Prominent Texas architect defends signature in spirited lecture at Greenwood King in Houston – Michael G. Imber speaks out

PThe famous architect Michael G. Imber from San Antonio gave a lively lecture about his new book The art of the architect (Triglyph Books) at Greenwood King Properties’ The Lobby on Kirby Drive presented by the Institute of Classical Architects (ICAA) with Sebastian Construction Group. Architects, ICAA members, real estate agents and architecture enthusiasts showed up in droves to support one of Texas’ great architects.

The Lifetime Arthur Ross Award recipient’s beautiful new book features Imber’s paintings and sketches and celebrates the role that drawing and watercolor play in architecture. In our modern world of AI, smartphones and computer rendering, some contemporary architects consider drawing by hand as outdated.

But as Imber told the packed audience at The Lobby, he is “drawing to see.” Handmade works of art possess a sense of spirit and inform Imber about the landscape and scale of a project. Imber revealed that he views a signature as an active response to the subject that helps inform the way we live in the natural world.

Prominent San Antonio architect Michael G. Imber gave a spirited talk about his new book The Art of the Architect.  (Photo by Kara Trail)
Prominent San Antonio architect Michael G. Imber gave a spirited talk about his new book The Art of the Architect. (Photo by Kara Trail)

Imber remembered the saying of the famous British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens: ‘Don’t talk about it. Draw It.” A hand-drawn rendering of a building allows Imber to visually communicate with his clients and his own team, craftsmen and contractors. The architectural renderings date back to the Renaissance and Imber would like to see this continue well into the future. He was Robert A. M. Stern Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture, where he immediately presented each student with a sketchbook, which he said was not done at Yale because drawing by hand is not a requirement.

Imber uses drawings not only to inform his architecture, but also as a visual diary during his travels.

“Drawing is committing it to memory and making it part of who I am as a person and as an architect,” he says.

Elizabeth Anthony










Philip Rife & Meg Greenwood Rife (Photo by Kara Trail)
Philip Rife and Meg Greenwood Rife (Photo by Kara Trail)

When Imber looks back on his drawings, it brings back memories and feelings, and the study of other cultures through travel. After the thought-provoking and inspiring discussion, Imber signed books and mingled with those in attendance.

Seen PC: Greenwood Kings Linda King, Meg Greenwood Reef, Caroline BillipAnd Lorraine Abercrombie; ICAAs Hill Fast; Vallette And Russel Windham, Stephanie And Reagan Cocke, Nadia Palaces Lauterbach, Virginia Kelsey, Rogelio CarrascoAnd George Sutherland.