SPECIAL NOTE FROM DEAN STEINER
I've just arrived in Rome, Italy, where I am honored to be the William A. Bernoudy Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome. It's great to be back in the city I fell in love with when I was a fellow at the Academy in 1998!
Until my return to Austin in late January, the school is in capable hands. I've asked Elizabeth Danze, our new associate dean for undergraduate programs, to serve as acting dean in my absence. Many of you know Elizabeth, a talented architect, beloved teacher, and alumna of the school.
I plan to stay in touch through upcoming issues of eNews while I'm away.
LUMINAIRE DESIGN | BUILD
The Environmental Controls I class held its third annual light show on Thursday, November 14. Sixty-eight undergraduate architecture and interior design students, working in teams, displayed their final projects in Goldsmith Hall's main jury room.
In past years, it was mainly a gallery show and opportunity for the students to show off their hard work. This year, two lighting designers from Austin were invited, who listened to short presentations from the students and gave them feedback.
Each team was required to design a marketing brochure to accompany their lighting fixtures. The idea of the brochure is to mimic real marketing literature in the lighting industry. These brochures are a critical component of the project because they display the design intent and metrics including candlepower distribution curves, efficacy, dimensions, false color images for glare analysis, and a rendering of the light fixture in the space that it was designed for.
Taught by Instructor Keith Simon, Environmental Controls I is a survey course that covers the essential technical knowledge of daylighting, electric lighting, electrical systems, and acoustics.
The controlled distribution of daylight is the hallmark of sustainable and timeless buildings. Both great modern and historic architects alike have understood this and written about daylight in almost reverential terms. For this reason, electric lighting and acoustics are taught as supporting and complementing the daylighting systems.
Engaging both the heart and mind, the course explores the metrics of light and sound, as well as its phenomenology.
Environmental Controls I teaching assistants are Andrew Green, Alexandra Krippner, and Ellen Sampson.
View more from the show on the school's Flickr page.
MATLAB EXHIBIT: A LAYERED APPROACH
Through January 15, 2014
University Co-op Materials Resource Center
West Mall Office Building 3.102 [map] (Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00)
Exhibit opening: Friday, November 22, 5:30 p.m.
"A Layered Approach" is a snapshot of an independent studio focused on issues of materiality and scale in the design process. Nic Allinder, Taylor McNally Anderson, and Tyler Noblin (all in their final semester of the M.Arch. 1 program) organized their studio around a non-linear trajectory. A broad range of scales were considered from the outset; material constructions were developed simultaneously with urban strategies. Central to this process was the iterative production of physical models testing sensorial experiences at a variety of scales.
On display at the Materials Lab will be 1:1 mock-ups testing surface effects and their experiential qualities when layered over one other. The questions at hand are: How can a common material be presented in an uncommon way? How can the simultaneous consideration of multiple scales of architecture alter design? And, what agency do mock-ups impart on the design process?
Allinder, Anderson, and Noblin extend thanks to their studio advisor Cisco Gomes; supervising instructors Elizabeth Alford, Ernesto Cragnolino, Murray Legge, Clay Odom, Igor Siddiqui; UTSOA staff members John Vehko and Thom Wolfe; and Jen Wong and the Materials Lab staff in assisting with this project.
The 7-foot-tall Longhorn box fort brought attention to America Recycles Day. Photo courtesy of The Alcalde.
UTSOA architecture senior Clifton Harness got a shout-out from Texas Exes for his conceptualization of a giant cardboard box fort in the shape of a giant Longhorn. Last week's installation helped raise awareness for recycling efforts at The University of Texas at Austin.
View the story in The Alcalde.
THANKS DAY 2013: STUDENTS CELEBRATE DONORS, ALUMNI, AND FRIENDS
Noah Winkler won free coffee for "estudio burrito" with this winning Thanks Day video. Click image to view.
UTSOA students, faculty, and staff participated Thanks Day on Wednesday, November 13, to recognize all the parents, alumni, donors, taxpayers, and state legislators who make education at The University of Texas at Austin possible.
