In the months following Hurricane Katrina's arrival in the Gulf South, students, faculty, and staff across the Tulane spectrum found themselves searching for meaningful ways to engage in the recovery of their communities. The School of Architecture reoriented its curriculum and is now a leader in socially conscious community-based design work through the efforts of the Tulane City Center (now Small City Center) and UrbanBuild programs. As a student, I was fortunate enough to be a participant in those programs, which shook my understanding of how architecture can be a tool of engagement - and left me floundering for avenues to pursue those passions post-graduation.
The Rose Architectural Fellowship is a vehicle specifically designed to foster emerging designers who wish to work in that vein, and I had the good fortune to find myself working with them as a recent graduate. I was placed under the tutelage of David Perkes at the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio and at the Biloxi Housing Authority, working on residential rebuilding projects along the Gulf Coast. In technical terms, I was able to expand my knowledge of architectural practice and better understand the financing mechanisms required to move public-scale projects into reality. The real takeaway, of course, was not technical; it was the sense of the meaningfulness of the work and a better perspective of how architecture can be helpful- and in which instances it can not.
I say all of this- and give a bit of my background- because a new Rose Fellowship post has been announced in New Orleans, and I know that there are many young architects and designers who've been moved by TSA programs and now finding themselves in the shoes that I was once in. If you'd like to know more about the post- or my take on the fellowship- I'll be co-hosting an informal brown bag session with the Rose Fellow Program Director, Christopher Scott on Thursday, June 30; information below.