Solar Decathlon Team Wins Fourth Place and Multiple Awards

Photo of Nexushaus 2015 Solar Decathlon Team. Photo of Nexushaus 2015 Solar Decathlon Team.

Nexushaus 2015 Solar Decathlon Team.

Photo of 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015. Photo of 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015.

UT Austin/TUM 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015.

Photo of 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015. Photo of 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015.

UT Austin/TUM 2015 Solar Decathlon team entry, Nexushaus 2015.

Students from The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) took fourth place overall in the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition in Irvine, California, for their project, the NexusHaus.

Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate a solar house that is affordable, energy-efficient, and innovative. Projects are judged in ten different areas of focus (hence the name "Decathlon"), with points being awarded for each. The team with the most points after ten days of competition wins.

In the areas described above, the NexusHaus team won first place in Energy Balance; second in Affordability; third in Engineering; fourth in Communications; and fifth in Market Appeal.

Over 75 students from seven disciplines were involved on the NexusHaus. School of Architecture instructors Michael Garrison, Petra Liedl, and Adam Pyrek supervised the students throughout the two-year project, with support from Michael Webber of UT Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering, as well as TUM's Werner Lang.

On September 27, the NexusHaus was transported from Austin to Irvine, California, where the competition took place October 8 – 18. Crowdfunded at $21,422, the NexusHaus is a one-story, 850-square-foot integration of solar and energy-efficient technology. Built with renewable and reusable materials, the house features solar panels on the flat roof providing enough electricity for AC, lighting, and appliances, and to charge an electric car.

The NexusHaus will be re-assembled at UT Austin's McDonald Observatory in West Texas in January 2016 and will be a prototype for an accessory dwelling unit in East Austin.

Molly McNamara, one of the NexusHaus team leaders, shares details about the design, construction, and competition process on her blog entry, "It Takes a Village to Build a Solar Decathlon House," at Metropolis magazine.

The entire team is grateful for all the support received from the School of Architecture and the entire UT community. Many thanks to all the sponsors who made this successful event happen.

For final scores and standings, please visit

Badlands Centennial Studio

Image of Badlands Studio context boards. Image of Badlands Studio context boards.

Detail, Badlands Studio context boards, mid-term presentation by Jamie DeAngelo and Kathleen Conti.

Photo of topographic site model, Badlands National Park. Photo of topographic site model, Badlands National Park.

Topographic site model, Badlands National Park. Pictured: Kelsey Riddle (background), MSHP; Xiaomeng Ma, MLA; Warner Cook, MSCRP + MSSD. Photo by Amy Grossman.

Site plan and diagrams drawings, Badlands Studio. Site plan and diagrams drawings, Badlands Studio.

Site plan and diagrams, Badlands Studio mid-term presentation by Kathleen Conti, Camilo Gonzalez, Kelsey Riddle, and Hannah Simonson.

For the Badlands National Park Studio’s midterm review last week, six National Parks Service (NPS) staff came to Austin, from the park and from two NPS regional offices. Other NPS personnel observed and commented online. In September, 13 students (from five countries and six UTSOA graduate degree programs) traveled to the park for nine days of intensive fieldwork and interviews. Studio instructors Michael Holleran and Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla accompanied them, as well as six staff members from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Ecological Design Group.

The Badlands Studio is this year’s Preservation Studio, focusing on the cultural landscape of the Cedar Pass district within the park. Cedar Pass includes early tourism development from the 1930s including the park’s lodge, and “Mission 66” mid-century facilities including staff housing and the 1958 visitor’s center designed by Cecil Doty. The studio is part of a year-long project funded by a $162,000 grant from the National Parks Service to UTSOA’s Center for Sustainable Development, to improve visitor experience, accessibility and sustainability at Cedar Pass, while better caring for its significant buildings and landscapes.

NPS chose UTSOA for this project for the school’s combination of expertise in the Historic Preservation Program, the Center for Sustainable Development, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the track record of these units collaborating. Our tradition of interdisciplinary studios fosters a conversation that crosses the boundaries between cultural and natural resources, helping Park Service staff to bridge those boundaries themselves. The Wildflower Center’s Ecological Design Group is helping both our students and NPS staff incorporate prairie restoration, climate change adaptation, and Sustainable SITES into the Cedar Pass plans.

