Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies alumni Steven and Cathi House will speak at the Alexandria and Blacksburg campuses next week about their newly published book, "Villages of West Africa — an intimate journey across time."

They will be at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 for a lecture and book signing. At 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 there will be an exhibition of photographs from the book in the lobby of Cowgill Hall on the Blacksburg campus. The Houses will also give a lecture at 2 p.m. on Sept. 20 in Hancock Hall Room 100, Blacksburg campus, followed by a book signing.

The book documents their recent journey through West Africa and details the artisanship and architecture found in this little known and extrordinarily beautiful region with evocative photographs and collections of poetry.

"We wanted to show the beauty of the land, the people, the villages, family life, markets, and the architecture and document visually and poetically the extraordinary world of West Africa," said Cathi House, a member of the Class of 1977 who earned her bachelor’s in architecture.


For 35 years, Steven and Cathi House have had their architectural firm, House + House Architects, in San Francisco, California. Their work has been featured in numerous publications, including two monographs "Choreographing Space" and "Houses in the Sun," and they have received more than 50 design awards.

In addition to their firm, Steven and Cathi House created CASA, The Center for Architecture, Sustainability + Art as a study abroad program for Virginia Tech students pursuing a career in architecture. Their program is designed to immerse students deeply into the culture and magic of Mexico and, through design exercises and theoretical discourse, to give them a glimpse into life as an architect and prepare them for their future careers in a diverse and global world.

"We feel that architecture students should incorporate travel as an integral part of their lives," said Steven House, a member of the Class of 1974 who earned his bachelor’s in architecture. "The foundation of both our professional and personal work is firmly grounded in our yearly travels."

Written by Tori Upton

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