Texas Tech University

Lecture Series

The Texas Tech Huckabee College of Architecture Lecture Series aims to create and explore a discourse on topics ranging from the built environment, creative and innovative scholarship, to current issues taking place in our society. The series features lectures from architects, theorists, scholars, and educators exploring, expanding, and uncovering new ground for the discipline of Architecture.

TTU HCOA Lectures Series is supported by the Dean's Funds for Excellence.

Guest Speakers

Jes + Nick Deaver
September 12, 2022

Rosetta S. Elkin
September 26, 2022

Nora Wendl
October 17, 2022

Stella Betts
November 14, 2022

Dan Hart
January 30, 2023

Michael Hsu + Micah Land
February 20, 2023

Living and Breathing Architecture

Jes + Nick Deaver

Monday, September 12, 2022

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Individual presentations will focus on aspects of architecture that include preservation, historical context and environmental factors that help to shape buildings and sites within an urban community. This will include a look at the evolving field of sustainability, micro and macro climates, and the way design impacts a diverse ecological habitat in a city. Additional areas of emphasis will include building design and materials‚ methods and systems‚ ethics and regulations governing practice of architecture‚ preservation‚ adaptive reuse‚ and the study of environmental issues.

Jes Deaver, AIA

Jes graduated in 2016 from the University of Houston Graduate School of Architecture and Design and in 2005 earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. She grew up in Texas developing an interest in connecting people with the environment. In 2007, she became fluent in Spanish while living and volunteering in the village of Cárdenas, Nicaragua. She witnessed firsthand the power of living a life, simple and connected to the Earth.

Jes has worked as a designer at Pfeiffer Architects in Los Angeles where she assisted with the design of the nationally awarded Gonzaga University Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, and the technology commons at the historic downtown Los Angeles Public library. Working directly with founding partner Norman Pfeiffer, FAIA, she led the development of their social media communications. Jes also established a women's leadership forum and was invited to speak at the 2016 Society of Campus and University Planners International Conference.

Nick Deaver, AIA

Nick, a native west Texan, earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Texas Tech University in 1981. He established Nick Deaver Architect in Austin in 1998 after a long tenure in New England with Centerbrook Architects, 1998's AIA Firm of the Year established by Charles W. Moore.

He has received 7 national and 19 regional design awards for a wide range of projects from residential to genetics laboratories. Nick's residential design, LeanToo earned a 2021 National AIA Housing Award, a 2020 Texas Tech College of Architecture Design Honor Award, a 2019 Texas Society of Architect's (TxA) Design Award, and a 2017 AIA Austin Design Award. In 1992, Nick had the winning design for the Connecticut State Parks competition for Excellence in State Parks Architecture. His designs, chosen from a field of 52 submissions from New England architects, are being constructed throughout the Connecticut State Parks system.

Planting Resilience: Another look at Green Infrastructure

Rosetta S. Elkin, Ph.D., MLA

Monday, September 26, 2022

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This lecture will describe and discuss what happens to the land that is left behind after relocation protocols. The research takes a closer look at the landscapes of Retreat, offering portraits of climate adaptation rooted in public space. Retreat is found in the land that is left behind as settlement patterns shift due to a changing climate. The term landscape refers to the earth animated by the aliveness of creatures and organisms, and the term retreat suggests that human patterns are not fixed but might also be enlivened. I will review cases of retreat from field studies in Nijinomatsubara Forest, Japan; El Maule Park, Chile; Niugtaq Village, Alaska; Langtang Glacier, Nepal; and along the shores of the Gaspésie Peninsula, Québec. The stories of retreat suggest that communities are more likely to adapt to change when the landscape is appreciated, so that retreat can be valued. The results cut across history, fieldwork, citizenship, and geography in order to rethink and rework “change” as a means toward shared climate futures.

Rosetta S. Elkin, Ph.D., MLA

Rosetta S. Elkin's work elevates the role of plants in human life by exploring the concealed characteristics of non-human behavior. As a designer and a scholar, her work experiments with the ways in which we compose our worlds, blurring the traditional boundaries between research and practice. Prior to joining Pratt Institute, she was Associate Professor of Architecture (tenured) at McGill University, and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Elkin is the founding Principal of Practice Landscape, a collaborative design studio that prioritizes garden-making, public exhibitions, ecological and horticultural research, and landscape architectural projects, to promote a more thoughtful and accountable design agenda. Projects range in space and include rural shorelines across Québec, former agricultural lands outside Chicago, a barrier Island formation in Cativa, Florida and Lakeside residential in Minnesota. Elkin also co-launched Practice Grant; a nonprofit regranting organization committed to opening access and expanding approaches to landscape design. In its inaugural year, Practice Grant received over 65 vetted applications from 28 US states and 4 Canadian provinces.

Histories of the Present

Nora Wendl

Monday, October 17, 2022

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Prof. Nora Wendl will share the historical research behind her recent exhibition Edith Farnsworth, Reconsidered, created in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in which the interpretation of the history of the Edith Farnsworth House revolved around the client. We will then turn to questions of how institutions present (and at times mis-represent) architectural history, and explore interdisciplinary architectural histories that, while unconventional, construct more authentic ways of accessing and interpreting the past. Relatedly, Prof. Wendl will share her students' work—in both studio and architectural theory—engaging similar questions of identity and history in order to imagine the future. To close, she will touch on the work she is doing with her colleagues at the Journal of Architectural Education to productively unsettle conventional modes of authorship.

