RSA End-of-Semester:

Congratulations, RSA Graduates!

On Saturday, May 12 the RSA graduated 58 students with degrees from its three programs: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture, and Master of Architecture. The Friday evening before commencement, the RSA hosted a cocktail reception and exhibition honoring the graduates. For more about Rice University's 99th commencement, click here.

Jury Week brings a fantastic group of

guests to the RSA

The RSA welcomed jurors from across the US to final reviews, including:
Catherine Ingraham  Professor, Pratt Institute
Jonathan Lott  Architect, PARA-Project / Assistant Professor, Syracuse University
Andrea Manning  Architect, Morphosis
Michael Robinson  Designer, SWA Group / Lecturer, Rice School of Architecture
Robert Rogers  Architect and Founder, Rogers Marvel
Rafi Segal  Architect / Lecturer, Harvard GSD and Cooper Union
Galia Solomonoff  Architect and Principal, SAS/Solomonoff Studio / Assistant Professor, Columbia University
Xavier Vendrell  Architect, Xavier Vendrell Studio / Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

More Judgment spring lecture series

videos online

Video footage from the RSA’s spring lecture series has been posted here. The line-up includes Mark Lee, Enrique Walker, Fred Dust, Greg Lynn, Wallis Miller, Henry Cobb, and the four speakers from the Judgment II Kennon Symposium: Jeffrey Kipnis, Sylvia Lavin, R.E. Somol, and Brett Steele.

Join the RSA for a reception at the AIA

National Convention

Dean Sarah Whiting and Director of External Programs John J. Casbarian cordially invite you to a reception for Rice School of Architecture alumni and friends at the AIA 2012 National Convention. The reception will take place Thursday, May 17 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm on the rooftop terrace of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Please RSVP to Diania Williams, or call 713.348.4864. For a map, click here.

LAUNCH summer program application

deadline extended to June 7!

LAUNCH, which will take place June 11-July 6, 2012, offers students in any field the opportunity to design the future and learn about architecture in an immersive, exciting atmosphere of hands-on speculation and experimentation. Formatted as a four-week design studio — fueled by daily discussions, lectures and field trips with RSA faculty— students will design architectural projects that respond to issues and sites in the city of Houston. For more information about applying to the program, please click here or contact LAUNCH Director, Grant Alford,

Documentary about Houston

architecture features many at the RSA

The Art of Architecture, an introductory film about the best of Houston architecture, aired at 8:30 pm, April 27 on KUHT, Channel 8. The film features Dean Sarah Whiting, Professor Carlos Jiménez, and Professor Stephen Fox. Also interviewed are Linda Sylvan, executive director of the Rice Design Alliance, Raj Mankad, editor of Cite Magazine and students Sue Biolsi and Kerim Miksavi. To view the trailer, click here.

RSA community earns multiple AIA

Houston Awards

On March 22, AIA Houston held its 2012 Architecture Design Awards, and the RSA is pleased to announce that a large number of our students, faculty and alumni were selected as winners. The winners were also featured in the May/June issue of Texas Architect, with a special highlight on Peter Muessig's (M.Arch. '12) winning project in the conceptual category, veloCity: Mapping Houston on the Diagonal. For the complete list of the RSA’s award recipients, click here.

Student News

RSA students honored for

exceptional work

On April 25 the RSA held its annual Awards Ceremony honoring outstanding students with many awards, grants and fellowships. These end-of-year scholarships, which totaled over $115,000, were made possible by our generous alumni and friends who see these awards as an opportunity to give back to Rice. As a result of the traveling fellowships alone, over the summer twelve students will represent the RSA in Venice, Munich, Istanbul, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi, Delhi, Rotterdam, Tokyo, and Belgrade. For more, click here.

Rice Centennial House reaches new

construction phase, nears completion

Rice Centennial House organizers are pleased to share that the volunteer construction phase has come to a close, and the project will reach completion on June 30. Around 220 volunteers participated in the build over several weeks, including members of the Rice community, RSA students and alumni, the project's generous corporate sponsors, and the future homeowner, Ms. Artissue Flowers. Rice Day, April 23rd, was a construction highlight because Mayor Anise Parker and Rice University President David Leebron joined the volunteers at the Centennial House for the build. To see a slideshow of that celebratory day of construction, please click here. Above: Centennial House designers and recent M. Arch. graduates Yoni Pressman and Courtney Benzon with President Leebron.

