The Milky Way project was one of several outreach programs of the Diversity Council at the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University involving local stakeholders, marginalized groups, architecture students and faculty. The design-build public interest project crossed disciplines and intersected environmental and social justice issues with art and design. The first phase was a campus-wide collection of discarded plastic waste: 3, 000 milk jugs, to bring awareness to recycling and environmental issues. Architecture students worked with faculty and local African American Museum to design a shading/lighting structure that could be assembled with minimal skills and training by local volunteers. In the final stage, over 100 local middle school, high school, college students, young and old volunteers from the neighborhood participated in putting together the structure. The opening of the structure was organized as a celebration of the African American Museum and attracted dozens of faculty, students and community members to the museum.
FEB 2013 COA–DC invited the BVAAM to our campus
Fall 2013: LAND 318: Landscape Architecture proposals to improve landscaping around the museum. ARCH / PLAN / VIZ students: re-creation of two “black” high schools that burned in the 60s: Kemp and Lincoln (College Station Consolidated “Black” High School)
Spring 2014: Mays Business School, Department of Marketing capstone class to improve marketing the BVAAM
November 2013: Idea emerged, Dr. Giusti and Dr. Weiling He approached BVAAM curator Mr. Wayne Sadberry
Fall 2013: Refinement of the proposal. Approval by the BVAAM Board of Directors. Faculty, students, and staff of the COA engaged in the project COSC, LAUP, VIZ and ARCH departments
Spring / Summer 2014: 3,000 milk jugs collected
Summer 2014: Milk jugs cleaned & cut at COA
Fall 2014 / Spring 2015: Milk jugs group-tied at COA and BVAAM
October/November 2015: 8 saturday workshops: B/CS middle and high schools volunteers and B/CS engaged citizens.