Plan It Forward Farms

Plan It Forward Farms

Plant It Forward Farms off ers disadvantagede refugees an opportunity to become self-suffi cient through growing, harvesting, and selling produce from a sustainable urban farm within the city of Houston. Each farm has the potential to generate a fair wage for a family of four while providing premium brand sustainably-grown produce to Houstonians. The organization selects, trains, and mentors farmers, establishing each on their own urban farm to sell. 

Open Architecture Houston has collaborated to design and construct a farmer pod for Plant It Forward. The goal was to provide seating, storage, and shade for farmers who spend a great deal of time working in the harsh Texas sun. A design team has worked with the farmers on the Fondren farm to design and install a prototype farmer pod. From this prototype, the overall goal is to test it, refi ne it, and ultimately for each farmer to have their own pod on every Plant It Forward farm. 

The pod features a waterproof storage bin that doubles as a bench and shelving lining the back wall, all tucked underneath a retractable 

awning. The sides of the structure provide shade, allow plenty of air to circulate, and serve as a place to hang tools. The farmers were also interested in having a place to work on their seedlings. There is a sink station where they can prepare trays of seedlings, store tools, wash produce, or cool off under the misting attachment. 

Cloudbreak Communities

Cloudbreak Communities

Open Architecture Houston invites you to visit the USVets campus on November 15th at 3pm to learn about the scope involved to reimagine the Houston USVets campus, and the eff orts of USVets to help end homelessness among veterans in Houston. 

Cloudbreak Communities is the branded name for a family of mission-driven, Limited Liability Companies (LLC); each engaged in the development of supportive housing for homeless, formerly homeless and at-risk veterans. Owned and operated by Cantwell-Anderson, Inc.; a California Corporation, the various Cloudbreak companies which make up the Cloudbreak Communities brand, have successfully completed the development of nearly 2,800 housing beds in nearly 1800 units located in five states and coalesced a myriad of support service providers to deliver needed care to the veteran residents. Another 700+ units are under active or planned development.

Cloudbreak Communities is serving US Vets Inc. by expanding the capacity of its existing Houston campus to house an additional 50+ veterans. The expansion will be accomplished by renovating an existing two story building, and adding a third story to the building. 

This campus is located at 4640 Blodgett St., Houston TX 77002. In addition to the expansion, the US Vets campus would better serve its community by making the campus more cohesive and more secure. The current architect of record’s scope is for the building expansion only. 

Cloudbreak is seeking pro bono services to design the campus with input from selected community members. Open Architecture Houston is facilitating a site plan design competition to help strengthen this underserved Houston community. 

Magpies & Peacocks - Joy Factory Design

Magpies & Peacocks - Joy Factory Design

Magpies and Peacocks is a Houston based 501(c) 3 non-profit design house dedicated to the collection and redesign of textile, fashion & accessory waste. The mission of M&Ps is to create an environment for positive change by nurturing arts education, keeping fashion out of landfi lls and giving back to the Houston community.

M&Ps are working to bring sustainable practices direct from the closet to the curriculum and marketplace - creating products to vdonate to charity auctions, benefit and other non-profits to showcase our local designers.

Their new facility, however, needs help. OAH is working with M&Ps to source re-used materials and develop innovative designs for space planning and storage solutions. The Joy Factory design team has provided renderings, schematic design, and hands-on labor. Joy Factory and other volunteers have work to develop and build prototypes from found materials, much of which has been sourced from the ReUse Warehouse.

Phase 2 of the project is just beginning. OAH is looking to provide a larger scale intervention that will provide fl exible solutions to M&Ps space and storage needs