News and Events

The Texas Society of Architects invites you to explore our News and Events section, as well as the rest of our site, to learn more about the people, places, and issues that compose the voice for Texas architecture

Photo Courtesy Scott O Monaco

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.

July 22, 2012

Texas Governor's Mansion Finally Restored

Governor Rick Perry announced on Thursday that the 156- year-old Texas Governor’s Mansion has been fully restored. In October 2007, the mansion underwent deferred maintenance to replace plumbing and electrical systems, install indoor fire sprinklers, and improve handicap accessibility. On June 8, 2008, an unidentified arsonist threw a Molotov cocktail on the front porch causing catastrophic damage. The Governor's Mansion is slated as one of the tours (sold-out) during the Texas Society of Architects October Convention in Austin.

July 20, 2012

AIA Dallas Women in Architecture Competition

The AIA Dallas Women in Architecture Committee announces its 2nd Annual Express Yourself Competition as an opportunity for women architects and designers in Texas to showcase their art and design work. Winners in three categories will be formally announced the weekend of the Texas Architects Convention n Austin, Oct. 18-20. Deadline to register for the competition is August 8. Submission deadline is Sept. 4.

July 19, 2012

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.

July 13, 2012

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.

July 12, 2012

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.

July 12, 2012

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.

July 11, 2012

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.

July 10, 2012

2012 Texas Student Biennial Exhibition

The Architecture Center Houston and AIA Houston present the 2012 Texas Student Biennial Exhibition, July 26 - September 7. The exhibit will feature work from the eight accredited schools of architecture in Texas. On Display will be project boards, slide shows, and architectural models. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m, at Architecture Center Houston, and a Dean's Roundtable Discussion is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 7, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

July 09, 2012

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.

July 02, 2012

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.

June 29, 2012

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.

June 28, 2012

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?

June 25, 2012

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.

June 19, 2012

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.

June 18, 2012

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.

June 12, 2012

KUT Podcast: The Legacy of John Saunders Chase

On this edition of KUT radio's "In Black America," producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late John Saunders Chase, the first African American graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and the first African American President of The Texas Exes. Chase was a pioneering architect who broke barriers in Texas and elsewhere.

June 11, 2012

13 Receive 2012 Design Awards

Thirteen projects were selected for 2012 Texas Society of Architects Design Awards from a total of 227 entries. Winning projects will be featured in the Sept/Oct issue of Texas Architect magazine. Jurors were Angie Brooks, AIA, LEED AP, of Brooks + Scarpa, Los Angeles; Eddie Jones, AIA, of Jones Studio, Phoenix, Ariz.; and James Timberlake, FAIA, of KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia.

June 08, 2012

Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest: Deadline June 22

Architectural Record invites licensed architects or related professionals who practice in the United States to enter its napkin sketching contest. All you need is a white cocktail napkin and pen to demonstrate that the art of the sketch is still alive.

June 05, 2012

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.

June 04, 2012

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.

June 01, 2012

AIA 2012 Institute Update: The Road Ahead

In the May 19 AIA Business Meeting at the AIA Convention in Washington, D.C, EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, began his presentation with the simple idea that now is a time of profound change within the Institute and beyond, as evidenced by the ambitious repositioning effort the AIA announced in April, the demographic transitions that will soon remake the AIA’s membership base, and the still-struggling economy that has left architects unmoored in an unstable financial climate for the last few years.

May 25, 2012

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."

May 21, 2012

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.

May 15, 2012

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?

May 15, 2012

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.

May 08, 2012

Bungalow Modern

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.

May 07, 2012

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.

May 07, 2012

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.

May 02, 2012

Texas Firms among AIA COTE Award Winners

On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA–COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlight community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners.

May 01, 2012

Mexic-Arte seeking $10 million from city for new downtown building

Saying that they want to bring a $30 million iconic building to a prominent downtown corner, backers of Mexic-Arte Museum are asking the City of Austin for $10 million in bond money to be included in the November bond election. The conceptual architecture plans are by Mexican architect Fernando Romero with Austin architect and Texas Society of Architects member Juan Cotera, FAIA, as the architect of record.

