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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.


Otto Lyon, BSA '17, helps Tulane team wins NASA’s Big Idea Challenge for spacecraft design

Tulane team wins NASA’s Big Idea Challenge for spacecraft design

New Wave Article | Keith Brannon


Tulane University engineering students’ innovative idea for a flower-shaped, solar-powered space ferry won the top prize in NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge, a national contest to design better ways to assemble spacecraft in space.

Five finalist teams from around the country presented concepts for next-generation spacecraft to top scientists at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, on Feb. 16.  The challenge is part of NASA’s efforts to rapidly develop game-changing technologies for future space missions, including transit to deep-space locations such as Mars.

The winning team members get paid internships at NASA this summer.

“Our hybrid, cross-disciplinary team embodied the Tulane vision of finding innovative solutions from totally different and unique perspectives." 

Matthew Escarra, assistant professor in engineering physics

“I’m extremely proud of our students who put in so much independent effort towards making their project absolutely excellent,” said Tim Schuler, the team’s faculty adviser and senior professor of practice in engineering physics. “They were up against very stiff competition.”

Dubbed “The Sunflower,” Tulane’s winning concept calls for stackable hexagon-shaped modules that unfold like origami from a rocket bay at low-Earth orbit. The identical pieces connect together via magnetic locks to assemble themselves into a one large array of solar powered ion engines that can ferry cargo into orbit around the moon. 

Tulane’s team includes physics graduate student John Robertson and undergraduates Otto Lyon, Ethan Gasta, Matthew Gorban, Afsheen Sajjadi, Maxwell Woody and Ben Lewson.

“It was a great validation of all of the work we have been doing for the past six months,” said Lyon, team leader and a senior majoring in physics and architecture.  

He said the win was even more remarkable because not a single member of the team is an aerospace engineer. Team members are pursuing degrees in biomedical engineering, engineering physics, economics and other disciplines.

The team’s interdisciplinarity was key to the win, said Matthew Escarra, assistant professor in engineering physics who advised members of the team.
“The other teams represented traditional aerospace engineering at the top programs in the country,” Escarra said. “Our hybrid, cross-disciplinary team embodied the Tulane vision of finding innovative solutions from totally different and unique perspectives. It was unlike anything the judges had seen before. This is what won the judges over, and it is an important validation of the unique model at Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering.” Full Article and video's here.


17 Reasons Why You Should Come To Tulane

It's more than just the academics.

"It's officially college decision season. Students are hearing back from universities and committing to schools. To many seniors in high school, this is a stressful period to say the least. Colleges are sending out acceptance and rejection letters, peers are making decisions as to where they want to go, and it's the topic of everyone's conversations. It's a big deal. You're making a decision about the next four years of your life. And as May is approaching, you may find yourself struggling to make a decision. I was in your position not long ago. But, I can now happily say, I love Tulane, I truly do. Tulane is without a doubt the place I'm supposed to be, and I'm proud to say I attend the university. If it's on your list, please strongly consider it. By now I'm sure you've heard how beautiful Tulane's campus is, how amazing New Orleans is, how the weather is always fantastic, and how most of our classes are small student wise. And while I love Tulane for all those reasons, I love Tulane for all the unique and out of the ordinary experiences the university has to offer. To name just a few..."

Read the full article by Ellie Kurensky featured on The Odeyssey Online here.

New Wave Article - Architecture students bring life to local shelter

“It’s a godsend.”

Those were the three words that Renée Borie Blanche, director of development at Ozanam Inn, used to describe the exterior improvements of the Camp Street center for the homeless. 

Among them, a polymer overhang inscribed with such words as “inspire,” “faith” and “love,” an updated wheel chair ramp and a deck complete with rows of wooden benches, all with backs, tabletops and space beneath for clients to store their belongings.

“Students want to have a meaningful impact. The hope is that they walk away from this experience as different designers.”

Doug Harmon

The space serves as a line-up area for meals and others services but also as a hang out for those who simply want to be off the streets.

“It wasn’t very inviting before, and it wasn’t very comfortable,” Blanche said. “Now it looks great, and we’re just so excited.”

Blanche credits the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center that is part of the Tulane University School of Architecture. As part of their Fall Design/Build Studio project, 13 students did most of the work, from client interviews to design, fabrication and installation.

The process began last year when Small Center, which provides high-quality design assistance for nonprofit groups that are traditionally underserved by the design profession, put out its annual request for proposals. Ozanam Inn’s was one of over 30 project proposals submitted.

Under the direction of adjunct professors Doug Harmon and Nick Jenisch, students met with Ozanam Inn staff and clients to get a feel for what they wanted. All agreed on the need for an outdoor area that provided protection from inclement weather while brightening up an otherwise dingy, depressing space.

“It was intense but in a good way,” graduate student Wells Megalli said of the work. “It feels good that we’re making a real difference in the lives of real people.”

“Students want to have a meaningful impact,” Harmon said. “The hope is that they walk away from this experience as different designers.”

Ozanam Inn will show off the improvements at a celebration Saturday, Feb. 4 at noon.

