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RDA News & Notes

Category: RDA Events

Anything That Floats 2014


What: Fourth Annual Anything That Floats Competition
When: April 12, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Sesquicentennial Promenade on Buffalo Bayou

Oh buoyancy! This year’s Anything That Floats competition will be held at the Sesquicentennial Promenade on April 12, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The competition is organized by rdAGENTS, the Rice Design Alliance young professionals group. Teams of two to five people are invited to spend the morning constructing their craft, on the spot, out of provided discarded and donated building materials and their own tools. Two members of each team must then test the seaworthiness of their DIY device in a race for time across Buffalo Bayou.

Each year, Anything That Floats teams are challenged with a new and different set of materials, which are revealed to them only at the beginning of the event. To compete, registration will be $25 for RDA members and $35 for non-members.

Attending the race is free and open to the public.

Download the registration form!

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RDA Hometown Tour to Santiago, Chile

Chile: Land of a Thousand and One Sights
RDA 2014 Hometown International Tour
June 8-14, 2014

$3,600 pp/dbl

Chile’s distinct geography and remoteness is intensified by a set of unique landscape conditions that range from the world’s driest desert to the north to the incomparable Andes to the east, from the limitless Pacific Ocean to the west to the spellbinding fjords cascading all the way south to Tierra del Fuego. The Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia (1500-1553) founded Santiago in 1541 at what turned out to be an ideal location: close to the middle of the thinnest and longest country imaginable. Occupying the basin of this rich fertile valley, Santiago is the country’s strategic capital, cultural, political and financial center, as well as the largest metropolis with a population of close to 6 million people (in a country of 17 million people as per the 2012 census).

A significant watershed in Chile’s recent history was the election of Salvador Allende in 1970, the first democratically elected Marxist president, a short lived but cathartic moment for the country. Allende (1908-1973) was killed during a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet who ruled the country under a harsh and brutal dictatorship (1973-1990). Upon the demise of Pinochet’s regime the country ventured forward with the expeditious establishment of democratic institutions. This dramatic transformation was the result of timely political will aided by a similar will to develop important social, infrastructural, and cultural projects. Today Chile enjoys one of the most stable governments in the Americas, an emerging power in the region and beyond, with a growing economy and the benefits of a working democracy. Paralleling the changes of these last two decades, Chilean architects have received growing international attention, gaining the respect and admiration the world over for the outstanding quality, rigor, and inventiveness of their architecture.

Our trip to Santiago, and to such nearby cities as Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, will reveal the expansive architecture/urbanism of this singular and intriguing country. The one-week trip (June 8 – June 14) will bring us in contact with the country’s most notable architects such as Jose Cruz Ovalle, Mathias Klotz, Alejandro Aravena, Smiljan Radic, Cristian Undurraga, Felipe Assadi of Assadi and Pulido Architects, and Cecilia Puga, to name a few. Equally important is the exposure to the rich and multifarious life of this cosmopolitan metropolis by sampling an array of local experiences, including the food, music, and dynamic art scene. To that end we will have the opportunity to visit such landmarks as the National Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, the Plaza de La Moneda Cultural Center, recent faculty buildings and libraries designed for the Pontifical Catholic University and the Diego Portales University, progressive housing projects such as Edificio Gen, insightful mix-use developments such as Edificio Cruz de Sur, and the memorable Mestizo Restaurant, to name some of the architectural sites that we will visit during our stay in Chile. Other highlights include a visit to a private winery on the outskirts of Santiago, and to “Open City,” the celebrated experimental architectural project along the Pacific Ocean in Valparaiso, Chile’s second largest city.

The tour will be led by Carlos Jimenez and Stephen Fox, as well as local experts. To secure your reservation, please complete and return the registration form and the terms and conditions document with your deposit. Click here to see the trip’s itinerary. For more information contact Lynn Kelly at 713-256-3244 or lynnkellyrda@gmail.com.

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On Immediacy: Carlos Bedoya Ikeda

What: Carlos Bedoya Ikeda of Mexico City-based firm PRODUCTORA lectures for On Immediacy, the RSA/RDA Spring 2014 Lecture Series
When: Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 7 p.m.; pre-lecture reception begins in the Audrey Jones Beck Building at 6 p.m.
Where: Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

The series, which will bring three other firms to Houston, is curated by Rice School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jesús Vassallo: “I think that these firms’ practices are captivating because they are experimental without renouncing building things in the real world, producing work that is intellectually stimulating as well as sensually powerful.”

