Category Archives: Grants

2014 Initiatives for Houston Grant Winners

UH students explore shotgun house in Fifth Ward with Professor Jason Logan. Photo: Joshua Hollie.

Two $5,000 Rice Design Alliance Initiatives for Houston grants will be awarded for projects proposed by a faculty member and an undergraduate student at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. Read More

Now Open: Initiatives for Houston 2014

We are happy to begin accepting applications to our 15th annual grants program for students and faculty of the Rice School of Architecture, the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University, and the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University.

The Rice Design Alliance will make separate awards of up to $5,000 each to a student winner(s) and a faculty winner(s).

Our Initiatives for Houston grants program focuses on Houston’s built environment, its history, present condition, and future development. A variety of regional projects are considered, including historic research, speculative studies, problem-solving and planning projects, and documentary studies of the conditions of the city and its architecture. Proposals are evaluated for their potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the city and/or the region.

Projects must describe a dissemination component, which can be in the form of a paper or manuscript, exhibit, video, or other presentation. In addition, the results of the project could be presented by the grantees in a public lecture or published in Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston. Awards of up to $5,000 are available for projects to be completed in one year. More than one proposal in each category, student or faculty, can be funded. Past award-winning proposals are available for review in the architecture libraries of the participating schools.

Our guest jurors this year: David Calkins, Regional Managing Principal, Gensler; Kristi M. Grizzle, Senior Associate, Walter P Moore; Willard Holmes, Associate Director Administration, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Andy Icken, Chief Development Officer, Office of the Mayor, City of Houston; and Demitra Thomloudis, Adjunct Instructor, Houston Community College.

The total application must include:

  • Completed application.
  • A written proposal for the project (one to three pages), describing goals, expected outcomes, work plan, and schedule for the project, and a discussion of its significance. Applicants also should describe past work in the area of the proposed research.
  • Resume for each participant.
  • Students will need a faculty advisor and a letter of support.

  • A project budget (equipment such as computers, digital cameras, etc. may not be included).

Mail application and supporting materials to:
Rice University

Rice Design Alliance
MS-51 P.O. Box 1892

Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Click here to download an application! The deadline for applications is March 24, 2014. Awards will be announced on April 28, 2014.

2013 Initiatives for Houston Winner Announced!

Horses gallop through Montana-sized utility corridors that crisscross Houston.

RDA is pleased to announce the winner of the fourteenth annual “Initiatives for Houston” grant program, which funds research, study, and problem-solving around Houston’s built environment. Gordon Wittenberg, Professor of Architecture at Rice University, won the grant prize this year in the amount of $4,200 with his proposal entitled “Linear Parks for Houston.”

This year’s jury members included Jereck Boss, Principal, The Office of James Burnett; Jay Crossley, Program Development and Research, Houston Tomorrow; and Lonnie Hoogeboom, Director of Planning & Design, Houston Management District and President of the Rice Design Alliance. The jury, who assessed proposals based on how they might contribute to the continued improvement of the Houston area, were very impressed with submitted projects.

Wittenberg’s proposal stood out to the jury. “Linear Parks” harkens such developments as New York City’s “Highline” and The Reading Viaduct in Philadelphia, by considering a practical and economical way for cities to acquire new parkland for an expanding urban population. Wittenberg claims that Houston has the highest number of utility, pipeline, and railroad easements—or right of ways— of any large urban area in the U.S. with 30% of this infrastructure being abandoned or underutilized. The project will identify and map the right of ways using a Geographical Information System and document the current use and ownership of the areas. Upon completion, the project will be presented to the Houston Parks Board for planning purposes and potential future use.

Initiatives for Houston has funded unique and Houston-centric projects for fourteen years now, including 2012 winning projects as University of Houston Professor Donna Kacmar’s directory of Houston-based fabricators, and Rice Wortham Fellow Bryony Roberts’ exhibition, “Lobby Urbanism” taking place now until

Initiatives for Houston 2013 Open!

