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President's Column: Grand Opening!
We have all been there: the celebratory ribbon cutting of one of our architectural endeavors; watching the exhilaration of the new home owner, once the construction debris has been abated, crossing the threshold for the first time; the students filing into class on the late August day in awe of their new surroundings; or the board or council congratulating one another with their acclamations having brought a new amenity to their constituents.
October 10 Deadline to Buy Convention Event Tickets Online
October 10 is the last day to buy convention event tickets online. After that date, some event tickets will still be available onsite. (Tickets for the Texas Architects Awards Luncheon and the Lunch with Exhibitors must be purchased by Oct. 10.) Don’t miss out on some of the most exciting Texas Architects receptions and celebrations!
When Worlds Collide: ADA and LEED
Texas Society of Architects is offering a record 91 Continuing Education opportunities this year during its Austin convention and is also offering GBCI and LEED-specific credit for the very first year! One standout class, "When Worlds Collide: ADA and LEED," offers ADA; Health, Safety and Welfare; Sustainable Design; and LEED-specific credit.
Survey Predicts Architect Shortage by 2014
The recession decimated the architecture profession, with firms closing or laying off large numbers of employees, architects left jobless for months or years, and many leaving the profession entirely. But a survey recently conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction (Record’s parent company) came to the counterintuitive conclusion that some U.S. firms expect a shortage of qualified designers to meet their workloads by 2014.
AIA Austin Homes Tour: October 6 and 7
AIA Austin is holding its 26th Annual Homes Tour, Oct. 6 - 7, which showcases 13 new and newly-renovated homes from across the Austin area. The two-day self-guided tour celebrates the diverse and stunning design talent of Austin’s local architects, with both traditional and contemporary designs that span from modest to means.
2013 Leadership Nominees
Election of Texas Architects' 2013 leadership takes place at the Annual Business Session, Thursday, October 18, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM (revised time) at the Austin Convention Center in conjunction with the Texas Society of Architects 73rd Annual Convention & Design Expo. The Nominating Committee has prepared the slate of qualified nominees for the 2013 officer and at-large director vacancies due to occur, and three nominees to serve as voting members of the 2013 Nominating Committee.
2012 Texas Architectural Foundation Scholarships
The Texas Architectural Foundation (TAF) issued 59 awards totaling $71,750 to students and Texas Universities for the 2012-13 academic year. The eight universities with accredited architecture programs include: Prairie View A&M University; Texas A&M University; Rice University; Texas Tech University; University of Houston; University of Texas at Austin; University of Texas at Arlington; and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Waller Creek Designs Unveiled
Four finalists in a design competition to re-imagine downtown Austin's Waller Creek have unveiled their visions for 15 blocks along the creek, from Waterloo Park to Lady Bird Lake.The designs are ambitious, incorporating grand architectural flourishes and broad public spaces, all emphasizing a natural environment of water and trees. Any of the four designs, if built, would likely become instant destinations, on par with Manhattan’s High Line and Chicago’s Millennium Park.
2012 Texas Architects Career Fair & Interview Day
The Texas Society of Architects (Texas Architects) hosts its first Career Fair & Interview Day on Saturday, October 20, at the Austin Convention Center. The free event is held in conjunction with the Texas Architects 73rd Annual Convention & Design Expo. Architecture students and Associate and Intern members are encouraged to attend, and Texas Architects members are invited to recruit.
Tour the Circuit of the Americas with AIA Austin
In partnership with the Texas Society of Architects, AIA Austin is offering a rare and unique opportunity for attendees of the Texas Architects 73rd Convention and Design Expo: the chance to tour Austin’s fabulous new Circuit of the Americas mere weeks before it opens!
After Tuscany: Rediscovering Home
"At once wistful and thought-provoking, light-hearted and profound.” That is how Dallas architect and contributing editor Max Levy, FAIA, described the set of Italy/Texas photo collages published in the Backpage section of the Sept/Oct issue of Texas Architect. We agree with Max that the images, created by UT School of Architecture student Emily Wiegand, are fascinating.
Department of State Overseas Buildings Operations Announces Two IDIQ Design Services Solicitations
The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations has announced two Indefinite Quantity Indefinite Delivery (IDIQ) design services solicitations for worldwide new construction and rehabilitation and renovation.
Building the Belo Center for New Media in Two Minutes
Watch the two-year construction of the University of Texas at Austin's Belo Center for New Media in this two-minute time-lapse video. The project was designed by the Lawrence Group. Located at the northeast corner of Dean Keeton and Guadalupe streets, the Belo Center provides interactive classrooms and meeting space for more than 4,200 students in the college and houses the adjacent KUT Public Media Studios.
A&M Students to Design, Build Home for Housing Needs Initiative
In an initiative that addresses the profound societal challenges of meeting the housing needs of the estimated nine billion people that will be on the planet by 2050 while simultaneously reducing buildings’ energy use, students from all disciplines at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture will design and build a single-family residence during the 2012-2013 academic year. The project is part of A&M’s new college-wide Real Projects initiative.
Designed to Connect: Video Conferencing with Skype
Is Your Firm Still Using a Soup Can to Communicate?
Video conferencing, such as Skype, can bring benefits to your firm.
Like the child’s game of telephone with two cans on a string, our methods of communication develop as we get older and seek improved methods. Video conferencing, the ability to see and speak to someone across the Internet, is something that in the past only appeared in movies like the Terminator or Minority Report.
Texas Architects Convention Offers ARE Study Classes
Texas Architects and AIA Austin are offering three specialized study classes on the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) during the Texas Society of Architects 73rd Annual Convention and Design Expo, Oct. 18-20, in Austin. If you’re an associate member and have graduated from an accredited school of architecture in the past seven years, access to these courses is free if you register for the convention by Sept. 11.
