The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

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Past Curtains, October 18, 2013


October 14-18, 2013


Music in Architecture Poster


October 19-22, 2011

Architecture is "frozen music," as Goethe once wrote, and the phrase continues to resonate in this age.

With new and traditional compositional techniques, new and traditional physical and sonic materials, and deeper notions of "performance" in hand, the School of Architecture and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin was pleased to host the MUSIC IN ARCHITECTURE - ARCHITECTURE IN MUSIC Symposium. The Symposium involved live performances of competition-winning composition, installations and commissioned works, as well as paper presentations and roundtables.


March 29-30, 2012

A two-day symposium reflecting on architecture in the Americas.

(Click here for Event Information.)
Goldsmith Hall, Mebane Gallery



March 31-April 1, 2011

A two-day symposium reflecting on architecture in the Americas.

(Click here for Event Information.)
Goldsmith Hall, Mebane Gallery



April 1 and 2, 2010
8:30AM - 6:00PM (Click Here for Event Program.)
Goldsmith Hall, Mebane Gallery


As with the first Latitudes conference, held in April 2009, the ambition of this symposium is to explore the question of whether there is - already, still emerging, or never to be - an "American" modern architecture, that is, an architecture that transcends the North/Central/South America division and that is in some way distinguishable from European, Asian, and other models. Clearly latitude matters, climatologically, geographically, and culturally, north to south. But, is the New World still the New World in some as-yet-undiscussed way, even as colonialism fades into history?

Prominent and upcoming practitioners from the Americas will present their recent work in roughly these terms, focusing on the development and execution of a single significant project in their oeuvre, seen as emblematic of the ideals of modernism and conditions of their location.

Invited Speakers:
Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico City, Mexico
Javier Corvalan Espinola, Laboratorio de Arquitectura, Asuncion, Paraguay
Sebastian Irarrazaval, Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitecto, Santiago, Chile
Vince James, Vincent James Associates Architects, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jose Maria Saez Vaquero, Quito, Ecuador
Giancarlo Mazzanti Sierra, Giancarlo Mazzanti Arquitectos, Bogota, Colombia
Maryann Thompson, Maryann Thompson Architects, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Respondents: Kevin Alter, Michael Benedikt, Barbara Hoidn, Vince Snyder, and Wilfried Wang of The University of Texas at Austin



April 2 and 3, 2009
Goldsmith Hall, Mebane Gallery

Invited Speakers:
Solano Benitez, Asuncion, Paraguay
Angelo Bucci, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gerardo Caballero, Rosario, Argentina
Edwin Chan, Los Angeles, California
Rick Joy, Tuscon, Arizona
Alberto Kalach, Chapultepec, Mexico
Cecilia Puga, Santiago, Chile
Brigitte Shim, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


SPACE+MIND: Psychoanalytical Perspectives on Architecture, Architectural Perspectives on Psychoanalysis

April 20 and 21, 2007
Goldsmith Hall, Mebane Gallery

Psychoanalysis is shot through with spatial metaphors as well as with observations as to the emotional tonus of real places. And architecture, beyond mere building, is vitally concerned with promoting mental health and emotional power, stimulations of memory, etc. The Space+Mind Symposium poses the question of whether or not we can bring some order and completeness to these parallels in order to enrich both fields.

Invited Speakers:
Esther da Costa Meyer, Princeton University
Ellen Handler Spitz, University of Maryland
John Hendrix, Rhode Island School of Design
Peter Loewenberg, University of California at Los Angeles
Nancy Olson, Yale University
Joseph Rykwert, University of Pennsylvania
Mark Smaller, Neuro-Psychoanalysis Foundation of Chicago

Respondents: Elizabeth Danze, Michael Benedikt, The University of Texas at Austin; Stephen Sonnenheim, Baylor College of Medicine



November 14, 2003
Goldsmith Hall, Main Review Room
The University of Texas at Austin

Architects are rarely invited into the theological debate the way scientists often and artists sometimes are, this despite the obvious analogies between design and Design. Even when they are designing places of worship, the shape of their own faith is given no special place, nor the theological implications of what they are doing regardless of faith. (Indeed, mention "architecture" and "religion" or "God" in the same sentence, and the mind automatically flips to churchs and synagogues, and then to fifty cliche forms.) The idea behind this symposium was to blaze a new trail in thinking rationally about religion, theology, and everyday life. It opens, we think, new avenues of debate and discussion about the meaning of religious faith in the 21st century. For not only architects, of course, but also film-makers, writers, composers, painters, scientists, institution-builders, and inventors create-design-with similar if not the same ethical constraints and incentives. The desire of everyman to be creatively involved in life is, we submit, an essentially religious desire. Understanding why and how this is so through architecture might make this clearer to all, and more realizable.

