2012 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement

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Rice Design Alliance | Notes of Interest


In fall 1972 the Rice Design Alliance(RDA) was organized by a small group of academicians, Rice School of Architecture alumni, and civic-minded citizens under the leadership of the Dean of the Rice School of Architecture, David Crane, FAIA. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, RDA has grown to 2,000 members, which include those in the A/E/C communities as well as those who have a personal interest in architecture and urban planning. As a non-profit organization driven by volunteers, RDA has emerged as the preeminent public forum in Houston for critique, discourse, and programming of design and the built environment. Since 1973, RDA has sponsored over 327 lectures, 74 panel discussions and symposiums, 47 architecture tours, 21 exhibitions, 12 grant competitions, 9 film series, four national design competitions and has published 86 issues of a quarterly design review, 65 guide pamphlets, 12 catalogs, and one monograph.

The activities of the Rice Design Aliiance fall within three areas: Education, Engagement, and Impact.

Education is the cornerstone upon which RDA was forged. RDA holds two lecture series annually. RDA civic forums are a vehicle for examining issues that affect Houstonians and the city. These discussions allow the public to gather information about current issues and to join the dialogue with experts.

Engagement with design professionals and civic-minded citizens leads to the ability to affect change by mobilizing people toward a common goal. RDA brings people together for idea exchange, socializing, and hands-on involvement.

Impact is demonstrated by the far-reaching commitment of RDA to implement physical improvements in Houston and the surrounding region.

The mission of the Rice Design Alliance is the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, and active programs to initiate physical improvements.

Photo Credits

  • All images courtesy of Rice Design Alliance

Jury Comments

An excellent program that raises consciousness about architecture and urban design. It is certainly worthy of recognition and has won many awards since its inception in 1972.

2012 Collaborative Achievement Jury


Kevin J. Flynn, FAIA, Chair
Kiku Obata & Company, Saint Louis

James Logan Abell, FAIA
Abell & Associates Architects, Ltd., Tempe, Arizona

David Burney, FAIA
NYC Department of Design & Construction, Long Island City

Vergel Lee Gay Jr., AIA
Texas A & M, College Station, Texas

Curtis J. Moody, FAIA
Moody Nolan, Inc., Columbus, Ohio

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