Tulane School of Architecture's student-run publication The Charrette recently won the prestigious 2020 Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals, given by the Center for Architecture in New York City. Only four student publications from across the country were awarded the honor.
The 2020 Charrette publication - which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year - used the theme "In Flux" to capture explorations into that which is changing, impermanent, and up-in-the-air, said Caroline Garfield (M.Arch '20), who is co-editor with third year M.Arch student Seth Laskin. The publication's faculty advisor is Associate Professor of Architecture Wendy Redfield.
“For me, the title ‘In Flux’ is a reminder of the ever-changing state of life that we live in," Laskin said. "Especially in such an unpredictable period of time, working on the ‘In Flux’ issue with The Charrette through quarantine was both ironic and symbolic of how relevant our topic was.”
Every year The Charrette seeks to explore representation, interactive installations, film, and other aspects of design through architecture, art, and writing. The editorial staff is comprised of students from all years who foster a collaborative studio culture and a supportive artistic environment. The Charrette encourages students to step back from their desks and consider the ways in which an architectural education influences their perception of the world beyond architecture school. Work featured in The Charrette is by undergraduate and graduate students, along with some faculty, highlighting a variety of skills and interests.
The annual Haskell Award was founded to encourage student journalism on architecture, planning, and related subjects, and to foster regard for intelligent criticism among future professionals. The award is named for architectural journalist and editor Douglas Haskell, an editor of Architectural Forum from 1949 to 1964, where he was very influential in stopping the demolition of Grand Central Station.
Coordinating production of The Charrette during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring and summer of 2020 brought several challenges for the student-based team, said Garfield and Laskin. The editors had to work remotely across different states and couldn't sit side-by-side to tweak the graphics and layout to ensure clarity, as they normally would. The timeline needed to be adjusted, while stilling meeting the print deadline to submit their publication for the Haskell Award. Luckily, local print shop Constance, which The Charrette has worked with for its specialized risograph printed issues, was open during this time to complete the final step of the process, Laskin said. A unique characteristic of The Charrette is the exclusive use of a risograph printer as an environmentally sustainable print publication.
"One advantage of working from our quarantine spaces is that there weren’t many distractions!” Garfield said.
The Haskell Award is a huge honor, one the students said they hope to continue with future issues.
“I am ecstatic. This has been my dream ever since I heard about the Haskell Award a few years ago," Garfield said. "I became a member of The Charrette team early in my school experience and enjoyed being a part of it year after year. By fifth year, I felt that I could contribute a lot as the lead editor and enhance the legacy of student journalism at Tulane Architecture. It is amazing to see how The Charrette has grown over the years, continuously perpetuating student discourse in design. I am so proud of my team, who persisted despite having to adapt to Zoom studio and circumstances of quarantine.”
"I plan to focus our energy on this publication in the coming years and hopefully win it again!" said Laskin, who will continue as an editor. "Thank you to everyone involved including students who submitted their work, our faculty advisor, design team members, those who supported our exhibitions, and of course to the jurors of the Haskell Award for considering us for the prize.”
For the full announcement by the Center for Architecture, click here.