PLAT 2.0 released, available online

PLAT, an architectural journal published by RSA students, is offering freshly-minted copies of Issue 2.0: If you see something, say something for sale through its website, here

Architecture of Books seminar

exhibited at Houston gallery

From April 26 to May 4, Peel Gallery presented an exhibition of student work from Wortham Assistant Professor Reto Geiser’s spring semester seminar, The Architecture of Books. The works exhibited illustrated the seminar’s aim: introducing students to the book as a means to think about the production of space, and as a critical vessel to discuss and disseminate architectural ideas.

RBW’s Menil Café designs exhibited

In mid-April, the Rice Building Workshop hosted an exhibition and reception at the Menil Collection celebrating a significant project milestone for the student-led, 3-semester (and ongoing) design-build project. Additionally, the exhibit at the Menil Library was re-opened for graduation visitors on Friday, May 11.

Faculty News

Professor Schaum to exhibit at the

Venice Biennale this summer

Assistant Professor Troy Schaum and his firm SCHAUM/SHIEH have been invited to participate in the 13th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, Italy, opening this summer. The exhibition is curated by David Chipperfield who has titled this year's show Common Ground. Building on this year's theme, SCHAUM/SHIEH's contribution is a collaboration with four Michigan-based firms titled 13178 Moran Street: Grounds for Detroit that features a large-scale, spatial installation programmed with work by thirteen architects, artists, and designers. For more, click here.

The RSA Congratulates Professor


The school is pleased to announce that Professor Farès el-Dahdah has been promoted to full Professorship. Additionally, he has accepted a five-year appointment as Director of the Rice University Humanities Research Center.

Dean Whiting edits book about the

work of James Carpenter, publishes

article on Mansilla + Tuňon, lectures

Beyond Surface Appeal: Literalism, Sensibilities, and Constituencies in the Work of James Carpenter, edited by Dean Sarah Whiting, was published by the Harvard Graduate School of Design at the end of April. The book features a forward by Jorge Silvetti, essays by Mark Linder, James Carpenter, and Sarah Whiting, and diagrams by Lucia Allais. Whiting additionally published an article, “Obstinately Optimistic” in the book Mansilla + Tuňon: From Rules to Constraints (Lars Muller, 2012). Whiting lectured in a symposium in April at UIC honoring the life of Chicago architect Doug Garofalo and a symposium in May at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid remembering architect Luis Moreno Mansilla. Whiting also participated in Toward A New Cosmopolitanism, a roundtable conversation at Storefront in New York with with David Adjaye, Stan Allen, Anthony Appiah, Teresita Fernández and Enrique Walker. For more, click here.

Professors serve on jury panels at

universities across the US

Assistant Professor Troy Schaum served as a juror for the Wallenberg Competition and Awards Symposium at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Ann Arbor. Assistant Professor Neyran Turan also visited the Taubman College to serve on a jury for the graduate thesis reviews, and was a juror for the M.Arch. thesis reviews at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Professor Albert Pope served on thesis review juries at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in New York. Associate Professor Christopher Hight was a guest juror for M. Arch. and M.LA. students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). Hight also served on reviews for final semester M.Arch. projects and post-professional Masters at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Professor Carlos Jiménez served on the thesis awards jury at the Syracuse School of Architecture in Syracuse, New York. He was also a visiting critic for the final reviews at Harvard GSD.

Several professors the recipients of

research awards

The Dean’s Research Awards for Faculty provide stipends to enable faculty to further their own research – including travel, writing, design, and course development – during the summer months. The 2012 winners are
Neeraj Bhatia for his project, Habitat: Housing Atlas of Building in the Arctic Territory, Scott Colman for his work on the Cullinan and Kennon publications, Dawn Finley for her upcoming exhibition, 10 Decades, at the Architecture Center Houston, Danny Samuels and Nonya Grenader for furthering Rice Building Workshop work on the Menil Café, Troy Schaum for his installation in the Venice Biennale, Neyran Turan for her proposal, Architecture's Whole Worlds, and Ron Witte for his proposal, Garanimals: Drawing More Than One Thing at a Time. Wortham Fellow, Bryony Roberts was awarded a Dean's Research Award for her project Hybrid Preservation: Reconfiguring Postwar Modernist Public Space in Rotterdam, Berlin, and London, and an RDA Houston Initiatives Grant for her project Lobby Urbanism: Converging Downtown's Interior and Exterior Streets.

Professor Jiménez lectures, serves on

competition juries in US and abroad

This April, Professor Carlos Jiménez was a keynote speaker at the 2012 Oregon Design Conference in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, and was a lecturer and panelist for Defining Architectural Design Excellence, the 2012 AIA Committee on Design in Columbus, Indiana. Additionally he served as a jury member for the VIII BIAU 2012 Cádiz ( VIII Ibero-American Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism), in Madrid/Cádiz, Spain, as a jury member for the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Masonry Contractors of New Jersey student competition, in Newark, New Jersey, and as a jury member for phase two of the Waller Creek Conservancy’s Design Waller Creek competition in Austin, Texas.

