Stephen Coulston

Principal, Urban Design, Austin

Stephen is a fifth generation Texan whose parents were among the first in their families to transition from their farming-ranching heritage, earn a college degree, and become educators.  With a deep appreciation for the impact of a quality education, he graduated with an architecture degree, and moved the east coast where he was first exposed to educational design.

After returning to Texas in 2000, Stephen settled in his adopted home of Austin. Here, an intense respect of both the natural and built environment combined with his background in higher education design, helped him recognize the profound positive influence that education, placemaking and design could have on both a person’s quality of life and the economy.

With a passion for working within the innovation economy, Stephen has developed an expertise in strategizing, planning and designing projects that lie at the intersection between higher education, research, healthcare, private industry, and government. As an architect, urban designer, and campus planner, he has led projects ranging from long-range strategic master plans to complex, multi-million dollar building projects.

As an architect, Stephen sees a responsibility to build consensus for a shared vision among a broad range of stakeholders that results in design that has lasting positive impact on society and a high likelihood of implementation.

Design process matters.

With a personal mantra of “process matters,” Coulston leverages the skillsets of institutions, organizations, communities, and businesses in a way that fosters creativity and dialogue, leading to newfound opportunities for success through the transformation of a place and a focus on actionable outcomes.


Stephen has summited six of Colorado’s 14,000’ high peaks, completed multiple sprint triathlons, and is an avid cyclist and mountain biker who relishes long weekend hikes in the woods with his dogs.

Stephen's Featured Work

West Texas A&M University Master Plan
Canyon, Texas
NeoCity District Master Plan
Kissimmee, Florida
Our Austin Studio
Austin, Texas
Oklahoma City Innovation District and Capitol Environs Land Use and Strategic Development Plan
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma