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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.


Tulane City Center Featured in New Wave

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Tulane City Center comes home

Barri Bronston


Tulane City Center has a place to call its own, and faculty, staff and students could not be more pleased with the finished product, said Maggie Hansen, interim director of Tulane City Center.

Located at 1725 Baronne St., in the heart of Central City, Tulane City Center celebrated the opening of its new headquarters last month with a rousing affair featuring music by Shamarr Allen and food from neighbor Café Reconcile. 

At 7,000 square feet, the building features ample workspace for staff, fellows and interns as well as courses such as Engage Design Build studios. In addition, the building houses a fully outfitted workshop for fabrication and staging of built projects.

“This is our new community-based home. It makes us a lot more accessible to our partners,” Hansen said.

An outreach program of the Tulane University School of Architecture, Tulane City Center has been involved in designing and building of dozens of neighborhood revitalization projects, including playgrounds, healthcare facilities, arts centers and urban farms. 

The program first moved to Central City in 2013 when it opened a temporary space on nearby Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. Not long after, Tulane City Center teamed up with Gulf Coast Housing Partnerships to begin construction on the Baronne Street building. 

The building was once part of the sprawling Kauffman’s department store, one of several retail outlets that populated the Dryades shopping corridor from the mid-19th century. As a vital business district for New Orleans’ African-American and Jewish communities, the Dryades corridor thrived for over a century and was a key site during the civil rights era.

Today, the neighborhood is in the midst of a renaissance, with Tulane City Center an enthusiastic stakeholder. 

“With the renovation of a historic building into a point of entry for Tulane into the community and the community into the university, Tulane City Center is committed to this neighborhood,” Hansen said.

Grow Dat Youth Farm Featured in Tulane's New Wave

Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano
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A recipe for success

by: Kirby Messinger

In its first four years, Grow Dat Youth Farm has grown 25,000 pounds of organic produce. Now the urban agriculture nonprofit organization is planting seeds of a different kind and creating a recipe that gives other organizations the ingredients for success.

Using a $100,000 “Investing for Good” grant from Capital One Bank, Grow Dat is showing other organizations how to repeat its business model to address the shortage of fresh produce options. Grow Dat, which has graduated 100 youth leaders, is working to educate and inspire New Orleans youth with leadership and job opportunities. 

“I think the program works because of our holistic response to a multitude of issues,” said Johanna Gilligan, director of the Grow Dat Youth Farm. “We are addressing a lot of problems — from environmental to lack of job opportunities for youth — with a single solution.” 

Gilligan, who founded Grow Dat Youth Farm in collaboration with Tulane University and other organizations in 2011, says that Grow Dat’s first partner is the local nonprofit organizationBayou District Foundation. The action plan that they create will assist Bayou District in developing a similar program. 

Funding from Capital One Bank, which operates more than 50 branches in greater New Orleans, will support the initial curriculum design as well as the launch of the new Bayou District program. 

“Capital One Bank truly sees the value in our work and has invested in it,” Gilligan said. “We are creating a positive impact and taking it to the next level.” 

Located on seven acres in New Orleans City Park, Grow Dat works with several high schools and youth organizations to recruit paid interns and teach them how to grow vegetables and fruit and prepare them for market. 

Gilligan says Grow Dat’s commitment to create healthy communities through urban agriculture has piqued the interest from other nonprofit organizations throughout the country. They plan to make Bayou District the first of many partnerships.  

“Although there are other youth farms across the country, there is something that resonates about what we do here at Grow Dat,” said Gilligan. 

Kirby Messinger is a communication/marketing officer in the Office of Development Communications.

Tulane City Center completed its installation on the facade of the Dew Drop Inn

This weekend, the Tulane City Center completed its installation on the facade of the Dew Drop Inn showcasing the history of this Central City landmark. The work was completed in advance of the LaSalle Street Better Block event, so drop by this Friday November 7 from 5 to 9pm to see it in person!

I would like to recognize the students and staff who have given their Saturdays to help make this project a success. A huge thank-you goes out to: 

Allison Price
Alisha Croft
Aurora Smith
Braham Berg
P.J. Henseler
Rosemary Phillips
Kate Kenwright
Michelle Brenner
J.D. Scott
John Coyle
Nick Jenisch

From Maurice Cox, the director of the Tulane City Center:

To think it all started with a site visit to the Dew Drop with John Stubbs and John's own willingness to take this on -- thus all those wonderful images of Dew Drop were discovered.

Special thanks to Melissa Erekson who then actually found and co-wrote the 5K preservation art installation grant for us. Congrats to Giovanna and Scott for the installation design concept and renderings. I'm always impressed with how closely the final project aligns with the rendered version.

And finally, a special, special congrats to Nick, Vince and your team of Saturday volunteers who fabricated and assembled the structure and installed the entire thing. You guys are so incredibly dedicated to get this done outside of regular coursework, and on time for Better Block event on LaSalle this Friday after 5PM.

PARK(ing) DAY NOLA 2014

PARK(ing) DAY NOLA 2014 was held Saturday, October 4, 2014 on Julia St. during the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Art for Arts' Sake Event.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, open-source global event where citizens, artists, designers and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into temporary public spaces.

Faculty members Marcella Del Signore with the Tulane City Center and Cordula Roser Gray exhibited their parklet during the event.



