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Students work with families and justice advocates on design-build play space

This past fall, the sounds of drills, saws and other power tools were heard around the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design. Under the lead of Tulane School of Architecture professor Emilie Taylor Welty, 12 Tulane students were busy at work to design and build HexScape, a playspace for children staying at Hotel Hope, a shelter that provides temporary housing for women and children in Central City.

“Working with Hotel Hope was so fulfilling. To be able to watch our design be built and help the community we live in was an amazing experience,” said Yara Hantash, a fifth-year architecture student.

Hotel Hope is a nonprofit, interfaith organization, and one of only a few locations that provides housing to women and their children. The nonprofit provides intensive case management in a safe and loving atmosphere, while guiding their guests to self-sufficiency and self-empowerment. Since opening its doors in 2017, Hotel Hope 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 percent are in housing today.

To bring to life Hotel Hope's vision of a welcoming and home-like oasis for their guests, 12 Tulane School of Architecture students spent 15 weeks listening to the desires of Hotel Hope staff, led by Sister Mary Lou Specha, held focus groups with mothers, and spent time with children at the site. Although families were in different states of transition from homelessness to stable housing, there was a shared sentiment among the group for happiness and familiarity, which students carried forward into their design work. Throughout the engagement process, students shared a series of designs and ultimately landed on a strategy of hexagonal-shaped play zones, which they dubbed “HexScape.” The playful design transforms a barren parking lot in a mid-century motel into a playable landscape with three zones using a mixt of textures and materials— an alligator mulch pit, a tunnel and interactive berm, and a shaky bridge and music wall — all of which encourage children to play, learn, and grow. The addition of plants and a large mural round out the space and add some much-needed vibrancy and greenery. 

For their final review in December 2019, students presented their constructed project to Hotel Hope staff and guests, as well as Tulane School of Architecture faculty. During the review, students discussed the labor-intensive but rewarding design process of engagement, data collection, design and construction.

“I would like to thank Tulane for their commitment to the community and being an anchor institution in a city that really needs strong leaders and strong people," said Sister Specha. "The amount of joy that you’re going to bring to our children has been insurmountable. It is just a blessing. Thank you so much to Tulane and to the Architecture School, to Emilie and her team and all the students.”

In the Spring of 2020, a celebratory event marking the Hotel Hope HexScape project’s completion will take place at Hotel Hope. Check the Small Center online event calendar for details.

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.

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.

Archinect interviews Dean Iñaki Alday

Archinect magazine recently interviewed Tulane School of Architecture Dean Iñaki Alday as part of its Deans List interview series with the leaders of architecture schools, worldwide. The series profiles the school’s programming, as defined by the dean – giving an invaluable perspective into the institution’s unique curriculum, faculty and academic environment.

For this installment, Archinect spoke with Iñaki Alday, the new dean at the Tulane School of Architecture. The school hosts a variety of degree and specialized programs that combine architecture, real estate development, historic preservation, and community-driven focuses to provide a holistic design education. Dean Alday recently took the reins of the school with the aim of leading the Gulf Coast region and country, overall, in terms of "what it means to live with water."

Read below for the full story or click here for the original piece in Archinect by Managing Editor Antonio Pacheco (TSA *14).

Briefly describe Tulane School of Architecture’s pedagogical stance on architecture education.

Tulane School of Architecture has a history of commitment to real, pressing issues, and, especially after Hurricane Katrina, a history of leadership in helping our communities rebuild. We are not interested in the endogamic discourses that have occupied academia for decades, taking us away from society and relevancy. In the past, many schools of architecture have failed as educators and as leaders of our societies. Therefore, our school focuses on urgent problems, not self-indulgent fictions. The school is in the heart of the “Third Coast”–the American Gulf Coast–where all the challenges of human inhabitation of the planet are at play. This exceptional location, being in the Mississippi Delta, also provides us with the opportunity to define the role that architecture can take in facing climate change—including other ecological crises, as well as in the process of urbanization under these circumstances—and the challenges of social and environmental justice that follow.

