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Adjunct Lecturer Laura Ewen Blokker presents at The Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians

November 04, 2015

Laura Ewen Blokker presented "Architect of Change: Education, Community, and Design in the Life of Ferdinand L. Roussève" to the annual conference of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians in San Antonio, Texas.  Blokker's paper examined how Roussève, Louisiana's first licensed African American architect, intertwined his roles as an educator, design professional, and advocate for racial equality.  He contributed greatly to New Orleans through all three, yet his work is little known today.  Through study of collections at the Amistad Research Center, Blokker traced Roussève's career and some executed designs.  She plans to continue researching his work and hopes to raise awareness about Ferdinand Roussève and his extant buildings.  He was acutely aware that the built environment does not exist on the periphery of social conditions, but is an integral part of them.  This perspective imbued his design intent, writings, and speeches with a prescience that makes them very relevant to our architectural landscape of today.