The event was held in the Jean and Bill Booziotis Loggia in the courtyard at Goldsmith Hall, where participants took time to write out thank you cards and enjoy pizza.
The school also hosted an Instagram contest to commemorate this important day. Students were encouraged to say "thank you" as creatively as possible and hashtag it #UTSOAthanksday. The prize? Free coffee for their studio!
M.Arch. student Noah Winkler (@knowawinkler) won the contest with his video submission on behalf of "estudio burrito." Interior design senior Caitlin May (@caittie_cat) and M.Arch. student Jessica Janzen (@jmjanzen) also sent in creative photographs as part of this friendly competition.
With 75% of our university's budget coming from outside support, UTSOA relies on the generosity of our friends to make education affordable. To learn how you can contribute toward the school's programs and initiatives, please contact Luke Dunlap, director of development and external relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.471.6114 with any questions. You can also make a gift online.
COMING SOON: FOA MIAMI
UTSOA has been busy preparing the exciting details of our upcoming Friends of Architecture tour of Miami from April 24-27, 2014. This tropical destination is the site of next month's Art Basel worldwide exhibition. It's also an internationally-recognized hotspot of Latin American culture, as well as incredible architecture.
FOA tour participants will have the opportunity to experience the fun and flavor of South Beach, while seeing iconic Art Deco buildings, the famed Design District, and lush outdoor gardens, as well as innovative spaces and private homes designed by preeminent architecture firms.
To learn more about this upcoming FOA tour, please contact Assistant Director for Constituent Relations Lisa DeLosso at 512.471.6029 or email@example.com.
Beach exhibit, Art Basel 2013. Photo courtesy of Juan Vasquez.
Hillside Residence, Austin, Texas, Alterstudio Architecture, LLP.
Alterstudio Architecture, LLP, was presented with a Texas Society of Architects 2013 Design Award for their Hillside Residence, which also won an Honor Award from AIA Austin Design Award this year and was selected for the AIA Austin Homes Tour on November 2 and 3.
Additionally, the firm was presented with three 2013 ASID Design Excellence Awards: Winner, Singular Space: Barranca Residence; Winner, Contemporary Home over 3500sf: Hillside Residence; and Best of Show.
Alterstudio Architecture recently won an AIA National 2013 Housing Award for their Lake View Residence, the highest award a house can win in the United States.
From Alterstudio Architecture, LLP, these projects were designed by Professor Kevin Alter and partners Ernesto Cragnolino [B.Arch. '97, BSAE '97, BA Plan II '97], Timothy Whitehill [B.Arch. '02], and senior associate Matthew Slusarek [M.Arch. '05].
Cover, American Spa magazine, October 2013, featuring interior of Milk + Honey Spa with artwork by Joyce Rosner and Michelle Bayer.
Featured on the cover of the October 2013 issue of American Spa magazine is Milk + Honey, located in downtown Austin and designed by Baldridge Architects with artwork and interior installations by Senior Lecturer Joyce Rosner and industrial designer Michelle Bayer, partners in Olive & Otis.
Each piece was designed based on ideas relating to the body. They were also designed for specific locations within the spa, responding to both lighting conditions (natural as well as artificial) and programmatic concerns. The work highlighted in the cover photograph is 5' x 10' and constructed of wood with fabric.
On November 5, Assistant Professor Matt Fajkus presented a paper at the Energy Forum conference in Bressanone, Italy. The paper, titled "Superficial Skins? Super Skins? Shading Structures and Thermal Impact Analysis," was part of a panel at the 8th annual meeting of the international conference on Advanced Building Skins.
An article written by Fajkus was published in the November/December 2013 issue of Texas Architect. "Lines, Numbers, and Colors" draws comparisons between architecture and the work of artists Sol LeWitt and James Turrell and references the Landmarks program at the University of Texas at Austin.