RDA is pleased to announce its fourteenth annual grants program for students and faculty of the Rice School of Architecture, the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the College of Architecture at Prairie View, and the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University.

RDA will make separate awards of up to $5,000 each to a student and a faculty winners.

The Initiatives for Houston grants program focuses on Houston’s built environment, its history, present condition, and future development. A variety of regional projects will be considered, including historic research, speculative studies and projects, problem solving and planning projects, and studies that document the conditions of the city and its architecture. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of their potential for making a significant contribution to our understanding of the city and/or the region.

Projects must describe a dissemination component, which may be in the form of a paper or manuscript, exhibit, or a video or other presentation. In addition, the results of the project may be presented by the grantees in a public lecture or published in the Rice Design Alliance journal, Cite. Awards of up to $5,000 are available for projects to be completed in one year. More than one proposal in each category, student or faculty, may be funded. Past award-winning proposals are available for review in the architecture libraries of the participating schools.

The total application must include:
• A completed application.
• A written proposal for the project (one to three pages), describing goals, expected outcomes, work plan, and schedule for the project, and a discussion of its significance. Applicants also should describe past work in the area of the proposed research.
• Resume for each participant
• Students will need a faculty advisor and a letter of support.
• A project budget (equipment such as computers, digital cameras, etc. may not be included)

Applications will be due March 25, 2013. Please mail application and supporting materials to:
Rice University
Rice Design Alliance MS-51
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Initiative for Houston Winners Announced

RDA is pleased to announce the winners of the thirteenth annual “Initiatives for Houston” grant program, which funds research, study, and problem-solving around Houston’s built environment. From revitalizing existing vernacular residential architecture and documenting the capabilities of local manufacturers, to forging connections between buildings and their context, this year’s Initiative winners sought to showcase the potential of existing infrastructure and industry. Projects include “InHouse OutHouse,” submitted by Rice architecture students Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming and Peter Muessig; “Made in Houston” by University of Houston School of Architecture Associate Professor Donna Kacmar; and “Lobby Urbanism: Converging Downtown’s Interior and Exterior Streets by Rice School of Architecture Wortham Fellow Bryony Roberts.

This year’s jury members included Joe Havel, Director of the Glassell School of Art; Nicola Springer, AIA, LEED AP, Kirksey Architecture; Juliè Gauthier, IIDA, LEED AP, Interior Design Leader with Perkins + Will; Tadd Tellepsen, Co-owner of Tellepsen Builders; and Perry Seeberger, LEED AP, Principal Architect of Seeberger + Associates, LP and President of AIA Houston.

The project “InHouse OutHouse” by Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming and Peter Muessig offers an alternative to Houston’s seemingly endless sprawl through the reuse and re-densification of once established neighborhood communities. Pre-fabricated residential units are inserted into existing homes that consolidate major trade-dependent systems and provide a full kitchen and bathroom, along with new heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing services. Awarded $5,000, the team hopes to fabricate an “OutHouse” by the end of summer and host a community open-house.

Awarded $2,500, “Lobby Urbanism” examines the intersection of Houston’s exterior and interior street conditions, asserting that Downtown Houston’s exterior streets have lost their pedestrian traffic to their interior counterparts, namely building lobbies. The project, which will culminate in a public exhibition of design proposals in April 2013, will analyze lobbies and consider how to open the spaces to their neglected exteriors.

“Made in Houston,” which was also awarded $2,500, seeks to develop a catalogue and wiki site of local manufacturers who are currently engaged in, or could be engaged in, fabricating elements for the built environment. Listing fabricators by materials with which they work (wood, metal, ceramics, polymers, etc.), the resource would function as a informational database for the designers, architects, students, and faculty in the Houston region.

Initiatives For Houston 2012: RDA Grants Program Open!

initiatives_2012_front

RDA is pleased to announce its thirteenth annual grants program for students and faculty of the Rice School of Architecture, the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the College of Architecture at Prairie View, and the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University.

