My RETROSPECT: One Perspective to Another

While this is my 5th year to participate in my firm’s exhibit for RETROSPECT, this is my first year to be involved with the actual committee.

I am fortunate to have been invited to act as Chair for RETROSPECT 2014 and I am excited to discover all the parts and pieces that make this kind of exhibition a success.

My RETROSPECT has always started with the spirit of competition. Our office holds an open design competition and each entrant must present a design to their peers and then participate in lighthearted discussion on “what it could really be.”  Over the course of a few meetings, fueled by snacks and spirit, a design is selected. This is when the real challenge begins and we must answer the pinnacle question, “how do we build it?”  While the skills of each individual vary, everyone finds a way to contribute.

Like a lot of firms, we usually build our own exhibit with staff effort and expertise. Frankly, the build part is the most fun to me - it brings everyone together outside of their normal day to day roles within the office. No matter what grand scheme we dream up, in the end it always somehow works out. There is a true sense of pride and accomplishment that we have brought someone’s creative ideas to life for the public to enjoy and connect with.

This year, my perspective on RETROSPECT comes from two different directions and will alternate as the exhibition draws closer. From one view while I work with the committee on the planning, organization, and success of the entire exhibition and from another view while I work with my colleagues to build our next creation.

I encourage every office to participate in the RETROSPECT Exhibition this year. It is a concentrated architectural effort including designing, building, coordinating, and collaborating with one goal – that it inspires the people who experience it.


RETROSPECT, established in 1990, is a public outreach event designed to promote architects, architecture, AIA Dallas and its activities to the community. RETROSPECT demonstrates how architects lead efforts to make our city a better place to live, work and play.

RETROSPECT Exhibition: April 3 – 13, 2014 at NorthPark Center

Want to get involved in RETROSPECT? Here are a few ways:

  • Be an exhibitor and show off your firm's design to over 100,000 NorthPark visitors. Click HERE to submit an entry.
  • Enter a poster design for the exhibit's graphics competition and win cash! Entries are due February 28, 2014 by 12:00 PM. 
  • Attend the RETROSPECT Garden Party on April 3, 2014. Buy your tickets to the party HERE.
  • Become a SPONSOR
Contributed by:
Andrea Kabala

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Steve Riley
Perkins+Will: 2013 Exhibit Credit: Steve Riley
Perkins+Will: 2002 Exhibit
Perkins+Will: 2004 Exhibit
Perkins+Will: 2012 Exhibit