Thursday March 29, 2012 | 10:54 PM

Portland native Tim Ventimiglia returned to his hometown tonight to deliver the kickoff talk in this year's sold-out Architalx lecture series. Now in its 24th year, the series brings leading professionals in the fields of architecture and design to Portland to deliver thought-provoking talks.

A senior associate at Ralph Appelbaum Associates in New York City, Ventimiglia gave his talk the enigmatic title: "Giant Squid, Glass Eggs, Dinosaur Skin & the Elusive Philosopher's Stone." Sure enough, Ventimiglia managed to weave all four seemingly unrelated things into his presentation as he took us on tour of the exhibition design work he's done for major museum and corporate clients.

He also treated us to a preview of an interactive exhibition scheduled to open in spring 2013 at the Portland Museum of Art. Titled "Voices of Design: 25 Years of Architalx," the show will allow visitors to explore and manipulate sounds, words and slides culled from a quarter century of lectures. The conceptual drawings show three tall but very distinct structures, which visitors can enter and interact with, allowing them to manipulate images, audio clips and individual words.

Tonight's party took place at Hannaford Hall on USM's Portland campus. There was ample time to mingle and talk design, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served before the lecture and coffee and desserts served after.

Be sure to pick the April 1 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram, where I'll have more party photos and details about Ventimiglia's work and the upcoming exhibition at the Portland Museum of Art.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

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