Professor Alford’s Unfinished Grid

design featured in Korean journal

Senior Lecturer Grant Alford’s winning entry to The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan, Projective Exceptions, was featured in the April issue of the Korean journal, ela (environment & landscape architecture). The journal offers Alford’s explanation of the project in English and Korean. For more, click here.

Dean Whiting quoted in article about

Menil Collection Drawing Institute

The Menil Collection has announced a short list of four architectural firms to design its Menil Drawing Institute. From an international search, the firms Tatiana Bilbao, David Chipperfield Architects, Johnston Marklee, and SANAA were announced as finalists. Dean Sarah Whiting, a committee member for the project, was quoted in a Houston Culture Map article about the ongoing project, here.

Professor Grenader moderates at

conference promoting design for

social good

This March, Professor Nonya Grenader served as a moderator for the 2012 Structures for [Inclusion] conference in Austin, Texas. The annual conference brings together activists, designers, funders, and policy makers who are at the forefront of designing in the public's interest. For more, click here.

Professor Fox leads lectures and tours

across Texas

This February Stephen Fox, Senior Lecturer in architecture, spoke at the symposium, O'Neil Ford and the Future of Trinity University, about the architectural history of the campus in San Antonio. Additionally, Fox lectured at Architecture Center Houston on the career of the twentieth-century Houston architect Howard Barnstone. In March, Fox spoke about the Rothko Chapel in Houston in a session of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies' course: Rothko and Red. He also led the RDA's 2012 domestic architecture study tour, San Antonio: From Mission to Metropolis, and spoke on the history of landscape architecture in Houston to the Society of Fellows of the Garden Conservancy. In April Fox spoke about the history of architectural criticism in Texas at the first David Dillon Symposium, organized by the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, Arlington, and the Dallas Architecture Forum. Additionally, in May he lectured about the history of mid-twentieth-century modern architecture in San Antonio and conducted architectural walking tours of the Trinity University campus in the San Antonio Conservation Society's annual preservation seminar Mid-Century Modern: It's About Time

Professor Witte consulting on public art

installation, serves as juror

Professor Ron Witte has been working with the City of Houston, the Houston Arts Alliance, and the Russian Consulate to install a commemorative sculpture marking initial Soviet/US space exploration. In May, Ron Witte served on as an outside juror for the University of Houston’s end-of-year awards jury.

Professor Geiser curates Ai Weiwei


From April 19 – May 25, the Architecture Center Houston is hosting the US premiere of Ai Weiwei’s Five Houses project. Wortham Assistant Professor Reto Geiser curated the exhibit, and will give a curatorial presentation, In the Realm of Architecture: Some Notes on Ai Weiwei’s Spatial Temptations at the Architecture Center Houston, Thursday, May 24 at 6:00 pm. For more, click here.

RBW’s ZeRow House profiled in Design

Like You Give a Damn [2]

Design Like You Give a Damn [2], Architecture for Humanity’s second edition handbook, dedicated a spread to ZeRow House, RBW’s entry in the 2009 Solar Decathlon sponsored by the US Department of Energy. Though ZeRow House did not win the grand prize in the competition, the book underscores the project’s value to the future of sustainable, affordable housing. For more, click here.

Professor Hight collaborates on book,

publishes several articles

Shell Center for Sustainability recently published Atlas of Sustainable Strategies for Galveston Island, which brings together the work of Professors Christopher Hight, and John Anderson in addition to the contributions of RSA Lecturer Michael Robinson, and Rice University postdorctoral research assistant, Davin Wallace. The book documents work undertaken in graduate design studios at the RSA. For more, click here. Professor Hight also published “Manners of Working: architectural tactics of subterfuge and evasion in digital design,” in the Handbook of Contemporary Architectural Theory (online here), "High Performance Anxiety," in the book, Performalism (online here) and “One Step Towards an Ecology of Design: Fields of Relations and Bodies of Knowledge,” in the book Design Innovation for the Built Environment - Research by Design and the Renovation of Practices (online here).

