And the Best US Architecture Schools for 2015 Are…

The Trays at Harvard GSD. Image © Kris Snibbe/Harvard University News Office

DesignIntelligence has released their 2015 rankings of the Best US Architecture Schools for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Over 1,400 professional practice organizations were surveyed and asked to respond to the question: “In your firm’s hiring experience in the past five years, which of the following schools are best preparing students for success in the profession?” In addition, more than 3,800 architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design students were also surveyed about their education, in data presented separately from the rankings.

However, perhaps more enlightening than the ranking itself are the firms’ responses to several additional issues raised in the report.  For example, 54.6% of the firms surveyed selected sustainability and climate change as the professions’ biggest concern, while maintaining design quality was a close second.  Firms also provided insights on the most important qualities of new graduates entering the workplace, with an overwhelming 70.1% selecting attitude/personality as the most important attribute.

Read on after the break for the Top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Six “Miracle” Materials That Will Change Their Industries

The following six “miracle” could be headed straight into your home, office, car and more. Dina Spector at Business Insider recently rounded up the six most promising materials. As of now, their potential applications have just scratched the surface, but the possibilities are endless. Presented by AD Materials.

Scientists are constantly on the look out for lighter, stronger, and more energy-efficient materials. Here’s a glance at some materials that will change the way we build things in the future.

Rice Selects Diller Scofidio & Renfro to Design Opera House

Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center / Architects with FXFOWLE (Click image for more). Image © Iwan Baan

Rice University has commissioned Diller Scofidio & Renfro to transform an existing parking lot between Alice Pratt Brown Hall, the home of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, and Rice Stadium into a 600-seat opera theater. Charles Renfro, a 1989 Rice graduate and the project’s lead architect, stated: “It feels really natural in a lot of ways to be returning to campus, a place I’ve spent so much time and love so much.” Completion is scheduled for 2018.

James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace opens today at Rice University

“Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace – Courtesy of

The highly anticipated “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, designed by American artist James Turrell, will open to the public today with a sunset light show. The abstract pyramidal structure complements the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, creating a mesmerizing light show that connects the beauty of the natural world with the surrounding campus. This experience is enhanced by an LED light performance that projects onto the 72-by-72-foot thin white roof, which offers views to the sky through a 14-by-14-foot opening. Additionally, the Turrell Skyspace is acoustically engineered for musical performances and serves as a laboratory for music school students, as it stands adjacent to the Shepher School of Music on the Rice University campus in Houston, Texas.

David Leebron, Rice University President: “The campus has to play its role in inspiring our students.”

Continue after the break to watch a sneak preview of the Turrell Skyspace light show.

PLAT Journal 3.0 / Rice University School of Architecture

From unforeseen endings come dramatic beginnings. Plat 3.0, an independent architectural journal published by students at Rice School of Architecture, invites projects, images, essays, and manifestos, which explore the discursive opportunities that emerge in the wake of collective disruption. In a time characterized by rapidly shifting conditions and perpetual crises, contingencies and opportunities to innovate emerge.

Such moments lay the ground for radical change. Free from the constraints of the established doctrine, architectural and urban practice find new frontiers where experimentation is not only allowed, but demanded—where temporary breakdown establishes new, lasting thresholds for design and research. More information after the break.

Habitat For Humanity Adopts Student House Design

Courtesy of Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon

Vert House, a low-cost sustainable house design, has been approved and adopted by Houston Habitat for Humanity. Designed by Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon, graduate architecture students at , the 1,300 square-foot, 3-bedroom house will be constructed by Rice students and alumni in Spring 2012 as the Rice Centennial House, a student initiative in honor of of the university’s centennial celebrations. The design will also be added to Habitat’s portfolio of home designs for additional builds in the future. More information on the project after the break.

Rice School of Architecture 2011 Fall Lecture Series

Courtesy of School of Architecture

Rice University’s School of Architecture shared with us their current lecture series that started on September 1st and runs until November 17th. Each year, the Rice School of Architecture pulls big names in the architecture world to its lecture series. This year’s main topic is JUDGEMENT in Architecture, with Neil Denari and Ben van Berkel on the list to speak among others. More information on the series after the break.