Click here to purchase series tickets!

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Seniors 65 years and older
$10 – Students with ID
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability, sold 30 minutes prior to the lecture)
$7 – RDA, MFAH members
Seniors 65 years and older
Students with ID
$15 – Others

RDA will make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. A minimum of two weeks is appreciated. Call Mary Beth Woiccak, RDA Assistant Director, Programs, at (713) 348-5583.

Follow @RDAHouston on Twitter for updates!

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On Immediacy: Philipp Schaerer

What: Zurich-based architect Philipp Schaerer lectures for On Immediacy, the RSA/RDA Spring 2014 Lecture Series
When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 7 p.m.; pre-lecture reception begins in the Audrey Jones Beck Building at 6 p.m.
Where: Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

The series, which will bring three other firms to Houston, is curated by Rice School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jesús Vassallo: “I think that these firms’ practices are captivating because they are experimental without renouncing building things in the real world, producing work that is intellectually stimulating as well as sensually powerful.”

Click here to purchase series tickets!

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Seniors 65 years and older
$10 – Students with ID
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability, sold 30 minutes prior to the lecture)
$7 – RDA, MFAH members
Seniors 65 years and older
Students with ID
$15 – Others

RDA will make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. A minimum of two weeks is appreciated. Call Mary Beth Woiccak, RDA Assistant Director, Programs, at (713) 348-5583.

Follow @RDAHouston on Twitter for updates!

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On Immediacy: José Selgas

What: José Selgas of Madrid-based firm Selgascano lectures for On Immediacy, the RSA/RDA Spring 2014 Lecture Series
When: Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 7 p.m.; pre-lecture reception begins in the Audrey Jones Beck Building at 6 p.m.
Where: Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

The series, which will bring three other firms to Houston, is curated by Rice School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jesús Vassallo: “I think that these firms’ practices are captivating because they are experimental without renouncing building things in the real world, producing work that is intellectually stimulating as well as sensually powerful.”

Click here to purchase series tickets!

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Seniors 65 years and older
$10 – Students with ID
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability, sold 30 minutes prior to the lecture)
$7 – RDA, MFAH members
Seniors 65 years and older
Students with ID
$15 – Others

RDA will make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. A minimum of two weeks is appreciated. Call Mary Beth Woiccak, RDA Assistant Director, Programs, at (713) 348-5583.

Follow @RDAHouston on Twitter for updates!

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On Immediacy: Jan De Vylder

What: Jan De Vylder of Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu lectures for On Immediacy, the Rice School of Architecture/Rice Design Alliance Spring 2014 Lecture Series
When: January 22, 2014, at 7 p.m.; pre-lecture reception begins in the Audrey Jones Beck Building at 6 p.m.
Where: Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet

The series, which will bring three other firms to Houston, is curated by Rice School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jesús Vassallo: “I think that these firms’ practices are captivating because they are experimental without renouncing building things in the real world, producing work that is intellectually stimulating as well as sensually powerful.”

Click here to purchase series tickets!

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Seniors 65 years and older
$10 – Students with ID
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability, sold 30 minutes before the lecture)
$7 – RDA, MFAH members
Seniors 65 years and older
Students with ID
$15 – Others

RDA will make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. A minimum of two weeks is appreciated. Call Mary Beth Woiccak, RDA Assistant Director, Programs, at (713) 348-5583.

Follow @RDAHouston on Twitter for updates!

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RSA/RDA Spring Lecture Series: On Immediacy

Clockwise: Work from Productora, Selgascano, Philipp Schaerer, and de Vylder Vinck Taillieu.

The Rice School of Architecture and the Rice Design Alliance will bring to Houston for the Spring 2014 Lecture Series four architectural firms whose genre-busting, convention-spurning designs invite the viewer to engage with an increased sense of immediacy. These international firms — from Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, and Mexico — play with form, color, material, and process, producing work that defies easy description and collapses distinctions between art and architecture, representation and construction, and drawing and building.

The series is curated by Rice School of Architecture Assistant Professor Jesús Vassallo. “I think that these firms’ practices are captivating because they are experimental without renouncing building things in the real world, producing work that is intellectually stimulating as well as sensually powerful,” says Vassallo. “I also appreciate the ways in which they exploit the contradictions and gaps in contemporary architectural idiosyncrasy in a productive way in their projects.”

