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2014 Spring Final Reviews

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ARCH 1412, Thursday, May 01, 2014
ARCH 2502, Friday, May 02, 2014 review schedule
ARCH 3502, Monday, May 05, 2014 review schedule
Graduate Studios, Tuesday, May 06, 2014 review schedule
College Walk-through and discussion, Wednesday, May 07, 2014, 9:00am-3:00pm


Guest Reviewer Biographies

Spring 2014 Final Reviews

Janet Abrams

Artist, Writer and Producer, Santa Fe, NM
Janet Abrams is an artist, writer and producer whose projects traverse architecture, design, new media and the visual arts. She trained in Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London University (BSc, 1980), in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism as a Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University (PhD, 1989), and in Ceramics at Cranbrook Academy of Art, (MFA, 2010). In her earlier career as a journalist, Janet has served as Features Editor of Building Design, the UK weekly for the architecture profession; US Correspondent and Guest Editor of Blueprint magazine; Architecture and Photography critic for The Independent newspaper; Writer at Large for I.D. Magazine; and a freelance contributor to frieze, Domus and the New York Times, among other publications In 2000, Janet was recruited to spearhead the University of Minnesota Design Institute, a new interdisciplinary research center, where she launched numerous initiatives, including Design Camp for teens, held each summer 2002-06; the Big Urban Game, played online and in the Twin Cities’ streets; conferences such as Design and Its Publics: Curators, Critics and Historians; and publications ranging from Knowledge Maps to TV programs. With Peter Hall, she co-edited ELSE/WHERE: MAPPING — New Cartographies of Networks and Territories (2006), an award-winning book on mapping, from urban cartography to information visualization. Since graduating from Cranbrook, Janet has been developing her studio practice alongside consulting for cultural and educational organizations. Among recent projects, she produced the symposium Re/Search and Deploy: the State of Contemporary Architectural Research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture Montreal, 2011 (, and the multi-faceted WWW Drawing project at Pennsylvania State University’s Stuckeman School and the Drawing Center, New York, 2013. and
She has been an Artist in Residence in France (A.I.R. Vallauris), Canada (Banff Centre), and The Netherlands, where she spent three months in 2013 at the European Ceramic Work Centre, making new work including “In The Unlikely Event,” an installation of ceramic bas reliefs of the world’s 30 busiest International Airports.

Kevin Brown, AIA, NCARB

MLG Architects, NYC
Originally from Texas, Mr. Brown has been practicing in New York City since 1997. After graduating with an MArch from Texas Tech in 1994, he worked with Schauer Associates (Hal Schauer, class of ‘72); Alan F. Nelson, (‘78), where he designed the Denton County Government Center in The Colony; and Melvin Fain (‘72). Prior to attending the College of Architecture, he served five years as a commissioned officer in the US Navy, having received a B.A. in Philosophy from Texas Tech in 1985. He has been a Principal at MLG Architects since April 2010. Previously he was with BBG Architects (now part of HOK), having joined them in 1999. His first position in New York was with Rockwell Group, where he was a colleague of Professor Flueckiger. He also worked with Walt Disney Imagineering as part of the owner’s design representative team on the fit-out of the Disney Magic, which provided opportunity for extensive travel in the region surrounding Venice, Italy where that ship was constructed. Mr. Brown has spent much of his career in the hospitality sector, initially restaurants and leisure entertainment centers, but for the past 15 years primarily upscale and luxury hotels. He also has extensive experience in master planning, casinos and resorts. Two notable projects for which he has served as Principal or Project Director are:

  • Westin New York – Grand Central. Repositioning and expansion of a 774-room hotel, which was noted as one of the top ten hotel renovations worldwide by Forbes Magazine in 2013.
  • Turning Stone Casino Resort – Master Plan and Expansion: $350 million project including the addition of two new hotels, an events center, structured parking and renovations to existing facilities; The Lodge (a 100-suite five-star hotel) received numerous awards from hospitality industry publications and organizations.

John Cays

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design

Irby Hightower

Founding Principal, Alamo Architects, San Antonio, TX
Irby grew up in Port Arthur, Texas – Janis Joplin’s hometown – the son of a Gulf Oil refinery employee and a mother who was one of the first female graduates of the University of Texas School of Law. Weekends were frequently spent at the family farm in Coldspring, Texas, where he gained a healthy respect for the sanctity of the land and the power of nature. Following in his mother’s footsteps he graduated from the University of Texas in architecture and fled his semi-rural heritage to live and work in New York and Philadelphia. His love-of-nature past caught up with him in the earlier days of our firm when he signed on to be co-chair of the San Antonio River Oversight Committee along with Mayor Emeritus Lila Cockrell. Well over a decade later their tireless work and endless persuasion and cunning have resulted in the expansion of the historic San Antonio River Walk both north and south for miles, changing the face of San Antonio forever. Though he is expert in many areas of architecture and is part of the leadership of our multifamily group, Irby’s passion is urban design and he is a recognized community leader in that field, involved where he can be in helping shape the destiny of our city.

