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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.

New design major launches

A new major for design launched on Oct. 23 at Tulane School of Architecture. The Bachelor of Arts in Design (BADes) will introduce students to design as a language as well an exploration of solutions-based design processes. The major will provide Tulane University undergraduate students with a broad design education inclusive of multiple modes of practice and an understanding of the fundamental linkages between design, society, and culture.

"The BADes will examine principles of the discipline that engage people, history, and environments through performative technologies, and project realization at multiple scales," said Marianne Desmarais, Director of Undergraduate Architecture. "It serves as an entry point to various allied career paths such as graphic design, architecture, product design, interior design, and time-based design."

New faculty member, Lesley-Ann Noel, led an engaging design challenge as part of the BADes launch event on Oct. 23.

Eligibility to declare the major starts Fall 2020, but courses can be taken now.

Sri Lanka and World Bank visit Tulane for water expertise

Tulane School of Architecture recently hosted a dozen officials from the Sri Lankan government and the World Bank. The two-day visit, Oct. 21-22, showcased regional infrastructure and Tulane's expertise in framing and conceptualizing water management projects. The visit included two tours covering more than 100 miles and included stops at drainage pumps stations, surge barriers, and closures, as well as discussions with New Orleans city officials and Tulane water experts.

Click here to view pictures from the visit on our Flickr photo album.

Architecture faculty selected as authors for 2020 NOLA Book Fest

Faculty at the Tulane School of Architecture - including Richard Campanella, Margarita Jover, Carol McMichael Reese, and Dean Iñaki Alday - have been selected as authors for the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University.

The 2020 New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, a new major literary event for the Crescent City, will take place March 19-21, with a lineup featuring best-selling authors including Jason Berry, Roy Blount Jr., Donna L. Brazile, David Brooks, Sarah M. Broom, Mika Brzezinski, Jean Case, Steve Case, Dave Eggers, Malcolm Gladwell, Eddie Glaude, Annette Gordon-Reed, John Grisham, Mitch Landrieu, Erik Larson, Michael Lewis, Eric Motley, Peter S. Onuf, Samantha Power, Sister Helen Prejean, Susan Rice, Joe Scarborough, Alon Shaya, Anne Snyder, Evan Thomas, Sean Tuohy, Kim Vaz-Deville and Darren Walker.

The three-day event will showcase nearly 100 national, regional and local authors; feature children’s and family programming sponsored by the Scholastic Corporation; and include numerous literary exhibitors. 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.

At a Nov. 16 press conference announcing the event, Tulane President Mike Fitts said the university has a “rich, renowned and vibrant literacy history.”

“It is Tulane’s great honor to host a festival that brings together the world’s leading authors, book lovers of all genres and the children of our community,” President Fitts said. “Events like this make our campus and the Tulane experience available to everyone, especially the young minds and aspiring writers of New Orleans.”

“Expanding literacy, the love of the written word, and the ability to express and articulate humanity’s most sublime thoughts and discoveries and aspirations, that’s the central role of higher education; that’s what we’re about at Tulane University,” he said.

The festival will spotlight eight tracks, including American Society, Health and Science, Food, New Orleans Culture, Sports, Children, Fiction and World War II in partnership with The National WWII Museum. There will be panel discussions, moderated conversations, keynote lectures, book fairs and workshops. Each day will include at least one major plenary session at which a leading author will be featured. It will also provide a forum for media outlets, authors and readers to network and collaborate in one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the world.

Family Day at the Festival on Saturday, March 21, will focus on literacy advancement and feature readings and special literacy-themed activities for New Orleans children and their families. Family Day is a joint partnership with the city of New Orleans’ Office of Youth and Families and Scholastic.

“This will be an opportunity for youth-serving organizations, our libraries, our recreation centers, and other nonprofits throughout the community to come here on campus and to have a day filled with family fun. But we hope that it will not just be the one day, but really extend out into our families’ experiences beyond the weekend, because there really is so much in our city to be enjoyed, and our mayor is committed to ensuring that all families have access to that,” Emily Wolff, director of the Office of Youth and Families, said.

Wolff said the event is an opportunity to also raise awareness about the city’s high rate of adult illiteracy and provide more resources to support that issue.

The festival will engage with teachers and school organizations, as well as literacy, child advocacy and city partners, to encourage attendance and participation in the festival. In addition, thousands of books will be distributed to local schools before the festival, as well as to many of the children attending the event. Prior to the event, Scholastic will announce the children’s authors that will participate at the festival.

The festival co-chairs are former New Orleans first lady Cheryl Landrieu and Tulane University Professor of History and best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson. Landrieu is the founder of the New Orleans Book Festival and has a long history of supporting strategic community initiatives in New Orleans, most recently focused on literacy and advocacy for the advancement of women and girls.

Isaacson is the past CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow, the former chairman of CNN and the former editor of TIME magazine. He is currently an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City.

