Two-day Rowlett Lecture Series marked CRS Center’s 25th year

A two-day program commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Texas A&M CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry, featuring presentations by heads of leading firms and College of Architecture faculty, took place March 31-April 1, 2016 on the Texas A&M campus.

The program was an expanded version of the John Miles Rowlett Memorial Lecture Series, a showcase for the world’s most prestigious design firms hosted annually by the CRS Center, which advances innovation and leadership in the design and construction industry.

On March 31, the first session, “Modeling and Simulation: The Next Generation,” was led by representatives from Page, an architecture and engineering firm, and Mark Clayton, professor of architecture.

Speakers discussed building information modeling and performance simulations of built environments, two high-growth specializations in the design and construction industries.

The day’s afternoon session, “Strategic Facility Management: Asset, Workplace, Change,” was led by representatives from Alpha Facilities Solutions, a nationwide provider of facility condition assessment, capital planning, maintenance management, investment strategy, space planning services, and lifecycle management delivery.

The session was co-led by Sarel Lavy, associate director of the CRS Center and associate professor of construction science.

Speakers discussed how an integrated, comprehensive approach to facility management has brought new focus and opportunity to a field that had historically been associated with maintenance and operation.

The commemoration continued April 1 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center with “Careers in Pre-Design: Branches of the CRS Tree,” led by representatives from HOK, an architecture, engineering and planning firm, and Valerian Miranda, director of the CRS Center.

Speakers discussed pre-design and architectural programming, hallmarks of CRS, the legendary design firm that pioneered problem seeking, an innovative programming process that grew beyond its initial intent to cover a wide range of design, planning and business endeavors.

The event continued with an afternoon session, “Leadership in the Built Environment: The New Paradigm,” led by Scott Simpson, co-editor of DesignIntelligence, a bimonthly publication of the Design Futures Council, a global network of design professionals, and Harold Adams '61, RTKL chairman emeritus, a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus and a former university Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellow.

The CRS Center hosts the archives of CRS, the storied firm whose numerous innovations, include programming techniques documented by firm partner William Peña in Problem Seeking, which remains a standard architectural education textbook more than 40 years after Peña authored the book’s first edition.

The center also administers the college’s Facility Management Certificate program, participates in the instructional program of the college, facilitates graduate student research, fosters the discussion of major issues in the design and construction industry, and hosts the Rowlett Lecture Series. 

The series was named in honor of John Miles Rowlett, former professor of architecture at Texas A&M University, who established CRS with fellow professor William W. Caudill and graduate students Wallie E Scott Jr. and Peña.

The series was endowed in 1979 through a grant to the Texas Architectural Foundation by CRS Inc. and Mrs. Virginia Rowlett.

posted March 25, 2016