For students, the studio provides an unparalleled opportunity to investigate real issues in all of their complexity, and the satisfaction of knowing their work can have a real influence. Park Superintendent Mike Pflaum, at the end of last week’s review, said he’s “now equally impressed with how much you’ve gathered, and how much you’ve synthesized.” After a final, end-of-semester review in Austin, Holleran, Ibarra-Sevilla, and four of the students will present the studio’s work at NPS Regional headquarters in Omaha. UTSOA Graduate Research Assistants will continue the project with NPS staff during the spring.

4 x 40 Fiesta

Image of 4 x40 poster. Image of 4 x40 poster.

4 x 40 Fiesta poster, designed in Austin by Dyal and Partners.

Join us for an all-star evening with faculty rock stars — Michael Benedikt, Larry Doll, Michael Garrison, and Larry Speck — on their 40th anniversary of teaching and service to the School of Architecture.


Conversation (with special guests!)
Texas Union Theatre
5:00 p.m.
Limited seating — tickets required — RSVP now

Party (music! dancing! fun!)
Courtyard, Goldsmith Hall
7:00 p.m.

Your R.S.V.P. helps us plan ahead.

It promises to be a lively occasion that will bring together many alumni and friends of the school, and we hope you can join us.


In honor of this important anniversary and the dedication of Professors Benedikt, Doll, Garrison, and Speck, the School of Architecture is raising funds to support fellowships for graduate architecture students. To be a part of this effort, make your gift online today here, or contact us at

PRP Now!

PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks. PRP Now! aims to showcase the great experiences students encounter within the Professional Residency Program. PRP offers upper-level architecture students a unique opportunity to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, our students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries.

Start here to read their stories.

PRP staff recently had the pleasure to speak with Stancey Moore (B.Arch. candidate 2016), who told us, "Do PRP! Especially if you are on the fence about architecture as a profession, do it." His story follows:

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
Stancey: I'm working at a firm in the Brooklyn called Bernheimer Architecture. Since I've been there, the firm has been working on a lot of cool residential projects at a variety of scales and a large spectrum of client types. Everything from low income housing to high end lofts for developers. In addition, they've been doing a lot of commercial projects that I've been able to work on.

PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Stancey: I really love living and working in New York. I had always said that I wanted to move here after graduating so this definitely was a good test. I love that there is so much to do, and that every thing is constantly new and changing. Also, for someone who considers themselves an art nerd, there are an amazing amount of museums. So that's definitely a plus.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Stancey: On my desk is obviously a large cup of iced coffee (wouldn't be my desk without it). But other than that, I have a stack of drawings that I'm checking over since we are about to send them out to file. They are for the project I've been working on since I got here. It's a spin studio in Manhattan with a really interesting client. So I've gotten both real world design experience and an introduction to client meetings and interactions. It's been fun!

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
Stancey: The firm has a fantastic work environment. It's social, fun, and productive place to work. The office is definitely really busy right now with ongoing and potential projects, but the office environment keeps it from feeling too stressful. They definitely go against the over worked and tired identity that we've come to know of architecture offices. Also when I first came here they were moving out of the era of Rihanna Friday's where we would listen to her Spotify station after lunch. I've been voting to bring it back.

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
Stancey: Do PRP! Especially if you are on the fence about architecture as a profession, do it. Going to the right firm in the right city can completely change your out look on architecture and architects for that matter. Working in actual firm for this long is completely different from what studio and school is like.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
Stancey: It's currently NY fashion week. This weekend I was gonna go to midtown in Manhattan and probably stalk the tents. I've been try to find viewings or shows of smaller designers that I could potentially get into. Fingers crossed, I can get in!

Faculty Scholarship

Book cover image of Modern Architecture in Latin America. Book cover image of Modern Architecture in Latin America.

Cover, Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology and Utopia, by Luis E. Carranza and Fernando Luiz Lara.

Associate Professor Fernando Lara’s 2015 publication, Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology and Utopia, was named a runner-up at the Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards ceremony, held November 2, in Austin, Texas.

Designed as a survey and arranged chronologically from 1903 to 2003, Modern Architecture in Latin America expertly defines the key issues, polemics, and works that represent the complex processes of political, economic, and cultural modernization in twentieth century Latin America. The publication, which has been widely praised, is the first comprehensive history of these subjects in any language.

The Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards were established in 1997 by The University Co-operative Society to reward faculty publications and research, and are made to faculty or staff members who, in the preceding calendar year, have published the best book-length publications as determined by a multi-disciplinary committee of scholars appointed by the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin.


