Sally Walsh Lecture Series featuring Deborah Berke

Free and open to the public. Space is limited; we strongly recommend arriving early to ensure a seat.
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February 13, 2020
6:30 PM
MFAH Brown Auditorium
1001 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

Brought to you by the Interior Architecture Committee

Annual AIA Houston Chapter/Design Council Sally Walsh Lecture: Deborah Berke Partners: Current Work


Thursday, February 13, 2020
6:30 PM 
Brown Auditorium Theater
The Caroline Wiess Law Building
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


Speaker: Deborah Berke, Founder of Deborah Berke Partners, and Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture

In this talk, Deborah Berke will explore the human-centered approach Deborah Berke Partners brings to design at all scales and across building types and programs. From transforming old buildings for new futures to designing innovative new buildings that enrich their contexts, Deborah Berke Partners is known for the clarity and simplicity of its work and for its commitment to enhancing the daily life of the people who use our buildings and spaces.

Drop in! Admission is free and open to the public.

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A recording of this lecture is available at the link below:

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About Deborah Berke

Deborah Berke began her career as an architect in 1982. Since then, she has assembled a senior team to form Deborah Berke Partners, with whom she has created a distinct and lasting body of work. Deborah sets the creative direction for the practice and brings her design vision to each project. Her approach to architecture, which is informed by her pursuit of authenticity, love for the visual arts, and intellectual rigor, pervades our design processes and our projects.

In July 2016, Deborah became the first woman dean of the Yale School of Architecture, where she has been a professor since 1987. Deborah continues Yale’s long tradition of distinguished practitioners who have served as Dean, including Robert A.M. Stern, Cesar Pelli, and Paul Rudolph. With a passion for both the teaching and practice of architecture, she continues to direct the firm’s creative work.

Deborah has previously taught at the the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, of which she was a fellow. In addition, Deborah has been a juror in numerous architecture and design award programs and lectures throughout the US and Canada. In 2013 she received the first Berkeley-Rupp award, given by the University of California at Berkeley to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.”

Deborah is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a Trustee and Vice President of the Urban Design Forum, a James Howell Foundation Board Member, a member of the Yaddo Board of Directors, and a member of the Pritzker Prize jury. Over the past two decades, Deborah has also served as trustee and vice president of desigNYC, founding trustee of New York City’s Design Trust for Public Space, trustee of the National Building Museum, Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, trustee of the Brearley School, and a vice president of the AIA New York Chapter.

Deborah is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (B.F.A. and B. Architecture) and The City University of New York (M. Urban Planning in Urban Design). In 2005, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

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Sally Walsh Lectures are supported by an endowed fund of the Houston Architecture Foundation. The lectures are dedicated to the memory of one of Houston’s most distinguished interior designers, Sally Walsh, who brought modern design to Houston and became an inspiration to a whole generation of Houston architects and designers. All Sally Walsh lectures are free and open to the public.

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You are also invited to arrive early for a preview of the MFAH exhibit Radical: Italian Design, 1965–1985, The Dennis Freedman Collection that will open to the public on Feb 14. The pre-lecture preview is from 5:00pm-6:30pm.


This exhibition examines Italy’s postwar explosion of disruptive design. Radical: Italian Design 1965–1985 presents furniture, lighting design, architectural models, paintings, and other objects drawn from the landmark collection of Dennis Freedman.

The first U.S. museum exhibition in nearly 50 years to survey this pivotal movement in design history, Radical: Italian Design showcases prototypes, one-of-a-kind, and limited-edition works by architects, designers, and collectives such as Archizoom Associati, Lapo Binazzi, Ugo La Pietra, Alessandro Mendini, Gianni Pettena, Ettore Sottsass, Studio Alchimia, and Superstudio.

Rarely seen in the United States, about half the objects are gifts of Dennis Freedman and half are acquisitions from his collection. Together, they establish a foundational collection for the MFAH and the leading collection of Radical Italian Design in the United States. The exhibition will debut at the Museum on Friday, February 14 and will later travel on to Yale’s School of Architecture in fall 2021.