What insights from your past professional experience are you hoping to integrate/adopt as dean?

A significant part of my professional practice is focused on the connection between cities, and buildings, with rivers and their dynamics. For example, my partner Margarita Jover and I were among the first to “design” the flood that occupies a public space and a building (an arena) in Spain, starting a line of investigation that changes the idea of flooding (and all river dynamics) from a catastrophic event into a positive asset. Since then we have been planning, designing, and building “hybrid infrastructures” in Spain, Asia, and Latin America, and also, working as regular experts for the World Bank. This type of creative, innovative design work is key for Tulane as it seeks to lead the region and country in terms of what it means to live with water.

Academically, I enjoyed being chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Virginia (2011-16), where I founded the Yamuna River Project together with Pankaj Vir Gupta, an interdisciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in New Delhi, thus reconnecting India’s capital city back to the water. This project is proof of how architecture and urbanism can approach complex problems holistically while incorporating multiple fields (history, art history, engineering, economics, religious studies, entrepreneurship, engineering, environmental sciences, and politics, for example). It is a great example of making an impact in one of the toughest urban crises. We are continuing with the project at Tulane, expanding it to other cities in India and the Global South.

Rivers and their associated communities are at the frontline of climate impacts. Globally, river basins provide the majority of the world’s food and freshwater, and more than 500 million people live on river deltas, which also form the major ports of the world. Along the roughly 2,300 miles of the Mississippi River alone are situated at least seven major urban centers, while 50 cities rely on the Mississippi to provide drinking water for 20 million people. The Mississippi River Basin, the world’s fourth largest river basin, spans 31 states and two Canadian provinces, providing more than 40-percent of US agriculture with water while producing $400 billion of economic activity. It is among the leading locations facing significant conditions of accelerating risk, as well. Similar conditions are replicated in multiple river basins across the planet, especially in the Global South, where regions are facing the crises of pollution, floods, and scarcity, and, most critically, in urbanized contexts and in the rapidly growing megalopolises in South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

What kind of student do you think would flourish at Tulane University and why?

At Tulane, a student needs to be committed, not only to excellence but also to stepping out of her or his comfort zone, collaborating with other fields inside the school (architecture, preservation, sustainable real estate), and with those outside the school (science and engineering, social sciences, economics, humanities, and law). And above all, our students are encouraged to look beyond themselves, to avoid cherry-picking problems, and to committing to positively impacting the lives of others. The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design works directly with communities, URBANbuild produces a yearly miracle of an affordable house designed and built by students, and our river and delta urbanism research offers a unique approach and a track record of substantial impact in the cities set alongside the Mississippi River and alongside the rivers of India, Argentina, and Ethiopia.

What are the biggest challenges, academically and professionally, facing students?

The recovery of architecture as a relevant discipline in the collective imagination is the biggest challenge. Architecture needs to be at the table where big decisions are made. This is the challenge that our students need to take on, and will become experts in, after 50 years of architecture being isolated in disconnected academic discourses or assuming the role of pure service provider. The new generations have the mandate of recovering the leadership role that society and the planet need.

What are some of the larger issues of “today” that you feel an architecture school should be preparing its students for?

We are in the midst of the most significant environmental and social crises, one that is even threatening our own existence on the earth. We urgently need to change the way in which we are inhabiting the planet, change how new buildings perform, how they serve people, how they look, and where they are located. And similarly, we need to rethink what and how to preserve, where and how to develop, and how our cities should be symbiotic with natural elements. Right now, architecture is losing relevance in discussions about the built environment in many countries around the world, and most strikingly, in the United States.

At Tulane, we train students with a holistic approach, giving them interdisciplinary tools to help them learn to identify which are the most pressing issues so they can figure out how to apply their design, preservation, or sustainable real estate development education in order to address them. We advocate for the production of knowledge and innovation through design, which for us, is understood as the creative management of complexity. When we, as architects, are able to go beyond our personal preferences, there is no other kind of professional better prepared for dealing with the complex and uncertain world around us.