Related content: Tulane School of Architecture named one of nation's best

Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design

On January 10, 2017, the Tulane City Center was re-dedicated as the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. The Center was founded in 2005 and has completed over 85 projects with countless students, faculty, and community partners in the city of New Orleans. Through their generosity, Albert and Tina Small have made it possible for us to continue to connect with students and engage with the community in the work of collaborative design. Included below are some of the remarks that were made at the dedication ceremony: 

Kenneth Schwartz, Dean of Tulane School of Architecture

We are gathered here today not only to celebrate the many successes of the former Tulane City Center, but to begin a new era of community engagement and solutions-oriented partnerships as the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. For over a decade, the Tulane City Center has developed a flexible, nimble approach to the unique design challenges—and overwhelming potential—that the city of New Orleans presents. Again and again, we have successfully provided the community with dynamic solutions that regard the distinctive nature of the city as a source of opportunity, one that offers our students and faculty at the School of Architecture and the staff of the Center a chance to perform collaborative design work that helps our city’s neighborhoods to thrive.

And every step of the way, Sonny and Tina Small have been our most ardent supporters and devoted friends. Today, I am excited to celebrate this new chapter for the organization as the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. I look forward to building upon our exceptional history of thoughtful design research, interdisciplinary dialogue, and targeted built work at this critical moment for our city. 

Chesley McCarty, student 

I recently had the honor of serving as a fellow here at the Small Center. This past summer was full of learning lessons and reality checks, and of difficult conversations that I wasn’t used to confronting. I had just completed my fourth year in architecture school, and for a moment there I thought I had it all figured out. I had studied abroad, I worked on the URBANbuild house, I had completed all of my community service requirements and more. The record would show that I was on track to enter the architecture field with the tool kit I would need to engage critically with the client, the community, the end user, and for the most part, things were shaping out alright.

During the first week of the fellowship, we each attended a conference at the University of Virginia called “Design Futures,” a conference on “public interest design” that entailed a week of seminars and discussion groups on how the built environment has perpetuated problems of race, gender, economic and social inequality. We critically engaged these topics with strangers and peers in ways that I had not yet done before back on the uptown campus, and we dove deeply into questions about privilege and discrimination. This conference and these conversations set the stage for how much of the summer would unfold. 

Shortly after the conference, I wrote a blog post titled “Redesigning A Design Education,” as both a reflection and a manifesto for myself, my colleagues, and my very limited readership. I was critical of the blame that was so quickly directed towards the built environment - what about the developers? the clients? The politics of it all? But I knew that as an architecture student and budding designer, I needed to own up to my privilege, education, and my knowledge to ensure that the future of design was a more inclusive and collaborative practice. In order to do this, I proposed two approaches. The first involves actively engaging the end user group directly and consistently throughout the design and implementation process, leading to a collective consensus on the ultimate design. This, as I learned throughout the summer while working with a local non-profit organization to develop some brochures on the affordable housing crisis in New Orleans, is far easier said than done -  it requires patience, humility, and very strong active listening skills. The second approach, and perhaps the one that I find myself leaning on more as I look beyond graduation, is that in order to really see some of these radical changes that are necessary for the built environment to become a healthier and more inclusive place, we cannot only engage the community; we must also engage developers, the patrons, the policy makers, the business owners, or better yet, we have to become them.

As we begin to think about how we can prepare many disciplines to address both our ethical and carbon footprint, it is time that we seek a change in our education, and places like the Small Center serve as a model for trans-disciplinary education. Here, an amazing team is preparing young designers to see that the built environment is at the forefront of many issues we grapple with each day - issues of shelter and affordable housing, sexual orientation, maintenance of tradition and heritage, education, health care - and they are showing that students do have the power to change these things, but only when they accept that their role as an architect is larger, or actually perhaps smaller, than what they might have learned in the classroom. 

My fellowship last summer shaped my understanding of architecture and my future as a designer. I learned that I can use my design degree to become a consultant, a politician, and sociologist, a developer; in fact, the very essence of a public interest designer demands that my architecture hat be one of many hats that I own and wear consistently. I am grateful to Sonny and Tina Small for investing in this education and collaboration, and for not only providing a space where a new form of education and architectural discourse can take shape, but for helping to empower students and give them the tools that they need to become engaged citizens, creatives, listeners, thinkers, and designers. With the work and approach of the Small Center and similar projects beginning to take hold around the country, and with so many students choosing to work with the Small Center throughout their tenure at Tulane and to allow lessons here to infiltrate their work, practice, and values, I am excited to see what the future of design and the next layer of the built environment will look like.  

Maggie Hansen, Director of Sonny and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design

Thank you all for being here today. I’m so glad to celebrate with so many friends, allies, and collaborators – locally and nationally. And I am grateful to the Small family for their generosity. Over the past eleven years, the Smalls have seen the Tulane City Center grow into what we are today, and we thank them for their advice, dedication and support along the way, and now, into a long future. 

