It Reached the End of Its Useful Life...

Olson Kundig
October 10, 2019
6:00 p.m.

MATCH, 3400 Main Street, Houston


This lecture is available for one AIA/CES Learning Unit. Watch the lecture, download the pdf, and submit for credit.

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Alan Maskin and Blair Payson, principals, Olson Kundig, present "It Reached the End of Its Useful Life..." at 6:00 p.m. at the MATCH, as part of the Rice Architecture and Rice Design Alliance 2019 Fall Lecture Series.

Alan Maskin is a principal and owner of Olson Kundig, where he leads an interdisciplinary team of architects, designers, visual artists and researchers. His team designs buildings, parks and gardens, installations, sculpture, digital art, graphic novels and film. For over two decades, Maskin has pursued unconventional design challenges in public places. His built international portfolio includes museums, installations, exhibits, visitor-based destinations and urban park projects.

In recent years, Maskin has been awarded first place in multiple international design competitions, including The Bob Dylan Center, The Jewish Museum Berlin Kindermuseum, and Fairy Tales 2016, the world’s largest architectural ideas competition. Maskin’s recent self-provoked works include [storefront] Olson Kundig, a two-year experiment in design, culture and social practice; and “The 5th Façade,” a multidisciplinary exploration into the uppermost layer of cities.

Maskin’s current work includes a redesign of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, two new museum projects for an American sculptor, and a new art park in Sacramento. 

Blair Payson joined Olson Kundig in 2004 and has worked on both architectural and exhibit design projects, including the Century Project for the Space Needle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, and [storefront] Olson Kundig, as well as several residential projects across the Western United States and Mexico.


Blair’s current work includes a new art park at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and two new museum projects in Hawaii and London. Blair regularly lectures and organizes conferences across the U.S. – most recently, he chaired the 2018 Architects Newspaper Conference in Seattle, and he delivered a lecture entitled “Cognitive Kinetics: Poetics of Participation and Passive Design” for the 2019 Facades+ Conference in New York City. Blair holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University, and he is the recipient of several design awards for his work on the Gates Foundation Visitor Center and the Century Project for the Space Needle, among other projects.

This lecture series is made possible through the generous support of the Betty R. and George F. Pierce Jr., FAIA, Fund, and by grants from the City of Houston through the Texas Commission for the Arts.

Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/CES Registered Provider of quality educational programs. For each lecture, attendees will earn one Learning Unit.

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