Paul Goldberger, New Yorker Architecture Critic, To Kick Off Inaugural David Dillon Symposium

The David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, named after the late- great Dallas Morning News architecture critic, will launch the “David Dillon Symposium” April 26 with keynote speaker Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for the New Yorker. Started in collaboration with the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture, the Dillon Center, and the Dallas Architecture Forum, the inaugural David Dillon Symposium will look at the role of architectural criticism today, following the keynote address with a number of panels (including FrontRow’s own Ben Lima, among many others). For the full program, see the release below.

Inaugural David Dillon Symposium

“Criticism Today” April 26-27, 2012

                         Organized by the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture

The University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture

Presented by the Dillon Center and the Dallas Architecture Forum


The inaugural David Dillon Symposium will be April 26 and 27 at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center and will honor Dillon’s prolific career as an architectural critic. Through a keynote address and a daylong symposium, the changing role and venues for architectural criticism today will be explored. A wide range of respected speakers from Texas and across the country who write about architecture for newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and blogs, will consider the purpose of architectural criticism in a digital world where publishing and access to information have radically changed the traditions of the field. What is the role of the architectural critic today? Who reads criticism? Can good criticism help shape a better, more vibrant city?

The keynote speaker for “Criticism Today,” will be Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic for The New Yorker.  Goldberger will speak Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St.  Goldberger also will speak as part of the Dillon Symposium on Friday, April 27 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St.  The Symposium also will include: Kate Holliday, Director of David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture; Scott Cantrell, critic at The Dallas Morning News; Thomas Fisher, Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota; Stephen Fox, fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas; Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times; Alexandra Lange, critic, journalist and architectural historian; Benjamin Lima, critic and art history professor at University of Texas Arlington; and Stephan Sharpe, editor of Texas Architect.

Advance reservations and ticket purchase is encouraged.  Tickets for both the keynote address and symposium are $35 for Dallas Architecture Forum members and UTA Faculty and staff, $45 for general admission, and $15 for full-time students. Lunch is not included, but afternoon beverages will be provided.   Tickets for the keynote address only are $15 or Dallas Architecture Forum members and UTA Faculty and staff, $25 for general admission, and $5 for full-time students. For more information on the symposium, visit   Registration is available at the Dallas Architecture Forum’s website, or by phone at 817.272.2313.  If available, remaining tickets may be purchased before the Thursday evening keynote and the Friday symposium.

The David Dillon Symposium is organized by the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture; and is presented by the Dillon Center and the Dallas Architecture Forum.

The event sponsors are The Dallas Morning News, Deedie and Rusty Rose, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Nasher Sculpture Center, Museum Tower, a joint venture of Brook Partners and Turtle Creek Holdings, and One Arts Plaza by Billingsley Company.

The schedule of events:

Thursday 4/26/12, Horchow Auditorium, Dallas Museum of Art

7:00 p.m.       Keynote address by Paul Goldberger, The New Yorker


Friday 4/27/12, Nasher Sculpture Center

11 a.m.           Nasher opens

11:15 a.m.     Introduction

Kate Holliday, Director of David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture

11:30 a.m.     Morning panel: “The Tradition of Criticism in Texas”

Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

Stephen Fox, Anchorage Foundation

Benjamin Lima, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas Arlington

12:45 p.m.     Lunch break


2:00 p.m.       Afternoon panel: “Criticism Today”

Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota

Paul Goldberger, The New Yorker

Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times

Alexandra Lange, Design Observer

Stephen Sharpe, Texas Architect


About the participants

Keynote speaker, Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m. Dallas Museum of Art

Paul Goldberger is the architecture critic for The New Yorker, where since 1997 he has written the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of the Parsons school of design, a division of The New School. He began his career at The New York Times, where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism.

He is the author of several books, most recently Why Architecture Matters, published in 2009 by Yale University Press; Building Up and Tearing Down: Reflections on the Age of Architecture, a collection of his architecture essays published in 2009 by Monacelli Press, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude, published in 2010 by Taschen. In 2008 Monacelli published Beyond the Dunes: A Portrait of the Hamptons, which he produced in association with the photographer Jake Rajs. His chronicle of the process of rebuilding Ground Zero, entitled UP FROM ZERO: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York was named one of The New York Times Notable Books for 2004. Goldberger has also written The City Observed: New York, The Skyscraper, On the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Post-Modern Age, Above New York, and The World Trade Center RememberedArchitecture Criticism: Does It Matter? (2003); Designing Downtown (New Yorker, 2003); A Delicate Balance (on the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, New Yorker, 2002)


Symposium speakers, Friday, April 27, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nasher Sculpture Center 

Scott Cantrell is music critic at The Dallas Morning News and also writes occasionally about art and architecture.  He arrived at The News in 1999, after 10 years at the Kansas City Star and previous positions at newspapers in Albany and Rochester, N.Y.  A former president of the Music Critics Association of North America and two-time winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music journalism, he has also written for The New York TimesEncyclopaedia Britannica, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and magazines including Gramophone, BBC Music, Opera, Opera News and Symphony Magazine. He has performed as an organist and choral conductor and taught music history at the State University of New York at Albany.

