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Tulane becomes first U.S. institution to sign pledge for climate action

In September 2020, Tulane School of Architecture became the first U.S. institution to sign on to an international pledge for climate action, followed by two other institutions shortly thereafter.

In the summer of 2020, U.S.-based practices took action and signed on to join the international pledge. With the U.S. Architects Declare movement growing since May and over 284 signatures added to the list, three architecture institutions have signed on to the movement so far, according to an Oct. 7 story in Archinect.

Tulane School of Architecture, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture are the first architecture programs to sign on. A movement initially starting in May 2019 in the U.K., firms and studios worldwide have pledged their efforts to fight climate change and biodiversity issues. 

U.S. Architects Declare is led by a group of volunteer architects and designers throughout the country. Their site states, "All built-environment/construction-industry professionals are welcome to join us whether you've signed the declaration or not (including grads, interior designers, students, engineers, building-designers, builders, engineers, etc.)"

Despite 2020 being an extremely challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and political unrest happening across the country, architecture institutions have branched out to propel their efforts towards fighting climate change.

Learn more at us.architectsdeclare.com.

Historic preservation alumnus awarded National Park Service fellowship

Tulane School of Architecture alumnus Christopher Cody (MPS '14) was recently awarded an inaugural fellowship from the National Park Service, in partnership with Preservation Maryland. The Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship will support Cody’s work to reform demolition-by-neglect practices across Arizona. Cody is one of three fellows to receive the new award, which aims to promote innovation and professional growth in the field of historic preservation.

Cody graduated with a Master’s of Preservation Studies in 2014 from Tulane School of Architecture and is now Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer in Phoenix, AZ. When he began his job in Arizona, Cody traveled the state extensively and heard from preservationists and community leaders nearly everywhere that demolition of historic structures due to neglect was their biggest challenge. 

“Having studied preservation in New Orleans and worked in Charleston, SC, both communities with very strong preservation ethics, I know how important saving historic buildings is to a community's sense of place and identity,” Cody said. “And I know that my project has the potential to help Arizona's cities and towns on many levels.”

Demolition by neglect occurs when historic structures are threatened by absent owners who do not provide necessary maintenance to keep the property stable, thus requiring demolition. Many of these structures are within historic downtown areas, and Cody plans to research legal barriers and develop model ordinances for use across the state of Arizona, as well as create a legislative advocacy plan if state laws require modification. Through his fellowship, Cody will also receive expert guidance from a mentor – Will Cook, an attorney with Cultural Heritage Partners LLP and a nationally recognized expert in historic preservation law concerning demolition-by-neglect ordinances.

Read more about the inaugural Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship by the National Park Service, in partnership with Preservation Maryland.
 

Faculty, alumni win several AIA Louisiana Honor Awards

Several faculty, alumni and friends of Tulane School of Architecture are among the recipients for the newly announced AIA Louisiana Honor Awards 2020. Of the 10 awarded projects, 7 projects name individuals with ties to Tulane School of Architecture, including 2 awards for Emilie Taylor Welty, Favrot II Professor of Practice and Design/Build Manager at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. 

The Architecture Honor Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity in order to elevate the general quality of architectural practice, to establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and to inform the public expectations for architectural practice, its breadth, and its value.

Below are the Tulane-affiliated projects, according to the AIA Louisiana Honor Awards list and Tulane alumni relations office records.

Sculpture Garden Pavilion        
Sara Harper, A *17    
        
Royal Street Residence        
Alexander Adamick, TC '05    
Alex Barthel, A *17    
        
Arthur Ashe Oak Park Edible Schoolyard        
Seth Welty, A '08    
Emilie Taylor Welty, A *06, Favrot II Professor of Practice    
Sarah Satterlee, A *14    
        
Dorgenois Residence        
Seth Welty, A '08    
Emilie Taylor Welty, A *06, Favrot II Professor of Practice
Andy O'Brien, A '21  
        
Thaden School Master Plan        
Christian Rodriguez, AIA, A '10    
        
The Historic New Orleans Collection Seignouret-Brulatour House and Tricentennial Wing
F. Macnaughton Ball, Jr., Former Advisory Board Member    
Dennis Horchoff, E '75    
Brian Swanner, A '92    
Charles Sterkx, A '88    
Steve Scollo, A '97    
Emily Hayden Palumbo, A '05    
Kate Peaden, A '11    
Jerry Blanchard, A *06    
        
The Garage (pictured above)        
Marcel Wisznia, AIA, A '73, Advisory Board Member
Daniel Weiner, AIA, A '90    
Michael Whitehead, TC '06, A *09    
Ralph Bradshaw, AIA, A '67    
Simcha Ward, AIA, A '11, Alumni Council Member/Chair, Advisory Board Member
M. Haynes Johnston, A *19    
Randy Hutchison, A '97    
Cameron Richard, AIA, A *03, Former Advisory Board Member
William Tyler Sandlass, AIA, A *09    
Sam Levin, A '12    
Chris Daemmrich, A '17, Alumni Council Member
Keely Williams, A '08, A *09    
Kelly Calhoun, A *17, Alumni Council Member
Bonnie Mitchell, A '99    
Staci Rosenberg, NC '80, L *83, B *84    
Allison Schiller, A *12    

For the full awards program, click here.