Additionally, in September Lara presented two invited talks about Modern Architecture in Latin America, one at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale and one at Universidad Autonoma Nuevo Leon in Monterrey, Mexico. Also in September, Lara spoke at the VII PROJETAR conference, the largest symposium on design education in Brazil. At that same event, Lara released his latest book, Quid Novi, architectural education dilemmas in the 21st century. This book is a trilingual edition (English, Spanish, Portuguese) of 9 scholars answering to the following provocation: "why hasn’t architectural education changed much (or nothing at all) in the last decade while the profession suffered dramatic transformations?" Available in paper and e-book format, Quid Novi is the first book published by nhamerica, an online platform for the dissemination of architectural knowledge.


Photo of Saints Peter and Paul Chapel. Photo of Saints Peter and Paul Chapel.

Saints Peter and Paul Chapel, Austin, Texas, Danze Blood Architects.

Danze Blood Architects [Elizabeth Danze, FAIA, and John Blood, AIA] received a 2015 Texas Society of Architects (TxA) Studio Award for their Saints Peter and Paul Chapel.

The TxA Studio Awards recognize unbuilt projects demonstrating innovation and excellence in design. The program emphasizes real or theoretical projects that go beyond the boundaries of architecture to address current critical issues. This year's submissions offered a variety of building typologies proposed for locations in Texas and abroad, predominately Asia. Four projects were selected from among the 72 entries. The awarded projects all demonstrate pure architecture that, in the jury’s opinion, could be “understood through the drawings alone, without the words.”

Peter and Paul, iconic saints of the Catholic Church share the same feast day: June 29 (also the client’s birthday). This intentional convergence balances two powerful opposing forces within the church. Peter represents the grounded, institutional church, its hierarchy and institutions, while Paul’s force is ethereal, exemplified in light and spirited expression.

As the church binds Peter and Paul into one body, this small family chapel unifies their forces architecturally: expressing their stereotomic and tectonic qualities. The chapel is anchored by a powerful concrete foundation (Peter) rising above the steep terrain, its walls exposed, and sculpted to express unreserved strength. Above this, a structure (Paul) lightly engages its foundation. The enclosed space is light, subtlety expressing ascendant movement while defining a place of prayer and contemplation. Concrete entry steps rise into the southern sky and the vertical canopy inflects upward, its soaring trajectory sheltering, yet transparent to the heavens.

The project also won a 2013 AIA Austin Design Award: Citation of Honor, Unbuilt Category.


Book cover image of Beyond BIM. Book cover image of Beyond BIM.

Cover, Beyond BIM: Architecture Information Modeling, by Danelle Briscoe.

Assistant Professor Danelle Briscoe's book, Beyond BIM: Architecture Information Modeling, was just published by Routledge.

Beyond BIM explores the vast and under-explored design potential undertaken by information modeling. Through a series of investigations grounded in the analysis of built work, interviews with leading practitioners, and speculative projects, Briscoe catalogs the practical advantages and theoretical implications of exploiting BIM as a primary tool for design innovation.

Organized by information type, such as geographic data, local code, or materials, each chapter suggests a realm of knowledge that can be harvested and imported into BIM to give meaningful specificity to architectural form and space. While highly sustainable, the work documented and envisioned in this book moves well beyond "normalization," to reveal inventive takes on contemporary practice.


Photo of “6 Houses” exhibit. Photo of “6 Houses” exhibit.

“6 Houses” exhibit, Alterstudio, Texas A&M University.

The award-winning residential designs of Alterstudio Architects LLP are showcased in “6 Houses,” an exhibit running through January 19, 2016, in Texas A&M University’s Wright Gallery.

Alterstudio principal, Professor Kevin Alter, presented a lecture at the exhibit opening on October 26.

In addition to garnering numerous awards including the Housing Award from the American Institute of Architects and Design Excellence awards from the American Society of Interior Design and the International Interior Design Association, the homes featured in the exhibit also drew praise from essayists in the book, 6 Houses, which features designs Alter created with firm partners Ernesto Cragnolino [B.Arch. '97, BSAE '97, BA Plan II '97] and Tim Whitehill [B.Arch. '02].


Assistant Professor Robert Young's article, "The Oregon Way: Planning a Sustainable Economy in the American West," was published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER).

The article explores Oregon’s attempts to transcend the boom/bust cycles of its historically natural resource–based economy to establish a more diversified, resilient economy based upon advanced manufacturing and sustainable technology and practices. Drawing upon Fredrick Turner’s and Harold Innis’s theses of North American development, Young explored Oregon’s economic dynamics through state and federal data and Oregon’s recent economic initiatives. Results reflect an Oregon still reliant upon natural resource and industrial commodities, leaving it highly vulnerable to global markets. Efforts toward “greening” the state’s economy, although embryonic, show signs of setting Oregon on a more independent, self-reliant economic trajectory.

