The Animating History public art installation posed questions relevant to communities everywhere: what are the underlying ecologies and histories of our urban landscapes and how can we tell these stories?

Animating History

Houston’s Third Ward was once a thriving community. Retail outlets, restaurants and night spots were once prevalent in this historic neighborhood. Now, vacant lots or empty buildings have replaced these businesses.

This semester, University of Houston students from the School of Art’s Graphic Design Program teamed up with peers in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design to offer a glimpse into the Third Ward’s past. The project, “Animating History,” paired students who designed 22 life size map pins (like the ones used to point out locations on online maps) that illustrate once successful establishments along the Dowling Street corridor. Guiding students were graphic design associate professor Fiona McGettigan and architecture professors Susan Rogers and Ronnie Self. Students physically placed these pins (standing at about 6 feet tall) at spaces that are now the sites of desolate lots and shuttered buildings. A selection of the pins remain in the Third Ward


Faculty: Associate Professor Fiona McGettigan (School of Art, Graphic Design Program); Associate Professor Susan Rogers (Architecture); Associate Professor Ronnie Self (Architecture). 
Students:  Ben Alcaraz; Maria Fernanda Charles; Ceci Castellanos; Mathilde E Deboes; Hannah Childs; Benjamin William Lueders; Jordan Compton; Felipe Luna; Victoria Courtemanche; Joshua Naputi; Alexa Dominguez; Mark Phillip Ojeda; Jewel Gallagher; David Alexander Osorio; Travis Gamble; Sunny D Patel; Karl Gobaton; Alexandria Sholtis; Dominique Gutierrez; Carlos Sotelo; Laura Hagen; Davy Zhu; Sophia Hepp; Shane Everett Bourgeois; Ramon Hernandez; Stephanie A Crabtree; Matthew Janik; Altair Galgana; Leah Justis; Stephen J Higginbotham; Luis Martinez; Zerik D Kendrick; Brian Murcia; Hanin Afif Malhas; Victoria Pena; Ami Himanshu Patel; Cintia Quevedo; Mychael A Pham; Jessica Rennie; Laura Hill; David Aleksander Ramirez; Andrea Rivas; Madeleine Sanchez; Austin Markham Rees; Lauren Thawley;  Hibah Osman; Jordan Vazquez


Design is a Strategy for Change

122 College of Architecture Bldg

4200 Elgin St. Houston, TX 77004/4000 


Tel: 713.743.2520

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