Imagine at the Bayou

Encounter: Meeting Points at the Bayou

Placemaking / EGD

Design Research

Installation Art

"Encounter: Meeting Points at the Bayou" was a collaborative environmental design project that expressed an interpretation of the history, economy, resilience, culture, and community values of the East  Sector communities of Houston, as they relate to the bayou and green spaces. 

Buffalo Bend Nature Park reserve was once an abandoned industrial site that has now been transformed into a natural green space that features three wetland ponds, a cistern, native plantings, a pond overlook, interpretive signage, and hike and bike trails. For this project, I designed wallpaper that represented a harmonious blend of all the natural elements found at the park. This design inspired the blueprint of the proposal that was presented to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership.


My team and I conceptualized and designed interactive framing devices that layers imagery relating to the economy, industry, and ecology of the bayou. The framing devices also tell the history of the bayou to stimulate a connection between Buffalo Bend Nature Park and the residents nearby. 

Alongside the framing devices is a park bench to give the park visitors a place to relax and enjoy the nature around them. The bench and chairs were adopted by the park as a permanent installation. 

This project inspired my interest in ethnographic field investigations and reinterpreting narratives of the past.

This project won the SEGD Global Design Award in 2019. ––– Press: Houstonia

Site Installation

Buffalo Bend Nature Park

Observation Frames
Framing devices layer imagery relating to economy, industry, and ecology to connect residents to Buffalo Bend. Methods such as reflection, filtration, and superimposition are applied to the frames to engage visitors in an observation-based experience.

Community Table
The table activates the pavilion as a safe haven for visitors to rest or take a moment away from the trails to observe the park from afar. It allows for moments of personal reflection while also creating a space for community gatherings.

Park Cistern
The cistern is a space where visitors begin their experience of Buffalo Bend. It is a beacon that draws people to the park and an invitation to the neighborhood to connect with the park in their own backyard.

Site Installations & Identity

Buffalo Bend Nature Park

Site Map

Finalized Project Proposal

Sunset Coffee Exhibition

Sunset Coffee

Project Proposal

Amira Maruf © 2020