View the entire article on JPER online.

Young reflects further on the subject in his blog post in the September 8, 2015, edition of Planetizen, "Oregon Is Not Just Portland: Planning a Sustainable Economy in Peripheral Areas of the American West."


Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry/ El arte de la cantería mixteca by Assistant Professor Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla was awarded with a medal for the best published work at the Architecture Biennale of Mexico City 2015. The award was given by the College of Architects in Mexico City and the jury was formed by outstanding practitioners, including Augusto F. Álvarez Fuentes, Eliseo Arredondo González, Gerardo García del Valle y Blanco, Enrique García Formentí, José Grinberg Damashevitzki, and Luis Solís Avila.

Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry competed with eighteen exemplary submissions related to architecture in Mexico. Ibarra’s book focuses on three sixteenth-century buildings located in Oaxaca, Mexico. The book demonstrated a fresh and innovative approach to understanding these historic structures. The award ceremony was held on October 1 at the installations of the “Colegio de Arquitectos de la Ciudad de Mexico,” during the festivities of the Architect's National Day.

Additionally, Ibarra was interviewed by the television channel of the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ). The weekly TV show “Entre Amigos” featured Ibarra talking about his research and the historic monuments he studies. The show focused on three sixteenth-century buildings located in Mexico, sharing with the audience their main features and importance in the Mexican historic architectural context.

The interview [in Spanish] can be seen in the UACJ TV Youtube channel.

Support UTSOA


First announced in fall 2013, the School of Architecture is in the final stages of completing a $1-million campaign for the creation of a chair-level endowment for visiting professors. This faculty endowment will provide renewable funding to support non-tenure-track appointments of accomplished practitioners on a rotating basis. Visiting professors of practice will come from different disciplines in the design and planning professions and serve terms ranging from one semester to two years.

This endowment will be created with $500,000 from Longhorn Network revenues and $500,000 in gifts. With $461,000 in gift commitments, only $39,000 remains to reach the goal and establish this endowment.

"After two years of fundraising, the $1-million endowment for visiting faculty is nearly within our grasp," said Dean Fritz Steiner. "As an endowment to bring in leaders from all disciplines taught at the school, I ask all our alumni for help to close the $39,000 gap before the end of 2015. If you are considering a year-end gift to the School of Architecture, supporting this faculty endowment will have tremendous impact, and you can multiply your gift with $500,000 in matching funds. This chair will have a lasting effect and undoubtedly raise the profile of the school within academic and professional communities."

As with all endowments, gifts to support the professor of practice chair can be pledged for a term of up to five years. Please contact Luke Dunlap, director of development, at or 512.471.6114 with any questions about making a gift today.


Photo of Harvey Marmon. Photo of Harvey Marmon.

Harvey V. Marmon, Jr., FAIA.

In October, the University of Texas System Board of Regents formally approved the establishment of the Harvey V. Marmon, Jr.,FAIA/Marmon Mok Scholarship in Architecture. This endowment honors Harvey Victor Marmon, Jr. [B.Arch. '50], a prominent San Antonio architect who passed away in April. The scholarship was created by his widow, Rosemary Bowers Marmon [BS '49 ]; daughters Harriet Marmon Helmle [BS '68], Mary Marmon Fellows [BFA '80], and Beth Marmon Munns; son Mark Marmon; and Mr. Marmon's firm, Marmon Mok. In addition, the school received dozens of gifts from Mr. Marmon's extended family, friends, colleagues, and former clients.

After working for O'Neil Ford, Mr. Marmon joined classmate Edward Mok [B.Arch. '50, M.Arch. '52], to establish Marmon Mok in 1953. For over sixty years, the firm has been a leading architectural design in San Antonio and throughout the state of Texas. Some of the firm's landmark projects include the South Texas Medical Center Master Plan, Texas A&M San Antonio Master Plan, Terminal 1 of the San Antonio International Airport, the Alamodome, Disch Falk Field at UT Austin, and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

"Harvey Marmon was the consummate professional," said Steve Souter, FAIA, managing partner of Marmon Mok. "He was a great mentor to me and all the young architects that came into our office. He always made time to help and guide us—regardless of how busy he was. He instilled in us that the most important consideration in our work and in our actions was the firm’s reputation and integrity—and to this day, we still use his advice as a guiding principle."

