Earlier this year I wrote an essay for Texas Architect about some of the more recent buildings constructed on the campus of the University of Texas. It’s been a while since I graduated from there – longer than I’d like to admit – but what I became aware of as I spent more time in Austin researching the article is that although a large amount of building has occurred, the campus that exists today is better than the one I knew back in the late 90s. It’s a denser campus now and the sensibility with which it has grown has resulted in a better student experience. This is in contrast to the author who has also grown denser since the late 90s although this has resulted in no discernable benefits.
Lessons that students learn in college go far beyond those in the classroom. They learn about what it means to be an adult and what to expect from the world around them. Now that most students come to UT from childhoods spent in the suburbs, the campus provides critical instruction on what a good, urban environment should be.