Kevin McClellan

The University of Texas at San Antonio - UTSA, College of Architecture Research Assistant Professor, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston Co-founder of Tex-Fab
Kevin Patrick McClellan is a designer, artist and founder of Architecturebureau, a design research office producing and investigating temporal constructions at diverse scales. He is also Co-Founder of Tex-Fab, a consortium of designers, academics and fabricators across Texas exploring the role of digital fabrication in design. He received his first degree from University of Texas College of Art, with a concentration in Installation art and a subsequent degree from Texas A&M in the College of Environmental Design. Receiving his Masters in Architecture and Urbanism in the Design Research Laboratory from the Architectural Association School of Architecture with a Project Distinction in 2005, he subsequently worked in New York City for Kevin Kennon and then in London with Zaha Hadid Architects. While with Zaha Hadid he led the development of two highly publicized temporary installations, one for the Serpentine Gallery title Lilas erected in Kensington Gardens 2007, and the second for Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibited in the 2008 Milan Furniture Fair. In addition he co-directed an awarded entry for the New Museum of Art in Perm, Russia and a 1.5 Million SF commercial development, the first LEED Gold building, in Chennai, India. He concurrently holds the position of Research Assistant Professor within the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston where he is developing AAES, an Adaptive Attachment for Existing Structures, which has a provisional patent status.

Jesus Rubio

Professor, Universidad de las Americas de Puebla, Mexico
Jesus is a PhD Candidate at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, UPM, España and he has obtained a Master of Architecture, Theory and Practice at the ETSAM, UPM, España). Architect and mutidisciplinary artist, he is a full professor in the Department of Architecture of the Universidad de las Américas de Puebla in Mexico since august 2013. He has received some prestigious grants from the Foundation Antonio Gala for Young Creators (2003), from the Fundación Carolina España (2011-2012) and from the Social Council of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (2012-2013). He began his teaching helping the architect José Ignacio Linazasoro at the ETSAM (2009-2011). He is the recipient of the Emilio Larrodera of Urbanism (2001), Formica Funcional Prize (2002) and Construtect (2006) awards. He is a guest researcher at Universidad Nacional Autónoma of Mexico, UNAM, since 2011 and up to the present day, as well as fellow of the research group 'Geometry of the architecture contemporary' of the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid. Jesus has built a tourist office, a square and a primary school, all in the province of Ciudad Real, Spain (2008-2010). As an artist he has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions at national and international level, and more recently in a solo in Paris at the Colegio de España of Citè Internationale Universitaire. He has directed publishing and curatorial projects. In 2013 he founded the Transatlantic Magazine. His work has been exhibited in Cataluña, in the Biennial of Painting Miquel Viladrich as well as in the important Biennial of Cerveira in its 17th edition, in Portugal.

Martha Skinner

Assistant Professor, Clemson University, School of Architecture, Clemson, South Carolina 10^10, fieldoffice
Martha Skinner is founder of 10^10, co-founder of fieldoffice and Assistant Professor at Clemson University. She studies our built environment as a delicate ecology using representation methods that visualize the cycles of life in order to more acutely address temporal, social and environmental issues. Her work includes several Living Maps of cities, which include NY A/V, PROXY_florence, día de los trastos, and BiCi_N. These projects involve the inhabitants of our cities in their daily routines to affect, in real-time, possibilities for social and environmental change. As the 1999 Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan, Martha developed Notation A/V, a seminar about the merging of drawing and moving image, a methodology she exploits in her work to filter, transmit, capture, and celebrate the intangible qualities of the passing of time with solutions that address the relationships between humans and the ecologies in which they are situated. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Her work has been recognized in publications such as Discover Magazine, ID Magazine, Metropolis Magazine, Fast Company, Business Week, Architectural Record, Transmaterial, and WordChanging. Honors for Martha’s work include five awards from I.D. Magazine, a Next Generation Award from Metropolis Magazine, receipt of a People, Prosperity and the Planet Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and inclusion in the 10th Venice Biennale and the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

Geraldine Forbes

Dean of SA+P / Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Geraldine Forbes Isais, Associate AIA, is Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico. In 2006 Forbes Isais received the acclaimed Distinguished Professor Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and in 2009, received a Faculty Hall of Fame Award from Woodbury University, where she earned distinction as an educator and founding Dean of the University’s San Diego, California campus. While in San Diego, she recognized the potential for collaboration through their mutual interest in the architecture and urban environments that impacted both sides of the U.S./Mexican border, and hired faculty from both sides of this contested region. As director of the Architecture Program at UNM, Forbes Isais has continued her investigation into community engaged design and scholarship.

Randy Smith

Weston Urban, San Antonio, TX
After 5 action-packed years at Rackspace, Randy teamed with Graham to form Weston Urban in 2012. As President Randy is responsible for all aspects of the company’s investing and development. The former Vice President of Real Estate at Rackspace, Randy led the cloud computing company’s global portfolio from 2007 to 2011. During his tenure the company expanded to eight data centers in the U.S., Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. In that time the company’s worldwide office footprint grew to 1.5 million square feet. Smith also led the acquisition and transformation of the former Windsor Park Mall into “The Castle,” Rackspace’s LEED certified global headquarters located in Northeast San Antonio. Randy earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.