Talk About Architecture Symposium: Retrospect and Prospect

A Day of Conversation


View video recordings of Talk About Architecture sessions here.

RSVP here.

Talk About Architecture: Retrospect and Prospect will bring together the Tulane School of Architecture community for a day of conversation regarding the past, present and future of architectural education at the school.

Hosted by Favrot Professor of Architecture John Klingman, the day begins with remarks by Tulane University Provost Robin Forman and Dean Kenneth Schwartz. The morning session includes alumni commentary and a panel discussion with special guests Deborah Gans, FAIA, Ben Ledbetter, Donna Robertson, FAIA, and Mark Shapiro. Professor Klingman selected these panelists for their longstanding interest in the school from different vantage points.

After lunch outside Richardson Memorial, Professor Klingman will present remarks, "hopefully countering the post-lunch dip.” The program continues with comments from attendees and guests. The event closes with a reception at The Fly on the Mississippi River, gathering guests at the pavilion, “A Stage for Viewing,” a work of public architecture by Michael Nius and Steve Klein.

Professor Klingman will host an open house, before and after dinner.

The symposium marks Professor Klingman’s retirement from full-time teaching at the end of this academic year.


Deborah Gans, FAIA is a professor of architecture at Pratt Institute and the founder and principal architect of Gans studio. She also taught at Yale University for 10 years. Gans has kept the pulse of Tulane School of Architecture through her attendance at thesis reviews over several decades, providing spirited, good-natured commentary.

Ben Ledbetter, architect and educator, was an important voice on Tulane School of Architecture's faculty in the late 1980s. He has taught at Wesleyan and Yale universities, and is currently a lecturer and client liaison for the Yale First Year Building program. Pursuant to his interest in architecture’s relationship to theater, he is on the board of the Yale Drama School.

Donna Robertson, FAIA served as dean of Tulane School of Architecture from 1992-96, one of the first women to lead an architecture school in the United States. She went on to be longtime dean of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she is currently a professor of architecture. Robertson was recognized by Architectural Record with the "Woman Educator of the Year 2016" award.

Mark Shapiro’s distinguished career in architecture includes academia and practice. Shapiro was an influential faculty member at Tulane School of Architecture in the early 1980s. Following teaching stints at Tulane and Syracuse universities and serving as architecture department head at Kansas State University, he entered full time practice with a number of notable design firms, including BNIM Architects.

Alumni, Current Students, Faculty
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