Green Pioneers: Practitioners and Policymakers Who Have Advanced Sustainable Design in North Texas

This investigation launched an oral history project documenting practitioners, policymakers and other professionals in the North Texas area who have made significant contributions to the green building movement and sustainable design. The primary outcome was the recording and transcription of interviews completed with a core group of individuals.  These activities were coordinated with the University of North Texas Oral History Program and contributed as a collection to the OHP archives. The intent is for this project to be available to researchers and groundwork for future study:

  https://oralhistory.unt.edu/green-pioneers-north-texas-collection-overview

The experiences of the interviewer in the North Texas interior design industry for the past 40 years as a student, practitioner and educator afforded a unique perspective on the evolution of the green building movement in the Metroplex. The inaugural group of interviewees was integral to foundational institutions and events in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Milestones include the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings in this area, product design based on healthy and sustainably sourced materials, the formation of the North Texas Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and city and state policies requiring sustainable development, buildings and environments. The range of expertise illustrates the multidisciplinary knowledge bases essential to sustainable policy and practice. Individuals include architects and designers from leading firms as well as city public works departments, sole practitioners specializing in residential projects, custom home builders, a landscape architect, and the co-owner of a commercial upholstery textile company.

Oral History uses qualitative rather than quantitative tactics to address a targeted set of issues. The project acknowledges the significance of the North Texas green building industry and adds insights to our local community context.  The narrative content engages diverse audiences and adds to the body of knowledge surrounding sustainable principles and the attitudes, skills and behaviors that accompany decision-making.

Johnnie Stark, RID, LEED AP ID+C

Associate Professor of Interior Design

University of North Texas

College of Visual Arts and Design