Architecture Students Reimagine Bus Shelters

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2022

Picturing what a future mass transit shelter will look like requires architecture skills, design acumen, communications expertise and an eye for what the future of transportation holds.

That’s the task being asked of a group of architecture students at The University of Texas at Arlington. A studio design class is helping the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) redesign and rebuild its transit shelters.

DART and the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs will showcase some of the students’ work from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at the UTA Community Design Build Lab, 200 N. Cooper St. Members of the American Institute of Architects also will be in attendance.

Julia Lindgren, the architecture assistant professor who is leading the class, said DART is trying to come up with the next generation of its transit shelters.

“Students have interviewed DART frontline workers, DART executives, bus drivers and riders. Focus groups have formed the basis for what the students have created. They also looked at underlying social and environmental issues to incorporate those into the shelter design,” she said. “For some of the students, using mass transit was a foreign concept, so they all got transit passes to document their own experiences, too.”

Jacqueline Hernandez, an undergraduate student working on the project, said the experience has been especially rewarding for her.

“With my grandma using DART public transportation for over a decade, I never imagined I would be part of redesigning and improving bus shelters,” Hernandez said. “The design/build experience has generated optimism on how design can offer opportunities and representation to communities through collaboration, research and experimentation.”

After the open house showcase, the students will team with DART officials to take their ideas out onto the road to test them in front of live audiences.

Written by Herb Booth: UTA Press