Pollen Architecture & Design is a collaborative practice that focuses on the relationship between architecture and its environment. They use a quiet, modern vocabulary of building form, enriched with well-crafted details and material innovation. They are an interdisciplinary team, integrating skillsets from team members with backgrounds in architecture, art, construction and teaching. Pollen is currently at work on creative office buildings and residential projects. The firm recently completed the renovation and addition to Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Edward’s University. Their Balcones House was featured on the 2011 AIA Austin Homes Tour and won an AIA Austin Design Award in 2012. Their East 12th Street Studios project won a 2010 AIA Austin Citation of Honor Award. Their work has been published in Dwell, Detail Magazine, Architecture Record, and Texas Architect. Background: Elizabeth Alford and Michael Young founded Pollen upon returning to their native Texas in 2003, after more than a decade’s experience working in New York. Elizabeth received her M.Arch at Columbia University and apprenticed with leading design firms in New York. Her emphasis in practice has been on creating spatial relationships and buildings that are carefully integrated into their surroundings with view and solar orientation. Michael received an MFA from Yale and a BA from the University of Texas. Prior to, and continuing alongside his work at Pollen, Michael is an artist whose work has been represented by galleries in New York and abroad. Michael brings to the work of the firm an emphasis on material development. Pollen began as a design-build practice, and everyone at the firm shares an appreciation of building technique and a hands-on approach to realization of projects. They maintain a woodshop at their office, and develop samples and mock-ups at full scale as a way to understand the tactile and experiential nature of their projects. Both partners have taught for over a decade; Elizabeth at the UT School of Architecture, and Michael in the graduate painting program at the Rhode Island School of Design.