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Rice Design Alliance Civic Forum


The Rice Design Alliance, formed within the Rice School of Architecture in 1972, facilitates an actionable understanding of how design influences the built and natural environments. RDA empowers academia, architecture/engineering/construction practitioners, and the broader Houston community to transform our city into a better place to live and a model for twenty-first-century design.


The Rice Design Alliance, established within Rice Architecture, was founded in 1972 by a group of academicians and civic-minded community members. Through the support of its members and RA, RDA empowers Houston’s diverse community of academia, architecture/engineering/construction practitioners to transform our city through design into a better place to live and a global model for the twenty first century.  Our mission is carried out in a variety of ways. The RSA/RDA fall lecture series, organized in collaboration with Rice Architecture faculty, explores cutting edge design ideas. Annual architecture home tours in Houston, as well as guided and curated tours in other U.S. and international cities, invite Houstonians to experience architecture firsthand. RDA civic forums invite governmental, academic, professional, and creative leaders to come together to debate issues and give all Houstonians a venue to contribute their voices. Competitions challenge both emerging and established designers to improve our city; these competitions often lead to implementation. Publications such as Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston feature a diversity of voices reflecting on the city’s past, present, and future, asking what, exactly, Houston is — and what it might be. Our programs and publications give students, faculty and RDA members a launching pad to make a real difference in the city and build connections.  We are a program of Rice Architecture, and the alliance includes scholars from the University of Houston and other institutions. Support for RDA comes from our members, individuals, corporate membership, and foundations, including the Houston Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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