Today's Reviews Include:

Advanced Studio Dean Almy
Advanced Studio Kevin Alter
Vertical Studio Michael Benedikt
Design VI: Intermediate Danelle Briscoe
Advanced Studio Coleman Coker
Design VI / Technical Studio (Interior Design) Allison Gaskins
Advanced Integrative Cisco Gomes
Advanced Comprehensive Ryan Lemmo + Stephanie Lemmo
Design IV: Intermediate Rasa Navasaityte
Design IV: Intermediate Jean Pierre Trou

Links to watch the livestream will be added to this page at 10:00 a.m., once the review has begun. Each review will be broken up into three sessions:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Advanced Studio - Design Strategies & Tactics for Neighborhood Regeneration

Instructor: Dean Almy + Visitors

The studio interrogates how the urban process shapes neighborhoods and communities. We will devise strategies and tactics to bring about positive change through urban transformation. Neighborhood regeneration is at the very heart of our investigation. The subject of our study and design proposals is the Distrito Purisima-Alameda (DPA) in Monterrey, Mexico, a historic district developed soon after the city’s founding, that experienced progressive depopulation and neglect as the metropolis underwent an intense process of suburbanization and expanded its sprawling borders outwards. Students will also put together the materials for a publication that will recount and synthesize both the process and the product of the studio. 


Advanced Studio - The White City and The Sea: Tel Aviv, Israel

Instructor: kevin alter

The studio project has two parts: an urban proposal for a new Kikar Atarim, and the design of a complex of building(s) there. Each student will have a ‘thesis’ that guides their design agendas, and a vision for how architecture shapes the culture of this part of Tel Aviv. Israel, though one of the western world’s smaller countries, is nonetheless a cultural giant in its own right. Moreover, the city of Tel Aviv grew from and around its cultural spaces and here architects were the driving force for shaping culture. Students designs constitute an endeavor with global ambitions, one that also highlights Tel Aviv as a place redolent of past and future histories, nuances, vectors, intersections, pauses, continuities, references, and discoveries. In other words: it is a full encounter with the life of the city and its global reach.


Vertical Studio

Instructor: michael benedikt

This vertical studio focuses (1) on the properties of architecture that relate buildings to the human body through craft, through affordances, and in empathy, and (2) on the social and quasi-social relationships that exist between People, Things, and Rooms. The Project is hypothetical, but plausible: a satellite campus for Austin Community College (Highland campus) devoted to the Manual Arts. Here, the "manual arts" are not conceived of as vocational training, but as thinking with one's hands, spatially, physically. As Le Corbusier said and as psychologists confirm, one's hands have eyes, and one's eyes have hands. This is especially true of artists, craftspeople, designers and architects. Students will enjoy readings from John Runkle's Manual Element in Education, Mathew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft, Richard Sennett's The Craftsman, Graham Harman's Art + Objects, and the instructor's Architecture Beyond Experience.


Design VI: Intermediate - Fun Palace 2.0: The Practices of Indeterminacy

Instructor: Danelle briscoe

During the 1960s, theatre director Joan Littlewood, architect Cedric Price, and cyber-netician Gordon Pask, along with a host of other collaborators, developed a proposal for an interactive Fun Palace. This collaboration created a unique synthesis of a wide range of contemporary discourse and theories to produce a new kind of improvisational architecture to negotiate the constantly shifting cultural landscape of the postwar years. Despite being unrealized, the original Fun Palace is regarded as a seminal architectural project. The project integrated entertainment, leisure, education and productive activities into a structural framework capable of responding and adapting to social needs. By dissolving the conventional opposition between work and leisure, such infrastructure proposed a continuous adaptation of a project understood as an open ended architecture. It is expected that outcomes will engage with current events, and contextual conditions will be explored to enable this building type to adapt in form, shape, color or character responsively.


Advanced Studio - Gulf Coast DesignLab 

Instructor: Coleman coker

The studio takes on issues raised by the proposed Galveston Bay Park and its shortfalls of not addressing neighborhoods in need. Members of the House of Representatives recently proposed the Green New Deal which addresses climate change, environmental degradation, crumbling infrastructure, economic disparity and systematic injustices; and much of what the Green New Deal sets out to remedy aligns with the needs of Houston neighborhoods. With that in mind, the Green New Deal will be used as a broad framework from which to consider the needs of those residents whose health and well-being are undermined by the very industries that stand to gain from the proposed park. The studio undertakes a speculative project that addresses the neighborhood’s concerns, with students developing a public place (min. 20,000 SF) that benefits the goals of the new Galveston Bay Park while aiding those minorities in the aforementioned neighborhoods, through proposed remedies outlined in the Green New Deal. Students will also undertake a small design/build project for the first four weeks of the semester to design and build a small footbridge for Houston Audubon Society on High Island. Students will also design and build furniture for an outdoor living room completed last semester by the fall group of students. 


