Skip to main content
Tulane Home

Students can get a jumpstart with Summer 2020 Courses. Offerings include design, architecture, photography, drawing, making, design thinking, historic preservation, real estate, and social innovation and social entrepreneurship. View the Tulane School of Architecture Summer 2020 Course Offerings.

Continue to check the TuSA COVID-19 FAQ page, and the Tulane Return to Campus website for updates.


Cross country champ pursues architecture

Emmanuel Rotich never set out to be a competitive cross country runner, yet running was a big part of his life. Growing up in the remote village of Rift Valley, Kenya, he would run to school each morning and back home each evening. In between, he’d run home for lunch and then back to school for afternoon classes.

Each run was 5 kilometers, or just over 3 miles.

It wasn’t till he was in high school that he began to see running as something more than a mode of transportation, a dream that he could pursue along with an education in architecture. He found both at Tulane University, where he has been running and drawing since he set foot in New Orleans in 2015.

As one of the most successful cross country runners that Tulane has ever seen, Rotich has earned one award after the other. On Oct. 25, he earned a first-place finish in the 2018 American Athletic Conference Championships at Audubon Park, defending his title from 2017. Rotich was also named the AAC Runner of the Year for the second straight year.

“Winning means a lot to me,” Rotich said in an interview between classes just outside Richardson Memorial, home of the Tulane School of Architecture. “When I reflect back on the hard work, the sacrifice, the pressure of defending my title, you’ve got no other option but to win. That’s something I’m really proud of.”

Rotich traces his passion for architecture to his childhood. He loved drawing houses and buildings and marveled at the finished pieces. “I’d go to someone’s house and say, ‘Can I draw your house?’ And I’d draw it exactly the way it looked.”

In high school, he said, he had a vision – one that involved running and studying architecture in America. His parents were skeptical but supported him, even if it meant him traveling thousands of miles from home to chase his dreams.

Upon graduating from high school, he trained for two years with Kenyan distance runners William Chirchir, Mercy Cherono and Janet Jepkoskei. They introduced him to another Kenyan distance runner, Paul Ereng, head cross country coach at the University of Texas at El Paso and the gold medalist in the 800m event at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

“When I told him I wanted to do architecture, that’s when he told me about Tulane,” Rotich said.

Rotich’s time at Tulane has been nothing short of amazing, and his two conference titles are only part of the story. In addition to his studies, he trains every morning at 6:30 a.m., volunteers for the American Red Cross and works at the Fuel Station, a healthy dining outlet where he teaches student athletes the importance of making smart food choices.

“It took a while to understand the culture of Tulane, the way people interact and just day to day life. But I’ve made a lot of friends. They support me mentally. It means a lot to me when someone tells me, ‘Congratulations.’ When someone tells me that, it makes me want to go for more. What can I do to makes these people proud?”

Rotich will graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s of science degree in architecture but will stay at Tulane another year to earn his master’s degree in sustainable real estate development. Eventually, he wants to be a real estate developer but says he has a lot more running to do before he settles into a career.

“My goal is to one day be in the Olympics, which means I have to keep going,” he said. “There is still a lot to be done. I’m not yet where I want to be.”

A shortened version of this article by Barri Bronston appears in the December 2018 Tulanian magazine.

Faculty to participate in study examining if clearing blight lowers teen violence in New Orleans

Two Tulane School of Architecture faculty members, Richard Campanella and Casius Pealer, will contribute to a new Tulane University research project studying whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence. The National Institutes of Health awarded Tulane a $2.3 million grant to test the theory in New Orleans.

Campanella, a geographer in the School of Architecture, will conduct GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analyses on the spatial relationships between blight in the built environment and violence in the social environment, and how they might change when blight is remediated.

Pealer, an attorney and director of the school’s Sustainable Real Estate Development program, will provide advice on individual property improvements and analysis of the potential impacts of this remediation work on neighborhood development and gentrification.

Read more on the project here.

Alumni and students help lead design camp for local youth

Photo: NOMA-LA Project Pipeline

Richardson Memorial Hall buzzed with energy earlier this month as New Orleans-area middle and high school students got a crash course in design and its power to drive community change at the 2018 National Organization of Minority Architects-Louisiana Project Pipeline summer camp.

Guided by local architect and architecture student mentors, 31 participants explored major design concepts through hands-on activities. The curriculum centered on how architecture intersects with social change movements, such as racial and gender equity.

The three-day workshop was part of Project Pipeline, a national NOMA youth initiative to build a pipeline of talented black students and other students of color pursuing careers in architecture.

Chris Daemmrich (A ‘17), one of the lead mentors, first interacted with project in 2013 as a Tulane student - and was hooked from the start.

“It was incredibly energetic and was a vision of architecture not just as it is, but as it should be,” said Daemmrich. “Not just a room in which women, black people and other of people of color are represented, but a room where the relationships between architecture, power and the structure of society are openly discussed.”