“The New Orleans Book Festival began in 2010 as a free literary event for families in New Orleans,” said Landrieu. “We are excited to expand in partnership with Tulane University to create a weekend of events featuring prominent national and local writers and journalists. The city of New Orleans has a strong literary history, and this festival seeks to continue and grow the literary community in our area. The partnership with Tulane will also generate participation of a great number of talented writers from the Tulane community as well as interest from Tulane students. The New Orleans Book Festival will offer something to readers of all ages and backgrounds and will provide an opportunity for all members of our community to come together over a shared love of reading.”

Landrieu said she remembered being nervous about the first book festival, hosted at Milton Latter Memorial Library, but when she arrived, she saw the long line of children waiting.

“Just to see the excitement in their eyes that day made me realize that this is something that could continue.”

“As an author, I noticed that so many cities around the country have major book festivals,” Isaacson said. “I love all the festivals in New Orleans, but it seemed to me that somewhere in the cultural calendar between food and wine and jazz, it would be fun to do a major literary and ideas festival. The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University has a tremendous lineup for our first year, including some of the country’s most notable authors from a vast array of genres and disciplines. Our expectation is to bring leading authors from around the country, the city and campus, and make this one of the nation’s premier literary events. We hope to attract and captivate book enthusiasts from all over, especially in New Orleans, for a three-day celebration of literacy and culture.”
 

The full list of confirmed authors who will present during the festival includes Iñaki Alday, Jason Berry, Roy Blount Jr., Beau Boudreaux, Donna L. Brazile, David Brooks, Sarah M. Broom, Jill Conner Browne, Mika Brzezinski, Richard Campanella, Jean Case, Steve Case, Dave Eggers, Emma Fick, Malcolm Gladwell, Eddie Glaude, Annette Gordon-Reed, Richard Grant, Roberta Brandes Gratz, John Grisham, Yuri Herrera, Margarita Jover, Molly Kimball, Mitch Landrieu, Erik Larson, Nancy Lemann, Nick Lemann, Michael Lewis, Eric Motley, Peter S. Onuf, Tom Piazza, Lawrence N. Powell, Samantha Power, Sister Helen Prejean, Carol McMichael Reese, Susan Rice, Joe Scarborough, Alon Shaya, Anne Snyder, Michael Strecker, Evan Thomas, Sean Tuohy, Sheba Turk, Mark VanLandingham, Kim Vaz-Deville, Darren Walker, Henry Walther and Chris Yandle.

In addition to contemporary authors such as Tulane Professor of English Jesmyn Ward, a two-time National Book Award winner, New Orleans boasts a long list of authors with strong ties to the city. From William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and Anne Rice to Tulane alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, many authors have found their creativity and brilliance in the Crescent City.

Tulane’s own faculty have penned best-selling novels, histories and biographies and works on subjects ranging from ancient civilizations to the geography of New Orleans and the history of jazz.

Additional authors for the book festival will be announced in the coming months.

Click here to see photos from the event. For more information on the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, please visit ​www.bookfest.Tulane.edu and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NolaBookFest.

School of Architecture geographer and author wins Louisiana Writer Award

Tulane University geography professor Richard Campanella, author of 11 books on the geography, history, architecture and culture of Louisiana, is the recipient of the 2019 Louisiana Writer Award. The award is presented annually by the Louisiana Center for the Book of the State Library of Louisiana.

Campanella will receive the award Nov. 2 at the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol in recognition of his outstanding contribution to documenting Louisiana’s history, culture and people.

“The historical geography of New Orleans and Louisiana is really the story of millions of people creating cityscapes and landscapes over hundreds of years,” said Campanella, a senior professor of practice in the Tulane School of Architecture. “I am humbled by the task of trying to understand all this complex place-making, and I feel deeply honored to be recognized by the state for the effort.”

Campanella’s works includes “Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans,” described by the New York Review of Books as the “single best history of the city…masterful.” He is also the author of “Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics Before the Storm” (University of Louisiana Press, 2006), which came out just after Hurricane Katrina. That book also won rave reviews, with The Times-Picayune calling it “a powerful (and) dazzling book, unparalleled in its scope, precision, clarity and detail.”

His book “Bourbon Street: A History,” was declared by the New York Review of Books as “absorbing...persuasive…gleefully subversive. There may be no one better qualified to write such a history than Campanella.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Campanella is the only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award. He has also won the Louisiana Literary Award, the Williams Prize, the Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Public Scholarship and the Tulane Honors Professor of the Year. In 2016, the Government of France named Campanella as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Campanella lives with his wife Marina and their son Jason in uptown New Orleans. His next book, “The West Bank of Greater New Orleans: A Historical Geography,” will be released by Louisiana State University Press in 2020.

To read the full story from Tulane University, click here.

