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Illustrious Memorial

AIA Dallas’ KRob delineation competition celebrates 35 years

Illustration courtesy Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition

b y J u l i e n M e y r a t , AIA

Brandon Shigeta’s work won Best in Show in the 2008 Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition. The illustration by Shigeta, a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, was the top selection in the “student digital/mixed” category.

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According to Jack Craycroft, AIA, the idea for an architectural delineation competition and exhibit was partly inspired by the numerous architectural renderings that his firm, Craycroft-Lacy & Partners, produced as a means of selling projects to clients and financial lenders. When Ken Roberts, a young architect responsible for many of these highly accomplished ink renderings left the firm, Craycroft realized how important it was to recognize the contributions of area professionals in the art of architectural delineation. Thirty-five years later, this idea would result in the world’s longest-running architectural drawing competition. During his tenure as AIA Dallas president in 1973, Craycroft tapped his former employee to organize the very first delineation competition. Roberts, a native of Bastrop, La., was seen as a rising star at the time, having recently merged his own firm Roberts-Savage Architects with Clutts & Parker to form Iconoplex, Inc. With the support of Jim Clutts, the 1974 AIA Dallas president, Roberts inaugurated a very successful delineation competition. It showcased dozens of works and testified to the high-level technical mastery in the drawings among young architects in the

Dallas-Fort Worth area. Later that year Roberts, who struggled with a chronic kidney disease, passed away suddenly at the age of 34. Promptly thereafter, the AIA Dallas Executive Committee voted unanimously to rename the new delineation competition in his honor. Craycroft reminds everyone that in addition to remembering Roberts as a delineator, he was moreover “a great designer and even better Architect.” In a written tribute he concluded, “He’s gone now but his influence will live on in those whose lives he touched – not only in the professional sense, but in the way he met adversity – straight on, without complaint. The Ken Roberts Delineation Competition will be a fitting memorial to this young man who might have walked with the giants of our profession.” The Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition (now commonly referred to as “KRob”) soon became an annual event that recognized professionals for excellence in architectural drawing. There would be typically three jurors, featuring reputable architects and faculty from the area as well as throughout the country. A mounted exhibit would Continued on page 100

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