Special thanks to our reader, John, for informing us about the 2011 Topaz Medallion which was recently awarded to Larry Speck, FAIA of the University of Texas-Austin. The Medallion, awarded by the AIA/ACSA to an outstanding architectural educator who has been involved in the teaching for at least a decade, recognized Speck for his pedagogical ways and his ability to make architecture “accessible and vital to a wide community of students.”
More about Speck and the Medallion after the break.
Educated at MIT and earning degrees in architecture and design and management in just five years, Speck opened a private design practice in Austin before becoming the UT Austin School of Architecture’s dean in 1992.
At the University of Texas-Austin, Speck’s adept knowledge has made him an influential figure on campus, with his classes attracting architecture and non-architecture majors to his classes. In fact, almost 10 percent of UT Austin’s 35,000 undergraduate students have taken at least one of Speck’s class—more than any other professor on campus.
Speck’s dedication prepares not only the next generation of architecture students, but also seeks to teach a “new generation of architecture clients and users why architecture and design matter.”
Speck’s intelligence, experience and commitment to education and architecture has left him admired by students and colleagues alike. After encouraging an architecture student to continue his studies, that very student – Reed Kroloff – grew to eventually become a colleague of Specks. “That way of looking at the world—don’t make the person fit the mold, make a mold to fit the person—is exactly what makes Larry Speck such a remarkable educator. He innately recognizes a person’s potential and tries to unlock it. He is, in short, an optimist, and there just aren’t enough of those,” explained Kroloff.
Read more about the award here.