Eugene George and student at Naranjal
Students involved in construction at Naranjal

Eugene George was an architectural educator for longer than he had been a practicing architect. He taught his first course, a survey of architectural history, for fellow prisoners of war after being captured during a World War II Air Force mission in Germany. “Learning is wherever you happen to be at the time,” he stated, “and if you’re in prison, you learn from there. If you’re in university, you learn from there. I learned from all kinds of places, and I’m still learning.” After this first experience as a teacher, George taught and mentored hundreds of architectural students, whose accomplishments he would recount with pride.

As an educator, George believed in hands-on experience. In his classes, he provided such experience in the form of construction projects: at El Naranjal, the residence he and his students constructed at 207 East 44th Street in Austin, and at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, where his students were involved in creating an adobe building from the ground up. Students also participated in many of his restoration, research, and documentation projects.

George’s innovative approaches to architectural education gained him the Edward J. Romieniec Award from the Texas Society of Architects in 2001, and contributed to his induction into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2004.

“Learning is wherever you happen to be at the time... I learned from all kinds of places, and I’m still learning.”

Eugene George