Rice Design Fete, 1967

Last Friday’s picture of the kid sleeping in the RMC came from one of two folders full of contact sheets that turned up in Rice architecture professor Will Cannady’s papers. There were a lot of tiny pictures in these files and I sat down to look at them because I could tell at a glance that there were some good interior views of both the RMC and Anderson Hall. Soon, however, my attention was diverted by some of the strangest pictures I’ve ever seen taken on this campus. Here’s what first caught my eye:

Design Fete helmet 4

They had this crazy helmet thing all over the place:

Design Fete June 1967 helmet 1Design Fete helmet 3

And they put it on many people:

Design Fete helmet 2

I found this all both amusing and very, very mystifying but when I noticed in the background of one photograph a sign that said “Rice Design Fete 1967” I was on the way towards a solution. It turns out that there’s a concise and interesting explanation of the whole escapade here at offcite, the Rice Design Alliance web site. A copy of “the little known book” referenced in the article, New Schools for New Towns, was sitting on a shelf only a few feet away from me in the archives. It always feels weird when that happens.

Bonus: Here’s fun video celebrating Professor Cannady’s fifty years of teaching at Rice.

There’s a reception in his honor this Friday afternoon. Come on over if you can.

Cannady 50th Anniversary at RSA invitation

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6 Responses to Rice Design Fete, 1967

  1. Leoguy says:

    I can’t believe Will (actually, Bill to me) has been at Rice 50 years, either. He was a favorite architecture professor of mine during my third and fourth years at the RSA, in 1972-74. I look forward to honoring his 50 years at Rice this Friday.

  2. C Kelly says:

    Hmm. I assume they were perfecting the rocket suit first seen in King of the Rocket Men (1949): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041547/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1, However, they could have been working on a prototype for the helmet worn by Dark Helmet in Spaceballs (1987).

  3. james lang says:

    We have many what id call interesting people here

  4. Well, that’s not something you’d see every day. 1966-ish Benelli Motobi motorcycle. Interesting.

  5. Guy says:

    Compare to this present day version of the helmet: http://www.oculusvr.com

  6. Jessicah says:

    Do you know where in the Rice archives I could locate this book and perhaps others re: the design fete??

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