News Larry Speck, FAIA, former dean of the UT Austin School of Architecture and 2013 Texas Architects president, engages Dean Sarah Whiting of Rice during Architecture Center Houston’s second Texas Student Biennial Exhibition September 7.
Calendar East Austin Studio Tour Nov. 8-18 www.eastaustinstudiotour.com The free self-guided tour celebrates east Austin’s creative culture, with studios open for ten days to offer behind-the-scenes explorations of the work of hundreds of artists. This year’s E.A.S.T. is the eleventh annual event.
DAF Lecture Series: Michael Lehrer, FAIA by Ardis Clinton, AIA
As the culmination of its second Texas Student Biennial Exhibition, Architecture Center Houston (ArCH) hosted a Deans’ Roundtable Discussion September 7 featuring the deans or department heads of all eight accredited schools of architecture in Texas to discuss the state of architectural education. Texas Society of Architects President-elect and former UT Austin School of Architecture Dean Larry Speck, FAIA, moderated the discussion and opened with a national statistic that only 35% of architecture faculty are registered architects. In Texas, some 47% are registered. And of the eight panelists at this roundtable, only three are registered, thus raising the question, “What are the appropriate credentials to teach professional architecture?” The group collectively argued that the statistic is misleading in that it does not account for those engaged in various aspects of the profession without registration nor who hold other professional degrees and therefore does not provide a direct correlation to competency as a teacher. Panelists observed that, unlike legal and medical degrees, architecture is offered as an undergraduate professional program and includes a diverse curriculum providing opportunities in other fields such as art, engineering, construction, and planning. The multifaceted nature of the architecture profession is part of what makes practice compelling, and many faculty choose to devote a career to these more specific areas rather than to a traditional practice. Dean Sarah Whiting of Rice University argued further that the importance of broad licensure in the profession is brought into question by the common practice model in which individuals may work under a licensed architect without significant incentive to become registered. The panelists
10 Texas Architect
Nov. 29 dallasarchitectureforum.org The Dallas Architecture Forum 2012-13 Lecture Series continues with Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, of Lehrer Architects LA, Los Angeles, Calif. Leh-
The panelists concurred that the success of a faculty member cannot be gauged strictly by a collection of professional accomplishments. A student audience member prompted the next topic, “How can schools better bridge the gap to prepare students for entering practice?” The panelists’ response focused on the reality that a constant resource of available internship positions is a challenge for the profession because of its susceptibility to fluctuations in the economy. The final topic of discussion was the ability of architectural education to respond to the technology-minded next generation. All agreed that university policies and their adoption rate for new technology — as well as funding hurdles for higher education in general — heavily influence architecture programs, and do not always match technological trends in the profession. It was suggested that, given the challenges in keeping pace with technology, a more pertinent strategy may be to focus on meeting evolving client demands. Strategies such as creating a hybrid program of professional interface and distance learning are being considered to retool the typical studio toward the modern client. Ardis Clinton, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is an Associate with the Perkins+Will Houston office and a leader for its Higher Education studio.
rer founded his practice in 1985. His work ranges from the intimate to the monumental, carefully incorporating concepts of light and space within an environmentally responsible context. The firm’s work encompasses a wide range of institutional, commercial, industrial, residential and urban design projects. The lecture will be held at The Magnolia Theatre, West Village.
Second Annual Design Conference Feb. 22-24 www.texasarchitects.org The Second Annual Texas Architects Design Conference, Feb. 22-24, in Dallas features speakers Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi of Weiss Manfredi Architects in New York. The three-day event includes tours with access to private homes, offices, and several recentlycompleted high-profile projects in Dallas. Attendance is limited, so register now to reserve a spot. See article on page 8 for details.
Student BiEnnial photo courtesy ArCH; Lehrer photo Courtesy Lehrerarchitects LA; Design Conference Image Courtesy Morphosis Architects
ArCH Hosts Deans’ Roundtable
concurred that the success of a faculty member cannot be gauged strictly by a collection of professional accomplishments. They maintained that faculty evaluation must also consider commitment to the academic institution, as well as qualities that relate to teaching, such as being engaged with students and energetic in their approach.