The School of Architecture continues to receive gifts to the scholarship fund. To make a gift, please visit our online giving page or contact the UTSOA development office at 512.471.6114.

"The outpouring of generous memorial gifts is extraordinary," said Luke Dunlap, the school's development director. "It's clear that Mr. Marmon was widely admired and dearly loved. This scholarship will be very meaningful to lots of people who were close to him."

Alumni Updates

Photo of Casa Lobo residence by CONTENT Architecture. Photo of Casa Lobo residence by CONTENT Architecture.

Casa Lobo residence, CONTENT Architecture. Photo by Paul Hester.

CONTENT Architecture received a AIA Houston 2015 Residential Design Award for Casa Lobo, a modest residence built in Houston's East End. CONTENT is Jesse Hager, AIA [M.Arch. '06]; Eric Hughes; and Heather Rowell.

Casa Lobo is a collaboration between CONTENT and the owner to create an affordable, well designed solution using the economy of metal building components. Situated in Houston's energized East End, the single level house is lifted off the site to accommodate the owner's hobby as a mechanic below while gaining privacy for living above.

The firm's Bayou Residence was published in the May/June 2015 issue of Texas Architect.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is pleased to announce that Sanna Greenberg [M.Arch. '07] is among the newest class of Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows. The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM fields—and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools.

Each Fellow receives $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a year-long classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural New Jersey schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.


Photo of Barron Peper and Jacob Hoeffner. Photo of Barron Peper and Jacob Hoeffner.

Barron Peper and Jacob Hoeffner travel west on motorcycles, capturing people’s stories on their blog, Shift West. Photo by Barron Peper, Daily Texan Staff.

Barron Peper [B.Arch. '15] was featured in the Daily Texan, in the article, "UT Alumnus Motorcyles West Across America." Peper and his friend, Jacob Hoeffner, decided to journey across the country on two motorcycles to the Pacific Northwest in search of new friends, epic landscapes, and compelling stories.

Article excerpt: "With just two motorcycles, a tent, a change of clothes and $100 in their pockets, UT alumnus Barron Peper and his lifelong friend Jacob Hoeffner began their journey west."

"Their expedition, Shift West, will cover eight states and 10 national parks in a 45-day journey. From Waco to the Pacific Northwest, the duo will share stories of people they meet along the way, hoping to inspire their blog followers to 'shift west' themselves."

"Peper and Hoeffner said meeting these people motivates them to move on to the next town."

“'We have the freedom to spend time with whom we want, but it’s not as easy as it seems,' Peper said. 'We’ve created a lot of strong friendships, which have turned into hard good-byes.'”

Read about their journey at Shift West.

Prairie View A&M University's Journal of History and Culture has published an article by Jason John Paul Haskins [B.Arch. '04, M.Arch '10]. “Marginalized Modernisms: Progressive Architecture for Minority, Immigrant, and Rural Churches in Texas” surveys a wide range of under-appreciated modern church buildings across the state and discusses issues related to their preservation.

"Marginalization threatens the conservation of post-war churches built by minority, immigrant, and rural communities. Their congregations face economic limitations, social changes, and insufficient resources to maintain their facilities. Many are undocumented and uncelebrated when they fall outside canonical definitions of Modernism, prevailing taste, and mainstream conceptions of historical significance. This paper explores the social contexts of the development of modern churches for diverse religious identities to aid in their identification and evaluation."

The journal is available online.


Photo of Van Dorn Hooker, Jr. Photo of Van Dorn Hooker, Jr.

Former University of New Mexico architect Van Dorn Hooker Jr. in 2001 visits the UNM duck pond, a project that he championed while implementing and overseeing the campus master plan. Photo by Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal.

Alumnus Van Dorn Hooker, Jr. [B.Arch. '47] passed away on June 14 at the age of 93. He was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie Mead "Peggy" Hooker [B.Arch. '47], who passed away in 2006.

Van Dorn was born in Carthage, Texas, and after attending Marshall College (now East Texas Baptist U.), he volunteered in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1943-45, Staff Sergeant, 20th Air Force, while serving as a radio operator in the China-Burma-India and Asia Pacific Theaters. In his spare time, he painted nose art on bombers and drew cartoons for the Army news. After retiring, he wrote his war memoir modestly titled The War In Which I Did Not Fight.

