I needed a land use plan, so I called the Dean at the University of Houston, College of Architecture, and he put me in touch with Professor Tom Diehl. Mr. Diehl’s 4th year architectural students need to do two community projects – one urban and one rural. We were the rural project for that semester. Tom came out to the epic property with his class and we walked the land and I answered their questions. We divided the class into 3 teams, and like the popular show "The Apprentice". I would judge the results. I said I would buy dinner for the winning team.
About a month after the site visit, Tom called and said the students had their boards ready, and they would formally present them to me at the College. I was simply blown away by the results. These student teams had gone way over the top. They did intensive research (demographic, economic, psychographic, etc.), and the visuals they created were stunning. I could not make up my mind on a winning team, since each had far exceeded my expectations. I said I would buy dinner for everyone, and their choice surprised me as well - pizza - with extra toppings!
When it came time to design the building, we hired two architects who had Mr. Diehl as an instructor when they were in school. We went through 68 iterations with them until we settled on the one we are now building.
A New York-based writer, Diana studied art history and environmental policy at UC Davis. Before rising to Senior Editor at Dwell—where she helped craft product coverage, features, and more—Diana worked in the Architecture and Design departments at MoMA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She counts finishing a 5K as one of her greatest accomplishments, gets excited about any travel involving trains, and her favorite magazine section is Rewind. Learn more about Diana at: http://dianabudds.com