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All classes are suspended for the week of March 16. Starting the week of March 23, all classes will resume entirely online. Tulane School of Architecture (TuSA) remains open with most faculty and staff working remotely. Students can be granted access to work in the building only with prior approval from the school. At this time, we are not hosting admissions tours.

Please continue to check your Tulane email, Canvas, the TuSA COVID-19 FAQ, and the Tulane Emergency Management page for updates.

Tulane is working with students who have difficult personal circumstances that would make leaving campus a challenge or will face complications in online learning once they return home. In response, we have set up the Tulane Student Emergency Aid and Assistance Fund to address current student needs.

Geography field trips go virtual at Tulane

(Photo: Sally Asher/Tulane University)

By Naomi King Englar

How do you take Tulane students on more than 160 miles and 14 hours of field trips when everyone is studying remotely? Tulane School of Architecture Professor Richard Campanella recently found a way to share New Orleans’ streetscapes, geography, ecology, and infrastructure with students in his spring courses through video field trips.

“New Orleans’ geography is experiential,” said Campanella, who’s a historical geographer and author. “You need to immerse yourself in the urban landscape to see how  we created it, how it works, and how we've altered natural systems in the process, oftentimes dangerously.”

Using a rented SUV, a face mask, an atlas, and an iPad, Campanella drove throughout the metropolitan area for two days. Catherine Restrepo, the visual design coordinator at Tulane School of Architecture, assisted by video recording from a safe distance in the rear of the vehicle and compiling the hours of film into four videos.

“I was impressed how quickly Richard pivoted to make these field trips happen for our students, and we are so lucky to have skilled staff at the school who were willing to jump into this video project with him,” said Iñaki Alday, Dean of Tulane School of Architecture. 

The tours covered vast terrain and topics, spanning from Chef Menteur Pass to the Bonne Carre Spillway, and from the Lake Pontchartrain shore to the Barataria Basin. 

Campanella originally scheduled multiple days of field trips for his courses, which aim to develop students’ spatial awareness and understanding of how physical and historical geographies inform the modern-day built environment and its inhabitants. 

But the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those field trip plans – momentarily – after the university announced all classes would move online for safe social distancing for the rest of the spring semester.

“I immediately started thinking about how I could translate these field trips for a remote audience,” Campanella said. “Though it’s not the same as showing students New Orleans in person and I miss that interaction with them, the virtual experience has been a decent substitute, and I've gotten very positive responses from my students.”

Jackie Gouris, a senior in Environmental Studies and Political Science, wrote an email to Campanella expressing her thanks. 

"I was so devastated when I realized that among all this chaos we would be missing those field trips I had looked forward to so much," Gouris said. "It [video field trip] has made leaving the city I love so much a little bit easier."

Click below to watch a short video with some clips from Campanella’s field trips. Or watch on YouTube here.


 

 

 

Alumnus (A '85) featured in Dwell on the future of homes, post-COVID 19

Tulane School of Architecture alumnus and Advisory Board member Maziar Behrooz (A '85), architect and founder of mb architecture, recently shared his thoughts with Dwell magazine on how the COVID-19 pandemic will change our homes.

"We’re already seeing some short-term effects: people are now spending more time at home, and finally focusing on long-overdue improvements (bigger pantries, more defined work spaces, and adding/upgrading guest bedrooms). More generally, I see a very dramatic surge in interest in our prefab buildings, from all over the country (and in fact, the world, based on our web stats). And finally, there’s a surge of city residents who’ve moved out to the country and are looking for a permanent second home. My own sense of how this affects future home design is that the fundamentals of domestic life—centered around life at home versus perceptions of luxury—will prevail. And that would be a very good thing."

For the full feature in Dwell, click here. Photo: Amagansett Modular House by MB Architecture.

 

Small Center faculty publish in Journal of Architectural Education

Faculty at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design recently published the article "Public Interest Design, Pragmatism, and Potentials in a Postdiluvian City" in the Journal of Architectural Education. Below is an excerpt of the abstract.

Abstract: In this paper, we explore the roles and responsibilities of the architect and architectural education in addressing complex water issues. The scholarship highlights the importance of collaborative design efforts and small-scale interventions to address values, understanding, and function in the face of urban complexity and the effects of climate change in New Orleans. Design-build projects of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, serve as a vehicle to reflect on both the evolution of public interest design practice and definitions of pragmatism. Our intent is to underscore architecture's relevancy and the potentials of incremental action in responding to New Orleans's uncertain future.

To view the full article on JAE, click here. To view the full article on Taylor & Francis Online, click here.

Best of Architecture New Orleans 2020 names alumni, faculty among honorees

Alumni of Tulane School of Architecture were recently honored in the annual New Orleans "Best of Architecture" article, authored by Professor Emeritus John Klingman for New Orleans Magazine.

