Houston. As is.
The First and 100th Issues.
It was the early 1980s, and Houston was ripe for a design publication that would offer an ongoing critical voice, while reporting on the vibrant and fast-developing city.
Herman Dyal was serving on the board of the Rice Design Alliance and part of what started as an ad hoc sub-group charged to create and launch Cite, The Architecture and Design Review of Houston. Dyal served as the magazine’s first art director, a role he continued for the first several issues.
35 Years Later.
Herman Dyal was asked to return to the publication as guest editor with Page/Dyal as designers of the special 100th issue.
Working closely with Cite editor Raj Mankad, and after considering several possible themes for the issue, it was decided to capture the present state of the city through a single photo essay. Noted Houston photographer and long-time Cite contributor Paul Hester was brought on board.
What would be photographed? How would the sites be selected? We thought it important to represent the whole, entire city – not just the inside-the-loop areas that are so often the focus of attention.
And so… darts.
Paul, Raj, and Dyal gathered at The Ginger Man bar near Rice University and threw darts at a large map of the Houston region, stretching from the Brazos to the San Jacinto rivers.
Darts were thrown at the map, and one hundred throws were carefully cataloged, and later geo-tagged. Paul then spent the next several months visiting each site and photographing what was there – ugly, beautiful, bustling, deserted, interesting, banal, dilapidated, or shiny-new. His photographs showed Houston just as it was in early 2017.
As the issue was sent to press Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Coast. The Houston we sought to capture in the present tense had already passed as the city entered a new phase.
The Rice Design Alliance and Cite continue its mission to facilitate an understanding of how design influences the built and natural environment through multidisciplinary public programs and projects.