Project Pipeline is a year-round effort for NOMA-Louisiana. The organization recruits professionals and college students to serve as mentors and lead weekly design workshops in local schools. Many Tulane architecture students are involved with the project through the university’s student NOMA chapter, NOMAS-TU. This group was founded in 2016 by Bryan Bradshaw (A *17), Javier Gonzalez (A *17) and Kyle Novak (A *17).

Current students Keristen Edwards, NOMAS-TU president, and Michelle Barrett, a representative on the national NOMA board, were both heavily involved with this year’s camp.

“I love working with kids and introducing them to design and what that means, and that they can do it,” said Barrett. “A lot of times, especially minority students, they aren’t exposed to this kind of thing. So especially when it’s coming from someone who looks like them, it’s really good.”

To learn more about Project Pipeline, visit

Summer fellows wade through regional water issues

Water is a defining feature of life in south Louisiana, presenting both urgent threats and unique opportunities.

This summer, five Tulane School of Architecture students explored how communities are shaped by water during the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design’s 2018 Public Interest Design Fellowship.

Fellows spent eight weeks dissecting what it means to live with water, adapt to an uncertain future and work together with a focus on balancing water’s positive and negative traits.

Their efforts centered on two project areas – graphic advocacy and tactical urbanism.

To understand water management on a local level, fellows met with numerous water-related nonprofits, government agencies, NGO’s and collaboratives working in education, infrastructure and environmental protection.

Finding this network of organizations to be extremely complex, the group took on a project to breakdown the “Who, What and Why” of water management in New Orleans. The resulting index of players will serve as the base for a future New Orleans water management web piece graphic advocacy piece.

Expanding their research further, the fellows visited 24 sites across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“It's one thing to read about or look at pictures of these places, but to get to walk around and see the physical impact of a policy or project adds a completely new level of understanding to these complex issues,” said Dana Elliot, a fellow and graduate architecture student.

Back in the studio, the fellows explored tactical urbanism, the process of using temporary, low-cost and scalable projects to test street design changes (Tactical Urbanist’s Guide).

In partnership with Bike Easy NOLA and the Urban Conservancy, the students designed a demonstration rain garden as part of a pop-up installation to slow traffic at the intersection of Mirabeau and Elysian Fields avenues. Their garden site proposal integrated a bike lane and coordinated with new road paint at cross walks to promote traffic safety, green infrastructure and urban place-making.

Small Center staff Sue Mobley and Rashidah Williams, and School of Architecture professor Marianne Desmarais guided the fellowship. The work was made possible through support from Morris Adjmi and Associates, the Sizeler Family and Eskew+Dumez+ Ripple.

Architectural Digest features California Butterfly House renovation by alumnus

Photo by Douglas Friedman

Photo by Douglas Friedman.

Design publication Architectural Digest profiled work by Tulane School of Architecture alumnus and board member Jamie Bush (A ’93) on the iconic coastal California Butterfly House designed by architect Frank Wynkoop. Read the full feature, "AD Goes Inside Carmel's Iconic Butterfly House," here.

Cordula Roser Gray participates in group "Data & Matter" exhibit at Venice Biennale 2018

“DATAField,” a project by Professor of Practice Cordula Roser Gray, AIA and Marcella Del Signore, is currently on display at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale as part the “Data & Matter” exhibition. The collection showcases work from leading international designers that transforms data into spatial and experiential configurations.

“DATAField” is an installation drawing New Orleans community members to engage with water-related issues through a 3-D visualization of the city's water management network.

Watch a video introducing the exhibit participants here.

Tulane names renowned global architect as new dean

Iñaki Alday, the Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia, has been named the new dean of the Tulane University School of Architecture, effective Aug. 1. Alday holds a degree in architecture from Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, where he served as an associate professor of architecture. He was also a lecturer and visiting professor at several other universities.

Alday joined UVA in 2011 and was chair of its School of Architecture until 2016. In 2016, he was appointed the founding director of the Yamuna River Project, a long-term interdisciplinary program with collaborators in the United States, Europe and Asia, that aims to revitalize both the ecology of the Yamuna River and the essential relationship between the river and life in Delhi. The project involves a UVA team with expertise in architecture, landscape, planning, engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, humanities, social and political science and economics.

“We are thrilled to bring Professor Alday to Tulane as the new dean of our School of Architecture,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “He is a designer of great renown and an experienced and innovative administrator. His unique ability to integrate different disciplines in confronting pressing problems in urban design and environmental degradation places him at the forefront of his field and makes him a perfect fit for Tulane.”

With his partner Margarita Jover, Alday is founder and principal of aldayjover architecture and landscape, which is known for its approach to the relationship between cities and rivers as well as for the urban and civic integration of “hybrid infrastructures” that include both natural and built elements. The firm is responsible for numerous landscape works in Spain, including Aranzadi Park, the Water Park and the Recovering of the Gallego River Waterfronts.

The European Urban Public Space Prize, the FAD Prize of City and Landscape, the Garcia Mercadal Prize, the First Prize of Urban Integration and the AZ Awards for the best Landscape Architecture are among the many honors the firm has received.

