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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.


Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design position opening

Small Center for Collaborative Design position opening.

The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, is hiring for the position of director. The director will oversee continued progress of community‐based programs and design projects, raise the local and national prominence of the Center’s work, and develop sustained financial support ensuring the program’s future. The director will serve as project and staff leader, strategy creator, creative problem‐solver and relationship steward for the Small Center.

For more information and to apply, visit The posting closes Monday, August 21, 2017.

"Big Class" Project Update

Hello All, 

This semester our Small Center design build team is working on a Writer's Room, for the youth writing program Big Class, in a local elementary school. After an intensive round of research, interviews, prototyping, design iterations and presentations, and budgeting our team has kicked off construction! 

The design build team is working over the next 7 weeks to fabricate and install the design. We will let you know when the project celebration is scheduled so you can visit the work and chat with our student design team. 

Attached is a project update, and below a list of our design team! 

Big Class Project Update

Abdulrahman Alharbi
Paula Bechara
Camille Bernsten
Dia Biagioni
Joseph D'Arco
X Daminos
Andrew Glassman
Paul Holmes
Arielle Scher
Annika Schneider
Stephanie Sirhal
Sami Tobin
Kairui Zhang

Small Center Awarded 2017 Excellence in Historic Preservation

The Louisiana Landmarks Society honored Small Center with the 2017 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award for their work on Façade RENEW. Façade ReNEW is a grant program for restoring historic commercial corridors. Small Center partnered with Beth Jacobs and Gabrielle Begue of Clio Associates and Melissa Lee of New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to develop the program’s 2-year pilot and to offer 30 hours of technical assistance for applicants to the program. The awards ceremony and reception will take place on Wednesday, April 12 at 5:30 pm at Ace Hotel in Barnett Hall at 600 Carondelet St., New Orleans, LA 70130. 2017

Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation

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. 

Reception scheduled: Design/Build Studio - CELEBRATION!!

The Gambit Features Tulane City Center's current exhibition

Affordable housing exhibit pops up at Tulane City Center

POSTED BY  ON WED, OCT 19, 2016 AT 5:00 PM

As chatter about Airbnb, gentrification and volatile rental markets flies fast and thick, a new exhibit at the Tulane School of Architecture's Tulane City Center/Small City Center (1725 Baronne St.) examines affordable housing issues in New Orleans. 

Rather than focusing on what makes the city unusual or exceptional, this exhibit places local housing challenges in a broader national and international context. 

“There are many ways New Orleans suffers from, and rises to, the same challenges as many other cities,” center public programs manager Sue Mobley says. “(Calling it exceptional creates) a write-off of learning from others.”

Exhibit modules look at 125 years of national and local housing policy and define what makes housing affordable, and for whom, following the stories of five fictional families at different income levels. Mobley wants to establish a baseline level of knowledge in observers about housing issues, and to correct misunderstandings about the ways the federal government subsidizes housing for different groups.

“(Affordable housing) isn’t just about the very poor, which is often how it gets politically centered,” Mobley points out. 

The exhibit also breaks down measures from the national and international community, such as rent control, inclusionary zoning and land trust policies, and considers how they might affect New Orleans. You don’t need a background in housing policy or activism to get something out of the exhibit, Mobley says  —  it’s designed so everyone can participate in the conversation. 

The exhibit is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Jan. 27, 2017, and takes about an hour to view. Admission is free. 

Grow Dat readies Dinner on the Farm

The Grow Dat Youth Farm, a 7-acre urban farm in New Orleans founded through a partnership with Tulane University and Tulane City Center, will host the first “Dinner on the Farm” of the fall Saturday (Oct. 9) at 4 p.m.

The series of dinners will be held at the farm, located in City Park (150 Zachary Taylor Dr.) and will feature chefs from various New Orleans restaurant groups. Guest chefs will create three-course meals that incorporate the farm’s produce. Attendees will enjoy cocktails, hor d’oeuvres and a tour of the facility.

Grow Dat’s first farm dinner will feature chefs Martha Wiggins, Ben Thibodeaux, John Bel and Ruby Bloch from Sylvain, Cavan and Meauxbar along with cocktails from Barrel Proof. Tickets  for this event are $125 and proceeds benefit Grow Dat’s programming for the upcoming year.

The next Dinner on the Farm is scheduled for Oct. 22 followed by another on Nov. 12.

Read more about Grow Dat in this New Wave article. Click here to purchase tickets.


Small City Center up for prestigious development award

Barri Bronston 


The Albert Jr. and Tina Small City Center, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, has been named a finalist for the 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund.

ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program that invests money in communities where the arts help drive community development projects related to such issues as agriculture and food, economic development, education and youth, environment and energy, health, housing, immigration, public safety, transportation and workforce development.

Small City Center, in partnership with Hung Dao CDC, was named one of 80 finalists for the Hung Dao Community Center & Heritage Gardens in Lower Algiers. Those 80 projects represent 6 percent of the more than 1,300 applications that ArtPlace America reviewed. Winners will be announced in December and will share in a total of $10.5 million.

Students and faculty of Small City Center will provide technical assistance and design service for the 6.5-acre park, which when completed will tell the story of the community through plantings native to Vietnam and how these plants relate to regional differences in food and culture. The park will offer youth education, community gardening, culinary demonstrations, food markets, recreation and cultural events, including the Tet Festival, the annual Vietnamese New Year’s celebration.

Small City Center will now complete more extensive application materials and schedule a site visit with an ArtPlace staff member and a national peer expert. ArtPlace America will convene these peer experts for an in-person panel meeting this fall before announcing the winners in December.

To date, the program has invested $67 million in 227 projects across 152 communities. The complete list of 2016 finalists may be found here.

Hung Dao Heritage Gardens – ArtPlace America 2016 Finalist