After the war ended, he met Peggy while both were studying architecture at the University of Texas. They honeymooned in New Mexico, before moving to Berkeley, where Hooker studied with Eric Mendelsohn. After returning to New Mexico to practice in Santa Fe, Hooker established the firm of McHugh, Hooker, Bradley P. Kidder and Associates. While in private practice he became a noted expert in the restoration of adobe churches for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and served on the Archdiocese' Building Committee.

From 1963-1987, Van Dorn served as University Architect at the University of New Mexico (UNM). While at UNM, he was instrumental in assuring that the original pueblo style architecture of John Gaw Meem, an early mentor, was reflected throughout the campus and at satellite campuses including Gallup and Taos Harwood Foundation during the University's rapid period of growth.

After retiring, Hooker was the architectural design consultant for the renovation of the New Mexico State Capitol from 1987-1992, which as a result displays the work of New Mexico artists and craftsmen, including several of his watercolors depicting New Mexico landscapes. Hooker also continued his interest in historic preservation and among his many publications, wrote Centuries of Hands with Corina Santistevan, on the restoration of St. Francis of Assisi Church at Ranchos de Taos.

Van Dorn Hooker received many accolades, too numerous to list, but including being named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture and a Fellow of the Association of University Architects. He received a Silver Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the New Mexico AIA, Western Mountain Region AIA Silver Medal (highest award in 6-state region), and an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from UNM in 2010.

Until the end, the University of Texas was very important to Hooker He met life-long friends, including his wife Peggy, at the School of Architecture and was part of a large contingency of alumni who settled in New Mexico. He was a good friend of the school and of the Architecture and Planning Library. We have him to thank for providing the archives with valuable information about about the school in the years book-ending World War II.

Read more about Van Dorn Hooker, Jr. in the Albuquerque Journal.


Events are subject to change—for the full schedule and latest updates, visit Upcoming Lectures & Events online.


Monday, November 2
Robert Yaro
Fellow of Potter Rose Professorship in Urban Planning, UTSOA
Regional Plan Association
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Goldsmith Hall 3.120
5:00 p.m.

"Toward a Preservation Strategy for the Texas Hill Country"

Bob Yaro is currently the Potter Rose Visiting Professor of Planning at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2002, he has been Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.

From 1990 to 2014, Yaro was executive director and then president and CEO of the Regional Plan Association (RPA) in New York, America's oldest metropolitan policy group. In 2014, Yaro retired after 25 years in leadership positions at RPA. He currently serves as RPA president emeritus and senior advisor.

Yaro's work and influence goes far beyond the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region. He established America 2050, RPA's examination of long-range infrastructure demands in the United States. He is a thought leader in large-scale planning for megaregions, identifying the interdependence of large regional areas on infrastructure and natural resources. In 2012, Yaro established the Global Lab, a joint venture with the World Bank, to improve planning in emerging global cities.

At the UT Austin School of Architecture, Yaro teaches a practicum for community and regional planning students on the Texas Hill Country—the extraordinary natural and scenic area abutting Austin, San Antonio, and the I-35 Corridor. The studio investigates how current and future development patterns will affect the region's ground and surface water supplies, wildlife habitat, and natural and scenic resources.

An internationally recognized leader in urban and regional planning, Yaro brings considerable expertise and experience in advocacy and public policy for transportation, economic development, and environmental sustainability to the Hill Country studio. He has had more than four decades of experience in planning for metropolitan regions and large landscapes in New York, New England, and around the world. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Yaro was educated at Harvard and Wesleyan Universities and resides in Guilford, Connecticut.


Wednesday, November 4
Vladimir Djurovic
Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
Beirut, Lebanon

Goldsmith Hall 3.120
5:00 p.m.

"Nature as Center Stage"


Of Montenegrin descent, Vladimir Djurovic was born in Lebanon in 1967 and pursued his studies abroad. He received his undergraduate degree in horticulture from Reading University in England and his masters degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia in the United States. After working in the U.S. for several years, he returned to Lebanon to establish his landscape architectural practice in 1995.

Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture has been embarking on select projects around the globe, working closely with renowned architects. Djurovic has lectured extensively and has been granted numerous international awards, including the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007.

The lecture will cover a range of gardens designed by the firm over the years and across the globe, from the Middle East to Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and will illustrate its design approach and strategy for these varied contexts.


Friday, November 6
Dr. Afroza Parvin
Visiting Researcher/Scholar, UTSOA
Professor of Architecture and
Director, Centre of Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Khulna University, Bangladesh

Goldsmith Hall 3.120
12:00 p.m.

