Houston, Texas

Welcome to Open Architecture Houston! We are a volunteer non-profit organization that utilizes design to connect people and revitalize Houston communities. To find out about volunteer opportunities, projects, and how you can get involved please visit our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Since 2012, Open Architecture Houston has grown a volunteer network, hosted a pucha kucha event, participated in a hackathon, created a pop-up park for parking day, developed partnerships, and worked on community projects.

Here's what people are saying they want for Houston: more shade... tiny houses... bike lanes /safety... more walkable streets... collaboration... more parks and trails for walks... better public transit... pedestrian friendly sidewalks... trains/rails/subways... shade... trees... community food... food everywhere... more community gardens... 10,000 farmers... more bees... more gardens... more community... food hub... more adaptive reuse...

  • 2.2 million

    population of Houston

  • 600 square miles

    size of Houston

  • 22.9%

    percentage of Houston's population living in poverty

The Mercado de Northside Pop Up Tent Project design team is working with community partners to develop a pop up tent for a local arts market. Once the design is refined, we will work with community members to construct 10 of the portable tents. The tent canvases will then be painted by local artists. The tents will promote a memorable and cohesive face to the event while promoting local talent.

It was such a pleasure working with the Northside community. I think the most amazing aspect to the Mercado project is the ongoing and resilient effort the community has shown in both the design and implementation of the Mercado tent.

— Mike Garman, Garman Furniture, Project Team Member

  • 23

    Total Volunteers

  • 3

    Community Partners

  • 200+

    Community members to be served

Photo by Jonathan Cordingley

There is an abundance of critically useful information available to the residents of Houston. However, that information is largely indigestible and indecipherable and thus underutilized. Residents need to know how to access aid and react effectively to mitigate negative impacts (natural disasters, terrorism, crime, insufficient urban planning, insufficient disaster preparedness, environmental concerns, poor economic development, insufficient public safety resources, flood plains, etc.) happening in their environments. Opportunity: Create a platform where this information can be easily utilized and understood.

Examples of aid that could be made accessible through this app include: red cross, food shelters, department of public safety, evacuation routes, local shelters, local independent organizations, how and where to volunteer in the event of a disaster or on ongoing relief need, etc.

  • 12


  • 24

    hours at a hackathon to develop the app prototype

  • 2.2 million

    Houstonians that can potentially benefit from this app

Photo by Jonathan Cordingley and Gina Fantoni

Open Architecture Houston is partnering with the Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center to design an outdoor classroom for students in the after-school program and charter school at the neighborhood center.

The Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center is dedicated to urban agriculture and health and wellness and is piloting an innovation program model that includes an urban farm, diverse market places (such as community food store and food cooperative program), health and fitness resources, and agricultural programming. The outdoor classroom will help educate the younger community members about the exciting initiatives taking place on site including growing food, composting, rain water harvesting, and ecology.

  • 1959

    Year the neighborhood center was built.

  • 13,951

    Square footage of building serving the nerighborhood

  • 9.7

    Acres of land used for the Sustainable Food Initiative

Photo by Daniella Lewis