Rice School of Architecture looks to what’s ‘Next’

Two lecture series, conversations with students, Centennial speaker eye future of design

“Next” is the theme of this year’s fall series of public lectures offered by the Rice School of Architecture (RSA), many in collaboration with Rice Design Alliance (RDA).

The RSA/RDA series, curated by Wortham Assistant Professor of Architecture Reto Geiser, will focus on the future of architectural education and its impact on design and the built environment.

“Looking back to a century of training architects at Rice, and based on the conviction that education has the potential to affect the built environment at its roots, the RSA/RDA Lecture Series aims to trigger discussion about future challenges and how the next generation of designers can be prepared to face them,” Geiser said. “The four invited speakers will explore the productive intersections of teaching, research and professional practice and discuss how architectural education can contribute to the recovery of the designer’s cultural and political agency.”

“(Rice’s) centennial, which also marks 100 years of architecture being taught at Rice, offers a moment for us to reflect on what’s next — what’s on the cusp of our architectural horizon,” said RSA Dean Sarah Whiting, the William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture. “The speakers coming to Rice will discuss the most current thinking in topics ranging from design to materials to pedagogy and even to preservation: How do we preserve a future that’s just being built now?”

Rem Koolhaas

Most of the lectures are part of two concurrent events: The Cullinan Lecture and Seminar Series at Farish Gallery, Anderson Hall and the RSA/RDA Lecture Series at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). The free Cullinan events begin at 5:30 p.m., and each includes a conversation with students the next day at noon, also at Farish Gallery. All RSA/RDA lectures begin at 7 p.m. at the MFAH’s Brown Auditorium, preceded by a reception at 6 p.m.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas will speak as part of the Rice Centennial Lecture Series Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse. Koolhaas will also give a Rice Centennial Short Talk at Tudor at 8 p.m. Oct. 10, and will take part in the Cullinan Seminar Series’ “Conversation With Students” at a time to be determined. Centennial Lecture Series events are free, but registration is required. Registration will open to the public at http://centennial.rice.edu Oct. 1.

Cullinan Lectures and Seminar Series

The Cullinan Lectures begin with K. Michael Hays‘ talk “Ruminations on Autonomy, Criticality and Now?” at 5:30 Aug. 24. Hays is the Eliot Norton Professor of Architectural Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Frank Barkow, a partner in Berlin-based Barkow Liebinger, delivers his take on “Bricoleur/Bricolage” Sept. 20.

Jorge Otero-Pailos concludes the Cullinan series with “Architectures Under Erasure” Nov. 15. Otero-Pailos is associate professor of historic preservation at Columbia University and founding editor of Future Anterior.

RSA/RDA Lecture Series

Michael Speaks, dean of the College of Design at the University of Kentucky, will deliver the first RSA/RDA Lecture Sept. 5. His topic is “Design Education and the Entrepreneurial Turn.”

Alfredo Brillembourg of the Urban Think Tank in Caracas, Venezuela, continues with “Last Round: Urban Ecology” Sept. 19.

Jeffrey Schnapp, a professor of romance languages and literature at Harvard University, director of the MetaLAB and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, will discuss “Teaching (Design) Thinking” Sept. 26.

Mark Angélil concludes the RSA/RDA series Oct. 3 with “From In Vitro to In Vivo and Vice Versa.” Angélil is a professor of architecture at ETH, Zurich, and a partner in AGPS Architecture, Zurich and Los Angeles.

The Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund supports the free Cullinan Lectures.

The RSA/RDA lecture series is supported by the corporate members of the Rice Design Alliance, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Series tickets for the RSA/RDA lectures are available for purchase at https://signup.rice.edu/Fall2012/. Tickets are $20 for RDA and MFAH members, $15 for those 65 and older, $10 for students with identification and $35 for all others. Single tickets will be sold 30 minutes prior to lectures for $7 to RDA and MFAH members, seniors and students, and $10 to others. Admission is free for RSA students and faculty.

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.