MF Architecture, the Austin-based firm led by Fajkus, won two of the four state-wide 2013 TSA Studio Awards, both of which are published in the November/December 2013 issue of Texas Architect. Design teams for each project: Fashion[ING] Objects: Matt Fajkus, AIA; Audrey McKee, Sarah Johnson, in collaboration with Sydney Mainster. Thick-Skinned Regionalism: Matt Fajkus, AIA; Bo Yoon, Sara Yllner, and Daniel Preusse.
Assistant Professor Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla published an article, titled "First Ribbed Vaults of the Americas: Indigenous People Skills, Construction and Crafting Processes in the Mixtec Region of Southern Mexico," in Volume 28 (No.1) of Construction History, the international journal of the Construction History Society.
The article examines the implementation of practical geometry in historical developments of masonry architecture, stereotomy, and the methods of construction applied to build ribbed vaults in southern Mexico during the sixteenth century. The text examines the ribbed vaults built in the churches of Santo Domingo Yanhuitlán, San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, and San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca, which are among the very few structures of this type constructed during the sixteenth century in the Mexican territory. The research work focuses on the transference of building technology from Europe to the Americas, giving especial importance to the geometric operations and stereotomic procedures necessary to design and build such monumental structures displaying highly refined masonry solutions based on late-gothic European methods of construction.
The editors commented: "Benjamin Ibarra Sevilla's paper on the transfer of European technology to Mexico in the 16th century is an appropriate beginning to this transatlantic volume. The challenges in achieving an ambitious program for religious buildings using an indigenous labour force were considerable, yet Ibarra Sevilla finds that the resulting vaults were mathematically and architecturally sophisticated and, ultimately, a cross-fertilization between cultures". With this article, Ibarra Sevilla has placed another seed for the world-wide dissemination of these remarkable pieces of historic architecture of the Americas."
Assistant Professor Junfeng Jiao has co-authored a paper, titled "Access to Supermarkets and Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Is It Just a Matter of Physical Proximity?," that has just been accepted for publication by the American Journal of Public Health.
Research findings: The research investigated people's grocery shopping behavior in Seattle and found that people usually wouldn't shop at their nearest supermarket or grocery store for primary food shopping. One-third of the samples shopped at their nearest supermarket for primary food shopping, while remaining two-third traveled beyond their nearest supermarket.
Low-cost supermarket shoppers were more likely to travel beyond their nearest supermarket for the supermarket of their choice. Fruit and vegetable consumption was not associated with physical distance from home to grocery store, but significantly correlated with the supermarket type. People who shop at high-cost grocery stores are likely to consume more fruit and vegetable per day.
Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France; drawing by Stephanie Bower. Click image to view larager.
Stephanie Bower [B.Arch. '81] was awarded the 2013 KRob award for best Professional Travel Sketch. This is the second year in a row that one of Bower's sketches was honored with this recognition.
KRob, the annual Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition, is sponsored by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Bower's award acknowledges individuals interested in the time-honored activity of drawing architecture and places to learn and understand. In lieu of drawings made to "interpret," drawings submitted for this category are made to observe, analyze, and record in a sketchbook. The Ken Roberts is the most senior architectural drawing competition currently in operation anywhere in the world.
Bower made the sketch of the Hôtel de Ville while in Paris for three months on a Gabriel Prize fellowship. She reports that she "sat in the dirt of a tree well about three feet from moving cars in order to get this view."
Bower will be teaching an architectural sketching workshop in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, in July 2014. Visit Bower's web site to view her architectural illustrations or learn more about her upcoming sketching workshop.
Paladino and Company (Paladino), a pioneering sustainability and green building consulting firm, recently announced the opening of its new Austin, Texas office, giving the company a presence in the east, west, and central United States. The Austin office will be led by Brad Pease [M.Arch. '03], Director, Signature Buildings Practice, AIA, LEED• AP BD+C, who has worked in Paladino's Seattle headquarters since 2003. In this new location, Pease will continue to lead the company's Signature Buildings team and serve on its technical consulting team to the U.S. Green Building Council.
The company's office in Texas will enable it to better serve its clients nationally, as well as expand its business in one of the nation's leading markets for green building—Texas.