"Autonomous Adaptation in Built Environment: Towards Resilient Informal Settlements"

The southwestern coastal region of Bangladesh gets severely affected by frequent natural disasters. Being located in this region, Khulna city has been experiencing increasing disaster-induced urban problems. More than twenty percent of the city population lives in informal settlements with limited access to technical and social services where the situation is been exacerbated by the lack-of-development problem. Being informal settlers, the urban poor do not get necessary support from the formal institutions, and therefore they develop innovative adaptation practices as part of their survival strategies. To this end, this research investigates two context-specific issues: how autonomous adaptation reduces disaster risks in self-built informal settlements; and how to substantiate this grassroots adaptive capacity through planned intervention.

Applying a participatory methodology the research investigates the issues both at neighborhood and dwelling-unit scales. Focusing on the local materials, construction techniques, and skills of self-built paradigm, the research explores the physical construct of three markedly different informal settlements in terms of general building process and process of pre-and post-disaster responses. Based on the findings, the research attempts to develop a set of strategic guidelines towards the integration of physical adaptation capacity of informal settlements into the formal planning and development process.


Wednesday, November 11
John Ronan
John Ronan Architects
Chicago, Illinois
Illinois Institute of Technology

Jessen Auditorium
5:00 p.m.

"Sticks and Stones"


John Ronan, FAIA, founded John Ronan Architects in Chicago in 1999. He serves as lead designer on all projects the office undertakes and is known for his abstract yet sensuous work which explores materiality and atmosphere. Ronan holds a master of architecture degree with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan.

In 1999, he was a winner in the Townhouse Revisited Competition staged by the Graham Foundation, and his firm was the winner of the prestigious Perth Amboy High School Design Competition in 2004, a two-stage international design competition to design a 472,000 square foot high school in New Jersey. In December 2000, he was named as a member of the Design Vanguard by Architectural Record magazine, and in January 2005 he was selected to The Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices program.

Ronan has lectured widely, and his work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Art Institute of Chicago and The Architectural League of New York’s Urban Center. His work has been covered extensively by the international design press, and a monograph on his work, titled Explorations, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. A publication on his Poetry Foundation building by the Center for American Architecture & Design at the University of Texas, is forthcoming. His firm has been the recipient of two AIA Institute National Honor Awards—for the Poetry Foundation and The Gary Comer Youth Center, both in Chicago.

Ronan is a professor of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, where he has taught since 1992.

Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes

October 12 – November 7
Goldsmith Mebane Gallery
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Purism, constructivism, rationalism, or functionalism—these are terms seeking to give a name to various aspects of the notable phenomenon that literally obsessed the European architectural scene in the 1920s. One of the main art centers where the new approach to architecture was developing had, since the beginning, been Prague.

EXHIBIT: Field Constructs Design Competition

November 13 – November 22
Goldsmith Mebane Gallery
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Opening reception Friday, November 13
5:00 to 6:00 p.m., with introductory remarks by the curators at 5:15 p.m.

The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to present the exhibition documenting Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC). In November of 2014, FCDC invited emerging designers, architects, landscape architects, and artists to participate in an international juried competition to design, fabricate, and install a site-specific intervention at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin’s Montopolis neighborhood. FCDC attracted submissions from four continents, nine countries, 14 states, and 35 cities.

Many captured the program’s mission of marrying experimentation with design innovation while uniquely addressing the history and ecology of the competition site—a former quarry and remediated brownfield.

Represented in the exhibition is a collection of the four winning projects, 14 jury-selected finalists, and 12 curators’ choices. The exhibition, designed by UTSOA Associate Professor Igor Siddiqui, presents images from the selected projects as an immersive field organized within the scaled footprint of the Circle Acres site. Presented are also details about the winning proposals and expanded information about the Montopolis site.

Parallel to the exhibition in Mebane Gallery, the four winning projects will be installed for public viewing at the site from November 14 to 22. The winning projects—a buoyant chain of balloons wired with sensors floating above the landscape; a camouflaged canopy laser-cut from polished steel; a brightly-colored egg overgrown with grass; and a patterned root system fabricated on a digital lathe—represent a diverse group of architects, landscape architects, and designers, focusing on digital fabrication, material innovation, and interactive design. Themes of camouflage; waste cycles in a landfill; dynamic, repetitive, growth in nature; and interactivity unite the four projects—which will all generate, apply, and test innovative thinking with regard to site specificity, environmental impact, and the use of new technological advancements in design.

