Houston 2020 Visions

Program Partners

Funding Provided By

Designing for Impact

Presented by AIA Houston and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), in partnership with the City of Houston’s Complete Communities Initiative.

Design professionals, creative individuals, and students are invited to engage with residents, partners, and leaders by participating in a design workshop that will help bring ideas from Houston’s historically underserved communities to life. By lending your knowledge, experience, and skills we can move these projects forward.

Join us on Tuesday, February 2 at 6pm for a presentation and panel discussion, the kickoff event for the Designing for Impact initiative. At the first event, architects, advocates, and community leaders will discuss the City of Houston’s Complete Communities initiative, its ongoing efforts, and the importance of a community-led design strategy. They will share their varied perspectives and experiences around community-led design projects to help attendees prepare for the Community Engagement Workshop.

Presenters include Janis Brackett, AIA, of Kirksey Architecture and the Sunnyside Multi-Service & Health Center design team; Susan Rogers, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston and the Director of the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC); Meghan Venable-Thomas, Cultural Resilience Program Director, National Initiatives. Attendees will also be given an introduction to specific communities and associated anchor projects which will be featured in the upcoming workshop.

Designers are encouraged to sign up, as teams or individuals, for the community design workshop on Saturday, April 10.  Individuals will be matched with others to create teams. All teams will receive an anchor project from one of the Complete Communities action plans to charette ideas. During the community design workshop, teams will meet with Complete Community Neighborhood planners, developers, and community stakeholders to inform design ideas and provide community insight. Final presentations to the community will be on Saturday, April 24.


  • Tuesday, February 2, 6pm – Kick-Off Panel Discussion - Watch the recording here. Download presentation visuals here
  • Friday, February 5 – Deadline for Design Team registration
  • Saturday, April 10, 10am – Community Engagement Workshop (new date)
  • Saturday, April 24, 10am – Community Presentation (new date)

Acres Homes, Alief-Westwood, Fort Bend, Gulfton, Kashmere Gardens, Magnolia Park - Manchester, Near Northside, Second Ward, Sunnyside and Third Ward.


Design Team Workshop Registration (each team member must register and enter the same firm/school and team name)
Residents or Stakeholder Workshop Registration
Deadline to register is Tuesday, April 6

Complete Communities works to improve Houston’s historically underserved neighborhoods by enhancing quality services and amenities through attracting private capital investment. The Complete Communities approach involves working closely with the residents of communities to understand their needs, identify new and existing community projects and opportunities, and facilitate opportunities for collaboration with partners across the city.

Participants are expected to attend the kickoff panel discussion to learn more about the Complete Community initiative, the featured communities, community-led design strategies, and the anchor projects.

Complete Communities focuses on capital projects and strategic programming that eliminate structural barriers and improve the quality of life for Houston’s most vulnerable populations. The most significant outcome for the major anchor projects is to correct historic underinvestment (i.e., redlining) that remains evident in Complete Communities neighborhoods to this day.  The projects will serve as a catalyst to attract new development and expand resources throughout the area.
These workshops will include community residents from our Complete Communities, individuals with development interest in the communities, as well as design, planning, and development professionals. It is valuable to have many different stakeholders in one room, not only to provide input, but to create the opportunity to listen to each other.



  • Registration is open to groups of five or less, or individuals. Individuals wishing to participate will be grouped with other participants.
  • Designing for Impact is open to all design professionals, architects, college and high school students studying architecture, urban planning and/or community development.
  • Each member of a team must register for the workshop and provide a team name. If firms have multiple teams, please differentiate with unique team names. Individuals will be grouped into teams.
  • Each team will meet Complete Community Neighborhood Planners, Developers, and community stakeholders at the workshop on February 20.


  • to provide an opportunity for participation in a community informed design process and offer a glimpse into how this design strategy can influence design decisions.
  • to invite residents and developers to participate in the design process, get excited about the potential outcomes, and gain a direct avenue of input to the design professionals.
  • to charette ideas based on one of the community anchor projects from one of the Complete Communities action plans using a community engagement design strategy.


  • All events will occur online.
  • Designs are to be presented virtually via Zoom. The design teams will need to prepare final design presentations using the software of their choice.
  • Teams should propose a conceptual study for site design and/or corridor revitalization. Teams should include their conceptual approach and a narrative summary of the team’s design approach, not to exceed one page.
  • Deliverables can include 3D and/or 2D drawings in addition to programming recommendations.  Each team will be provided a packet, which will give community background, project scope, project timeline, project budget (where applicable), and specific desired deliverables needed for each corridor and Complete Community.
  • Teams will present ideas to residents, Complete Community Neighborhood Developers and stakeholders on Saturday, March 6 at 10am. Presentations will be approximately 10-15 minutes for each team.


  • Rights to build the submitted designs are retained by the entrant, except AIA Houston and the City of Houston’s Complete Communities shall have the right to share proposals with potential investors for possible development in the future. All further action will be done in partnership with the entrant(s). Competitors acknowledge that AIA Houston and the City of Houston’s Complete Communities may use proposal visuals online and credit entrant(s). AIA Houston and the City of Houston will make reasonable efforts to notify participants of usage.