REflections on RE-CRAFT

Melvalean McLemore represented her team to receive Best Overall Design. Team members not pictured are Peter Ho, Diana Ngo, and Octavie Berendschot.

To escape the summer heat, over thirty-five designers competed in air-conditioned studios on Saturday, August 3 for an intense eight-hour challenge to propose a new campus for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). The center is a nonprofit arts organization within the Museum District on Main Street. Their mission is to advance education about the process, product, and history of craft. The Rice Design Alliance’s (RDA) young professional group, rdAGENTS, hosted the event in the cool studios graciously provided by the Rice School of Architecture.

Participants had an opportunity to attend a site visit a week prior, Saturday, July 27, at HCCC on Main Street. That hot steamy morning, team members received a tour of the site, inside and out. They started under the shade in the craft garden amongst the cotton, bamboo, and indigo plants, they walked though the exhibition galleries, Asher Gallery, offices, and studios. The front door on Main Street was another stop to view the current façade and street view. A week later, at the charrette, each team received a program, which defined the issues of creating a cohesive campus that would encompass all the important aspects of the center and increase their Main Street exposure and identity.

On Monday, August 5, invited jurors consisting of HCCC’s neighbor Christine West, Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center; Ernesto Maldonado, principal of Glassman Shoemake Maldonado and HCCC board member; Sheryl Kolasinski, Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer of the Menil Collection; and Julie Farr, Executive Director of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, deliberated over the 10 entries. They determined the team that addressed the most aspects of the program in the clearest manner.

The Brave Architecture team (Team 5) made up of Diana Ngo, Peter Ho, Melvalean McLemore, and Octavie Berendschot were the winners of “Best Overall” award for their designs and ideas. The judges liked how they closed in the garden, creating essentially one entrance, and their design was clearly defined.

Cre8 Architects team (Team 8) made up of Amber Moncla, Stein Hansen, Stein Hansen, Bayardo Selva, and Luis Fernandez received “Best BIG Idea” award for their entry that proposed to close a portion of Rosedale Street and create a larger block with well-defined areas for exhibitions, programming, and creating a plaza. Clark Condon’s team (Team 6) made up of Sarah Smith, Luis Hildalgo, Jason Rainosek, Luke Love, and Taylor McNeill received “Best Garden Design” for their garden layout and good presentation. The garden area recreated the repetitious of Cs from the logo.

Below are galleries of the team entries.

Team 1
Shawn Wright
Ned Dodington
Jessica Knapp
Grace Rodriquez
Jonathan Lampson

Team 2
Jonathan McMillian
Joe Cowan
Riley Anderson
Stephen Evans

Team 3
Philip LeBlanc
Rudy Fabre

Team 4
Erin Shedd
Alfonso Hernandez
Valeriya Bowker

Team 5
Melvalean McLemore
Peter Ho
Diana Ngo
Octavie Berendschot

Team 6
Taylor McNeill
Jason Rainosek
Sarah Smith
Luke Love
Luis Hildalgo

Team 7
Courtney Harper
Kyle Thiel
Scott Brooks
Shih Wei

Team 8
Amber Moncla
Bayardo Selva
Stein Hansen
Luis Fernandez

Team 9
Arnika Shroff
Marquez Colby
Anthony Vu
Justin Mason
Robert Morris

Team 10
Anna Naydenova

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