An Agenda for BCS
Assistant Professor, Architecture
Texas A&M University
with projects by:
Manuel Alvarado Cueto
Rotana Finn Hok
James Michael Tate
Despite the very well-known growth of the Texas Triangle (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin-San Antonio), the cities of Bryan and College Station (BCS) offer potential insight into the state’s more significant territorial issues. College Station is home to Texas A&M University, the second-largest public university in the United States by enrollment, with almost 70,000 in 2020. The city of Bryan has recently been included–or accepted, as Aggieland. These facts make them a unique case study since, as evident in focus on the metropolis or the southern border, everything here happens under the radar. The military analogy is no coincidence; the alignment of the territory with the military-industrial complex is certain.
As a newcomer faculty to Texas in the Fall of 2018, I decided to dedicate most of my architecture studios—junior, senior, and graduate, to learn about these cities, their logic, motivations, and potential pitfalls. These studios were a new endeavor to many. The thinking of architecture as a cultural product in dialogue with territorial complexities has been the driving force to these research-based studios. We carefully considered, investigated, pondered, and visualized the multiplicity of factors that we understood are shaping the cities. We did this primarily through mapping. There are tens of information and analysis maps made through publicly available data. In addition, we proposed a series of urban scale projects in dialogue with those findings. An Agenda for BCS is a digital book (300+ pages) that documents that effort to expand the scope and possibilities for how we imagine this territory.
Since concluding the agenda, a new series of studios began using its content to propose projects based on it. The last set of projects, AFTER THE AGENDA, documents the Spring 2021 studio.
*Best viewed in computer. To navigate, scroll down, click on arrows left or right to change pages. Click on images to isolate them, use arrows to advance pages.
Bryan, Texas July 2021