The 2015 FCDC jury included: Virginia San Fratello of Rael San Fratello in Oakland, California; Benjamin Ball of Ball-Nogues Studio in Los Angeles; Ingrid Spencer, executive director of AIA Austin; Jason Sowell, associate professor and program director of landscape architecture at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture; and Seattle-based artist John Grade.

2015 Field Constructs Design Competition Winners

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Studio Roland Snooks
Melbourne, Australia

OP.AL + And-Either-Or
New York, New York

Austin, Texas

Field Constructs Design Competition is co-founded and co-directed by Rachel Adams, Catherine Gavin, and Igor Siddiqui. Graphic design and identity are by Pentagram. Circle Acres Nature Preserve is owned and operated by Ecology Action of Texas.

For more information, please visit


Friday, November 20

Join us for an all-star evening with faculty rock stars — Michael Benedikt, Larry Doll, Michael Garrison, and Larry Speck — on their 40th anniversary of teaching and service to the School of Architecture.

Conversation (with special guests!)
Texas Union Theatre
5:00 p.m.
Limited seating — tickets requiredRSVP now

Party (music! dancing! fun!)
Courtyard, Goldsmith Hall
7:00 p.m.

Your R.S.V.P. helps us plan ahead.


Drawing of Charles W. Moore residence, Orinda, California. Drawing of Charles W. Moore residence, Orinda, California.

Charles W. Moore residence, Orinda, California, south section; Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries.

October 19 – March 20, 2016
To Better Know a Building: The Charles Moore House, Orinda, California
Architecture & Planning Library
Battle Hall Reading Room

The personal residence of renowned architect, author and award-winning architectural educator Charles W. Moore is the focus of the third installment of the Alexander Architectural Archive’s “To Better Know a Building” series.

The Charles Moore House at Orinda, California, was designed by Moore for himself and built in 1961. With its small footprint, the building was viewed as a quintessential expression of third bay region residential architecture.

"The site was bought one day on impulse simply because it seems full of magic,” wrote Moore in The Place of Houses (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974). “Years before, a bulldozer had cut a flat circular building site, which had since grown grassy and now seemed part of the natural setting, like those perfectly circular meadows that inspired medieval Chinese poets to mediate upon perfection."

The significance of Moore's Orinda house is expressed by Kevin Keim in his book An Architectural Life: Memoirs and Memories of Charles W. Moore.

"In a decisive move of great clarity and wit, Moore broke from the shackles of modernist ideology,” wrote Keim. “It was astoundingly fresh. Modernism's sacred flat roof was swept away and replaced with a pyramidal roof. Even more to the point, the house was a simple pavilion of banal materials, defying the convention that a building had to be monumental in order to be architecture."

In a tragic circumstance, the home was, at some point in recent years, renovated so dramatically that the original structure has been all but consumed by new construction.

Throughout his career, Moore established firms across the country, developing collaborative relationships within and between practices, often involving students from his academic positions in his architectural work. He professional life was a blend of architectural practice, educational engagement, and authorship.

He also taught at six universities while simultaneously maintaining his architectural practice and writing. From 1965 to 1970, Moore served as chairman, and then dean, of the Architecture Department at Yale University. In 1967, he created the Yale Building Project, an ethically minded construction project for first-year graduate students. He stayed on as a professor once his term as dean ended, until 1975, when he accepted a faculty position at the University of California, Los Angeles that included joining Urban Innovations Group (UIG), a teaching practice at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. In 1985, Moore took on his final teaching position as the O'Neil Ford Chair of Architecture, at The University of Texas at Austin.

An avid traveler, Moore documented his extensive travels through painting, photography, and collecting folk art and toys. He was awarded the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for the scope and importance of his contributions to architecture.

Charles Moore died in Austin, Texas, on December 16, 1993.

The Alexander Architectural Archive—a special collection of the Architecture & Planning Library—has among its collections the Charles W. Moore Archives. The exhibit will present correspondence, notes, sketches, drawings, and printed materials related to the design and construction of Moore’s private residence in Orinda, California.

"To Better Know a Building" series seeks to explore buildings through the drawings and other visual items found in the archive and library. Working drawings, including plans, elevations, and sections, often communicate the realization of design intent and are ideal vehicles in teaching through example. Exhibit openings include remarks by architects, and observations are encouraged from attendees to help promote discussion in understanding both the building and the profession.


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eNews | November 4, 2015 cover
Topographic site model, Badlands National Park; multi-disciplinary design studio, led by Michael Holleran and Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla. Pictured: Xiaomeng Ma, MLA; Warner Cook, MSCRP + MSSD. Photo by Amy Grossman.