RDA will make separate awards of up to $5,000 each to a student and a faculty winners.

The Initiatives for Houston grants program focuses on Houston’s built environment, its history, present condition, and future development. A variety of regional projects will be considered, including historic research, speculative studies and projects, problem solving and planning projects, and studies that document the conditions of the city and its architecture. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of their potential for making a significant contribution to our understanding of the city and/or the region.

Projects must describe a dissemination component, which may be in the form of a paper or manuscript, exhibit, or a video or other presentation. In addition, the results of the project may be presented by the grantees in a public lecture or published in the Rice Design Alliance journal, Cite. Awards of up to $5,000 are available for projects to be completed in one year. More than one proposal in each category, student or faculty, may be funded. Past award-winning proposals are available for review in the architecture libraries of the participating schools.

The total application must include:
• A completed application. Click here for application directions.
• A written proposal for the project (one to three pages), describing goals, expected outcomes, work plan, and schedule for the project, and a discussion of its significance. Applicants also should describe past work in the area of the proposed research.
• Resume for each participant
• Students will need a faculty advisor and a letter of support.
• A project budget (equipment such as computers, digital cameras, etc. may not be included)

Applications will be due March 26, 2012. Please mail application and supporting materials to:
Rice University
Rice Design Alliance MS-51
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

2011 Initiatives for Houston Winners Announced

We are pleased to announce the winners of the twelfth annual “Initiatives for Houston” grant program, which funds research, study, and problem-solving around Houston’s built environment. From making Houston’s public infrastructure more interconnected to creating an emergency shelter, this year’s winners focused on projects that seek to improve the conditions of the city. Proposal titles include “Thick Infrastructure” submitted by Susan Rogers, Assistant Professor of Architecture at University of Houston and Director of Community Design Resource Center; “Howard Barnstone Architect: Publication & Online Digital Access” by Architectural Historian Stephen Fox and Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Houston Michelangelo Sabatino; and “Emergency Core” by Rice architecture students Peter Stone and Kelly Barlow.

This year’s jury members included Craig Minor, Principal, Minor Design; Wendy Heger, Assistant Director for Planning & Facilities, Houston Public Library; Laura Bellows, Chairman of the Board, W. S. Bellows Construction Corp; Scott Minnix, Director, City of Houston General Services Department; and David Tsai, industrial designer and current Artist In Residence at Houston Community College. The jury, who assessed the proposals based on their potential to contribute to the understanding and betterment of Houston, were very impressed with this year’s projects. “Initiatives for Houston Grants Program consistently draws a very high caliber of proposals and once again the jury was faced with the challenging task of selecting between a collection of very strong and viable submissions. The best part of the process is realizing that in the end, the real winner is the City of Houston and the potential impact the award winners could make on our city,” says jury member Craig Minor.

The project “Thick Infrastructure” by Susan Rogers seeks to create interconnected infrastructural landscapes in the city. By adapting existing infrastructure for additional programs and functions and including public and civic amenities in current public works projects, Rogers’ project seeks to “thicken” the current state of infrastructure, re-thinking and intervening in the existing city landscape. Awarded $5,000, Rogers hopes to document and develop programming strategies for existing infrastructural systems, produce an exhibit to showcase these findings, and finally, publish the findings.

Awarded $2,500, “Howard Barnstone Architect: Publication & Online Digital Access” seeks to digitally reproduce architectural drawings, photographs, and other images in the Howard Barnstone Collection of the Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center. While the project focuses on the particular works of Barnstone, Stephen Fox and Michelangelo Sabatino hope that this initiative will document conditions prevailing in Houston from the1940s through the 1980s as well as the architecture produced during that period. The public will be provided online access to the collection.

Peter Stone and Kelly Barlow’s initiative “Emergency Core,” which also received $2,500, seeks to construct a disaster relief prototype to showcase the feasibility of a core-based relief unit for the region. Stone and Barlow hope that the construction of such a unit can be quantitatively compared and analyzed alongside existing options, as well as serve as an outreach tool on the Rice campus, ultimately creating a sustainable, livable, and affordable alternative to current relief shelter options.

