Rice Architecture Lectures pose questions of identity

2021-2022 series goes online for fall, begins Sept. 22

Rice Architecture Lecture Series

Having a distinct identity is just as important for a structure as it is for a person.

“Building Identities” is the theme of this year’s Rice Architecture Lecture Series, a topic that’s especially important to architecture in an increasingly multicultural world.

Rice courtyard with tree

“While many disciplines are adding to larger societal conversations about diversity, it is the discipline of architecture that can perhaps give the most tangible contribution to this dialogue,” said Igor Marjanović, the William Ward Watkin Dean of Rice Architecture.

“To inhabit one’s own identity in terms of race, gender or ethnicity is not unlike inhabiting the space of a home,” he said. “Both are bodily experiences that are palpable, specific and above all human. Playing on the word ‘building’ both as a verb and a noun, ‘Building Identities’ correlates the construction of human identities with those of physical structures, proposing that the social and formal project of architecture are not separate, but one.”

The fall edition runs from Sept. 22 to Nov. 12. All of the lectures, including two presented by Rice Design Alliance, the school’s public outreach arm, will be delivered at noon via Zoom. They’re free and open to the public. Register online via links at the lecture titles below.

The lectures:

Sept. 22: Eric Höweler, co-founding principal and partner at Höweler + Yoon Architecture and an associate professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design, “What’s the Matter?”

Sept. 29: Michael Willis, Michael Willis Architects, “Building Identities Through My Practice -- The Personality of Architecture.”

Oct. 13: Cecilia Puga and Paula Velasco, directors and founding partners, Cecilia Puga - Paula Velasco Arquitectura, “Ongoing Work.”

Oct. 22: Liz Gálvez and Estefanía Barajas, Rice Design Alliance’s Houston Design Research Grant Lectures. Rice Architecture visiting critic Gálvez will discuss “The Transgressive Kitchen”; Rice Architecture student Barajas will discuss her project “Tables in Deserts and Swamps: How Food Education Can Help Solve the Root of Food Insecurity.”

Oct. 27: Paul Farber and Ken Lum, director and curatorial adviser of Monument Lab, Rice Design Alliance Lecture, “Monument Lab.”

Nov. 3: Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb, co-founders of New Affiliates, “Present Past, Future Perfect.”

Nov. 5: Philippe Block, professor at the Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, “Rethinking Concrete Construction.”

Nov. 12: PLAT 10.0 Panel, “Behold,” a launch event with contributors to the new edition of PLAT, a student-run journal of Rice Architecture.

All lectures are eligible for one American Institute of Architects/Continuing Education Services learning unit.