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Dallas Architecture Forum Earns AIA Award

by Stephen Becker 14 Feb 2011 2:02 PM

The Dallas Architecture Forum has been recognized for its collaborative efforts by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Forum is one of five individuals or organizations bestowed with AIA’s 2011 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement.


The Dallas Architecture Forum has been recognized for its collaborative efforts by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Forum is one of five individuals or organizations bestowed with AIA’s 2011 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement.

Keep reading for more information about how the Forum fosters collaboration:

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected the recipients of the 2011 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement. The awards, to be presented at the 2011 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans, recognize and encourage distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others that have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession.

The five honorees are: landscape architect and Rome-Prize recipient Peter Schaudt; UC Berkeley Professor Walter Hood; Copenhagen’s Louis Poulsen Lighting, Inc.; New York City’s Active Design Guidelines; and the Dallas Architecture Forum. 

“We are greatly honored by this recognition for the Forum,” said Frank Aldridge, president of the Forum’s board of directors.  “This award also is a tribute to our valued partners who have worked with the Forum in our educational programming.”


The Dallas Architecture Forum is a not-for-profit civic organization devoted to bringing the best current ideas on architecture and urban design to the wider community.  Founded in 1996, the Forum celebrates this season its fifteenth anniversary of bringing some of the leading architectural thought leaders in the world to Dallas, while also fostering important dialogue on our area’s urban environment. The Forum’s ‘founding committee’ included Richard Brettell, Marlene Meyerson, Raymond Nasher, Howard Rachofsky, Deedie Rose, Cynthia Schwartz, and Emily Summers. The Forum continues to benefit from active participation, support and guidance from many of the leading citizens of Dallas.

The Forum’s mission is to provide a continuing and challenging public discourse on architecture and urban design in – and for – the Dallas area. The Dallas Architecture Forum’s members include architects, design professionals, students and educators, and a broad range of civic-minded individuals and companies intent to learn about, and improve, the urban environment in Dallas.  For more information on the Forum and our programs, visit


The Forum, working collaboratively with other organizations, has established four key areas of educational programming that it provides for its members, guests and the greater Dallas community. They are:

—-Lecture Series

The Dallas Architecture Forum Lecture Series brings emerging architectural leaders as well as Pritzker Architecture Prize, Pulitzer Prize, European Union Prize and AIA Gold Medal winners to speak to its members, believing it is important to hear from both new and established voices in the architectural community.

As Edward Baum, FAIA, Forum Board Vice-President and Programming Chair remarks in his nomination, “By presenting leaders of the design professions to a diverse audience, the Dallas Architecture Forum has broadened the public’s awareness and appreciation of architecture; and by offering many opportunities for discussion, the Forum offers the same public serious and enjoyable discourse.”

Among the over 130 speakers who have addressed the Forum are Shigeru Ban; AIA Gold Medal Winner Peter Bohlin;  Jamie Carpenter; Brad Cloepfil; Winspear designer Spencer de Grey;  Elizabeth Diller+ Richard Scofidio; Peter Eisenman;  Chicago’s Aqua Tower designer Jeanne Gang;  Gordon Gill, whose firm designed the world’s tallest building, the Burj Kalifa;  Michael Graves;  Pritzker Prize winners Kazuyo Sejima, Rafael Moneo, Thom Mayne (designer of Dallas’  Museum of Nature and Science), Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster (the later two in collaboration with the ATT Performing Arts Center);   Daniel Libeskind;  Thomas Phifer;  Rafael Vinoly;  and  Texas architects David Lake and Ted Flato.

Other speakers for the Forum have been leading designers Calvin Tsao, Andrée Putman, and Karim Rashid, landscape designer Michael Van Valkenburgh, and National Trust President Emeritus Richard Moe.  Important critics, authors and patrons who have spoken to the Forum include Emily Pulitzer, Ralph Campbell, Terence Riley, Aaron Betsky, Blair Kamin (Spring 2011), and the late architecture critic David Dillon, who closely collaborated with the Forum on numerous occasions.