What are some of the advantages of the school’s context—being housed within Tulane University as well as in New Orleans—and how do you think they help make the program unique?

Tulane University is a top-tier research university, and the perfect size for interdisciplinary collaborations, which is a priority of the university president, provost and all the deans here. From my perspective, “curiosity” and “ambition” are the two words that define Tulane today and that’s what attracted me here. New Orleans is also the northernmost tip of the Global South. Both facts together position Tulane uniquely as the only top research university that is located in a place that deals with all the challenges—social, environmental, economic—in the most exciting, dynamic, and needed region in the world. And our university is committed to work that brings innovation by crossing disciplinary boundaries. This is the only school of architecture that has fully committed to rebuilding a city after a major catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina. Solving urgent problems, housing people, working with communities to bring them back, developing new scenarios to inhabit our rivers and deltas—those issues are deeply rooted in Tulane’s identity. Because of the uniqueness of Tulane, the School of Architecture is a school that has no parallel.

Tulane needs to keep growing and positioning itself as a genuine voice, very different to our peers due to our unique ecosystem and concerns. We are already a driving force in New Orleans and the region; however, we should also become an international reference working on comparative methods. Our challenges are the world’s challenges, and the best way to learn and move forward is to hold a continuous back and forth between our attention to the local conditions and the lessons learned globally.

Tulane School of Architecture has a significant record of working within the New Orleans community, how will you take on that legacy?

First of all, we should probably say “communities,” as New Orleans is a diverse city with many different communities. They are always complex and contradictory—And there is never a single belonging, but often multiple and always nested systems of them. That being said, New Orleans epitomizes the challenges of thousands of towns, cities, and metropolises set alongside American rivers. We are at the intersection of floods, scarcity, pollution, land loss, and other riverine environmental issues, and we are dealing with the societal impact of those as well as the impacts of post-industrial economic stagnation, transportation crises, and other social challenges. Working from New Orleans—a microcosm of global issues—the Tulane School of Architecture is well positioned to lead the work in terms of how to relate our cities and our rivers in a completely different way. Floods are here to stay, and we have to design our spaces to make them productive—instead of catastrophic—by turning floods into an opportunity rather than a threat. Instead of walls, our rivers and cities deserve public spaces that can navigate the changes and recover healthy ecologies. Buildings need to be adapted to leverage the river or the delta, as well. This is a natural human inclination, but now we must apply it in a different way, undergoing proper transformation.

Can you speak to the nature of collaboration that exists between Tulane School of Architecture’s various programs (Architecture, Preservation, Real Estate Development, the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, URBANbuild, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship) and your plans for those efforts?

Tulane School of Architecture offers the essentials we need to rethink how to inhabit our planet: what and how to preserve, where and how to sustainably develop the land, and how to design buildings, public spaces, and cities. Dual degrees are excellent choices that round-out an effective education and prepare our graduates for thinking broadly, creatively, and responsibly. We have interdisciplinary studios among the three programs, design-build studios with our community partners, and a wide range of courses open to all Tulane students. All in all, every student has the opportunity to excel in her or his degree while being knowledgeable about other areas. An architect needs to know how to deal with existing buildings and to understand the logics of real estate development. Similarly, historic preservationists incorporate design and advanced digital tools while understanding the economic implications of their work, including the risk of gentrification. And a developer of the future cannot be anything other than sustainable, must understand the potential of reusing our heritage, and know how high-quality design improves the conditions of life.

Small Center project named finalist for 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) selected Parasite Skatepark, a project of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture, as one of five finalists for its 2019 Gold and Silver medal prizes.

Parasite Skatepark is New Orleans' first official skatepark. Previously, the city had no official skateparks and few places for kids to exercise outside of team sports leagues. With that in mind, a group of skaters got together and started a Do-It-Yourself skatepark. Small Center faculty and architecture students provided technical assistance to the group, which ultimately evolved into into the nonprofit Transitional Spaces. Through time, strategic partnerships, and a series of state and local approvals, the grassroots public park officially opened in 2015.