"We are excited to open our doors in Texas because the state has taken important steps to promote and spur investment in the green building industry," said Tom Paladino, CEO. "We are seeing a lot of growth in our industry and demand for our services nation-wide. Texas is not only a hotbed for green building, but its location will enable us to better serve our expanding U.S. client base."
ALUMNI AND FRIENDS GATHER IN FORT WORTH FOR TSA RECEPTION
Fritz Steiner, Chuck Nixon, and Nathan Carruth.
On Thursday, November 7, the School of Architecture held an "Alumni & Friends" reception in conjunction with the Texas Society of Architects 74th Annual Convention in Fort Worth. We are thankful that Jacobs served as our generous host for the evening's events, with support from firm representatives Chuck Nixon [B.Arch. '67], Nathan Carruth [B.Arch. '03], and Andrew Vick [B.Arch. '03].
Nearly 150 alumni and friends came together to visit with their peers, network with fellow professionals in the design fields, and listen to Dean Fritz Steiner's latest update about the school's programs and initiatives. Guests enjoyed sweeping views of downtown Fort Worth from Jacobs' beautiful 25th floor offices.
The following day, conference participants also had the opportunity to hear a keynote speech from alumnus Craig Dykers [B.Arc.h '85] of Norwegian and New York City based firm, Snøhetta, who spoke on "Civility: Architectural and Political Transformation in Our Lives." The talk highlighted the theme of the convention, which was "Transformation."
UTSOA is looking forward to seeing our alumni and friends again soon. Please mark for your calendars for next year's Texas Society of Architects 75th Annual Convention, which will take place in Houston, November 6-8, 2014.
REMEMBRANCES OF NATALIE DE BLOIS
On November 5, 2013, the Chicago Women in Architecture Foundation held a tribute to former UTSOA faculty member Natalie de Blois, who died on July 22, at the age of 92.
Those who had the opportunity to know de Blois during her tenure at the UT Austin School of Architecture have enduring memories of her. Associate Professor Nichole Wiedemann and Elaine Molinar [B.Arch. '88] attended the tribute and have shared excepts from their tribute addresses.
Tribute to Natalie de Blois, presented by Nichole Wiedemann:
Natalie de Blois, 1988.
It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to you about Natalie de Blois's time at the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. Having joined the faculty there in 1997, I was not know Natalie personally…. However, her legacy was (and is) very strong at the school. As I would walk the halls in Sutton and Goldsmith, I had beautiful images of being in the shadow of woman with distinctive attire, who rode her bicycle around Austin, and taught high-rise buildings to the students while her male colleagues typically focused on smaller programs, like houses. Not sure if this was exactly the case, nor do I really care, but, as a woman faculty member, it keeps me smiling. So, when I had a chance to meet her a few years ago, it was truly an honor.
I would like to share with you a brief story of her time at UT. The particulars have been graciously (and copiously) contributed by the faculty and students that knew her personally. And, so, I can say with certainty that I am speaking on behalf of the school.
Natalie joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture in 1980 with, what seems like, a chance encounter. First, Natalie's son decided to attend UT. When Natalie visited Austin, she liked it and contacted a realtor. The realtor was Eden Box. After hearing of the name of the woman architect, Hal Box, her husband and the dean of the School of Architecture at the time, immediately called Natalie and asked her to join the faculty. In his words, "You can teach whatever you want. Doesn't make a difference what you teach, or how long you teach, or how many hours you teach a day."
For 13 years, Natalie taught courses, including Advanced Architectural Design and Technical Communication (which are paired courses) and Visual Communication. She was described as having "very high standards and was really tough and demanding. She cared enormously about the students—enough to require the best they could possibly deliver." And, in turn, her students were completely devoted to her.
Her Advanced Studio projects were always high-rise buildings. Natalie's studios had a reputation for being "pragmatic and intense." It is my understanding that many students were scared to death to take her studio, so those who signed up tended to be the best ones—the ones who thought they could be good enough to measure up. Yet, she allowed complete freedom stylistically, and she always got a very wide range of design directions. However, she did not allow one bit of leeway in terms of code compliance, loading/delivery requirements, elevator efficiency, reasonable lease depths, etc. Natalie made it clear that architecture was not just about style. Ultimately, she was a "powerhouse teacher."