Thomas Fisher is Professor of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Educated at Cornell University in architecture and Case Western Reserve University in intellectual history, he previously served as the Regional Preservation Officer at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, the Historical Architect of the Connecticut State Historical Commission, and the Editorial Director of Progressive Architecture magazine. He has lectured or juried at over 40 schools and 60 professional societies, and has published 35 book chapters or introductions and over 250 articles. He has written six books – In the Scheme of Things, Alternative Thinking on the Practice of ArchitectureSalmela ArchitectLake/Flato: Buildings and LandscapesArchitectural Design and Ethics: Tools for SurvivalEthics for Architectsand The Invisible Element of Place, The Architecture of David Salmela.  His article on the state of architectural criticism just appeared in Places on December 1 of last year: The Death and Life of Great Architecture Criticism.

Stephen Fox is an architectural historian and a fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas, a Houston-based foundation that undertakes projects in architecture, architectural history, and architectural publishing.  He is a lecturer in architecture at the University of Houston and Rice University. Fox is the author of The Country Houses of John F. Staub and the Houston Architectural Guide.  He is co-author with Ellen Beasley of the Galveston Architecture Guidebook and is a contributor to The Buildings of Texas, a two-volume guidebook to the architecture of Texas, which will be published by the Society of Architectural Historians.  As sampling of his critical essays on architecture can be read online: “Home / Work” Cite Magazine (2002); “Making Public Buildings” Cite Magazine (2009.)

Christopher Hawthorne is architecture critic for the  Los Angeles Times, a position he has had since 2004. He also has been a columnist for the Los Angeles Times Magazine.  Before coming to the Times he was architecture critic for Slate, contributing editor for Metropolis magazine and a frequent contributor to The New York Times.  His work has also appeared in the Washington PostThe New YorkerArchitectLandscape ArchitectureDomus, Volume, and Architectural Record, among many other publications. He is the author, with Alanna Stang, of The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005, and was consulting curator of an exhibition based on the book at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.  He has taught at Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley and Occidental College and was a mid-career fellow at Columbia’s National Arts Journalism Program.  A native of Berkeley, Calif., he is an honors graduate of Yale College, where he studied architectural history and political philosophy.  Samples of his recent critical work can be read online at the Los Angeles Times“Best of 2011 in Architecture” (18 December 2011); “Art meets architecture: Larry Bell and Frank Gehry” (26 October 2011)

Alexandra Lange is a critic, journalist and architectural historian based in Brooklyn, and her work has appeared in The Architect’s Newspaper, Icon, Metropolis, New York Magazine and The New York Times. She is a weekly blogger for the Observers Room at Design Observer. She teaches architecture criticism in the D-Crit Program at SVA and the Urban Design & Architecture Studies Program at NYU. She is co-author, with Jane Thompson, of Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle, 2010). In March 2012, Princeton Architectural Press published her new bookWriting about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.  Her February 2010 assessment of the state of contemporary architectural criticism can be read on Design ObserverWhy Nicolai Ouroussoff Is Not Good Enough.

Benjamin Lima teaches 20th and 21st-century art history at the University of Texas Arlington. His current book project investigates how experimental and event-based work in the 1960s engaged with themes of war and other traumatic violence. He has written criticism for many publications including ARTNewsArt…might be goodPastelegram, and FrontRow, and presented at conferences including the College Art Association, German Studies Association, and the Research Forum of the Center for Latin American Visual Studies at UT Austin. His blog and articles are online at


Stephen Sharpe recently began his twelfth year as the editor of Texas Architect, the bimonthly magazine published by the Texas Society of Architects. Since joining the staff of the AIA state component in June 2000, Stephen has continuously broadened TA’s editorial content to make it more relevant to its 11,000 subscribers. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was awarded Honorary AIA membership earlier this year and the TSA Award for Excellence in Media in 2005. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from North Texas State University in 1979, Stephen began his career as a newspaper reporter and feature writer. Following jobs with a small weekly in Colorado and then a daily in Greenville, Texas, he joined the staff of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and later the San Antonio Light before moving on to Texas Architect.  Read his articles: “Midcentury Update” and “Drama Machine” (a review of the Wyly Theater in Dallas).

Symposium coordinator

Kate Holliday is Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas Arlington where she teaches courses in modern architectural history and theory.  As director of the newly established David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, she coordinates research programs and public events that encourage public dialogue about architecture and urbanism in north Texas.  She is the author of two books on New York architecture, the award-winning Leopold Eidlitz: Architecture and Idealism in the Gilded Age, published by W. W. Norton in 2008 and her new book Ralph Walker: Architect of the Century, to be published by Rizzoli in 2012.  She is a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts and the University of Texas Austin.

About David Dillon (1941-2010)

A graduate of Boston College, Dillon held masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard in literature and art history. He came to Dallas as an assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University, but his freelance writing on architecture attracted the attention of editors at The Dallas Morning News, and he joined the staff in 1981. He was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.  Dillon wrote a dozen books and more than 200 articles in publications that included Architectural RecordDomus and Harvard Design Review. He served as a juror for numerous national awards and design competitions. His writings received awards from The Associated Press, the Dallas Press Club and the Texas Society of Architects.

Image: Paul Goldberger (via)