Since its beginning, Tulane City Center has used a nimble approach to addressing complex problems with good design. We bring together the expertise of Tulane School of Architecture faculty, student, our staff, a wide range of experts, and the knowledge and expertise of engaged community members and in collaboration these teams advance community-driven ideas. Our work has been as small as a simple neighborhood map that encourages people to explore the local flavors of Bayou Road, and as large as a neighborhood planning process, often evolving over many years, with layers of complexity.

Our work is developed from strong partnerships with organizations that are deeply rooted in their community. When we are at our best, these true partnerships result in designs that celebrate the specific local context and the exceptional people who live and work here.  True collaboration takes time to develop trust, to push past niceties – we bring our role as designer but also our role as friend and neighbor. These are lasting relationships, and we recognize that continued partnership is critical to chipping away at the larger systemic issues that we are all grappling with. Our partnership continues after construction concludes; we are here to take the calls when there is a problem with the building, or a client wants us in city hall to help plead a case, or there is a wedding, a birth, or a crawfish boil. 

Our students experience how one small change in the city’s fabric can catalyze change of larger systems, and they see that good designers are also good citizens. And we are excited that students like Chesley represent the next generation of design leaders, who step up to the challenge of working with humility and openness to new models of practice.

We are excited to build on the rich history of collaborative work and to push ourselves further. In the years ahead, we will continue to engage local youth programs, build the field of public interest design and encourage a more diverse pipeline of young designers to enter the field and improve our world. The Small Center for Collaborative Design has the capacity to not only change New Orleans, but to contribute to long-term positive change by bringing together design and civic engagement. 

Charles Jones selected to serve on the Precast Concrete Institute's First Ascent Professional Advisory Committee.

Ascent is a free, quarterly publication of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and is a great resource for architects and other stakeholders in the building industry. Each issue features in-depth case studies highlighting industry trends and innovative design, comprehensive articles on specific design challenges from industry experts, and special features on constructing with precast/prestressed concrete.The committee was formed this year by a group of diverse professionals that will be instrumental in the ongoing graphic design, and content curation of Ascent.

Find access to the publications here:

Beth A. Jacob named 2017 Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellow

Beth A. Jacob (MPS ‘12), an adjunct lecturer in the Tulane School of Architecture, has been named the 2017 Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellow by the American Architectural Foundation and the French Heritage Society. 

As the 2017 Fellow, Jacob will spend six months in France studying how public markets can serve as catalysts for urban revitalization, and investigating French approaches to the preservation and adaptive reuse of these distinctive structures. Jacob’s topic builds upon her previous research into the origins and development of New Orleans’ public market system, the focus of her MPS master’s thesis. Jacob is a principal at the historic preservation consulting firm Clio Associates LLC in New Orleans. She holds a Master of Preservation Studies from Tulane University and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

Created in 1990, the Richard Morris Hunt Prize offers mid-career design professionals an intensive six-month exchange experience showcasing best practices and recent scholarship in the area of architectural heritage conservation. Named for Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895), the first American architect to graduate from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the Prize alternates each year between a French and American architect specializing in historic preservation.

More information on the Prize is available at or


Don’t Build Boring

I posted a question and observation on Facebook the other day after I passed what seemed like yet another large, dark box added to the New Orleans landscape. Buildings designed to manage costs and pragmatically handle a few of the needs of future condo owners and first floor retail and restaurants tenants. Full Article HERE

Bockman Forbes Design / Suite 222 Architecture, L.L.C.
Brian Bockman (A*95)
Julie Ford (A'05)
Jack Forbes (A*93)

Albert Architecture
Jared Bowers (A'08)
Christopher Frederic (A'11)
Logan Leggett (A'16)
Dan Akerley (A'14)

Studio WTA
Wayne Troyer (A'83)
Tracie Ashe (A'02)
Julie Babin (A'06)
Ross Karsen (A'06)
Toni DiMaggio (A'03)
Daniel Kautz (A'09)
Natan Diacon-Furtado (A*14)
Ray Croft (A*14)
Alyce Deshotels (A*14)
Mary Catherine Bullock (A*14)
Evan Amato (A*14)

Eskew Dumez Ripple
Jose Alvarez (A*97)
Max Katz (A'16)
Wendy Kerrigan (A*03)
Noah Marble (A'05)
Michael Nunnink (A'16)
Ian O'Cain (A'13)
Christian Rodriguez (A'10)
Vanessa Smith-Torres (A*13)
Guan Wang (A'13)

C.Carl Westerman (A'93)

Byron Mouton (A'89)
Emile Lejeune (A'13)
Daniel McDonald (A'13)
Hannah Berryhill (A*17)

Joseph Kimbrell (A*09)

Tom Holloman Faculty

Farouki Farouki completes the design of Chef Michael Gulotta's Maypop

Farouki Farouki, the practice of Adjunct Lecturer Sabri Farouki, completes the design for Maypop, the restaurant of chef Michael Gulotta, in the Paramount building in the South Market District.  The design features a large lenticular mural of the Mississippi and Mekong Deltas.

Attached photo credit:  Josh Brasted

Link to article:

Reception scheduled: Design/Build Studio - CELEBRATION!!

Kongjian Yu, Ph.D. Lecture has been posted