Photo: NOMA-LA Project Pipeline
Richardson Memorial Hall buzzed with energy earlier this month as New Orleans-area middle and high school students got a crash course in design and its power to drive community change at the 2018 National Organization of Minority Architects-Louisiana Project Pipeline summer camp.
Guided by local architect and architecture student mentors, 31 participants explored major design concepts through hands-on activities. The curriculum centered on how architecture intersects with social change movements, such as racial and gender equity.
The three-day workshop was part of Project Pipeline, a national NOMA youth initiative to build a pipeline of talented black students and other students of color pursuing careers in architecture.
Chris Daemmrich (A ‘17), one of the lead mentors, first interacted with project in 2013 as a Tulane student - and was hooked from the start.
“It was incredibly energetic and was a vision of architecture not just as it is, but as it should be,” said Daemmrich. “Not just a room in which women, black people and other of people of color are represented, but a room where the relationships between architecture, power and the structure of society are openly discussed.”
Project Pipeline is a year-round effort for NOMA-Louisiana. The organization recruits professionals and college students to serve as mentors and lead weekly design workshops in local schools. Many Tulane architecture students are involved with the project through the university’s student NOMA chapter, NOMAS-TU. This group was founded in 2016 by Bryan Bradshaw (A *17), Javier Gonzalez (A *17) and Kyle Novak (A *17).
Current students Keristen Edwards, NOMAS-TU president, and Michelle Barrett, a representative on the national NOMA board, were both heavily involved with this year’s camp.
“I love working with kids and introducing them to design and what that means, and that they can do it,” said Barrett. “A lot of times, especially minority students, they aren’t exposed to this kind of thing. So especially when it’s coming from someone who looks like them, it’s really good.”
To learn more about Project Pipeline, visit http://nomalaprojectpipeline.org.