Course Description: The semester’s work incorporates a Public Interest Design approach that is part of the Gulf Coast DesignLab’s mission gulfcoastdesignlab.org. Through community-based engagement using a design build methodology you will become better prepared for professional practice through: 1) learning how to effectively engage your stakeholder and communicate design intention for an appropriate project used by the public; 2) increasing your knowledge of architectural processes through: a) material analyses that meets your stakeholder’s needs; b) craftful material detailing that expresses the poetic quality of your design; c) become familiar with contract documents development; d) budgeting / scheduling evaluations; e) developing means and methods to meet applicable codes; 3) gaining the satisfaction of helping increase eco-literacy for those on the Gulf Coast impacted by climate change.
Stakeholder: the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) of Houston https://galvbay.org/ . GBF’s mission is threefold: 1) promote science-based environmental education for the public, ranging from school children to public officials, so they recognize the positive quality-of-life benefits healthy ecological systems provide; 2) expand conservation and restoration efforts by working closely with other interested partners around the Bay; 3) foster research and monitoring of Galveston Bay by training citizen scientists to augment professional efforts while aiding in watershed planning.
Design Problem: the GBF recently purchased property overlooking the bay on which to build their new headquarters. In the midst of their capital campaign, this project is scheduled to be built within the next five years. You will help plan for this by designing and building an outdoor environmental education pavilion that can be used immediately. Your design is intended to accommodate thirty guests participating in the stakeholder’s environmental education programs that take place several times each week. The design is to be architecturally inspiring and reflect the aspirations of your stakeholder as they make a better place for all.
Travel: Several field trips will take place during the semester. The first will be to meet your stakeholder, determine their needs and investigate / document the place where you’ll work. You’ll return a second time to present your design and get approval from your stakeholder. And finally, there will an extended stay of 12-14 days at the end of the semester to install your built work. The stakeholder will cover your travel / lodging expenses while off campus.