The public and RDA members are invited to attend presentations by the following firms during the series:

Wednesday, January 22
Jan de Vylder
Co-Founder, Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Gent, Belgium
Reception Sponsor: Walter P Moore

Wednesday, January 29
Lucia Cano & José Selgas
Founders, Selgascano, Madrid, Spain
Reception Sponsor: Clark Condon Associates

Wednesday, February 5
Philipp Schaerer
Architect, Zurich, Switzerland
Reception Sponsor: Kendall/Heaton Associates

Wednesday, February 19
Carlos Bedoya Ikeda
Principal, PRODUCTORA; Mexico City, Mexico
Reception Sponsor: Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.

All lectures will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Brown Auditorium in the Caroline Wiess Law Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. A pre-lecture reception will begin at 6 p.m. The MFA,H, is located at 1001 Bissonnet. No guaranteed seating for ticket holders after 6:50 p.m. Additional parking at the museum is available until 7:00 p.m. for $6 in the museum garage located at the corner of Binz and Fannin Streets.

Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Senior citizens 65 years and older
$10 – Students with identification
$35 – Others

Single Tickets (upon availability, sold 30 minutes prior to the lecture)
$7 – RDA, MFAH members
Senior citizens 65 years and older
Students with identification
$15 – Others

Click here to purchase series tickets!

RDA will make special accommodations for anyone needing assistance to attend a lecture. A minimum of two weeks is appreciated. Call Mary Beth Woiccak, RDA Assistant Director, Programs, at (713) 348-5583.

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2013 Gala: LIVE FEED

Chris Shepherd, Brad Moore, Ceci Norman, Paul Petronella, and Mike Criss celebrate at the 2013 gala. Photo: Claudia Casbarian.


More than 900 people gathered on Saturday, November 9, for Live Feed, the 2013 Rice Design Alliance gala. Chaired by Betsy Strauch and Lonnie Hoogeboom, the gala honored an Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs, or OKRA, a group of energetic, like-minded restaurateurs who are recharging Houston’s nightlife and restoring historic buildings in core neighborhoods Montrose, Midtown, Houston Heights, Downtown, and the Museum District.

Guests mingled all evening at the Hilton Americas-Houston amidst 105 unique auction items. The auction, coordinated by Juliè Gauthier and Kelie Mayfield, included all-expenses-paid trips to Saint Sauvant, France; San Miguel, Mexico; and Washington, D.C.; unique handmade jewelry; wine chosen by OKRA member and PSA sommelier Justin Vann; and many singular local experiences: Tours of the Philip Johnson-designed Menil House, rides along Buffalo Bayou on the “Spirit of the Bayou” pontoon, and parties catered by OKRA establishments Anvil Bar & Refuge, Underbelly, The Pastry War, Grand Prize Bar, and Hay Merchant.

Also up for bid were 14 custom works of sculpture, ceramics, painting, and mixed media, resulting from inspired collaborations between Houston artists and OKRA members, organized by Judy Nyquist.

As the Next Level Band played jazz, guests moved into the ballroom. There, the gala environment committee, chaired by Chung Nguyen of MC2 Architects with assistance from Florence Tang and Karen Lantz, designed an ephemeral installation comprising thousands of strands of piano wire tipped with wheat and “planted” in white panels. Lit from below, the waist-high wheat swayed and gave the illusion that guests were wandering through a field toward their tables. Once seated, they enjoyed a four-course meal — with one course prepared specially by Underbelly chef and James Beard Award nominee Chris Shepherd, his famous Korean braised goat and dumplings.

After RDA board president Doug Combes welcomed guests and recognized the 25-year efforts of RDA executive director Linda Sylvan, OKRA president Bobby Heugel accepted the RDA Award for Design Excellence on behalf of the 21 OKRA member organizations. At the end of the night, guests took home complimentary okra-shaped sugar cookies, decorated with the OKRA logo, courtesy of Paul Petronella. Underwritten by Brochsteins, D.E. Harvey Builders, HOK, Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc., Walter P Moore, Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc., and many other generous donors, the gala brought in more than $520,000, which will support RDA’s educational programming and publication of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston.