Invited Speakers:
John F. Haught, Georgetown University
Charles Jencks, London, UK
William Saunders, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Michael Benedikt, Steven Moore, The University of Texas at Austin

Lectures presented at the DIVINITY, CREATIVITY, COMPLEXITY Symposium are being published in article format, along with additional contributor essays, in the book CENTER, Volume 15: Divinity, Creativity, Complexity, scheduled for release in March 2010 by the Center for American Architecture and Design.

CLICK HERE for information on ordering CENTER, Volume 15: Divinity, Creativity, Complexity.

Table of Contents for the book CENTER, Volume 15: Divinity, Creativity, Complexity:
In the Beginning...Creativity by Gordon Kaufman
Strange, Hidden, Holy: Religious Experience in Recent Secular Architecture by William S. Saunders
Science and the Quest for Cosmic Purpose by John F. Haught
God, the Architect of the Universe-Universe, the Architect of God by Charles Jencks
The Argument from Design(ers) by Michael Benedikt
Form and Function: On Biology and Buildings by Michael Ruse
Sioux City Ghosts by Richard Becherer
The Perennial Way of Design by Thomas Fisher
Feminist Architecture, Meet Feminist Ethics by Tom Spector
Modern to modern: Kahn and Community by William C. Richards
Light is Like Water by Sheryl Tucker de Vasquez
Emptiness and Empty Cross:Tadao Ando's Church of Light by Jin Baek
A Desert Land Ethic: Aesthetic Research by Alvaro Malo
Creativity, Melancholy, and the Divine by Stanley Tigerman


LANDSCAPE URBANISM: A Symposium and Charrette

March 23, 2002
Goldsmith Hall, Athenaeum
The University of Texas at Austin

This symposium brought together at the intersection of the disciplines of Architecture and Landscape Architecture important designers and practitioners whose work focuses on the contemporary urban environment in America and who have helped ot shape the emergent discourse of Landscape Urbanism. The charrette portion of this symposium resulted in a series of comparative proposals that reveal attitudes and approaches toward the urban landscape generated by symposium participants with student assistance.

Invited Speakers:
Dilip da Cunha, Harvard University
Kristina Hill, University of Washington
Anuradha Mathur, Harvard University
Christopher Reed, StoSS Landscape Urbanism
Clarke Stevens, ROTO Architects
Chris Macdonald, University of British Columbia
Laurel McSherry, Arizona State University
Charles Waldheim, University of Illinois at Chicago
Alex Wall, Karlsruhe University
Jane Wolff, Ohio State University

Respondents: Dean Almy, Michael Benedik, Sinclair Black, John Blood, Steven Moore, Larry Speck, Nichole Wiedemann, The University of Texas at Austin



April 8, 1999
Jessen Auditorium
The University of Texas at Austin

Contemporary views of the modern project featuring discussion of the Eichler Houses and work by Foster, Gehry, Herzog and de Meuron, Mies van der Rohe, and the OMA.

Invited Speakers:
Gary Bates, OMA, Rotterdam
Thomas K. Davis, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Malcolm Quantrill, Texas A&M University
Robert Somol, University of California, Los Angeles



April 1 and 2, 1998
Jessen Auditorium
The University of Texas at Austin

Invited Speakers:
Christopher Alexander, Berkeley, CA
Aaron Betsky, San Francisco, CA
Will Bruder, Phoenix, AZ
Gary Chapman, Austin, TX
Charles Haar, Cambridge, MA
William Mitchell, Cambridge, MA
Samuel Mockbee, Auburn, AL
Mohsen Mostafavi, London, UK
Eli Noam, New York, NY
Rob Wellington Quigley, San Diego, CA
Elspeth Rostow, Austin, TX
Michael Rotondi, Los Angeles, CA
Henry Smith-Miller, New York, NY
Ellen Wartella, Austin, TX
Kirk Watson, Austin, TX



November 19, 1997
Jessen Auditorium
The University of Texas at Austin

Bringing together architects, fashion, and interior designers to address the presence of style and fashion in design practice.

Invited Speakers:
Tom Ford, Creative Director, GUCCI
Bill Sofield, Studio Sofiled, NYC
Todd Oldham, New York/Dallas
Morris Lapidus, Miami
Stanley Marcus, Neiman/Marcus, Dallas



October 20 and 21, 1995
Flawn Academic Center
The University of Texas at Austin