PDR applied its workplace research in the firm’s downtown headquarters. The project is one of the 17 interiors featured in the “Houston Interior Designers” exhibit.
AIA Houston and IIDA Collaborate on Interior Design Exhibit
The work of Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958) was the focus of a recent exhibit at the University of Texas Harry Ransom Center (HRC). Bel Geddes’ vision shaped much of early modern America,
On January 24, Architecture Center Houston hosted the opening reception for “Houston Interior Designers – How Texans Touched the World.” The exhibit, which runs through March 22, is a juried exhibition of the work of member firms of the American Institute of Architects and the International Interior Design Association. This is the first time AIA and IIDA have collaborated on a showing of member works. The exhibit features 17 projects by eight firms selected from a pool of 40 projects submitted in the categories of cultural/arts, healthcare, hospitality, mixed use, retail, and workplace/offices. It also features highlights from the interior design programs at the University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington, and University of Texas at San Antonio.
The collection captured his vision of the future and his fundamental belief in the coexistence of art and architecture. and his work ranged from the design of smallerscale stage sets, costumes, and lighting to the creation of theater buildings, offices, nightclubs, and houses. Images, sketches, and models of his Futurama exhibit featured at the General Motors pavilion of the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair, were a highlight of the installation. A prolific draftsman, artist, and writer, the collection of Bel Geddes work — much of which is part of the HRC collection — captured his vision of the future and his fundamental belief in the coexistence of art and architecture. The HRC exhibit was organized by Donald Abrecht, Cathy Henderson, and Helen Bear. It will travel to the Museum of the City of New York in the fall of 2013.
12 Texas Architect
executive director of AIA Houston, commented that the exhibit has been very well received, particularly since this is the first time the organization has presented an interi-
ors exhibit. “The opening was a huge success, drawing AIA members that we haven’t seen at openings in the past and members of the interior design community that don’t normally participate here,” said Bienvenue. He noted the special support shown by UH’s interior design program — Director of Interior Architecture and Assistant Professor Gregory Marinic brought every student in the program with him to the exhibit’s opening. Said Bienvenue: “We will definitely be doing this again and are considering making this a biennial project. It has also spurred us to begin
The exhibit has spurred us to begin thinking about ways we can partner with the IIDA on other programs and events. thinking about ways we can partner with the IIDA on other programs and events.” The firms represented by the selected works include Gensler, Kirksey Architects, PageSoutherlandPage, Morris Architects, M Moser Associates, Planning Design Research, Powers Brown Architecture, and RdlR Architects. In conjunction with the exhibit, Architecture Center Houston held a series of talks featuring interior design legends Margaret McCurry, FAIA, and Margo Grant Walsh. A panel discussion about the future of interiors education is scheduled for March. Visit www.aiahouston. org or contact Associate Director Mat Wolff at (713) 520-0155 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
PHOTOS COURTESY THE EDITH LUTYENS AND NORMAN BEL GEDDES FOUNDATION / HARRY RANSOM CENTER AND SCOTT MCDONALD OF HEDRICH BLESSING
“I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America”