The essays on this site are the culmination of a semester-long exploration of writing, architecture, and the city. Each student writer spent time considering the city in its many forms. These writings are the product of seven individual journeys, probing the vagaries of the city: its anonymity and community, its history and modernity, its decay and growth. They tear apart and then stitch the city back together as a place of personal experience and history. They are Houston [un]mapped.
Drive By Houston by Jessica Winegardner
Houston is a city of highways, a city of cars. From the perspective of the driver there is much to be experienced and contemplated while behind the wheel. Drift into a world of first impressions, childhood memories and speculation about the built environment.
Ornament and Crime on Sunset Boulevard by Steven Thomson
A student of design history devotes a summer working in a legendary Houston atelier engulfed in its own stock of high-design relics and the personalities who worship them.
Life Cycle City: A Houston Neighborhood in Transition by Allison Parrott
The story of Houston is the story of its rail and its roads. The roles of power brokers like Frank Sharp and Oscar Holcombe are well-documented. This moving and often hilarious profile of a 92-year-old resident of Sims Bayou Estates tells the story from perspective middle-class family on the East Side.
Two adjoining places could not be farther apart. A student dares to cross the line. A walk from the University of Houston across Scott street reveals inequalities, tensions, and strong human bonds.
A Witness to History by Rebecca DeBardelaben
The evolution and change of a downtown Houston city block throughout the twentieth century.
LEEDing Me Down the Path of Despair by Jason Fischer
The unglamorous beginnings of an architect who seeks to redeem his hopes by becoming accredited for designing environmentally sustainable buildings.
Landing on Mars by Ruijun Hao
A huge, flat, moist land with high-tech towers plugged into its center…like a salad with mixed-blended nations, Houston is a global city.