The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Collaboration, respect in the field of architecture discussed at Rowlett Lecture

 Respect, trust, and an open mind reverberated as themes throughout? the 36th Rowlett annual lecture series on March 29.

The Rowlett lecture, named in honor of former professor of architecture John Miles Rowlett, focused on the topic of collaboration. The founding principal of Transform Global and FAIA architect Betsy del Monte was the keynote speaker at the Rowlett lecture where she discussed how collaboration is the key to success and her advice from her work in sustainable design and architecture.

Dean of the college of architecture Jorge Vanegas welcomed the audience, followed by a panel of representatives from four different disciplines. During his welcoming speech, Vanegas explained the importance of collaboration in the field of architecture and visualization and how he has used it in his own life.

“The point of departure for collaboration is a very simple one: Collaboration is not a solo adventure,” Vanegas said. “Collaboration will require that you interact with other people, and those other people are human beings with all the things that come into their mind, their hearts, their bodies, their souls – everything that defines them as a human being comes with them.

Vanegas went on to discuss three main examples of respect, trust, and awareness, which he found to be key when collaborating with others throughout his life. The theme of collaboration is a tool that director of the CRS Center Valerian Miranda found key for graduating students in the college of architecture and visualization.

“I wanted students to understand how important critically important collaboration is for their future professional lives. Students don’t like collaboration because that means they share grades,” Miranda said. “Now, the other thing you can’t do in the real world is always choose who is going to be on your team, so you better get used to learning with others.”

In a male – dominated field, Monte said she brings more diverse thought when working with a male dominated group.

“Being a woman in a male dominated field was a challenge from the beginning, and sometimes the challenge was obvious, and sometimes it was very subtle,” Monte said. “What I have found, in subtle ways, the fact that there are such few women at the leadership level, colors the discussion and how things are discussed, how projects are addressed, what projects are addressed.”

Monte closed her speech by giving her advice from what she has learned in her decades as an architect and urged students to strive to change the future with their education in their field.

“My advice to you is figure out what interests you the most in this profession, this wildly varied profession, and go do that. Make as much money as you can, doing it for the people who are going to pay you to do it, but learn everything you can,” Monte said. “There are, unfortunately, lots of issues with social inequity in the way our profession manages itself, but you can’t go out and solve those problems if you don’t see them from the inside, and you don’t know what causes them to be there.”

Freshman Lauren Morris said she learned that great outcomes will come from collaboration from the lecture.
“This was my favorite lecture I’ve been to in architecture,” Morris said. “In architecture, we have many projects, and learning how to work together is imperative.”

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