Blokker and Liles receive grant for transformative preservation of historic African American schools

Helping to reclaim the African American spaces left behind by school desegregation is the focus of new work by Tulane School of Architecture faculty Laura Blokker, Interim Director and Lecturer of Preservation Studies, and Andrew Liles, AIA, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Architecture, at the Tulane School of Architecture. 

 

Blokker and Liles recently received a national grant for $15,000 to support work already underway by alumni of under-documented mid-century African American schools in Louisiana. The biennial Richard L. Blinder Award is given through the Trustees of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation. The award will be used to help the alumni pursue adaptive reuse strategies for the schools.

 

“This work all really stems from alumni of these schools who are trying to reclaim them for the future of their communities,” Blokker said. “By getting this award, Liles and I will be able to put our professional services to work for them.  The project will entail a stakeholder meeting to gather input in addition to the work throughout with individuals and groups affiliated with the various buildings.” 

 

Much is already known of Rosenwald Schools, the buildings constructed with support of the Julius Rosenwald Fund between 1917 and 1932 for educating African American youth in the South. Far less is known of their successors, the large-scale mid-twentieth-century schools constructed in states such as South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana as last-ditch efforts to protect segregation by providing “separate but equal” facilities for Black students. More than schools, these structures, with their large gymnasiums, auditoriums and fields, hosted parades and dances, sports games and community gatherings. Following school integration in 1970, many of these facilities in Louisiana were closed.

 

Now, building on the advocacy and preservation efforts already begun by alumni and community groups throughout the state – individuals long striving to save their historic schools and preserve their heritage – Blokker and Liles, are studying potential for adaptive reuse. Blokker and Liles will confront realities of cultural memory, interpretation and reuse of historic properties.

 

“For many years, these mid-century African American school buildings have sat vacant, many preferring they be forgotten and their history silenced,” Blokker said. “We must not ignore America’s past. These schools were created in the era of segregation and that story must be told – not to commemorate oppression, but to celebrate the legacy of generations of African American educators, leaders, and communities who nurtured these learning environments and sprung from them.” 

 

The project will begin with identifying as many as possible of the surviving mid-century African American school buildings in Louisiana. This work will build off of an existing online map of historic schools to locate extant mid-century buildings and document them. 

 

Once this survey is complete, the overall design, plans, and materials of the school plants will be assessed and categorized. This will serve as the basis for the next steps of identifying potential reuse schemes and outlining specific preservation recommendations and ideas for new design interventions. A meeting of stakeholders from across the state will be convened to brainstorm about potential uses of schools in different communities. 

 

Based on the survey of existing buildings and concepts for reuse, recommendations for material and future preservation and design interventions will be created for the different categories of design, plans, and materials. Two schools will be selected to create example visioning plans of the potential of preservation and new design interventions to bring these campuses back to life. The final product will be a graphic and textual handbook of materials and plans with correlating recommendation for preservation and new design, featuring the example vision renderings along with other photographs and illustrations. This will be distributed to all known stakeholders.

 

The Charrette student publication receives Haskell Award

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

Tulane School of Architecture launches Instagram competition for students

To keep students engaged and their creativity going over the summer, Tulane School of Architecture is launching a new Instagram competition, starting June 10. The TuSA Summer Instagram Contest will cover six categories of representation styles, design, and art. Six juries of school faculty will vote each week for the top five winners, and prizes will be awarded. 

The competition is open to incoming, current, and newly graduated students (Class of 2020). This includes students who are minoring in programs at the school and who have taken courses via programs run by the school. 

To submit an entry, students must post their single image/animation entry on their Instagram account, indicate the competition category they are entering, and tag @tulanearch and #TulaneDesignCompetition. The entry post must be made during the week of the competition. The competition is limited to one entry per student, per category. The entry must be work created by the student. This could be new work or previous work produced in the last year. Finalists will be asked (via private message on Instagram) to verify their student status by providing their full name, Tulane ID number, and Tulane email address.

The first place winners of each category will receiving a $100 prize. The four additional finalists of each category will receive $50 prizes. Prizes will be given in the form of direct payments to current students and honoraria to newly graduated students. 