Nora Wendl, Redaction, film still (2018/2022)
Nora Wendl, I Listened, photographic c-print (2017/2022)
Edith Farnsworth, Reconsidered, curated by Nora Wendl, Scott Mehaffey, and Rob Kleinschmidt (2020 - 2022). Photo courtesy William Zbaren.
Nora Wendl, After Edith, film still (2021 - 2022)

Nora Wendl

Nora Wendl is currently Associate Professor of Architecture at University of New Mexico and Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education. Her work, across scales and media, engages architectural historiography through methods involving image, text, narrative, performance, and exhibition. This research has been supported by the Graham Foundation, Santa Fe Art Institute, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among other institutions. Wendl has published, lectured, and exhibited widely, including co-editing, with Isabelle Loring Wallace, Contemporary Art about Architecture: A Strange Utility (2013, reprint 2016), which positions artists as co-producers of architectural history and theory.

Thirteen Ways of Looking…

Stella Betts

Monday, November 14, 2022

Stella Betts will present a selection of recently completed and in process projects including several public branch libraries, installations and houses. The title of the lecture Thirteen Ways of Looking… comes from a recently published book called Thirteen Ways of Looking at a House. The book includes thirteen topic texts on the elements of the house as well as thirteen houses as case studies. Stella will be discussing the several themes that frame the prcativce of LEVENBETTS that include the politics of space, translations from drawings and models as well as mutltiple ways of approaching space making.

House of Trees, Image Credit LEVENBETTSOmiZoid, Image Credit Richard Barnes
Sibley Hall, Image Credit nkubotaSquare House, Image Credit nkubota

Stella Betts

Stella Betts is a founding partner at LEVENBETTS, an award winning New York City based architecture practice. LEVENBETTS is committed to the creation of non-hierarchical, non-prescriptive space that we think of as open architecture. This approach enables us to see architecture in multiple ways and at all scales – to design for the issues of the equitable city in the same way that we consider the elements of the home.

LEVENBETTS work has been recognized nationally and internationally through awards, exhibitions and publications. Recently the firm was awarded the AIA New York State Firm of the Year. In addition, in 2020, Stella was recognized by Architectural Record's Women in Architecture as the New Generation Leader. The office has won thirteen New York AIA awards and is currently working on its fifth New York City public library, a 300,000 square foot Life Sciences Laboratory Building in Harlem, the renovation to the Queens Museum, an installation at the Crystal Bridges Museum for a house prototype and a series of pavilions and residential projects.

LEVENBETTS has been published both nationally and internationally. A book that locates thirteen of the firm's residential projects within the current discourse on the architecture of the house called Thirteen Ways of Looking at a House has just been published by ORO Editions and is currently available in bookstores.

Stella serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Architectural League.

THRESHOLD: Leading the Largest Design Organization in the World in a Pivotal Time

Dan Hart, FAIA, PE

Monday, January 30, 2023

COVID, Climate Change, Social Injustice are all intertwined crises in 2022 during Dan Hart's term as President of the AIA. Learn how the AIA staff, Board of Directors and membership, under Dan's leadership, navigated challenging times while affirming the agency of architects to make a difference in their communities. See how the social contract architects have with the public, protecting health, safety and welfare through the built environment, is a guiding motivation for the AIA to drive positive change in the world through design.

Dan Hart, FAIA, PE

Dan Hart, FAIA, PE is the Executive Vice President of Architecture, member of the Board of Directors and Principal with Parkhill, located in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Based in Austin, Dan has been the Texas Society of Architects President, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Strategic Council Moderator, and served as the national President of the AIA in 2022.

Dan is a dual degree graduate in architecture and civil engineering at Texas Tech University and went on to licensure as both architect and engineer. Dan has taught architectural engineering at Texas Tech University to senior level students.

Dan was the 2017 Texas Tech University College of Architecture Distinguished Alumnus and the founding President of the college's Design Leadership Alliance.

Generalities and Specificities

Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA + Micah Land

Monday, February 20, 2023

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture serves a broad audience, while specializing in materiality, detail and design. The studio approaches everyday architecture and high design projects with a wide range of perspectives. In addition to offering architecture and interiors, the firm integrates branding, art curation and landscape design services. This lecture will explore the firm's approach across a range of projects and will touch on the future plans of the studio, including our newly developed R&D team, established to ensure that we continue to push design forward.

Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA

Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA is the founder and principal of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, a fully integrated architecture and interior design firm. MHOA was founded in 2005 and employs 90 team members across studios in Austin and Houston, as well as staff in Dallas, Denver, Nashville and Louisville. MHOA is a nationally award-winning firm and was included in AN Interior's 2022 List of Top 50 Architecture and Design Firms.

Hsu graduated from the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture and has practiced in Austin since 1998. Hsu is the Texas Society of Architects Austin Chapter Director, and a member of the UT School of Architecture's Advisory Council. He is a Past President of AIA Austin and was elevated to AIA's College of Fellows in 2021.

Micah Land

Micah Land is a partner at Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, where he has overseen dozens of projects since 2007. Land's projects range from fast casual restaurants to large mixed use and office developments. Notable projects include Autry Park, P. Terry's restaurants, Bouldin Creek, Habitat Mueller Row Homes and the South Congress Hotel. Land additionally oversees the firm's facilities and technology strategies and has been a pivotal member of the firm's strategic growth. Land graduated from Texas Tech University College of Architecture.