May 01, 2012

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.

April 30, 2012

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."

April 30, 2012

Live First, Work Second: Inside the Head of the Next Generation

With advancements in technology and a new generation of creatives juggling busy personal and professional lives, Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting discusses how organizations and institutions can bridge generation gaps to invigorate and improve leadership, and spearhead intelligent dialogue about creativity, innovation, and community development. A keynote speaker at the Texas Architects 2011 Convention in Dallas, Ryan was interviewed by architect Jeramie Rittiluechai, AIA, before giving an address to a standing-room only crowd. Listen to a podcast of the interview here.

April 30, 2012

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.

April 23, 2012

AIA Houston Design Awards

AIA Houston’s 2012 Design Awards competition resulted in recognition for 21 projects in eight categories out of a total of 127 entries. Eligibility was limited to projects completed within the last five years and located within the Houston metropolitan area or designed by an architect working in the Houston metropolitan area.

April 22, 2012

Influence and Impact Members Only

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.

April 16, 2012

Wilson Announces Candidacy

Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, is a candidate in the Republican primary for Texas House District 43. If elected, Wilson will be the first practicing architect to serve in the Texas Legislature in twenty-eight years. Pundits have labeled this one of the year’s five most interesting GOP primary races in Texas because of the defection of the incumbent representative from the Democratic to Republican Party.

April 13, 2012

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.

April 12, 2012

Advocacy Update April 2012 Members Only

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.

April 12, 2012

Design Competition: Call for Entries

Presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, the Sukkah City Austin Design Competition is open to students, professional artists, architects and designers of all faiths and backgrounds in the State of Texas and Israel, working in teams or as individuals. Registration opens July 9 and submissions are due August 8.

April 11, 2012

Texas Architects Committee Update Members Only

The Texas Architects Committee (TAC) update as of February 2012.

April 02, 2012

Member News Members Only

April 2012

April 01, 2012

Designed to Connect: Twitter for Architects

There is a large amount of buzz about social media these days. In the field of architecture and design, it is no different. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and many more are actively growing their usage in professional applications. Should you join the social media scene? What are the benefits? Are there drawbacks? What is the best way to go about establishing a social media presence on the Web?

March 27, 2012

Buildings and Landscapes and Xylophones

In 2010 Lake|Flato completed work on the renovation of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Since its opening, the new facility has been getting a lot of use from its clever inhabitants who are continually exploring their building's capacity for exhibiting and generating art, both in ways it was designed for and also in ways that the design team never could have predicted.

March 26, 2012

Conference Emphasizes Practice in the Hinterlands

In February, a group of designers gathered in Midland to consider the challenges of producing top-flight architecture in a place far removed from the state’s larger urban areas. The event, dubbed “Architecture in the Hinterlands,” included an address by acclaimed Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons that featured his work in remote Nova Scotia. View a video recap of the weekend here.

March 21, 2012

Gulf Coast Green 2012: A Delicate Balance

Organized by the AIA Houston Committee on the Environment, the 2012 Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo takes place May 1 in Houston. After six successful years, the event has proven to be the leading green building conference targeted to design and construction professionals within the Gulf Coast region.

March 19, 2012

Piano's Expansion of Kimbell Museum Takes Shape

As museum workers and curators install last-minute touches for "The Age of Impressionism" exhibit opening Sunday, Kimbell Art Museum Director Eric M. Lee has one eye turned to the installation occurring outside.

March 14, 2012

Hundreds Convene in D.C. for AIA Grassroots

Last week, 2012 Texas Architects President Craig Reynolds, FAIA, convened in D.C. with hundreds of American Institute of Architects members and staff to talk with elected representatives on Capitol Hill. Read his comments here.

March 12, 2012

Emerging Professionals Roundtable

In February, Associate leaders gathered in Austin for a two-day event to explore issues that emerging professionals face in their career development and how these can be addressed. Also part of the discussion were future challenges and opportunities.

March 10, 2012
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