austin This Past Weekend

The Texas Society of Architects hosted our Third Annual Design Conference: Borderlands in Austin this past weekend, Jan. 31–Feb. 2. Over 50 people were in attendance for the three-day event, which was filled with presentations, tours, and stimulating discussions. A gallery of Instagram images (#DesCon2014) shared throughout the weekend by attendees at our 2014 Design Conference: Borderlands. Our presenters included a notable line-up of architects hailing from the lands bordering our state. Rand Elliott, FAIA, of Oklahoma City, Victor Legorreta of Mexico City, Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Victor Trahan, FAIA, of New Orleans, all spoke to the audience…

2013 Design Conference Wrap-Up

The Second Annual Texas Architects Design Conference: Collections was held in Dallas on Feb. 22-24. The event, co-chaired by Michael Malone, AIA, and Mark Wellen, AIA, was based at the Dallas Center for Architecture.  New York architect Thomas Phifer, FAIA, opened the event with a discussion of selected residential and public projects produced by his office. Phifer spoke of “grounding” his work through reflections and transparency, and by blurring the distinction between architecture and landscape. His designs used perforated steel panels, glass, and trellises to filter sunlight, reflect surroundings, and open views to both immediate and distant landscapes.  Phifer also presented…

2014 Design Conference: Borderlands

Our Third Annual Design Conference: Borderlands took place in Austin on January 31–February 2, 2014. You can see the full schedule of events below. To read more about what happened and to see photos from the conference, check out the following reports: Reflections | Design Conference 2014 BLOG | DesCon 2014 Held in Austin   ABOUT THE 2014 DESIGN CONFERENCE Texas is often described as a country unto itself. If it were, it would have the 14th largest economy in the world by GDP (ahead of South Korea and the Netherlands). In the national rankings, our economy sits between those of California and New York.…

Seher Shah’s “Constructed Landscapes”

Artist Seher Shah (b. 1975, Pakistan) discusses the intersection of architecture and drawing in her work. With degrees in art and architecture, Shah’s areas of interest include overlapping historical and geographical elements, reconstructing modernist architecture and urban monuments, and examining futurist landscapes. Austin's AMOA-Arthouse (now The Contemporary Austin) presented Shah’s first solo exhibition, “Constructed Landscapes,” earlier this spring. You attended the Rhode Island School of Design for both visual art and architecture. How do your overlapping degrees translate into your work? I am interested in the effects of rendering a space and how various mapping constructions can be represented through architecture,…

Soo Sunny Park’s “Unwoven Light” Installation at Rice

Suspended from the walls and ceiling, 37 individually sculpted units are arranged as a graceful, twisting flow of abstract form. Entering the gallery there is no set path to follow. Instead, we are invited to meander slowly as one might stroll along a river’'s edge, stopping to admire the glints of light that dance on the water’'s surface. "Unwoven Light" continues Soo Sunny Park'’s ongoing experimentation with the ephemeral qualities of light and how light affects our perceptions of architectural space. Though immaterial, light is a critical structural element in each of Park'’s works. Here, she has utilized both the gallery'’s lighting…

Texas Trailbreak Reception

This month at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver, the Texas Society of Architects will host our annual Texas Trailbreak Reception to honor the 13 new Texan members of the AIA College of Fellows. The Texas Trailbreak Reception will take place on Friday, June 21, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., in Crestone Ballroom B at the Embassy Suites Denver – Downtown/Convention Center. There were 122 architects elevated to the College of Fellows this year, which means Texas possesses over a full tenth of all new Fellows. This is a record number for us and definitely something to celebrate! All the new Fellows will be in attendance,…

Conference Focuses on Sustainable Building Strategies

The newly renovated 1926 Julia Ideson Library served as the setting for the 2013 Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo, which was themed “Create[d] History: Learning from the Past to Guide the Future." The library, designed by Cram & Ferguson and restored by Gensler, was an appropriate and inspiring location —the project is pursuing LEED Silver, or possibly Gold, certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.  The conference program included keynote presentations at the beginning and end of the day, with educational sessions in between. The sessions, which took place in memorable spaces such as the Reading and Meldrum Rooms, were divided into four tracks (residential, site/urban planning, materials and systems, and…

Reimagining Seaholm

The former pump building — not to be confused with the iconic Seaholm Power Plant across Cesar Chavez Street — appears to float gracefully over the water on the north bank of Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. After being in operation since the late 50s, the entire complex was decommissioned in 1996, in preparation for adaptive reuse. Almost 20 years later, as the adjacent Seaholm Redevelopment project breaks ground this month, the time has come for this stand-alone structure to find its role today’s Austin. The various organizations sponsoring the competition will host a series of open houses onsite for the public to…

VIDEO: 20×20 With Michael Malone, AIA

Last fall, the Texas Society of Architects treated our annual convention attendees and the public to our first-ever PechaKucha Night, 20×20@500 Chicon. The event featured nine Texas artists and architects waxing poetic on what inspires them. The full list of presenters included: Elaine Bradford / Houston Artist Michael Ray Charles / Austin Artist Brantley Hightower, AIA / San Antonio Architect Matthew Johnson / Austin Stone Carver Max Levy, FAIA / Dallas Architect Michael Malone, AIA / Dallas Architect Elizabeth Price, AIA / Brenham Architect Larry Speck, FAIA / Austin Architect Steven Tomlinson / Austin Playwright Click on the video above to watch the…

Artworks by Renowned Artist Sol LeWitt Come to Austin

Landmarks has added two new Sol LeWitt artworks to the public art collection of The University of Texas. The monumental pieces are located at the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall.  At the Speedway entrance to the complex, the concrete block structure Circle with Towers provides the community with an opportunity to interact with world-class art. Inside the building Wall Drawing #520 depicts brightly-colored floating cubes on three walls leading to the auditorium of the complex.  Sol LeWitt is recognized as a pioneer of minimal and conceptual art. His pieces are found in noteworthy museums worldwide,…