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2012 Convention Updates
The Texas Society of Architects is committed to delivering the best possible opportunities for members and the design community at its 73rd Annual Convention and Design Expo in Austin, Oct. 18-20. Texas Architects has recently added two new Continuing Education sessions and a schedule update to the convention program to help attendees get the most out of their convention experience. View those updates here.
Light Craft: Art and Architecture Merge at Rice
Anchoring the western end of Rice University's main quad in Houston, James Turrell's new 118-foot-square Skyspace emerges from the earth in front of the monolithic Shepherd School of Music. “This is architecture that light and space makes,” explains the artist. When the sun illuminates the atmosphere, you can't see through it to view the stars that are there, he points out. “Light not only reveals, it also obscures—so you can actually build a space with it. I use light and architecture in that way: to limit space and to reveal it, either way.”
How 99% Invisible is Changing Public Radio
"Covering design on the radio can be a challenge for obvious reasons, but being audio-only is usually a constraint that works in my favor," says Roman Mars. Mars is the creator and host of the hugely inventive podcast 99% Invisible, which treats the design of everyday things like a forensic science. In each episode, Mars (keynote speaker for 2012 Texas Architects Convention) highlights some nearly invisible design process that you had no idea was incredibly interesting and then tells you why it is.
Advocacy Update: August 2012
This advocacy update includes topics related to improving the economic viability of firms going after government work; TBAE's Sunset review, which began July 17; the Legislative Leadership Survey; and more.
On the Road with Alexis McKinney, AIA, LEED AP
For Alexis McKinney, AIA, the “road to registration” has led to the past. And today, her interest in historic preservation has led to downtown Houston, where McKinney and colleague Gerald Moorhead, FAIA, peruse two historic houses (1904 and 1905) that have been “mothballed” and relocated to a dramatic site yards from the city’s 42,000-seat baseball stadium. The project is one of several McKinney is working on.
99% Invisible: The Speed of Light for Building Pyramids
This episode of 99% Invisible, produced byTexas Architects 2012 convention keynote speaker Roman Mars, features the research of Steve Burrows CBE, who spent several weeks in Egypt studying the pyramids through the eyes of a modern day structural engineer. The result presented fascinating insights into the design of the pyramids and offers some lessons in how we may think about sustainability through longevity in modern architecture.
Registration Opens July 11 for Texas Architects Convention
Online registration is open for the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin. This year, the convention’s theme is “Influence.” Keynote speakers are Robert Hammond, co-founder and co-executive director of Friends of the High Line – a public park built above an abandoned, elevated rail line in New York — and Roman Mars, award-winning host and radio producer of 99% Invisible.
Architecture Firm Websites: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Websites are a vital marketing tool. Unless you’re a superstar design firm, steer clear of archi-speak and tricky graphics. Users want a site that is clean and simple.
Designed to Connect: LinkedIn for Architects
Popular social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, all have their uses. Of the three, LinkedIn has retained an air of professionalism and restraint compared with the more informal information-sharing that takes place among “friends” and “followers” on Facebook and Twitter. Yet, LinkedIn manages to produce a lot of noise – a consistent hum. So how can we, as architectural professionals, effectively communicate a message about architecture that rises above that hum?
A Texas Architect: The life and work of O’Neil Ford
The blend of modernism and Texas traditionalism evident in some of Denton’s most iconic buildings can be attributed to the singular style of O’Neil Ford, a longtime Denton resident who was one of the most renowned and prominent architects in the U.S. In his lifetime, Ford was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Lyndon B. Johnson and remains the only human to ever be given the title of National Historic Landmark.
The AIA is Defined by Its Membership, It's Up to You to Help Direct It
In the following article, Michael Cowan, AIA, past president of AIA Austin and its current chapter director, discusses the value and benefits of AIA membership versus the cost.
New Book Highlights Noted Courthouse Architect
Most Texans have seen his buildings. They picturesquely loom over the square in numerous county seats from La Grange to Gonzales. Now, James Riely Gordon, who designed some of the most elaborate courthouses in the nation, is getting his due with a new book by Chris Meister, "James Riely Gordon: His Courthouses and Other Public Architecture."
