campus courtyard with a tree and a bench
Smith Courtyard at Anderson Hall, with bench designed by Charles Renfro (B.Arch. '89).

Rice Design Alliance was established within the Rice School of Architecture in 1972 to develop the School’s outreach and public programs. Its mission is to facilitate an understanding of how design influences the built and natural environment through multidisciplinary public programs and projects that empower academics, architects, engineers, design professionals, and the broader Houston community in an effort to transform our city into a better place to live and a global model for the twenty-first century.

We curate an annual lecture series, design competitions, exhibitions, publications, and worldwide architecture trips that bring people together to critically explore the urban condition in Houston and beyond, raising awareness and inspiring solutions to the challenges that citizens and cities worldwide are facing today.

Rice Design Alliance also provides grants and awards to students, established practitioners, and emerging professionals to actively support their work and help launch inspiring research and projects.