As Klingman writes: "Rarely have so many works of contemporary architecture come online in New Orleans in a single year as they did in 2019. The new airport terminal, the great enlargement of Historic New Orleans Collection gallery spaces, the new Children’s Museum and the Pavilion in the greatly expanded New Oreans Museum of Art Besthoff Sculpture Garden are all projects that  significantly enhance the community. They are, coupled with several others of note, with a variety of uses, that also extend our tradition of architectural excellence." 

Below is a list of alumni and affiliates who are named in the 2020 New Orleans "Best of Architecture":

  • Framework
  • Cordula Roser Gray (design for the Claret bar and restaurant within Framework), Faculty

Stock Residence

  • Byron Mouton, Faculty and A '89
  • Daniel McDonald, A '16

Louisiana Children's Museum

  • Mac Ball, Former Board Member
  • Charles Sterkx, A '88
  • David Demsey, A '07
  • Dennis Horchoff, E '75

Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibition Center

  • Brian Swanner, A '92
  • Mac Ball, Former Board Member
  • Charles Sterkx, A '88
  • Dennis Horchoff, E '75
  • Jerry Blanchard, A '06
  • Kate Bertheaud, A '11
  • Emily Hayden Palumbo, A '16
  • Steve Scollo, A '97

St. Michael Special School Chapel

  • Robert Boyd, A '91

Sculpture Pavilion, Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art

  • Sara Harper, A '17

Next to Next to Nothing

  • Elliott Perkins, A '00

‘Bead Three’ installation catches throws, Carnival spirit

All Tulanians knew the Bead Tree well: The tradition of throwing Carnival beads into the branches each year created a living sculpture that brought cheer to all who looked upon it. Sadly, the beloved Bead Tree was removed from Tulane’s uptown campus in May 2019 due to extensive termite and lightning damage that left it vulnerable to falling. Since that time, plans have been in the works to honor the tradition of the Bead Tree. 

Just in time for Mardi Gras, the tradition has been renewed with the “planting” of the Bead Three. The first of three 21-foot-tall steel and acrylic “trees” was installed near the spot where the Bead Tree once stood. The Bead Three was designed by Tulane School of Architecture professor Irene Keil and her husband, local artist David Gregor, as a way to memorialize the Bead Tree.

“This is an alternative. It doesn’t look like an actual tree, but it’s a symbol that functions to catch beads and doesn’t cause any damage. It will be a new tradition,” said Keil.

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, President Mike Fitts initiated that new tradition when he joined student leaders and staff for a ceremonial first beading.

“This is an incredible symbol for the university, symbolizing the joy of New Orleans and the joy of Tulane,” said President Fitts.

The trees are fabricated from 6-inch-diameter weathered black iron pipe, with steel branches attached to the trunks, which will allow for the catchment of beads. A series of clear plexiglass rods runs through the pipe trunk and emanates light in the evening hours. Keil and Gregor were assisted in the construction by Tulane's Facilities Services and are particularly grateful to Demian Weidenhaft for welding the structure.

Two more trees will be installed in the coming weeks to complete the tree sculpture. The Bead Three will form a shape that mimics the outline of the original Bead Tree canopy. As visitors and the Tulane community add their contributions, Bead Three will be dynamic and ever changing, truly capturing the spirit of Tulane. 

This story was originally published by Tulane News.

Dean Iñaki Alday in ArchDaily on the Climate Crisis

Global architecture platform ArchDaily published an interview with Iñaki Alday about innovations in cities related to the climate emergency, with questions that approach the urgency of research and how universities should prepare students to face the global challenge.

Below is an excerpt from the interview with Fabián Dejtiar, Managing Editor for ArchDaily en Español. For the full story, click here.

Fabián Dejtiar: As dean of the School of Architecture of Tulane (New Orleans) and promoter of research on sustainable development and climate change, we would like first of all to ask for your thoughts on "sustainable development" and "climate change"?

Iñaki Alday: “Sustainable development” has become an almost commercial standard, so it is better to go to the essence of the matter: how are we going to continue inhabiting this planet. This is not a rhetorical issue. Without a radical change, we have the days counted, all or a large percentage of human beings. This dilemma puts our grandchildren at risk: Will they be able to breathe the air of our cities? Will they have water to drink?

In India, United Nations forecasts indicate that in 2030 the demand for water will be double the amount of water available. Meanwhile, New Orleans sinks below sea level; one of the oldest and most interesting cities in North America and its delta is in the process of disappearing. Will future generations be able to inhabit or at least visit the city, or will they only know it through photos and stories, as has already happened with the lost continents of ancient narratives?

"Climate change" is what we read every day in the newspapers: practically every year we beat historical records in catastrophic floods, hurricanes or tsunamis. In some of our parks in Spain, in the Ebro river, we have already suffered a flood that has meant 500 years of return period, two 25-year floods and several 10-year floods, all in just a decade. This can be extrapolated to any river on the planet and to any weather phenomenon.