On the other hand, if you went to Natalie's house, as her friends and former students often did, you got a completely different Natalie. There she would tell great stories about New York and Chicago and France and SOM and her college years and World War II and tons of other things. She was a mesmerizing storyteller, and she smiled frequently, more than she did at work. Natalie showed a very warm, soft side of herself not often seen when she was teaching (though the students must have sensed it was always there).
I think the words of those who knew her are incredibly meaningful.
From an alumnus at her retirement:
"What a striking impression Natalie de Blois cut with her starched white skirt, her severely cut auburn hair and her black spectacles so reminiscent of Le Corbusier, all those years ago. I met Natalie when she was a designer of a high-rise building in Seattle. She flew in to do battle over some design details which the developer had hoped to compromise. Little did I know that day when Natalie walked into the office during my first job in architecture…, that I would become her student… and that eventually I would be fighting similar battles as a designer myself. Of many things: she taught me to have a vision, and to have the tenacity to shepherd the vision into reality with passion and with a minimum of compromise."
From a student in a 1990 course evaluation:
"Awesome! Very knowledgeable! She wanted us to learn." (and then simply) "Natalie appears underappreciated by the administration."
From a colleague, Larry Speck, two weeks ago:
"I missed Natalie so much when she retired. There was absolutely no replacing her because there was no one even vaguely like her. She left a big void that is still there in a lot of ways today."
Her achievements in architectural education were acknowledged with awards including the School of Architecture Outstanding Teacher Award in 1988 and, most significantly, the Texas Society of Architecture Romeineic Award in 1998. This award acknowledges lifetime achievements for outstanding educational contributions. Additionally, a scholarship was created in her name at the UT School of Architecture. Additionally, Natalie inspired Elizabeth Danze (who just this year received the TSA Romieniec Award) and a small group of women professional to start Austin Women in Architecture, as she had done previously in Chicago and Houston. As Elizabeth states, "She was a natural mentor to us all."
Natalie was a beloved professor and had a significant impact on a generation of students, many of whom are very successful today. There is absolutely no replacing her.
Tribute to Natalie de Blois, presented by Elaine Molinar
I'm here to deliver on behalf of Craig Dykers, my husband and business partner. Craig was intending to speak here today, however we have just had the good fortune of winning a competition for a new central library in Calgary, Canada, two weeks ago and the announcement was unfortunately scheduled for today. He told me that he was greatly disappointed by not being here, but that somehow he hoped that Natalie would have been proud of the reason.
I am also a UT graduate (this is where Craig and I met for the first time). Regrettably, I never took Natalie's class. I was certainly not the only student who was perhaps a bit intimidated by her great presence, and the tall buildings studio she taught while I was a student. I was awed by the scope of architectural history she carried with her as well as the changes she saw in our profession during her career. And I hoped that one day I would have her kind of confidence.
And now for Craig's words:
Natalie de Blois and Craig Dykers, dancing to Bob Marley, 1983.
Certainly, each of us will have a unique recollection of Natalie. Her life seemed to be a long chain of exceptional moments. Some of us knew her through her work, some through her teaching, and some more closely as family, but I suspect that each of us would find a common feeling of warmth and respect when we think of her.
I always felt that Natalie's wide ranging personal history would always have things lingering below the surface that I would be surprised to discover. And this was the case. I would like to share a memory with you of Natalie that may be one of those surprises.
It starts in a not-so-surprising way. Natalie was a professor at my university in Austin. Interestingly though she was not my teacher. We met because a friend of mine had her as a design professor, and he mentioned that I should visit the studio. I walked in while the class was in session. As soon as I entered, Natalie invited me into the discussion without hesitation. She never questioned my presence, although I was not enrolled in her studio. From that point on, whenever I saw her in the corridors at school, on the street, or on her bicycle, she would always want to know what I was up to and would always offer advice and instruction. Although I was not in her class she talked to me as if I were. That should be no surprise because she was always connected to all the things around her, no matter the context.
