Japan Business Association Commits $100,000 to Support Hines College’s Community Design Resource Center

February 8, 2018

In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Japan Business Association of Houston (JBAH) recently announced its donation of $100,000 to the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston.

The CDRC has emerged as a lead organization in Houston on addressing the city’s equity and social transformation. The center’s expertise and commitment to meaningful community engagement, innovative communication tools, visualization and inclusive design strategies has allowed it to build trust among Houston’s many diverse communities and the organizations that serve them.

Supporting Houston Neighborhoods Impacted By Harvey

The center’s important role in the city is evidenced by its current advisory role on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Complete Communities Initiative and CDRC Director Susan Roger’s appointment to the mayor’s Equity Task Force. JBAH’s recent gift will fund CDRC’s engagement with the fifth biennial Collaborative Community Design Initiative (CCDI), a project supporting four Houston neighborhoods most impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The program will result in comprehensive community design tools and strategies for each community partner.

“The CDRC is thrilled to partner with JBAH on this important community action project,” said Rogers. “JBAH’s generous support highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey — particularly between our students, the CDRC team, community leaders, elected officials, professionals and experts from a diversity of disciplines across Houston.”

In 1967, JBAH opened its doors with only 15 companies and 56 individuals who had a vision. Today the membership has increased to 114 companies and 786 individuals who are collectively bringing that vision to life, while reaffirming their collective commitment to supporting economic development and higher education in Houston.

Rebuilding A Great City

“We are delighted to collaborate with the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design on this important effort,” says Tadashi Takasugi, JBAH president. “Our anniversary is not only an occasion to celebrate, but also an opportunity to look back at our half-century journey to date, and to chart a pathway into the future. Going forward, I believe JBAH members can play a key role in the effort to rebuild this great city in a manner that will make it stronger, more prosperous and more resilient in the face of future disasters.”

The CDRC has worked in collaboration with over three-dozen community-based organizations over the last 12 years. Over 500 architecture students have been engaged in the work, gaining a greater understanding of the role design plays in unveiling and tackling community challenges.

“This support from the JBAH will allow our students to engage in influential community design work that will impact the way Houston communities transform themselves,” said Hines College Dean Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA. “Our college and the JBAH share a common vision — we want to do what we can to impact the future of Houston.”