Congress Avenue: A Laboratory of Learning
Don't miss an opportunity to participate in a walking tour of Congress Avenue during the Texas Architects 73rd Annual Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin. Jana McCann, AIA, will lead tour attendees from the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge to the Old Bakery just south of the Capitol.
Texas Architects Design Expo: October 18 &19, 2012
On Thursday, October 18, the Texas Architects Design Expo will open at 3:30 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. See the newest innovations in building materials, design technology, construction services, and more. Check in with a favorite supplier, share information, or look for the idea that can make your practice cutting edge. The Expo will open again on Friday at 11:00 a.m and run until 5:30 p.m.
DCFA Hosts Exhibit on Architecture and Water Conservation
The Dallas Center for Architecture (DCFA) hosts the exhibit “Design By The Gallon: Architecture and Water Conservation,” which examines the environmental and human-generated circumstances that have put us in a dire situation. In 2011, an average of 14.8 inches of water fell across the entire state, making it the driest year in Texas history. In October 2011, 88% of the state was classified as being in “exceptional drought.” Looking at a series of architect-designed solutions, the show provides context and possibilities for changing our drought-stricken future.
UT Arlington and Dallas Morning News Create Joint Architecture Professor-Critic Position
The University of Texas at Arlington and The Dallas Morning News are partnering in an innovative joint appointment of a School of Architecture faculty member who also will serve as architecture critic for the news organization. The initial appointment will be for three years, renewable and split evenly between the News and UT Arlington.
Fort Worth's Historic Fuller House Likely to Escape Wrecking Ball
A one-of-a-kind "geometric" house built by an oilman and his wife almost 60 years ago, featuring rooms of various shapes, will apparently escape the wrecking ball. The 8,400-square-foot Andrew Fuller House, designed by noted California architect A. Quincy Jones, was sold Friday to a Fort Worth couple, according to the previous owner and the real estate agent.
Lines of Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue
A few weeks ago, I was with a number of Texas Architects colleagues in the center of an active pedestrian mall on the campus of Portland State University, when two puzzling issues became apparent: 1) It was 75 degrees in late July, and 2) we were standing in mass on a commuter rail line.
Fireside Chats for Emerging Professionals
Texas Architects presents Fireside Chats at the Society's 73rd Annual Convention in Austin, Oct. 18-20. Architecture's Emerging Professionals are invited to attend roundtable-style conversations with Frank Welch, FAIA; Max Levy, FAIA; Val Glitsch, FAIA; Larry Speck, FAIA; and Ted Flato, FAIA. If you're an emerging professional or architecture student looking for career advice, design insight, or thoughts about the future of Texas architecture, register to attend the Fireside Chats!
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.
2012 AIA Austin Design Awards
AIA Austin’s 2012 Design Awards competition resulted in recognition for 15 projects in three categories out of a total of 112 entries.
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.
Rethinking Historic Buildings through a Green Lens
The construction and operation of buildings accounts for almost 50% of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Reusing what we have – buildings, landscapes, communities – is the best way is the best way to reduce these emissions and to make the biggest impact in controlling climate change. Attend the Texas Architects Convention in October and hear noted architect, planner, and historian Barbara Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP, share her experience and work developing national sustainability policies, integrating cultural and preservation metrics into the LEED rating systems, and discussing past and current sustainable preservation projects.
New Federal Courthouse Hard-Hat Tour
Designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, the new U.S. Courthouse in Austin occupies a full city block directly west of Republic Square Park. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to see the new courthouse just before occupancy by registering to attend the Texas Society of Architects Annual Convention and Design Expo, Oct. 18-20, at the Austin Convention Center. Weeks after this hard-hat tour, the courthouse will be locked down by security, and no one else will have the same freedom to experience the courthouse’s beautifully crafted interiors.
The Hodge Orr Residence
The Hodge Orr House, designed by David Webster George, FAIA, in collaboration with Jim Wheeler, AIA, is a reminder that a well-planned house can be both gracious and architecturally arresting, while still embodying principles of restraint and blending into the features of the site.
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?
Texas Courthouses on List of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
On June 6, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) released its 2012 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The list includes Texas Courthouses. NTHP, a private nonprofit organization, has produced the annual list for 25 years, drawing attention to more than 230 sites—including buildings, landscapes, and entire communities—that risk destruction or significant damage.
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.
Think twice before you speak. How often have those words resounded in your head before you launch into a presentation, lecture, conversation, or rebuttal? Words, tone, and inflection are our tools for influencing others with our passion and knowledge of architecture. What we say is an opportunity to educate opinions as to the importance of the built environment on a community’s vitality and well being.
Call for Volunteer Leaders
The Texas Society of Architects invites its members to contribute to the profession through volunteer service. The 2012 Nominating Committee is seeking diverse candidates for the open 2013 leadership positions—officers and at-large directors to serve on the Texas Society of Architects Board of Directors.
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.
Austin Historical Survey Wiki
The City of Austin Historic Preservation Office has been working in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin (UT) School of Architecture Historic Preservation program to develop a participatory, wiki-inspired web application to support the comprehensive survey of Austin's historic resources. The community launch takes place June 4.
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."
The Urban Conspiracy Theory
UT Austin grad Stephen Balut, an artist and architectural designer in Charlottesville, is encouraging his community to think outside the box. That's why, for the entire month of May, he's living inside a box on the downtown mall. His goal is to shatter traditional notions of what constitutes living space, and he wants you right there with him.
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?