Beyond LEED: The Importance of Creating Living Buildings
The Living Building Standard results in some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly structures around. It’s also incredibly difficult to achieve. Is it truly changing the way we design buildings?
Turrell Skyspace Opens in June at Rice University
The Skyspace, by visionary American artist James Turrell with Thomas Phifer (Thomas Phifer and Partners architects), opens in mid June on the Rice University campus, giving Houston its third major piece by Turrell. Shunning the physicality of paint and sculpture, Turrell was among the pioneers of the Light and Space movement in the late 1960s.
In Austin’s richly diverse and energetic East Side neighborhoods, a rebirth is taking place. The addition of the Heywood Hotel on East Cesar Chavez Street represents the latest addition to a burgeoning and thriving East Side culture. Nestled comfortably among the barbecue joints, tacquerias and local shops that have so far eluded big-box homogenization, the hotel builds respectfully on the neighborhood’s considerable charms.
99% Invisible: Design for Airports
In this episode of the radio program 99% Invisible, host and producer Roman Mars discusses airport design with Allison Arieff of the New York Times. Using the new T2 terminal at SFO as an example, Arieff talks through some of the considerations that go into designing an airport terminal, how the priorities have changed since 9/11, and how architects struggle to keep pace with ever-changing technology.
Advocacy: Architects Fight for U.S. Energy Law
Architects have immeasurable expertise in designing buildings that are practical, energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and above all, safe. The profession therefore has a leading role to play in any debate surrounding policies which impact either the architectural landscape or structure and design issues relating to buildings.
In the Light with Charles K. Thompson, FAIA
It’s a Monday morning at Archillume Lighting Design in Austin. Founder Charles Thompson, FAIA, is just now back from a four-day road trip on his 2009 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. His time on the open road to Big Bend and back has helped to recharge his energy and clear his mind. So he’s ready for whatever awaits him.
Texas Architects Announces 2012 Keynote Speakers
The Texas Society of Architects 2012 Annual Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin, presents two distinguished keynote speakers who will examine the role of design in the context of the convention’s theme "Influence."
Controversy Surrounds Dallas' Museum Tower
An April 18 D Magazine article, "The Towering Inferno: How Museum Tower threatens the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Woodall Rodgers roofdeck park," highlights the issue of reflected heat from Museum Tower's glass facade. The article asks: "How did this happen? How could someone build a $200 million project in the Arts District that is in the process of destroying the very museum it uses in its marketing materials to sell million-dollar condos? Did no one stop to think?" Read the article, and share your opinions on our website.
Influence and Impact
Since the February issue of Checkset, the Architecture Billings Index has produced four consecutive positive months; the unemployment rate in Texas is hovering just above seven percent; and the first Texas Society of Architects design symposium, "Architecture in the Hinterlands," has proved to be a phenomenal success. All are indications of improving times ahead for our profession.
Designed to Connect
In Part Two of "Twitter for Architects," Andrew Hawkins offers tips for using this popular social media platform. The article is part of the Texas Society of Architects New Media Committee series "Designed to Connect," which features monthly articles on www.texasarchitects.org that discuss various digital technologies and media available to architects today.
Advocacy Update April 2012
April 2012 Advocacy Update: Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is first (AIA) architect to run for the Texas Legislature in almost 30 years; new Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) as of March 15; Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation adopted amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 68, as of March 15; and more. Click to read this important bimonthly update.
Advocacy Update June 2012
Election Day brought big news—some good, some bad.
Some very good news was Bill Wilson, FAIA, making a run-off in his race for the HD 43 Republican primary. It’s noteworthy that Wilson ended in a virtual tie with one of the three candidates in that race, especially since he was outspent 3-1 by one—his remaining opponent in the July 31 run-off.
UT Arlington Students Unveil Luminous Sculpture "six. one"
In February, Texas Architect staff visited Assistant Professor Susan Appleton's Senior Interior Design Studio at the UT Arlington School of Architecture to view the installation of a luminous string sculpture, "six. one." The day was documented with photographs, and an article about Appleton and her class appears in the March/April issue of the magazine.