Category Archives: rdAGENTS

2015 PARK(ing) Day in Houston

Vivian Nguyen writes on the rdAGENTS chalkboard wall at PARK(ing) Day in Downtown Houston.

Vivian Nguyen writes on the rdAGENTS chalkboard wall at PARK(ing) Day in Downtown Houston.

On Friday, September 18, the Rice Design Alliance collaborated with landscape architecture firms, research institutes, professional organizations, student groups, and others to occupy 14 on-street parking spaces in Downtown Houston and transform them into temporary public spaces. Read More

2015 Design Charrette: “1:1: A Plaza for the New Big Brothers Big Sisters HQ”

Rendering of the new Big Brothers Big Sisters Headquarters. Courtesy: Agency-Agency.

Rendering of the new Big Brothers Big Sisters Headquarters. Courtesy: Agency-Agency, LLC.

The 2015 design charrette, “1:1: A Plaza for the New Big Brothers Big Sisters HQ,” is scheduled for Saturday, August 1, at Hanszen College at Rice University. Organized by rdAGENTS, this year’s charrette challenges participants to conceptualize a highly visible part of the new three-story headquarters, designed by Agency-Agency and now under construction on Washington Avenue, of Greater Houston Big Brothers Big Sisters. Moreover, the leadership of BBBS has discussed with rdAGENTS the intention to continue working with the winning team to realize their design and incorporate it into the building.

Charrette participants will receive the full program detailing the challenge and presenting specific considerations when they arrive the morning of August 1. The competition will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Architects, designers, planners, developers, artists, and individuals in teams of up to five people are invited to participate. Fees range from $25 for RDA members and $35 for non-members and will cover the cost of breakfast, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day.

Download the registration form here!

A site visit on Saturday, July 25, will precede the charrette. Participants will be able to tour the location and take photographs. The time and meeting  place for the site visit will be announced at a later date.

Results of the charrette will be on display and jurors will announce awards in Anderson Hall at a reception on Monday, August 3, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Last year, a five-member team from Page was awarded “Best Overall Design.” The charrette challenged participants to create a new vision for Rice Village that improved the neighborhood’s identity and overall mobility for all users.

Instagram Scavenger Hunt with rdAGENTS: #HOUOnTheRails

Now that METRO has rolled out the East End (Green) Line and Southeast (Purple) Line, even more of inside-the-Loop Houston is connected via light rail. The young professional group of the Rice Design Alliance, rdAGENTS, is partnering with METRO to challenge you to explore the lines and view the city through a different lens with an Instagram Scavenger Hunt, “HOUSTON: On The Rails.”

Taking place on Saturday, June 13, the hunt will begin at Market Square Park [click for a map] at 9:30 a.m. Clues will be revealed that morning. Teams will need at least one smartphone, a good map or app (such as METRO’s T.R.I.P. app), and a public Instagram account. From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., teams of up to four people will solve the clues and ride MetroRail to their destinations to photograph iconic landmarks, architectural details, and other bits of Houston’s built environment. Teams will post their photos to Instagram using the hashtag #HOUOnTheRails. The first team to solve all the clues and meet back at Market Square Park is the winner!

Awards will be announced at 1 p.m. Prizes (and some serious street cred) will be given to the top three teams.

Registration is $20 per team through June 10 at noon. After that, registration is $25. Download the full list of rules and a registration form. And don’t forget to follow RDA on Instagram at @RDAHouston.

2015 Anything That Floats Competition

Update, 3:35 p.m., June 17: We’ve had to cancel Anything That Floats this year. Please contact Allyn West at 713-348-5668 or allynwest AT with questions.

Update: The fifth annual Anything That Floats competition has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015. It will be held in Downtown Houston at Sesquicentennial Park on Buffalo Bayou from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The competition is organized by rdAGENTS, the Rice Design Alliance young professionals group. Read More

2014 Design Charrette: “Visions for the Village”

Replica Village Arcade signage on University Boulevard. Photo: Allyn West.

Replica Village Arcade signage on University Boulevard. Photo: Allyn West.

This year’s design charrette, “Visions for the Village,” will challenge participants to imagine how Rice Village will evolve within Houston’s continuing evolution. Considered one of the city’s most desirable areas, Rice Village is poised for growth, but issues with mobility, walkability, and accessibility remain.

Read More

Anything That Floats 2014

What: Fourth Annual Anything That Floats Competition
When: April 12, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Sesquicentennial Promenade on Buffalo Bayou

Oh buoyancy! This year’s Anything That Floats competition will be held at the Sesquicentennial Promenade on April 12, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The competition is organized by rdAGENTS, the Rice Design Alliance young professionals group. Teams of two to five people are invited to spend the morning constructing their craft, on the spot, out of provided discarded and donated building materials and their own tools. Two members of each team must then test the seaworthiness of their DIY device in a race for time across Buffalo Bayou.