Jover, an associate professor of architecture at UVA, will join Alday on the architecture faculty at Tulane. She holds a degree in architecture from Polytechnic University of Catalonia and has served as a professor at BAU-School of Design in Barcelona and as a lecturer and visiting professor at several universities in Europe.

Alday replaces Kenneth Schwartz, who served as dean of the Tulane School of Architecture since 2008. Schwartz will join the faculty of the School of Architecture and continue his role as director of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

Tulane School of Architecture announces new assistant professors, visiting assistant professor

Photo: Adam Modesitt, Elizabeth McCormick and Carrie Norman.

The Tulane University School of Architecture is pleased to announce Adam Modesitt, Carrie Norman and Elizabeth McCormick as new full-time faculty members for the fall 2018 semester.

Modesitt and Norman will serve as tenure-track assistant professors. Modesitt specializes in digital design and fabrication, and Norman works in the areas of design theory and representation. McCormick is transitioning from an adjunct lecturer position to visiting assistant professor, focusing on building design and technology.

“We are excited to welcome Adam, Carrie and Liz into these new roles,” said Dean Kenneth Schwartz, FAIA. “Their expertise, experience and enthusiasm will be great assets to the Tulane School of Architecture community.”

Adam Modesitt

Modesitt’s interests focus on adapting, hybridizing and repositioning digital workflows to reengage architecture’s traditions and histories. He taught previously at the New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Prior to teaching full time, Modesitt was a project director at SHoP Architects and a project manager of the Barclays Center Arena in Brooklyn, New York. He also held positions at Preston Scott Cohen Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Foster + Partners in London. Modesitt received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Wesleyan University and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University.

Carrie Norman

Carrie Norman is a co-founder of the New York and Chicago-based design collaborative Norman Kelley. The practice’s professional and theoretical work re-examines architecture and design’s relationship to vision, prompting observers to see nuance in the familiar.

Norman received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with honors from the University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University. She is a licensed architect in the state of New York and previously worked as a senior architect with SHoP Architects in New York City. She has taught design studios and representation seminars at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Barnard College and the University of Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth McCormick, LEED AP

McCormick is an architect and researcher whose work aims to reduce mechanical cooling loads in hot-humid climates by enhancing building façade systems. She joined Eskew+Dumez+Ripple as the 2017 research fellow after completing her Master of Science in Building Technology degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

McCormick received Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design. She practiced in Santa Fe, Seattle, Boston, Houston and Singapore before relocating to New Orleans. Her work explores climatically sensitive and contextually appropriate building enclosure designs that connect the occupant to the outdoors and reduce dependence on mechanical conditioning.

DesignIntelligence 2018-2019 surveys now open

Photo: Axonometric section by Wei Xiao.

A note from Dean Kenneth Schwartz:

Each year, DesignIntelligence surveys hiring/supervising professionals to produce the America’s Top Ranked Architecture & Design Schools report.

This ranking of undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, landscape design and interior architecture highlights the schools best preparing students for professional practice.

Tulane School of Architecture’s undergraduate program appeared at No. 17 and No. 14 in 2017 and 2016 respectively, and the graduate program ranked No. 22 in 2015.

Please take a moment to support Tulane's undergraduate and graduate architecture programs by filling out the survey below, or forwarding the information to the correct contact in your firm. The deadline is June 8, 2018.

Supervising/Hiring Professionals Survey

If you are a recent graduate (within 24 months), please complete the separate DesignIntelligence survey below on your educational experience and future plans.

Recent Graduate Survey

Kenneth Schwartz, Dean

Architecture students build outdoor gathering space for community bike shop

Small Center spring 2018 design/build project at RUBARB

Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano

After hammering, welding and painting through much of the semester, 13 Tulane architecture students have a new appreciation for collaboration, community engagement and the power of elbow grease.

The students were tasked with designing and building a shaded outdoor space for the RUBARB (Rusted Up Beyond All Recognition Bikes) bike repair shop as part of a studio course through the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture.

The new exterior upgrades, including a bicycle-inspired canopy, rain catchment, benches and bike racks, expand RUBARB’s “Chill Zone,” an area for neighborhood youth to hang out, play games, read and eat healthy snacks.

“Besides being a bike shop that focuses on repairing and building bikes, RUBARB is also a community space,” said longtime RUBARB volunteer Liz Lichtman. “The new shade structure and benches will provide a place for hanging out to happen, even when we are closed.”

Led by Emilie Taylor Welty, Small Center design/build manager, students began the project by volunteering at RUBARB to better understand operations, needs and stakeholders. Throughout the semester, a series of design feedback sessions with area neighbors, local youth and RUBARB volunteers influenced everything from bench heights to materials selection.

“More than anything, the lesson I hope the students walk away with is that design is a messy, layered, collaborative process that involves lots of creative problem-solving and hard work,” said Taylor Welty. “And when done well, it's fun and has positive impacts for us all.”

Undergraduate architecture student Sarah Rivard echoed her professor’s sentiment. “It’s rewarding taking a project from conception all the way through, enduring all the struggles along the way and learning so much from each challenge.”