“The range of issues addressed in this year’s submissions reflect the evolution of our understanding of placemaking in cities,” said RBA founder Simeon Bruner in a press release. “The five finalists illustrate the shifting role of design in response to the imperatives of social inclusivity and environmental resilience.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, RBA is a biennial design award recognizing transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. Seventy-eight projects in 27 states have been honored since its founding. The Gold Medalist will receive $50,000 and four Silver Medalists will each receive $10,000 to enhance their projects.

RBA entries comprise completed projects across the contiguous United States. Finalists and medalists are chosen by a nationwide committee of urban experts through an in-depth evaluation process involving input from the award application, site visits, interviews with project participants and community members, and committee discussions.

For more information, read the RBA blog post.

Tulane School of Architecture's community design center nationally recognized for collaborative approach

Thirteen years of working hand-in-hand with partners, students, and faculty has led the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture to be recognized with a national architecture award this week.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture named the Small Center, which is housed within the Tulane School of Architecture, as one of only four Collaborative Practice Award recipients for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In particular, the award highlights the Parasite Skatepark project, a New Orleans park that officially opened in 2015 following years of efforts by local skaters to establish a recreation space. The Small Center provided various types of technical assistance, such as convening stakeholders and designing the park’s masterplan. Ultimately, collaboration between a nonprofit of local skaters, city and state agencies, professional architects, and Tulane students led to the designation of the city’s first official skatepark.

The project shows that the design process can serve as a capacity and coalition builder, said Ann Yoachim, Small Center director and professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture. And the award is a reflection of the center’s belief that engagement is a core part of any successful design effort, she said.

“Teaching students to recognize the value of partner expertise, the necessity of a multitude of voices to produce high-quality responsive design projects, and the power of design to address larger societal issues is at a core of the Center’s mandate. We are honored to be recognized by our peers for this commitment,” Yoachim said. “Together, we will continue to work to create a city that is shaped by all.”

“This award is a recognition of the Tulane School of Architecture’s leadership, through the Small Center, in architecture and social engagement. We are committed to supporting our community through high quality design and beauty, which are essential to develop pride and care for neighborhoods,” said Iñaki Alday, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture and Koch Chair in Architecture. “Each project is also an innovative exploration, advancing the field of design and of community engagement processes through multidisciplinary modes, all in the real life.”

Since 1997, the ACSA’s Collaborative Practice Award honors best practices in university-based and community-engaged programs. This award was proposed by Thomas Dutton and Anthony Schuman as a means to recognize ACSA’s commitment to community partnerships in which faculty, students and neighborhood citizens are valued equally and that aim to address issues of social injustice through design.

Small Center project wins AIA Louisiana Honor Award

Hollygrove Shade-Water Pavilion, a project by the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, was recently recognized with an Honor Award in the small project category of the American Institute of Architects Louisiana 2018 design competition.

A nationally recognized panel of judges selected 16 winning projects from 73 entries submitted by architects statewide. The jury noted the Shade-Water Pavilion’s “great relationship between the scale of the human and the scale of the structure” and “incredible concrete bays.”

The pavilion provides an outdoor community gathering area in an unused infrastructural space with a mechanism to collect, display and distribute rain water. Tulane School of Architecture faculty members Judith Kinnard, FAIA and Irene Keil served as design leads with Small Center staff member Nick Jenisch as project manager on the collaborative effort with students, faculty, staff and community partners Carrollton/Hollygrove Community Development Corporation and the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board.

The Small Center is the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture. Learn more about the center’s work with nonprofit organizations and community groups to provide design services to underserved communities at http://small.tulane.edu.

Small Center case study published in design education book

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies book cover

A new book on best practices in public interest design education includes a case study written by Emilie Taylor Welty, a School of Architecture professor of practice and design/build manager at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, and Maggie Hansen, the center’s former director. The contributed chapter features a 2015 Small Center project, Sanfoka Mobile Market.