The faculty jurors include: Marianne Desmarais, Ammar Eloueini, Ruben Garcia Rubio, Bruce Goodwin, Margarita Jover, Irene Keil, Judith Kinnard, Tiffany Lin, Carol McMichael Reese, Wendy Redfield, Cordula Roser Gray, Ken Schwartz, and Ann Yoachim. The juries will not receive student names, only the work submitted. 

Winners will be announced with a post on the school's Instagram account and Instagram Story every Wednesday, starting June 17, and will follow the schedule below.

  • Week 1: Drawing/Painting/Sketching by Hand. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 10. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 14. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, June 17.
  • Week 2: 2D Drawing/Elevation/Section. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 17. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 21. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, June 24.
  • Week 3: Digital Rendering/Perspective. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 24. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 28. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 1.
  • Week 4: Animation. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 1. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 5. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 8.
  • Week 5: Physical Model. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 8. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 12. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 15. 
  • Week 6: Collage. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 15. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 19. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 22. 

This page will be updated each week with winning entries as the winners are announced.

Week 1 Winning Entry: Bay Area Perspectives by James Poche

Week 2 Winning Entry: section / elevation through a city in a sphere by Seth Laskin

Week 3 Winning Entry: “Interactive Investigation and Recreation Center of Lake Peigneur” by Leah Bohatch.

Week 4 Winning Entry: Marble Madness by Natalie Rendleman

Week 5 Winning Entry: T-House model by Jacob Silbermann

Week 6 Winning Entry: "Oasis" by Ian Shaw

For questions about the competition, contact Naomi King Englar at nking2@tulane.edu

Summer 2020 Courses open to all Tulane, plus visiting students

Tulane School of Architecture has launched a new set of Summer 2020 courses. Students can get a jumpstart on their studies with a special set of more than 20 courses at Tulane School of Architecture. Students can use this time to explore a new interest or just keep creative energy going. 

 

The summer courses are open to all Tulane students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from other universities, colleges and schools. 

 

Offerings include design, architecture, photography, drawing, making, design thinking, historic preservation, real estate, and social innovation and social entrepreneurship. View all the courses here. Registration deadlines vary, depending on the term of the courses. 

 

Registration Instructions:

 

  • Current Tulane students should register through the Gibson portal Schedule of Classes.

 

  • Undergraduate Visiting Students should register for summer courses at Tulane School of Architecture through the Newcomb-Tulane College system: NTC 2020 Visiting Student Application. All visiting students are required to have earned at least a high school diploma, or its equivalent, by the start of the summer session. Students are expected to have completed the stated course prerequisites by the start of the session. Enrollment is for Summer only.

 

  • Graduate Visiting Students (and incoming graduate students) should register for summer courses at Tulane School of Architecture directly through the school by contacting William Wildman, Assistant Director of Admissions, at wwildman@tulane.edu.

 

Small Center celebrates national design award

A young man dropped into the concrete bowl beneath the overpass, the wheels of his skateboard drowned out by the roar of commuters on the interstate above him. Others tried out a temporary makeshift ramp cobbled together from pallets and plywood. Rain poured off the overpass, falling into rain gardens designed to prevent pooling water from ruining the fun.

On Tuesday, October 29, an award ceremony was held at Parisite Skate Park, New Orleans’ first and only official public skatepark and a silver medal winner for the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence.

Founded by architect Simeon Bruner, the national design contest recognizes transformative urban places distinguished by their economic and social contributions to America’s cities. Medalists reflect the diversity of urban excellence and yield fresh ideas and perspectives that challenge our assumptions and increase our understanding of how to make great urban places.

Tulane School of Architecture’s Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design collaborated with Transitional Spaces, a non-profit organization representing the local skater community, to work with the City of New Orleans and see the skater’s vision for the park come to fruition.

Parisite was driven and created by the park’s users as opposed to a traditional top down approach, observed Rudy Bruner Award Director Anne-Marie Lubenau.

The ceremony was followed by a reception and panel discussion at the Small Center. The panel featured members of the design team and representatives from the Mayor’s office, Transitional Spaces and the Bruner Foundation. It focused on the park’s creation, lessons learned, and its potential for informing the process of communal park design.

“Parisite is an example of how the Small Center’s process of collaborative community-driven design allows groups with divergent priorities to work productively to resolve their differences and come together to see projects through to completion,” Small Center Director Ann Yoachim said.

School of Architecture geographer and author wins Louisiana Writer Award

Tulane University geography professor Richard Campanella, author of 11 books on the geography, history, architecture and culture of Louisiana, is the recipient of the 2019 Louisiana Writer Award. The award is presented annually by the Louisiana Center for the Book of the State Library of Louisiana.

Campanella will receive the award Nov. 2 at the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol in recognition of his outstanding contribution to documenting Louisiana’s history, culture and people.

