Photo of Dean Igor Marjanovic standing outside

We opened this school year with the roar of construction equipment and subtle vibrations shaking MD Anderson Hall, foretelling the completion of a new addition to the building, the William T. Cannady Hall for Architecture. Scheduled to open in fall 2023, this facility, designed by Ünal Karamuk and Jeannette Kuo, will include collaborative spaces for students and faculty, a world-class fabrication shop, and two new public galleries. It is an aspirational space focused on architectural research and public engagement, facilitating both the production and dissemination of new knowledge and situating the work of architects in the larger world.

As we watch Cannady Hall take shape, we are also working to fill our esteemed Wortham Fellowships and conducting searches for four new faculty members in the areas of building technology and design. We seek new ideas and perspectives that will broaden our own, challenging us to take our school in new directions while fostering our sense of a close-knit academic community. New people and buildings will be our “guests from the future,” to paraphrase Soviet poet Anna Akhmatova. She used this phrase to refer to the philosopher Isaiah Berlin, whom she met only once in 1945, a meeting that led to an overnight, twelve-hour-long conversation. Bubbly, free-spirited, and curious, Berlin was the antidote to the grim political reality of the time. His curiosity and optimism were an inspiration to her—a true “guest from the future”—beaconing another reality yet to come.

As we anticipate new people and buildings, we are reminded that architecture, too, is a futuristic, optimistic, and propositional discipline. Here at Rice Architecture, we approach it with a great sense of conceptual, practical, and formal rigor, tackling the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow by means of design. From drawings to models, from buildings to books, we see architecture as an elastic, imaginative discipline that encompasses many scales—whether of a house or a city or the entire planet. Rice Architecture, too, is both local and global, both human-scale and planetary—always welcoming new “guests from the future” into our ever-changing community.


Igor Marjanović
William Ward Waktin Dean

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