Title: "Overlay"
Sponsor: Tulane City Center 
Project Lead: Marcella Del Signore 
Design Team : Jose Cotto, Marcella Del Signore, Whitney Jordan, Bahareh Rana Javadi
Construction Team: Michael Battipaglia, Mary Catherine Bullock, Jose Cotto, Marcella Del Signore, Whitney Jordan, Gianna Morelli, Michael Nunnink, Bahareh Rana Javadi, Sarah Satterlee

Tulane City Center's Maurice Cox On Adaptive Reuse And Creative Resurgence Along O.C. Haley Blvd


This week WWNO has been exploring Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The Central City corridor is home to new nonprofits and business ventures, after a redevelopment effort of more than a decade.

Today we wrap up coverage with a conversation just off the Boulevard, on Baronne Street. It’s the new home of Tulane City Center, a venture of the university’s School of Architecture, with a strong service learning component.

Recently appointed Director Maurice Cox is also associate dean for community engagement. He gave some history and context to what’s happening on O.C. Haley, starting with City Center’s new home.

Listen to the Full Story Here


Interested in Public Interest Design? Want to check out the new City Center space? Join us on October 6th for both!

THINK | BUILD is a student-led initiative supported by the Tulane City Center. We meet monthly to think critically and discuss issues related to community involvement, activism, and social responsibility in design. Everyone is welcome, and food will be provided!

This meeting will have a focus on participatory design. Professor of Practice Ann Yoachim from the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship program will be leading our discussion. So what does partnership mean? What does collaboration mean? Come share your thoughts and hear the Public Interest Design Fellows share their experiences from their summer work at the City Center.


Tulane City Center Featured in "TU & You in the Community"

Tulane City Center Director, Maurice Cox and Sam Naylor, TSA '15 featured in Tulane's most recent social outreach promotional video: "TU & You in the Community"

Adjunct Lecturer and Senior Program Coordinator at Tulane City Center, Emilie Taylor, '06 TSA, named one of "9 Women Who Are Rocking Public Interest Design."

The traditional courtship between architects and projects of public interest relied on the mediation of benefactors with bank rolls who chaperoned the impassioned relationship between the architect and his work to ensure all appearances were in order. As the presence of public interest design has grown in recent years, this relationship has shifted. Often, the "client" includes the end users, who are not responsible for financing the project but participate in the conception and construction in collaboration with the architect. In public interest design, the architect trades in the three-piece suit of Daniel Burnham for jeans and work boots. Women are an inspiring presence in this sector of design and, in another trend that contrasts tradition, they are being recognized for it. There are many women (and men!) who put in the sweat and lack of sleep to establish the field, but here we will highlight nine of the next young guns... Full article


Stefanie Dhillon attends the Design Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum

This June, Art Center Environmental Design student, Stefanie Dhillon, participated in theDesign Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum at Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans, supported by the Office of the Provost and Designmatters.

So…what is public interest design? Public interest design focuses on a human-centered and participatory design practice that places emphasis on the “triple bottom line” that includes ecological, economic, and social issues and designing products, structures, and systems that address issues such as economic development and the preservation of the environment. It is mindful of the designer’s role and responsibility in society and uses design to bring about social change. I knew this type of design was my intended career path; designing for the people, with the people to make the greatest possible positive impact.

Looking at the forum website, I was captivated by the yearbook they released on the first forum. There were so many amazing reviews from faculty members, students and forum leaders. Reading through some of the remarks from previous attendees, I was so impressed by the impact this forum made on them. All I could think of was YES. I need to attend this forum.

So what was the forum about? The Design Futures Student Forum is a symposium bringing together students and practitioners to explore the history, philosophies, and practices of public interest design. Over the 5-day period, participants were able to engage with leading public interest design practitioners through a series of workshops, presentations, and visits to New Orleans community projects.


At the forum, there were so many students, faculty and professionals from all over the country, all coming together to learn and contribute to the growing movement of public interest design. Over the course of 5 days, we participated in workshops and listened to speakers discuss public interest design, design and civil rights, models of public interest design with case studies, business models of public interest design, diversity and leadership, ways to fund and finance public interest design, standards and ethics, resource allies and partnerships for social justice, public interest design career pathways, human-centered design, making design civic and international public interest design. 


We also participated in a field trip toGrow Dat Youth Farm. This was an incredible experience. We learned how the farm worked, how they funded and built their space, and most importantly, the impact they have had on youth and adults in the community. They provide job opportunities for high-school students and have a leadership program to develop life-skills through hands-on experience.

We also attended an Autodesk reception and keynote presentation by John Cary (founding executive director and curator of the newly-established Autodesk Foundation and founding editor of at the new AIA space in New Orleans. The main objective: “Everyone deserves good design.”

Some of the takeaways I have from the forum are about the process of human centered/public interest design. It starts with a deep understanding of needs, hopes and aspirations of potential users and the lives they live. It is about questioning the question– reframing the problem in real-time. It is about dignity and empathy, equity and equality. It is about disrupting the world view to gain new insights and shifting the public’s perception. As designers we need to create mutually compatible relationships with communities and problem solve according to a community’s values. We need to immerse ourselves in the different experiences and processes of those in the community to truly understand what is needed. As designers we need to remain accountable with measurable outcomes and find ways of making small moves to create big impacts. Designers must continually question the outcomes they seek for their project and empower communities to be an integral part of the design process.

My experience in this forum was empowering and those five days have proved to be invaluable. The forum solidified my career path in wanting to design for the greater good and I now have the knowledge and resources to make any public interest design project happen.

Exhibition scheduled: Parisite