Design IV / Technical Studio (Interior Design)

Instructor: Allison Gaskins

The main project addresses the planning and development of the pavilion for a private-sector technology firm at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The firm is working to build a future in which public institutions, commercial enterprises, and non-profit organizations can use data to function as designed—to fulfill the mandates with which they have been entrusted, to deliver value to customers, and to distribute aid to those most in need. The interior of their pavilion is designed to serve their employees attending the forum, but primarily to receive visitors. The firm’s success at the WEF will rely on a design and development team that implements the issued design brief in a manner that inspires confidence, mastery of craft, and future-focused development of their product via human interaction and thoughtfully-integrated technology. In addition, the build and installation time is extremely limited and the design must be deconstructed in an even tighter timeline. These restraints are taken into consideration within the content of the studio. Ultimately, the studio's role is to question, inspire, and imagine this pavilion through the design process. The resulting student work will be instrumental in envisioning this innovative center for the future.


Advanced Integrative Studio - Boundary Effects 

Instructor: cisco gomes

Liminal conditions are both the context and constitution of architecture. The Boundary Effects studio interrogated spatial constructs that condition and create edges of varied scale and orientation, whether those be internal spatial thresholds, existing natural conditions, legal limits, or boundaries between environments of differing quality. The project site is the seam between Morgan’s Point Cemetery and the Port of Houston Barbour’s Cut Terminal. Situated near the edge of land and water along the Gulf of Mexico and the Houston Ship Channel, the small cemetery has been in continuous use for nearly 200 years. It has been encroached upon over the years by the growth of the adjacent container terminal and is now entirely surrounded. Student teams proposed a mixed use project that addressed the needs of, and friction between several very different constituencies: cemetery visitors, port employees, and container truckers.


Advanced Comprehensive Studio - Change Is Here

Instructor: Ryan Lemmo + Stephanie lemmo

This studio project builds towards a complex, urban infill design incorporating a range of programs including housing, education, transit, and parks. The mix of programs and user groups is intended to address the needs of the community (historic, current and future) while critically engaging and grappling with the role of the architect in shaping growth in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. The challenge is to bridge a wide range of urban scales and generational needs in a single project. Issues of scale, identity, site, in addition to tectonic considerations such as structural and material logic are examined with thorough sets of drawings and models. The projects are instruments of urban transformation, and are viewed as catalytic examples with potential to project an alternative model for urban development. The project site is an irregularly shaped triangular lot between the Metro Rail line and a freight rail line, fronting both East 6th and East 5th Street. Students will analyze site conditions, respond to site characteristics such as soil, topography, vegetation, and watershed in the development of project design and understand principles of environmental systems such as passive heating and cooling, daylighting, solar orientation, and acoustics.


Design IV: Intermediate - The Tectonics of Paint, or How to Build from Drawings

Instructor: rasa navasaityte

Students experiment with different aesthetic languages, gradually constructing specific tectonics through a series of graphical experiments. Step by step, we translate graphical two-dimensional in-between into the third dimension of architecture. We look at different types of composition and their organizational principles. A series of exercises guide you through historical compositional strategies and their translation into digital design thinking. Here, we speculate what a building part can be, artistically. Accelerating repetition and autonomy, we will aim for the opposite: dynamic, movement-based design thinking. Through repetition alone, we will achieve variability and open space. Groups of architectural elements that act, move, and react in space. The three-dimensional speculations we understand as digital painting. Reversed to the idea of a context, we articulate an architectural proposal that best suits students artistic experiments. Taking speculation literally, we look for resonating, existing buildings and open them up with your means of speculation. Our goal is the reversion of a repetitive structure into a lively habitat. You have the freedom to speculate in response to a found building. Innovate neither program, structure nor use, but architectural speculation only.


Design IV: Intermediate - Emotion in Architecture  

Instructor: jean pierre trou 

We explore the phenomenological aspect of architecture, with emphasis on sensory experience, purpose, and memory. Students take an experiential approach to design, based on observation, personal beliefs, phenomenological encounters and first-person experiences of buildings and places. The beginning of the semester focuses on research and exploration of emotion in architecture, researching architects and artists that approach design in a more conceptual, poetic, and metaphorical manner. From these early exercises we build upon and develop a design process that serves as the foundation for the final project. In the final project students speculate on a future world and environment where people crave first-hand experiences in an otherwise digitally-infused reality.

*All listed studio descriptions are subject to change