Distinguished firm Perkins + Will
featured at Feb. 2 Rowlett Lecture


A team of speakers from Chicago-based Perkins + Will, a top 10 international design firm that has completed projects across the United States and in 43 countries around the world, will discuss their firm’s present and future approaches to design Feb. 2 at the 2009 Rowlett Distinguished Firm Lecture, hosted by the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry.

The event, which annually highlights a distinguished firm from the design, planning and construction industries, begins at 1 p.m. at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at the George Bush Presidential Library on the Texas A&M campus in College Station.

“Since 1935, Perkins + Will has collaborated with globally recognized clients to set worldwide standards for exceptional service,” said Valerian Miranda, interim director of the CRS Center. “ The firm has garnered numerous national and international design awards, inclucing being named “Firm of the Year” in 1999 by the American Institute of Architects.”

According to the Perkins + Will website, the firm is bound to a philosophy that places people at the center of its work. “The very reason for a building — the client’s vision — is the focal point for any design solution,” the website reads.

The $75 Rowlett Lecture Series registration fee will be waived for Texas A&M University faculty, staff and students, as well as students from other universities. Registration and program information is available on the CRS website at http://archone.tamu.edu/crs/. For additional information, call the CRS Center at 979.847.9357. Continuing education units will be available to AIA members attending the conference.

Phil Harrison, Perkins + Will president and chief executive officer, will kickoff the lecture with an introduction to the company. Founded in 1935 in Chicago by Larry Perkins and Philip Will, Jr., the company initially gained international renown through its design in education and healthcare projects.

Harrison’s introduction will be followed by a panel discussion called “The Practice,” featuring Perkins + Will designers Jean Mah (an Outstanding Alumna of the Texas A&M College of Architecture), Manuel Cadrecha, Eva Maddox, and Peter Busby.

Mah, who received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Texas A&M in 1971, is a principal, member of the board of directors, and national healthcare practice leader in the company’s Los Angeles office.

The panel will discuss the philosophy of design from several perspectives of design drivers — programmatic, interdisciplinary, contextual and sustainable. The effects of these drivers will be illustrated with a presentation of Perkins + Will’s global portfolio.

The event concludes with “The Vision,” a 3:30 p.m. session covering the firm’s vision for the future. Discussion points will include the relevance of design in the future and the impact of culture, the environment and technology upon design.

The John Miles Rowlett Lecture Series was endowed in 1979 through a grant to the Texas Architectural Foundation from the founders of Caudill Rowlett Scott and Mrs. Virginia Rowlett. Its goal is to bring speakers of national and international significance to the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.

The original firm of CRS was established in 1946 by William W. Caudill and John M. Rowlett, professors of architecture at Texas A&M University. The firm’s archives are housed in the CRS Center at the Texas A&M College of Architecture.


- January 20, 2009 -

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