University of Texas at Austin

Do-No-Harm, Do-More-Good: Building for Sustainability in the Galápagos

Faculty team members:
David Heymann, M.Arch., Professor, School of Architecture 
Gregory Brooks, M.Arch., Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering 
Jayme Walenta, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts

International partners:
University of San Francisco-Quito, Quito, Ecuador 
Buro Happold, Bath, United Kingdom

This program will research innovative and implementable solutions for the design of sustainable human habitats that do no harm to—and do more good for—ecologies surrounding the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador. The area’s fragile ecosystem is threatened by a recent surge in land-based tourism, a critical source of revenue for the expanding population. Participants will consider the ways sustainable relations can develop between natural environments, human uses and needs, and buildings and built infrastructure. Students will establish and enact their projects in collaboration with stakeholders that include the University of San Francisco-Quito, global engineering firm Buro Happold, Galápagos islanders, government officials, environmental engineers, economists, and theoreticians, giving the students and university an opportunity to add value to this unfolding and real-world challenge.