Architecture School weaves the RSA’s

history into national narrative

Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America, edited by Joan Ockman, features many RSA programs, faculty, and alumni. Notable mentions in the book include the James Stirling addition to Anderson Hall (1981), Dean William Caudill’s transformation of the school in the 1960s, which influenced then-students and current professors John J. Casbarian and Danny Samuels, and Dean Emeritus Lars Lerup’s move in the 1990s to focus the RSA’s curriculum on the American City and emergent forms of urbanism. Additionally, RBW, founded in 1996 by Nonya Grenader and Danny Samuels, is profiled in the Design/Build chapter, and the Ring Roads of the World poster (2009) by Thumb, Luke Bulman (M.Arch. ’98) and Jessica Young (M.Arch. ’02) is featured. For more, click here.

Houston ad campaign features RSA's

own, India Mittag

The RSA's Director of Development, India Mittag, and her daughter Marlowe are larger than life and all over Houston as part of an advertising campaign for the Texas Children's Hospital's new Pavillion for Women. The campaign includes large signs in Houston's Galleria, as well as billboards along the I-10 Katy Freeway, west of 610.

Alumni News

InHouse OutHouse project gains award,

grant and building permit

Recent RSA graduates Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming and Peter Muessig (all M.Arch. ’12) have been recognized across Houston for their project, InHouse OutHouse. The AIA Houston Chapter honored the trio with a design award in the “On the Boards” category, the RDA awarded them with a generous $5,000 grant, and the City of Houston granted them a building permit. For more about their achievements, visit their blog here.

Etien Santiago launches first issue of

architectural journal, Apeira

This spring Etien Santiago (B.Arch. ’08) released his first issue of Apeira, a new journal dedicated to the relationship between architectural theory and broader cultural questions. The journal, available in print and online, is the successor to Manifold Magazine which he helped found during his time at the RSA. The first issue of Apeira includes essays on art, literature, and architecture, as well as images of a speculative architectural project.

Eric Khune a collaborator on TITANIC

BELFAST, now open to the public

Eric Khune (B.Arch. '73) is part of the design team now celebrating the opening of their project, TITANIC BELFAST, a major tourist attraction in Northern Ireland dedicated to the history of the world's most famous ship, the RMS Titanic. The project opens 100 years after the initial launch of the ship from Belfast in 1912, and honors the port's rich history by 'capturing the song of the shipyards' and highlighting its over 400 years of maritime excellence. For more, click here.

Paul Kweton’s animal-friendly chair

featured on Gizmodo

Paul Kweton’s (M.Arch. ’08) Rocking-2-gether Chair was featured as a top story on technology blog, Gizmodo. The chair is made of computer-milled birch plywood and designed with a hollow inner-chamber below the seat to serve as a napping space for a dog or cat. For more, click here.

Metalab recognized with award,

competition win

Metalab, Joe Meppelink (M.Arch.’00) and his partner Andrew Vrana, have been recognized along with other public art collaborators in AIA Houston's Artist of the Year Exhibition. A reception will be held Thursday, June 14th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm at the Architecture Center, Houston, and the show will run through July 13. Additionally Metalab and collaborators, Re:site, won a sculpture commission competition at Texas A&M University with their design, Memory Cloud, "4,000 networked LED nodes integrated within transparent tubes of various lengths suspended from a diagrid framework, creating a vibrant, illuminated pointillist sculpture." For more, click here.

Jack McGinty joins RSA students for

RAMP happy hour talk

On April 23, RAMP organizers arranged for Jack McGinty (B.Arch. ‘56) to meet with students and speak at the school. McGinty is a former participant in the prestigious White House Fellows program, a nonpartisan, year-long fellowship that assigns 12-19 exceptional people to work as senior aides to top government officials such as the president, the first lady, the vice president, a cabinet secretary, or a member of the White House staff. RAMP links alumni with the current student body. If you are interested in organizing a future mentoring event or becoming a mentor, please email RAMP student coordinator Louis Weiss.

Employment Opportunities

Curtis & Windham Architects hiring

entry and senior level positions

Curtis & Windham Architects is a 30 member residential firm in Houston that does work in traditional and vernacular styles. They are looking for people in both entry and senior level positions and would like to get the word out to RSA graduates that may be interested in working at a successful local firm. Please contact Paul Brow: for more information.

Llewelyn-Davies Sahni, Inc. hiring

mid-level and senior architects

Llewelyn-Davies Sahni, Inc. is a Houston-based, award-winning firm that provides architectural, planning and design services to a wide array of client and project types. The firm has provided services in the aviation, healthcare, higher educational, recreational, and transportation/transit arenas, as well as private sector clients. The firm is seeking to hire experienced professionals and currently four key positions are available in Houston: a senior project architect/manager, a senior architect/urban designer, and two mid-level architects. For more information, click here.

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