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Notes on the Jury by MICHAEL MALONE, AIA




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ON MAY 20, THE 2011 DESIGN AWARDS JURY MET to review the 257 entries submitted in this year’s program. The distinguished jury consisted of three exceptional professionals with diverse practice and professional experiences, along with a considerable love of architecture and design. The jurors – David Salmela, FAIA, from Duluth, Minn.; Steve Dumez, FAIA, of New Orleans; and James Russell, FAIA, of New York – worked well together and with a few exceptions challenged and debated all of the final selections in a candid and interesting way. Salmela is known for his primarily residential practice and the creation of lyrical and rigorous compositions, exquisitely detailed. Dumez works at a larger, more institutional scale and has found a way to integrate fresh and contemporary sensibilities into a traditional Southern context. Russell, author of the recently published The Agile City, is known for his insightful urban commentary that he brings to his role as architecture critic for Bloomberg News. It was a revelation to watch them work and to hear their comments and insights on the projects under consideration. They spent nearly nine hours working through the entries. The entire time was filled with the jurors either reviewing or discussing the submitted projects, and several times they expressed the difficulty in choosing the winners—a confirmation of the elevated level at which architecture is practiced here in Texas. Those of us who have participated in this jury process for several years hear firsthand from the jurors each year their amazement at the quality of the work entered. It’s no surprise to us, because we live and work here and expect a high level of quality on the creation of the built environment. The winning projects were diverse and represented several geographic areas of our state and in three other states, as well as one in Kenya. Collectively, they illustrated the increasing role that architects from Texas play in the globalized forum of design. Two awards were won by firms outside of Texas who have made significant contributions to the state’s cultural and educational built environ-

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2011: Design Awards