Posted on October 31, 2019 by Sean Garnsey

(October 31, 2019) — The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP) 2019-2020 Speaker Series continues with Aaron Betsky, President of the School of Architecture at Taliesin West, the 620-acre Arizona compound designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In his talk, “Beyond Buildings: Reimagining Architecture,” Mr. Betsky will discuss the need to reimagine and reuse the structures we already have. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at 5:30pm on Monday, November 4 in the Buena Vista Building’s Aula Canaria Auditorium (BV 1.328) on the UTSA Downtown Campus.

Mr. Betsky argues that architecture should not be a question of building, but of questioning, opening up, and unbuilding. He reasons that, from an environmental standpoint, non-renewable resources and land cannot be wasted to create new buildings. In his opinion, what makes us at home in the modern world is no longer structures that imprison us, but rather the images, forms, and spaces that let us play active and critical roles in our society. His talk will illustrate recent attempts to make sense of our modern world and to offer responses that either come out of the discipline and knowledge that is proper to architecture, or that address those issues proper to architecture.

A critic of art, architecture, and design, Mr. Betsky is the author of over a dozen books on these subjects, including a forthcoming survey of modernism in architecture and design. He writes a twice-weekly blog for, Beyond Buildings . Trained as an architect and in the humanities at Yale University, Mr. Betsky was previously Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006-2014) and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2001-2006), as well as Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995-2001). In 2008, he also directed the 11th Venice International Biennale of Architecture. His latest books, Making It Modern and Architecture Matters , were published in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Building on Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs and thoughts, the School of Architecture at Taliesin offers a graduate program in architecture that teaches and practices learning by doing, new ways of looking, an ability to honor and build with the landscape, and experimentation. While the heart of life at Taliesin revolves around the studio and the creative work produced by students in Wright’s historic drafting rooms, students are encouraged to gain perspective from field trips to local artists’ workshops, living in and building their own shelter, and joining the community around them. The three-year immersive Master of Architecture (M.Arch) program is designed for students who thrive in a multifaceted environment focusing on rigorous design, critical thinking, and hands-on learning, while the small scale of the School facilitates an individualized educational experience.

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning Speaker Series brings built environment professionals from around the world to UTSA to share their expertise on a variety of topics with the local community. For this event, free parking is available in UTSA parking lot D-3 under I-35, unmarked spaces only. UTSA Downtown Campus Map found here. For more information, contact Nicole Chavez at or 210.458.3121.

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— Sean Garnsey