—-Panel Series

The Forum organizes and presents an annual series of Panels—local, informal, open, and offered free of charge as a public service to the community—led by a moderator who brings a subject of local importance along with comments by several invited members of the community. The Panels also offer attendees the opportunity to participate in creating discourse.  Among the many important topics addressed in Panels in recent years are: “Thoughts on the Dallas Comprehensive Plan”;  “The Kimbell Expansion: A Discussion”; “ Filling Out the Dallas Arts District”; and “Reinvisioning the Trinity”.

Many local organizations have participated with the Forum by providing Moderators and Panelists for the series, including Preservation Dallas; the Modern Art Museum, Kimbell Art Museum and Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth; the Dallas Theater Center, Central Trak of the University of Texas at Dallas, the City Design Studio, the Trinity Trust, and many of the area’s leading architects, designers, and developers.


The Dallas Architecture Forum offers two symposia annually.   From its inception, the Forum has worked closely with the School of Architecture of the University of Texas at Arlington, the area’s only university offering degrees in architecture.  One of those vital partnerships is the annual Texas Regionalism Symposium, organized by the Forum and the Oral History Program of the Architecture School.  Previous symposia have focused on local architectural icons Frank Welch and E. G. Hamilton, and this year’s symposium will address “African American Architecture in Dallas”.

The Forum’s long time collaboration with the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center are vanguards of the Forum’s partnerships with cultural institutions.  In addition to the Texas Regionalism Symposium, the Dallas Design Symposium founded four years ago by the Forum now has been joined in a partnership with the Nasher. This year the Dallas Design Symposium will bring environmental artist Christo to speak.

Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher Sculpture Center, remarked “We are delighted to partner with the Dallas Architecture Forum to bring Christo to Dallas, and see this ongoing partnership as a means to foster new and innovative programming and enhance public discourse.”

—-Educational Tours

Experiencing architecture first hand is part of the Forum’s mission of opening and enriching discourse.  Study Tours of architecturally significant buildings have been conducted to Spain, Switzerland, Finland, and Mexico City. A collaborative tour of Mid-Century Modern residences in Palm Springs was conducted with the School of Architecture of UT Austin, and this year the Forum will conduct a tour of Los Angeles art and architecture in conjunction with the Nasher Sculpture Center.  The Forum also sponsors an annual series of receptions in some of Dallas’s most architecturally important residences where attendees have the opportunity to dialogue with the homes’ design teams.


The Dallas Architecture Forum has developed and nurtured collaborative partnerships with many of the leading professional, civic and cultural organizations in the Dallas area.  A cornerstone and integral partner of these collaborations is its close association with the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Dallas Center for Architecture Foundation.  The Forum and the AIA jointly organize and present the annual Ken Roberts Delineation Competition Lecture, and the Foundation provides key funding for the Bob James and Rose Family Lectures each season.

David Zatopek, the Chapter’s President, stated “AIA Dallas is thrilled with this national recognition of our partners and friends at the Forum.  Dallas Architecture Forum has been at the forefront of public engagement with architecture and urbanism and is an important reason why Dallas enjoys a growing reputation as a center of design excellence.”

Other local collaborators include the AT&T Performing Arts Center;  Building Community Workshop; the City of Dallas;  Dallas Audubon Society;  Dallas Independent School District; Fort Worth AIA; KERA;   McKinney Avenue Contemporary Art Museum;  La Reunion; Meadows Museum;  The Rachofsky House;  SMU;  and WRR Radio Station.  In Texas it also partners with the Rice Design Alliance, Texas A & M University; Texas Society of Architects; Texas Tech University; University of Houston; University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Texas at San Antonio

Nate Eudaly, Executive Director of the Forum, noted that “The Forum believes that it is essential for us to collaborate with other leading groups focused on architecture and the urban enviroment, as well as other arts and cultural organizations, to wisely use the resources our members, donors and sponsors entrust to us.  We work closely with our valued partners to maximize the depth and breadth of our programming, and plan to increase collaboration with our partners in the future”.

On a national and international scale, organizations with which the Forum has collaborated include the Architectural League of New York;  Association of Architecture Organizations; Chicago Architecture Foundation;  Aga Khan Foundation; Consul General of Mexico;  National Building Museum; National Trust for Historic Preservation; and the Consul General of Spain.