(March 19, 2013) -- The UTSA College of Architecture Spring Lecture Series begins with "Art in the City" at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 20 in the Frio Street Building Riklin Auditorium (1.406) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The COA series is free and open to the public.
Architects Sharon Johnston, AIA, and Mark Lee, founders of the Los Angeles firm Johnston Marklee, will kick off the COA lecture series with a discussion of their work. The husband-and-wife duo had a breakout year in 2012, having won the international commission for the new Menil Drawing Institute on the legendary Menil Collection campus in Houston.
Johnston Marklee topped an impressive shortlist of competitors to design the Menil Collection's first major expansion since the campus' public debut 25 years ago. Also vying for the commission were Tokyo-based Pritzker Prize-winners SANAA, the Mexico City firm of Tatiana Bilbao, and Menil master plan designers David Chipperfield Architects. The selection committee made a surprising, yet unanimous, choice in tapping up-and-comer Johnston Marklee for the design. The decision boosted the young L.A. firm to breakout status and many have noted the parallel in Dominique de Menil's inspired selection of Renzo Piano to design the museum's flagship building as his first American commission early in his career.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle, the Menil's director, Josef Helfenstein, said he and the selection committee were "impressed by [their] concept's adept control of light -- a major challenge with drawings." In addition to protecting delicate materials from harsh Texas sunlight, the proposal had to consider the fact that conservators need sunlight to produce optimal restoration work.
A recent profile of Johnston Marklee in Architect Magazinemakes clear that the duo feels very plugged into the global community of young architects. As in most other disciplines, globalization and the Internet have broken down geographic barriers and made new content such as architectural images readily available, radically altering the profession.
"I think for architects of our generation, this sense of 'community' is more global," said Johnston in Architect magazine. "There is more opportunity for that kind of engagement across continents because of publications, because of technology -- all the things that make the marketplace bigger."
Lee added, "We find more of a community outside the U.S. In Europe or Latin America, it's more possible for very open dialogue."
In addition to their speaking engagement in the COA lecture series, Johnston and Lee are participating in a design charrette with UTSA College of Architecture graduate students and young professionals from San Antonio March 20-22. The charrette is the next event in the "Public Space, Public Transit, Public Art" series, a project funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In summer 2012, the UTSA College of Architecture, in partnership with the City of San Antonio Department of Culture and Creative Development and VIA Metropolitan Transit, was selected to receive an Our Town grant from NEA. The project began in January and the event series runs through May.
UTSA College of Architecture Spring 2013 Lecture Series
March 20: Johnston Marklee: Art and the City
March 26: Gunny Harboe: Restoring Chicago's Architectural Legacy
March 27: Javier Sánchez: Building the City: Architectural Insertions in Mexico City
April 4: Jean-Paul Viguier: Modernity and Heritage: Contextual or Pastiche
The COA Lecture Series is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Nicole Chavez at 210-458-3121.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.