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Professor Norman featured in Madame Architect

Carrie Norman, Tulane School of Architecture Assistant Professor of Architecture and co-founder of Norman Kelley, was recently interviewed by Madame Architect. Below is an excerpt from the piece, titled "Opening Credits: Carrie Norman on Getting Her Start and Topics That Need to be Foregrounded," published April 8, 2020.

How did your interest in architecture first develop?

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I remember the dinner table was constantly over-crowded with floor plans, material swatches, and architects’ scales. My mom was and still is an amazing interior designer, and as a single mom supporting three kids, her work would often come home with her and she loved walking me through the projects she was working on. These were my bedtime stories. On occasions I could pick up a slight antagonism towards the architect. “They create problems I have to fix,” she’d say, and then we’d go on a sort of Where’s Waldo tour through the drawings and she’d point them all out. For a long time I thought architects only made problems that other people had to fix [laughs]. 

I would also frequently join her on work sites. I’d study the floor plan and try to memorize a route through all of the rooms of the project. Then I’d try to reenact the route in the real building. To be honest, I still kind of do this, and it still amazes me that buildings start out as mini versions on paper. Throughout my youth, architecture was both a comforting bedtime subject and a wild adventure.

Where are you in your career today?

In the opening credits [laughs]. Professionally, Norman Kelley is a young architecture practice, and we’re scaling up, patiently. Academically, I am a junior faculty at the beginning of my career as an educator.

Up until recently, my career and teaching was based in New York, where I’d been living and practicing for over a decade. The past ten years has included a number of important milestones for me, professionally, including getting licensed, co-founding my own practice, and beginning a career in teaching. Now, in New Orleans, I hope the next decade is filled with as much personal and professional growth. In particular, I hope to develop as a teacher, and simultaneously expand our office into new contexts.

Looking back at it all, what have been the biggest challenges?

Scaling up is a challenge. Right now the range of our work spans XXS to S. Without experience with larger scale projects, it’s difficult for a client to stomach the risk of hiring us. It’s funny, at SHoP, I never worked on a project less than a million square feet. Now, our largest completed project is 5,000 square feet. We’ve come close to receiving work for larger projects on a few occasions, but each time we’ve come up short.

We’re not in a rush for the big projects but we also don’t want to get pigeon-holed into doing the same kind of work over and over again. To grow as architects, we need that diversity of project types. For now we try to do our very best to translate big ideas into small projects, be it furniture-scaled objects, or rehabilitated interiors.

To read the full interview in Madame Architect, click here.

Norman collaborates for Whitney Biennial 2019 installation

Assistant Professor Carrie Norman has collaborated with Kenyan-born, Chicago-based artist Brendan Fernandes for the sculptural installation “The Master and Form,” currently on display through Sept. 22 at the Whitney Museum of American Art for the Whitney Bienniel 2019.

This installation, created through Norman's practice Norman Kelly, explores the intersections of dance + sculpture + performance through devices that put dancers into specific positions and forms indicative of the technique of ballet.

“As a former dancer training in the ballet world, I’ve always been questioning my body, my sense of who I was in that world. Ballet is a very specific type of dance form and specific types of bodies are required to perform the gestures or to be 'technically successful' in that space. I think about race, class, gender through ballet, those things are very much set through Western hegemony narratives. Part of what I’m doing in this work is to be critical and to break down those binaries because we are in a space that we need to change that and dance needs that so much in its narrative, to think about things differently.” – artist Brendan Fernandes

Learn more about the installation at the Whitney Biennial 2019 here.

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.

ARCH 2021/6021

Second year studio concentrates on developed architectural form and design methodologies through processes of analysis, synthesis and transformation. Students work on the conceptual frameworks for their designs, with emphasis on issues of environmental context, urban design, and cultural and technological systems and their impact on architectural form.Different approaches to the making of form are investigated, along with principles of organization, such as spatial hierarchy, circulation, structure, and site relationships.

ARCH 2311/6311

An introductory course to 3D digital media concepts and techniques with a focus on the fundamental aspects of the Computer Aided Design process. Framed by a general introduction to digital media theory, students will gain fluency in a variety of software applications for the purpose of expanding the architectural design process. Specific emphasis is placed on the role of the computer as a tool for analysis, spatial investigation,and representation. Basic 3D modeling software such as AutoCAD, formZ, and Rhino, will constitute the majority of course content.