Architecture transforms environments, but even ideas about architecture can be powerful. By integrating an architecture school into a downtown area, there’s potential to unleash the creativity of students and drive downtown development — at least that’s what Robert González anticipates. González was recently named the director of Texas Tech University’s burgeoning college of architecture in El Paso, Texas. He hopes that the creativity of students will be able to transform El Paso’s depressed Downtown.
“Every architecture school in the world wants to be downtown. We are urban beings, and we see it as our laboratory,” says González. “We need to be in the middle of that. We can host important discussions and put exhibits up on the wall that propose new ideas that try to invigorate more activity.”
As he takes the helm of the college of architecture, González is pushing for greater ties with the City of El Paso. Officials like Providencia Velázquez, the city’s new historic preservation officer, are eager to see what fresh blood and fresh ideas can do for the city. González is convinced that a new Downtown studio will not only be good for the city, but it will also be beneficial for students.
“That is the beauty of an architecture studio, because you can just dream,” he says.Image: Tulane Public Relations