The Houston House Music Museum + AIDS Memorial

2023 | Speculative
Houston, Texas
Architecture | Urban Planning | Design Theory

This museum reimagines infrastructure as a secular sanctuary to the structurally outcast of society. Contending with more than art as a place maker, the building also finds new light to celebrate the people who inspire the art.

The project becomes an opportunity to examine the role that racialized socioeconomic inequity, wealth inequality, and political regionality play in increased health disparities for Black Queer populations. In examining the Civil Rights, Queer Liberation, and HIV AIDS Awareness movements the project highlights the role and relationship that infrastructure, architecture, and place making play in justice, equity, and liberation.

The role of infrastructure and its ubiquitous and unyielding relationship with marginalized groups presents an opportunity for a more nurturing relationship. Marginalized groups have often utilized the occupation of infrastructure as a means of protest, awareness, and advocacy. Could a more integrated symbiotic relationship between marginalized groups and the ubiquity of infrastructure yield new mixed used typologies aimed at making visible space for the complex realities of marginalized groups?

Contending the Neutrality of Public Infrastructure: How De Jure Discrimination in Policy Becomes De Facto Discrimination in Practice

Infrastructure has historically been designed without neutrality - continuously privileging the privileged and intentionally spoiling opportunities for increased equity or restitution to historically marginalized groups. In many American cities, such as Houston, the residual effects of racist and classist law and policy have been cemented into the organizational structure of infrastructure, yielding continued socio-economic disparities for residents of these communities.

Reinforced Racial +
Class Segregation

As is the case with many American cities, the cementing of racial and class lines within Houston can be directly traced to the expansion of the highway system amid segregation.

Circumvention of
Racial + Class Groups

White Flight was aided by infrastructural investments that allowed White communities to live on the outskirts of the city and to bypass and avoid Black communities when traveling.

Disparate Accessibility
to Resources

As racial and class lines were drawn with highways, the investments into these areas also faced visible differences. Red lining maps in conjunction with infrastructural decision making solidified racialized communities within Houston.

Waste Management +
Exposure to Pollution

As neighborhoods zoned for Black and Brown communities are being blighted economically and socially, the most viable economic uses for these locations places marginalized communities next to waste and hazardous pollution.

Noise Frequency +
Impact of Disturbance

Pollution proximity also included that of noise. Often, Black and Brown communities are located in areas where unruly amounts of noise exists as a byproduct of programs like industrial plants, and air travel.

Enforced Community Fracturing

As Black and Brown communities were split by unrelenting highways and their construction, the identity of Black neighborhoods were forever changed.

Community Displacement

Additionally, as communities were suffering from being fractured logistically, many residents were displaced as governing jurisdictions favored the construction of new highway systems.

Quality + Scale

The quality and prevalence of recreational or even necessary items like grocery stores, green spaces, parks and stores dramatically skewed along racial lines. These became solidified as inaccessible with the addition of highways serving as barriers.


As highways disproportionately bifurcated black communities, issues with congestion, noise, and spatial experience impacted these communities.


Identity further became something to surveil as race became connected to and reinforced by space and boundary.

Neglected Communities + The Occupation of Infrastructure and Urban Transportation Infrastructure as Advocacy

Communities + Highways

Individuals + Public Transit