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THIS DESIGN STUDIO IS CONCEIVED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FACULTY AT LONDON METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE AND SPATIAL DESIGN.

PARTNERS INCLUDE THE CMPBS AUSTIN, THE TEXAS A&M DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION SCIENCE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANNING

LEARNING OUTCOME: Students participating in the 406 design studio will learn how to research, map, document, and engage collectively a community organization that are the principle clients and develop projects useful to their local community center. Students will set up an internet Blog site, learn graphic composition related to documentation and publications, develop audio and video communications skills, learn about sustainable building practices, and gain hands-on experience working with a real on-site project.

crossXborderXprojeX II pools experiences and practices from Texas and from around the globe into a multidisciplinary network focusing on a variety of issues concerning life on the border and border-related phenomena. By internationalizing the context of the border, the crossXborderXprojeX II will bring a new set of working strategies to the Rio Grande Valley that combines local with global practices. If there exists a border syndrome, it grows primarily from the belief that a region exists in isolation, that its problems are unique, that the politics are entrenched and irreversible, and that solutions are beyond anyone’s capacity to resolve them.

The broad focus of this studio is to learn, experience, document and ultimately develop an architecture of and for the border. The Studio will cover a number of critical topics related to border conditions, frontiers, natural and manmade barriers, crossings, bridges as well as the people who populate the borderzones, nomadic peoples (agri-workers, migrant laborers, border runners) and communities settled along these frontiers (military and border guards, government officials, social workers, hoteliers, support staff, and homesteads), as well as refugee camps (displaced by natural disasters or civil or economic conflict).

This semester the main goal of the studio is to promote the emergence of an architecture that best serves local communities living North of the Rio Grande River. Several assignments will run concurrently over the semester. Part 1, students will form research groups to study specific historic precedents and more contemporary case studies referred to here as MACRO-PreXedents. Each student will also investigate, develop and design primary economic and social instruments of production, MICRO-produX, involving local communication networks, small-scale manufacture and the production of public space. Finally, Part 2 will consist of practical projects dealing directly with the Living ConteX, developed with a specific community in Starr county. Precedents, products, and further research documents will progressively fold into the semester long studio design project, the Living ProjeX

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