“The historical geography of New Orleans and Louisiana is really the story of millions of people creating cityscapes and landscapes over hundreds of years,” said Campanella, a senior professor of practice in the Tulane School of Architecture. “I am humbled by the task of trying to understand all this complex place-making, and I feel deeply honored to be recognized by the state for the effort.”

Campanella’s works includes “Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans,” described by the New York Review of Books as the “single best history of the city…masterful.” He is also the author of “Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics Before the Storm” (University of Louisiana Press, 2006), which came out just after Hurricane Katrina. That book also won rave reviews, with The Times-Picayune calling it “a powerful (and) dazzling book, unparalleled in its scope, precision, clarity and detail.”

His book “Bourbon Street: A History,” was declared by the New York Review of Books as “absorbing...persuasive…gleefully subversive. There may be no one better qualified to write such a history than Campanella.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Campanella is the only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award. He has also won the Louisiana Literary Award, the Williams Prize, the Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Public Scholarship and the Tulane Honors Professor of the Year. In 2016, the Government of France named Campanella as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Campanella lives with his wife Marina and their son Jason in uptown New Orleans. His next book, “The West Bank of Greater New Orleans: A Historical Geography,” will be released by Louisiana State University Press in 2020.

To read the full story from Tulane University, click here.

Small Center selects annual design-build & visioning projects

Over the coming school year, Tulane architecture students and faculty will partner to design and build a recreation space for children and mothers experiencing homelessness, as well as a visioning plan for a community and office space for those working in criminal justice reform.

The two projects are part of an annual program focused on providing design services to Orleans Parish-based nonprofits and is led by the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (Small Center) at the Tulane School of Architecture.

"Our students need to understand that they have the ability to affect change to complex systems through design in incremental ways,” said Emilie Taylor Welty, professor of practice at Tulane School of Architecture and design-build manager at Small Center. “With the current state of our criminal justice system and challenges of supporting people experiencing homelessness, our aspiration is to engage students through these projects to further the conversation on these subjects.”

Nonprofits selected for the 2019-2020 academic year are Hotel Hope and Resurrection After Exoneration. Along with a jury of design professionals, past partners, and funders, Small Center facilitated an intensive review of 20 applications this past spring from nonprofits that work in a variety of sectors, such as education, labor equity, environmental conservation, and youth empowerment.

For the Fall 2019 Design-Build project, Small Center will partner with Hotel Hope on "A Play Haven for Hotel Hope," a shaded recreation space for children to play near their mothers during their time of stay. This space will encourage children to enjoy and express themselves while assisting in enhancing a sense of comfort as families transition out of homelessness.

Hotel Hope is a nonprofit, interfaith organization that provides housing to women and their children while guiding them to self-sufficiency and self-empowerment through intensive case management in a safe and loving atmosphere. In 2017, Hotel Hope launched its emergency shelter service model and, to date, has served 74 mothers and 162 children, who were once living in their car, on the street, or in uninhabitable conditions. Of the women who have successfully completed the program, 100% are in housing today.

“We are so excited to partner with Tulane architecture students and faculty as they design a play haven for the children staying at the hotel,” said Sister Mary Lou Specha, PBVM, Executive Director. “The dream of turning a former parking lot into play space is something we desired since purchasing the property last August. I know the play space will be the first thing the children want to run to as they come and stay at Hotel Hope after experiencing homelessness."

For the 2019-2020 Visioning project, Small Center will work with Resurrection After Exoneration on "The RAE House." The RAE House Visioning Project will be a redesign of the current Resurrection After Exoneration building. to include more useful programming space, community gathering space, and office space for service providers – such as GED services, educational programming, counselors, attorneys, caseworkers, and other small nonprofits that do criminal justice reform.

"I'm very excited about the future process and to be a Small Center community partner,” said Lavern Thompson, Executive Director of Resurrection After Exoneration. “Resurrection After Exoneration's mission has always been to help those in need and with this project, we will gain momentum to get us the operating capacity needed to continue our mission and keep my late husband's legacy alive.

Thompson said she has always wanted to continue what her late husband, John “JT” Thompson, started as the nonprofit’s executive director.

“This organization started with JT's desire to help people returning home from prison transition back into society with a skill set and support system,” Thompson said. “A support system for those returning home from prison is desperately needed in the city of New Orleans, and we at Resurrection After Exoneration want to make sure we are prepared to answer the call." 

The current Resurrection After Exoneration building has tremendous potential for modeling best practices in one-stop reentry services, as well as being able to provide community, safety and support for exonerated men and women upon their release. Small Center will collaborate with RAE to create a design reflective of these aspirations.

Resurrection After Exoneration (RAE) was founded in 2007 by exonerees to promote and sustain a network of support among formerly wrongfully incarcerated individuals in the South. RAE works to reconnect exonerees to their communities and provide access to those opportunities of which they were robbed.

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