Initiatives For Houston 2011

RDA is pleased to announce its twelfth annual grants program for students and faculty of the Rice School of Architecture, the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, the College of Architecture at Prairie View, and the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University.

RDA will make separate awards of up to $5,000 each to a student and a faculty winners.

The Initiatives for Houston grants program focuses on Houston’s built environment, its history, present condition, and future development. A variety of regional projects will be considered, including historic research, speculative studies and projects, problem solving and planning projects, and studies that document the conditions of the city and its architecture. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of their potential for making a significant contribution to our understanding of the city and/or the region.
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2010 Initiatives for Houston Grants Winners

InitiativesLogo

We are pleased to announce the winners of the eleventh annual “Initiatives for Houston” grant program, which supports and funds projects that focus on Houston’s built environment. From enhancing Houston’s cultural identity to improving the city’s infrastructure, this year’s winning proposals encompass a wide range of focus. Proposal titles include “Enhancing Infrastructure: Highways and Energy” submitted by Prairie View A&M visiting professor Ross Weinert; “Urban Aeries” submitted by Rice University architecture graduate student Melissa McDonnell; “Make Houston Colorful?” by Robert Hadley, an architecture graduate student at the University of Houston and Samuel Jacobson, an undergraduate architecture student at Rice University; and “Scavenge” a proposal submitted by Jorge Galvan, an undergraduate student in Industrial Design at the University of Houston.

This year’s jury members included Catherine Callaway, architect at BNIM Architects; Ben Crawford, AIA, LEED AP, senior associate, senior project designer, HOK; Sarah Deyong, assistant professor, Texas A&M College of Architecture; Christine West, executive director, Lawndale Art Center; and Celeste Williams, architect at Kendall/Heaton Associates. The jury, who assessed the proposals based on their potential to contribute to understandings and betterment of Houston, were very impressed with this year’s projects. “It was a great experience and I am so inspired by the proposals and the energy and thoughtfulness the students and faculty have given to improving Houston,” says jury member Christine West.

The project “Enhancing Infrastructure: Highways and Energy” by Ross Weinert seeks to incorporate photovoltaic vaults into the spaces above Houston’s highway system, making the spaces viable sources of clean energy for the city. Having been awarded $2,500, Weinert hopes that his project will have implications beyond technological energy production, and also benefit the environmental, cultural, and experiential landscapes of Houston.

Melissa McDonnell’s project, “Urban Aeries,” endeavors to increase awareness and build homes for overlooked city inhabitants: birds. Claiming that Houston is home to dozens of species of birds that are rarely seen among the downtown area, Melissa seeks to bridge the gap between the dense population of people and birds by means of various urban interventions. With the aid of the $2,500 grant, one such suggestion is using the rooftops of city garages to incorporate urban roosting and observational structures. An image from her project is featured with a link to this article on RDA’s homepage.

“Make Houston Colorful?” received $2,500 to beautify the Houston cityscape by painting the underpass at U.S. Highway 59 and Greenbriar Street a dazzling array of colors. In doing so, Robert Hadley and Samuel Jacobson hope to transform Houston’s notorious reputation for being an ugly city into a colorful city. The students also hope that their project might serve as a platform for similar models throughout the city.

Jorge Galvan’s project entitled “Scavenge” was rewarded $2,500 to document Houston neighborhoods’ trash output, and create neighborhood identities based on the kinds of trash a particular neighborhood produces. Like archaeologists, Galvan wants to trace local neighborhood histories via their discarded materials, documenting the process, and ultimately creating neighborhood emblems created from the trash to serve as a material identity. Galvan will choose up to seven distinct neighborhoods based on socioeconomic and demographic makeup of each area chosen, and hold an exhibit of his found materials to conclude the project.