Each year, Anything That Floats teams are challenged with a new and different set of materials, which are revealed to them only at the beginning of the event. To compete, registration will be $25 for RDA members and $35 for non-members.

Attending the race is free and open to the public.

Download the registration form!

REflections on RE-CRAFT

Melvalean McLemore represented her team to receive Best Overall Design. Team members not pictured are Peter Ho, Diana Ngo, and Octavie Berendschot.

To escape the summer heat, over thirty-five designers competed in air-conditioned studios on Saturday, August 3 for an intense eight-hour challenge to propose a new campus for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). The center is a nonprofit arts organization within the Museum District on Main Street. Their mission is to advance education about the process, product, and history of craft. The Rice Design Alliance’s (RDA) young professional group, rdAGENTS, hosted the event in the cool studios graciously provided by the Rice School of Architecture.

Participants had an opportunity to attend a site visit a week prior, Saturday, July 27, at HCCC on Main Street. That hot steamy morning, team members received a tour of the site, inside and out. They started under the shade in the craft garden amongst the cotton, bamboo, and indigo plants, they walked though the exhibition galleries, Asher Gallery, offices, and studios. The front door on Main Street was another stop to view the current façade and street view. A week later, at the charrette, each team received a program, which defined the issues of creating a cohesive campus that would encompass all the important aspects of the center and increase their Main Street exposure and identity.

On Monday, August 5, invited jurors consisting of HCCC’s neighbor Christine West, Executive Director of Lawndale Art Center; Ernesto Maldonado, principal of Glassman Shoemake Maldonado and HCCC board member; Sheryl Kolasinski, Deputy Director/Chief Operating Officer of the Menil Collection; and Julie Farr, Executive Director of the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, deliberated over the 10 entries. They determined the team that addressed the most aspects of the program in the clearest manner.

The Brave Architecture team (Team 5) made up of Diana Ngo, Peter Ho, Melvalean McLemore, and Octavie Berendschot were the winners of “Best Overall” award for their designs and ideas. The judges liked how they closed in the garden, creating essentially one entrance, and their design was clearly defined.

Cre8 Architects team (Team 8) made up of Amber Moncla, Stein Hansen, Stein Hansen, Bayardo Selva, and Luis Fernandez received “Best BIG Idea” award for their entry that proposed to close a portion of Rosedale Street and create a larger block with well-defined areas for exhibitions, programming, and creating a plaza. Clark Condon’s team (Team 6) made up of Sarah Smith, Luis Hildalgo, Jason Rainosek, Luke Love, and Taylor McNeill received “Best Garden Design” for their garden layout and good presentation. The garden area recreated the repetitious of Cs from the logo.

Below are galleries of the team entries.

Team 1
Shawn Wright
Ned Dodington
Jessica Knapp
Grace Rodriquez
Jonathan Lampson

Team 2
Jonathan McMillian
Joe Cowan
Riley Anderson
Stephen Evans

Team 3
Philip LeBlanc
Rudy Fabre

Team 4
Erin Shedd
Alfonso Hernandez
Valeriya Bowker

Team 5
Melvalean McLemore
Peter Ho
Diana Ngo
Octavie Berendschot

Team 6
Taylor McNeill
Jason Rainosek
Sarah Smith
Luke Love
Luis Hildalgo

Team 7
Courtney Harper
Kyle Thiel
Scott Brooks
Shih Wei

Team 8
Amber Moncla
Bayardo Selva
Stein Hansen
Luis Fernandez

Team 9
Arnika Shroff
Marquez Colby
Anthony Vu
Justin Mason
Robert Morris

Team 10
Anna Naydenova

Anything That Floats . . . Finally!

The third annual Anything That Floats competition took place Saturday, June 22 at Sesquicentennial Park after being rescheduled from May 4, Kentucky Derby Day. Still, seven teams came out to Race for the Roses in their boats created from discarded building materials. The teams wrangled with the materials that were generously donated by J.E. Dunn, Chamberlin Roofing + Waterproofing and Gilbane. Two guest judges, KHOU 11 New’s Katherine Whaley and Chamberlin’s Doug Combes, scrutinized the boats’ materials and deliberated over the winners. The winning crew, Nathan McCormick, Roni Garrett, Claire Janak, John Graca and Patrick Noble, received the coveted captain’s wheel. Their actual race time tied with Mark Danna and Mark Smith, but the challenges to reduce seconds helped them win by a head!

Thank you to the coverage from the Houston Chronicle (pre and post), Great Day Houston, CultureMap and KHOU!