With this defined future, how do we adapt the built environment? Or, rather, how do we modify it radically? What is clear is that we need to adapt to floods and storms, increasingly frequent and larger, getting the city and its public space to flood without causing a catastrophe and maintaining urban vegetation. We must also propose solutions to collect, store and reuse rainwater in many parts of the world. These are just some examples of how architecture has to respond urgently to this crisis.

(Photo credit: © Randhir Singh. Yamuna River, in New Delhi, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Iñaki Alday is co-director of the Yamuna River Project on urban ecology, which aims to recover the river and improve the lives of millions of people living in New Delhi.)

New Orleans Book Fest include Tulane Architecture faculty

The 2020 New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, a new major literary event for the Crescent City, will take place March 19-21 and will showcase nearly 100 national, regional and local authors. The festival also features children’s and family programming sponsored by the Scholastic Corporation and includes numerous literary exhibitors. 

The Tulane School of Architecture has multiple faculty - including Richard Campanella, Margarita Jover, Carol McMichael Reese, and Dean Iñaki Alday - as authors selected for the three-day event. The festival also features numerous best-selling authors, such as Donna L. Brazile, Mika Brzezinski, Malcolm Gladwell, John Grisham, and former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Festival organizers are expecting more than 30,000 attendees. All events will take place on Tulane’s uptown campus, including the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, McAlister Auditorium, Freeman Auditorium, Rogers Memorial Chapel and the Berger Family Lawn.

To see the full lineup of authors and events, visit ​www.bookfest.tulane.edu and follow the latest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NolaBookFest.

Students selected for AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit

A project by four Tulane School of Architecture students is featured in the recent 2019 Emerging Professionals Exhibit by AIA. The theme for this year’s AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit is “Designing for Equity," and it's based on the Guides for Equitable Practice and the AIA value “We believe in the power of design." The 15 digitally exhibited projects are a representation of best practices for a more just and equitable profession.

The Tulane project team includes students and alumni from the Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program Keristen Edwards, Lina Alfieri Stern, Muhanad Alfardan, and Veronika Suarez. Their proposed project, Hotel Inspire, is an accommodation for travelers centering the experiences and needs of people experiencing disabilities.

The vision for this hotel project was inspired by the experiences and vision of all avid travelers, no matter their physical circumstances. Every hotel operation is unique but one aspect shared by all hotels - if they are to operate profitably - is to retain the loyalty of existing satisfied customers and to attract new ones. If this is true, there is a market of 26 million people traveling with disabilities in the U.S. every year that like any other traveler, would simply wish traveling to be accessible and memorable. Not all hotel guests are the same or have the same abilities, at Hotel Inspire, upon arrival to the in-room experience the guest is given ownership to accommodate their environment according to their needs and preferences while also providing the expected practicalities. Guest rooms offer ample space to move freely, shower and sleep safely and feel luxurious and comforted no matter their support needs. The highlight feature of this hotel is the ramp, no longer should guests fear to wait at the top of the stair in the event of an emergency. Hotel Inspire is a place where there are no barriers but more options for enjoyment, safety, and comfort.

For more images of this project and more information about the 2019 AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit, click here.

Faculty assists city to create 'Child-Friendly New Orleans' plan

NEW ORLEANS — The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families (OYF) presented the “Goals for a Child-Friendly New Orleans” at the Neighborhood Summit on Saturday, Nov. 9. For the past nine months OYF has been working closely with global design and engineering firm, Arup, PlayBuild and Tulane University School of Architecture on a vision for a child-friendly New Orleans that was generated through a collaborative workshop with New Orleans youth leadership, community representatives, and a range of city agencies and organizations in July.

Casius Pealer, Director of Tulane’s Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development, said, “Over 20 percent of New Orleans residents are under 18 years old, meaning that none of them have a formal vote in our political decisions and planning processes — yet we need those residents to love and enjoy New Orleans as much as the other 80 percent of us do. From a real estate development perspective, Mayor Cantrell’s commitment to a child-friendly New Orleans means that our City is ripe for major long term physical investment, emotional investment, and yes financial investment.”

Children stand to be disproportionately impacted by the decisions made today regarding climate change, transportation, safety, economic opportunity, and public health. However, urban planning has not traditionally prioritized children’s needs. A child-friendly design effort in New Orleans would respond to the needs of the youth, who represent over 25 percent of the city’s population.

The “Goals for a Child-friendly New Orleans” publication includes a comprehensive set of recommendations across four themes: safety, nature and sustainability, health and well-being, and stronger communities. Building upon existing city and non-profit initiatives that are currently underway, “Goals for a Child-Friendly New Orleans” offers a framework for all stakeholders to streamline efforts around a common vision.

“When we design a New Orleans that truly puts children’s interests first, we create a New Orleans that shows love to all her people,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

The project seeks to mobilize city leadership to think beyond playgrounds when it comes to urban design. The “Goals for a Child-Friendly New Orleans” publication highlights opportunities to design and build a network of places and spaces for children that are sensitive to their physical development and everyday needs.

To read more about the Neighborhood Summit, click here.

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.

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