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RDA News & Notes

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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Hand Re-Make the Cite 93 Cover

A map showing cancer risk published on OffCite.org has gotten quite a bit of attention on Swamplot, the Houston Chronicle, KHOU, and CW39 NewsFix.

Members of Rice Design Alliance and subscribers to Cite were the first to receive the map. It was embossed on the cover with no explanation. It feels like Braille. Many readers caress the page, experiencing it as a beautiful and ambiguous representation of the Houston region. Only when you turn to the Table of Contents page do you learn that it represents heightened cancer risk associated with exposure to air toxins.

The process behind the emboss is fascinating. PH Design, the graphic designers of Cite 93, carefully produced the map based on data from the EPA. Each shaded area was traced so that the various patterns could be placed. The printer, Specialty Bindery, was consulted throughout the process. Once the design was complete, a specialist crafted a brass plate to create the emboss. The plate was mounted on a Heidelberg offset press.

The result is a form that you can use to reproduce the map by taping a piece of paper over it and rubbing the page with charcoal. See the video below. You can make visible an invisible Houston.

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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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Additionally: Spring 2014 Architecture Tour

The 38th Annual Rice Design Alliance Architecture Tour will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30, 2014. Titled “Additionally,” this spring’s tour will take RDA members and their guests to eight Houston residences, dating from 1885 to 1964, that have been given substantial additions in recent years by local architecture firms. RDA has organized tours every year since 1975 to help Houstonians experience firsthand the most interesting works of architecture and landscape and interior design in the city. This March, tourgoers will see how local firms have increased the size, functional space, and use of the older residences, introduced technologically advanced building materials, and brought together contrasting architectural styles and periods.

Click here to view a custom map with photos of the houses and information about where you will be able to buy tickets and sign up for memberships.

And click here to buy your tickets!

The residences and firms responsible for the original house as well as the addition are below; all photos by Paul Hester.

707 Sabine
1885; 2000, Gary Eades; 2009, Janusz Design

216 Avondale
1918, Russell Brown Company; 2012, m+a architecture

3503 Audubon Place
1920; 2011, Interloop – Architecture

823 Peddie
1925, Sears Kit; 2007, Brett Zamore Design

1701 Colquitt
1925; 2011, Ben Koush & Associates

1810 Bissonnet
1927; 2002, Wittenberg Studio

5503 Sturbridge
1960, Marshall S. MacDougal; 2008, Dillon Kyle Architecture

5219 South Braeswood
1964, Arthur Steinberg; 2014, Stern + Bucek

The tour is open only to RDA members and their guests. RDA memberships begin at $45 and can be purchased during the tour at designated ticket-buying locations or in advance online and in person at the RDA office on the Rice University campus. Memberships purchased at the Student or Individual level include one complimentary ticket; memberships at the Household level and above include two. Ticket prices for current members and their guests are $25, and $15 for Student and Senior members.

The Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/CES Registered Provider of educational programs. For this tour, attendees will earn two Learning Units. Learning Units will be reported to CES Records on the member’s behalf. Registration at one house on the tour is required. Non-AIA members can pick up a Certificate of Completion to fulfill state MCE requirements.

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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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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.

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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.

more >