One day after class when I met Natalie at my local grocery store, I discovered I was actually her neighbor. She lived across the street and over the alley from me, about 50 yards from my little student bungalow. I naturally asked if I could come visit her one day…. I wanted to see where this amazing person lived, what kind of library she had…, so many things.
She was delighted and said in her typically sharp way, something like, "Sure, come on over, any time, that would be great, what are you working on in studio by the way?
I wandered across the alley one evening without notice and knocked on her back door. She made me some coffee and we talked and I returned many evenings for several weeks after. We would discuss architecture, and then I found out that she loved to laugh when I told a joke. Her laugh always had a crack in it, like lightning.
She had no time limit for our little chats, and I would sometimes stop by quite late, she didn't care, I would knock on the back door and we would hang out in the kitchen talking about my work or architecture in general. We talked about my classmates, and she exclaimed that I should bring them by if they wanted to talk about design. So suddenly two or three of us would show up, then three or four and more. Always at the end of a hard day studying, the door was open.
One day someone brought a cassette tape, and Natalie popped it into her little stereo. It was Bob Marley. I guess nobody knew what would happen next …Bob Marley at Natalie's?
Well, it just seemed to happen naturally, we were all so happy and everybody just began dancing. Natalie in the middle of all of us throwing her arms around and cracking a laugh. After that, my friends and I would often end up at her place dancing from time to time late at night. She really liked to dance… and laugh… that was not always apparent to us students, at first glance….
Someone took a photo of me dancing with Natalie in her front room. Who would have ever guessed that she would have so much fun dancing to pop music, the blues, and reggae?
Perhaps that is surprising, perhaps not. That is what made Natalie unique to me, there was no stone unturned. She loved making great buildings, but underneath it all, she had such a youthful outlook that death seems alien to my view of her.
As my career grew and I had the chance to come to Chicago several times to lecture, Natalie always came to my talks. She said she wouldn't miss one for the world, and she still asked me in the same cracking voice if I was doing the right thing. She came to my last talk in Chicago near the end of her life. She came with a cane, but she was there, and I was so proud. Each time I came to Chicago, she invited me to her apartment on Lakeshore Drive. I loved to be there, and my greatest regret was not sharing one more dance with her in her living room. So this will remain my memory of Natalie.
Events are subject to change—for the full schedule and latest updates, check the online UTSOA Calendar.
CENTER LUNCH FORUM SERIES
Roughly every other Friday during the fall and spring semesters, The Center for American Architecture and Design hosts a Friday Lunch Forum Series. The aim of the series is for faculty and students to meet in an informal atmosphere to debate topics and to share ideas about history, practice, theory, and new directions for architecture.
All Center Lunch Forums take place at 12:00 noon (CST) in Battle Hall, Room 101, and via LIVE WEBCAST.
Visit the Center website for updates and to access the live webcast.
The remaining forum on the fall 2013 schedule is:
Past featured forums:
VRC EXHIBIT: FOCUS ON INTERIORS
Eames workshop, Charles Eames, United States, 1958.
Through January 17, 2014
Visual Resources Collection (VRC)
Sutton Hall 3.128 (Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00) and
Through August 8, 2014, Battle Hall
"Focus on Interiors: A Tapestry of Images"
In celebration of the Interior Design Program's 101st year at The University of Texas at Austin and 15th year in the School of Architecture, the Visual Resources Collection (VRC) has selected images from its holdings focused on interiors, highlighting the varied interiors and furniture that have spanned the century.
The VRC's images support teaching and research and are available to UT affiliates.
In this fast-paced world, there's a lot of news to keep up with. We know you are doing great things, and we rely on you not only to share your stories, but also to keep us up-to-date so that we can share our stories with you. Please send your news and contact updates to Communications Coordinator Pamela Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
512.471.1922, fax 512.471.0716
UTSOA Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
School of Architecture
310 Inner Campus Drive B7500
Austin, TX 78712-1009