Seen in the crowd were underwriters Larry and Charlotte Whaley; David Harvey and Mikki Hebl; Deborah Brochstein and Steven Hecht; Ray and Elaine Messer; John Marshall; Ben Crawford and Kathrin Brunner; RDA President Doug Combes with wife Lisa; Gala Chairs Lonnie Hoogeboom and Betsy Strauch; Fundraising Chair Dave Mueller; Auction chairs Juliè Gauthier and Kelie Mayfield; Environment Chair Chung Nguyen; Graphics Chair Craig Minor; OKRA members Bobby Heugel, Chris Shepherd, Justin Vann, Michael Burnett, Dawn Callaway, Miriam Carrillo, and Paul Petronella; RDA executive director Linda Sylvan with husband Dick; former Rice School of architecture deans John Casbarian with Natalye Appel; and Lars Lerup with Eva Sarraga.

If you’d like to view and purchase the Blacktie photographs from the gala, click here.

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RDA Announces Its 2014 Hometown Tours

San Diego-Tijuana: Architecture at the Edge
January 29 – February 2, 2014
$2,000 pp dbl; $2,510 single occupancy
Registration is closed

Santiago, Chile
June 8 – 14, 2014
Guided by Carlos Jimenez; click here for registration information!

Please join the Rice Design Alliance for a tour of San Diego, guided by architectural historian Stephen Fox with assistance from former RDA President and award-winning landscape architect Jim Burnett. The tour includes four nights in the luxurious US Grant Hotel downtown, dining at the Hotel Del Coronado, George’s on the Cove with its ocean view, and the Prado at Balboa Park, and a crossing into Tijuana, accompanied by Rene Peralta, a native of Tijuana and Director of Master of Science in Landscape Urbanism at Woodbury University in San Diego. To secure your reservation, please complete and return the registration form and the terms and conditions document with your deposit.

San Diego was founded in 1769 as a Franciscan mission to indigenous people and an accompanying Spanish presidio, both named for the Spanish saint, Diego de Alcalá, to whom this territory had earlier been dedicated by Spanish explorers in 1602. The Spanish first visited the area in 1542. San Diego’s original town site (now Old Town San Diego State Park) was developed adjacent to the presidio after 1820. The present downtown, fronting San Diego Bay, was platted by Alonzo R. Horton in 1867 three miles southeast of Old Town’s plaza, nineteen years after Alta California was conquered by the United States. Connected to the national rail grid in 1885, San Diego emerged as a navigational, military, and resort center. One consequence of the railroad boom was the founding of Tijuana, Baja California, in 1889, fourteen miles southeast of downtown San Diego.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, San Diego was home to the proto-modernist architect Irving Gill, whose austere, ingenious buildings provide backdrops for the brilliant sunlight, vegetation, and rugged terrain of the Pacific coast. One hundred years later, innovative young architects in San Diego and Tijuana follow Gill’s do-it-yourself approach, making both cities incubators of exciting trends. Significant works by famed architects (Bertram G. Goodhue in the 1910s, Louis I. Kahn in the 1960s, and Arthur Erickson in the 1980s in San Diego, and Pedro Ramírez Vásquez in Tijuana) enhance the architectural legacy of the sister cities of the Pacific. San Diego (eighth largest city in the US) and Tijuana (fifth largest city in Mexico) today construct architectural culture out of their dissonant contradictions.

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RE: Architecture [NSFW] Jun Igarashi

Jun Igarashi is an architect and Principal of Jun Igarashi Architects of Hokkaido, Japan and an Instructor at Keio University, Igarashi is author of Indications of a State (2010) and Construction of a State (2011), both from TOTO Publishing.

Who: Jun Igarashi

Where: Brown Auditorium, Caroline Weiss Law Building, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

When: Lectures starts at 7 p.m. with a pre-lecture reception at 6 p.m.
Reception Sponsors: Asakura Robinson Company and Perkins+Will

TICKET INFORMATION
Series Tickets:
$20 – RDA, MFAH members
$15 – Senior citizens 65 and older
$10 – Students with identification
$35 – Others
Single Tickets (upon availability):
$7 – RDA, MFAH members; Senior citizens 65 and older; Students with identification
$15 – Others

To purchase tickets, please click HERE.

This lecture series is supported by: ARC Document Solutions; Austin Commercial; Brochsteins; CEMEX; Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing; Fast Track Specialties, Inc; Gensler; HBL Architects; D. E. Harvey Builders; Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.; Jackson & Ryan Architects; Kendall/Heaton Associates; McKinnon Associates; Miller Dahlstrand Architects; Morris Architects; PM Realty Group; Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc.; Shah Smith & Associates,The Southampton Group; Walter P Moore; Ziegler Cooper Architects; the Corporate Members of the Rice Design Alliance; the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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