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies” (Routledge, 2018) presents the work and ideas of more than 60 thought-leaders that together are shaping a broad curriculum of public interest design. Written in a guidebook format that includes projects from across design disciplines, the publication describes the learning critical to pursuing an inclusive, informed design practice.

"We are honored to have the work of our students and faculty showcased within a book about best practices and innovative approaches to design education," said Taylor Welty.

The second book in Routledge’s Public Interest Design Guidebook series, the editors and contributors feature a range of examples and strategies where educational and community-originated goals unite.

Small Center announces 2018-19 community project partners

Tulane School of Architectures students work together on a project.

The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design announced today selected projects from its 2018 request for proposals, an interactive outdoor classroom space for Groundwork New Orleans and a building renovation vision for the International High School of New Orleans. These community-driven projects will receive pro bono design services from Tulane University School of Architecture faculty and students during the upcoming academic year.

Design/Build

Groundwork New Orleans is an environmental nonprofit that engages youth and community groups in environmental stewardship and advocacy. Small Center will work with the organization to design and build a covered area with seating at their Earth Lab facility, an outdoor learning laboratory site on the St. Claude Ave corridor. The new space will allow Groundwork New Orleans to host school groups at Earth Lab for hands-on field trips.

Visioning/Planning

The International High School of New Orleans is an open-enrollment charter school and the first in the city to offer the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. IHSNO’s 80-year-old building on Carondelet St. in the Central Business District is outdated and does not meet the needs of a diverse student population. Small Center and the high school will work together to create a full renovation vision for a modern, energy efficient and accessible learning environment. Organizational leaders will use this plan to build fundraising support for the project.

Small Center projects are chosen through an annual request for proposals from local nonprofit and community-based organizations. This year’s RFP jury included Alexandra Miller, Alvin David, Andreanecia Morris, Ann Yoachim, Ben Smith, Casius Pealer, Charles Allen, Randy Hutchison, Rashidah Williams, Sharon Courtney and Suzanne Mobley. For more information on the RFP process, visit http://small.tulane.edu/participate/application-process/.

A generous gift from Johnson Controls Incorporated helps fund the Small Center’s education, advocacy and project design services.

New digital library collection showcases Small Center’s impact

Small Center collections digitized by Howard Tilton Memorial Library

Article by Mary Cross

Whether you’re a scholar interested in studying early images of Latin America or a high school student searching for float designs from Carnival’s Golden Age for a class project, the Tulane University Digital Library (TUDL), a project of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, provides instant access to the university’s rare materials and collections anytime, anywhere. Now, TUDL is home to a new online collection showcasing the work of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the School of Architecture.

“We're always on the lookout for resources across campus that we feel the public should know about,” said Jeff Rubin, library coordinator for digital initiatives and publications. “The work that the Small Center is doing is unique to both Tulane and the greater community.”

By working with nonprofit organizations and community groups, the Small Center provides design education to Tulane students while offering design services to underserved communities in Greater New Orleans.

Each item featured in the TUDL collection documents a collaborative project between the Small Center and local partners. Maggie Hansen, who served as the Small Center’s director through 2017, jump-started the TUDL project to ensure that the institute’s materials were being archived at the university.

“Over the past 13 years, the Small Center has done over 80 projects. For each project, a booklet is produced about the entire process from start to finish,” said Shoshana Gordon, who previously worked as a program assistant and AmeriCorps VISTA at the center.

“Maggie and I thought that it would be a good idea to make these booklets more accessible to the university and the public,” said Gordon, currently a graphic designer for local public art project Paper Monuments.

Each booklet contains designs, drawings and photographs detailing the stories behind projects, like the rainwater-collecting gardens built at Parisite Skate Park.

“We're going to continue to add projects to the collection as they happen, so the collection will grow and continue to document the Small Center’s community collaborations,” added Rubin.

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