Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards

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Texas Society of Architects’

Design Awards 2007 by Bryce A. Weigand, FAIA


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Nonetheless, the jury process continues to celebrate those projects which do convey in a transcendent kind of way the best hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the individual or institute which authorized their creation. The Design Awards program – however antiquated or benign to the impact of our city-making – is still one of the best ways we as architects can communicate to the public and ourselves that good design can make a difference. This year’s jury was comprised of Peter Bohlin, FAIA, of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.; Walter Hood, ASLA, of Hood Design in Oakland, Calif.; and Brigette Shim, International AIA, of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in Toronto, Ontario. A most congenial trio, they selected 13 projects to be awarded from the 243

Photos by Ashley St. Clair

Having observed this year’s Design Awards jury, I have several thoughts. One is, why doesn’t the Texas landscape/cityscape reflect more significantly the fine work that Texas architects submitted in this year’s design award program? There were 243 entries this year and the work is substantial. Secondly, why do architects continue to have such a difficult time portraying the charm and delight of these projects or the impact they have on a collective physical setting? Stated another way, why do our cityscapes continue to convey a notion of being in Anywhere, USA, when seemingly very good work is being generated? Even if prominently displayed along the freeways where we might see them, these projects would certainly only make a minor dent in the vista.

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