Professor Lin selected as one of three for Tulane Duren Professorship

Architecture Professor Tiffany Lin, AIA, has been selected as one of three faculty for the annual William L. Duren Jr. Professorship Program at Tulane University.

In fall 2018, Professor Lin created the inaugural Intro to Design and Creative Thinking course for non-architecture majors who are interested in design. The course, a lecture/studio hybrid, will continue to offer a broad introduction to the fundamental principles of design, visual communication, and creative problem-solving. Duren funds will allow for expanded, hands-on enrichment activities, including design workshops, field trips, and guest lectures featuring local artists, designers, and professors from allied departments.

The objective of the William L. Duren Jr. ‘26 Professorship Program is to support faculty activities that enrich the scope of undergraduate education in Newcomb-Tulane College. The program facilitates intellectually rewarding interactions between faculty and students, both in and out of the classroom.

Duren Professors are selected from the faculty on the basis of their commitment to undergraduate teaching and their innovative proposals. While the Duren Program allows professors the freedom and resources to explore their personal research interests in greater depth, it is primarily concerned with providing the maximum educational benefit for the students.

Duren Professors also serve on the Newcomb-Tulane College Grant Committee and participate in student engagement activities run by the College.

For more information, visit the Duren Professorship webpage.

Small Center selects annual design-build & visioning projects

Over the coming school year, Tulane architecture students and faculty will partner to design and build a recreation space for children and mothers experiencing homelessness, as well as a visioning plan for a community and office space for those working in criminal justice reform.

The two projects are part of an annual program focused on providing design services to Orleans Parish-based nonprofits and is led by the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design (Small Center) at the Tulane School of Architecture.

"Our students need to understand that they have the ability to affect change to complex systems through design in incremental ways,” said Emilie Taylor Welty, professor of practice at Tulane School of Architecture and design-build manager at Small Center. “With the current state of our criminal justice system and challenges of supporting people experiencing homelessness, our aspiration is to engage students through these projects to further the conversation on these subjects.”

Nonprofits selected for the 2019-2020 academic year are Hotel Hope and Resurrection After Exoneration. Along with a jury of design professionals, past partners, and funders, Small Center facilitated an intensive review of 20 applications this past spring from nonprofits that work in a variety of sectors, such as education, labor equity, environmental conservation, and youth empowerment.

For the Fall 2019 Design-Build project, Small Center will partner with Hotel Hope on "A Play Haven for Hotel Hope," a shaded recreation space for children to play near their mothers during their time of stay. This space will encourage children to enjoy and express themselves while assisting in enhancing a sense of comfort as families transition out of homelessness.

Hotel Hope is a nonprofit, interfaith organization that provides housing to women and their children while guiding them to self-sufficiency and self-empowerment through intensive case management in a safe and loving atmosphere. In 2017, Hotel Hope launched its emergency shelter service model and, to date, has served 74 mothers and 162 children, who were once living in their car, on the street, or in uninhabitable conditions. Of the women who have successfully completed the program, 100% are in housing today.

“We are so excited to partner with Tulane architecture students and faculty as they design a play haven for the children staying at the hotel,” said Sister Mary Lou Specha, PBVM, Executive Director. “The dream of turning a former parking lot into play space is something we desired since purchasing the property last August. I know the play space will be the first thing the children want to run to as they come and stay at Hotel Hope after experiencing homelessness."

For the 2019-2020 Visioning project, Small Center will work with Resurrection After Exoneration on "The RAE House." The RAE House Visioning Project will be a redesign of the current Resurrection After Exoneration building. to include more useful programming space, community gathering space, and office space for service providers – such as GED services, educational programming, counselors, attorneys, caseworkers, and other small nonprofits that do criminal justice reform.

"I'm very excited about the future process and to be a Small Center community partner,” said Lavern Thompson, Executive Director of Resurrection After Exoneration. “Resurrection After Exoneration's mission has always been to help those in need and with this project, we will gain momentum to get us the operating capacity needed to continue our mission and keep my late husband's legacy alive.

Thompson said she has always wanted to continue what her late husband, John “JT” Thompson, started as the nonprofit’s executive director.

“This organization started with JT's desire to help people returning home from prison transition back into society with a skill set and support system,” Thompson said. “A support system for those returning home from prison is desperately needed in the city of New Orleans, and we at Resurrection After Exoneration want to make sure we are prepared to answer the call." 

The current Resurrection After Exoneration building has tremendous potential for modeling best practices in one-stop reentry services, as well as being able to provide community, safety and support for exonerated men and women upon their release. Small Center will collaborate with RAE to create a design reflective of these aspirations.

Resurrection After Exoneration (RAE) was founded in 2007 by exonerees to promote and sustain a network of support among formerly wrongfully incarcerated individuals in the South. RAE works to reconnect exonerees to their communities and provide access to those opportunities of which they were robbed.

Alumnus firm designs 500th Habitat Home in New Orleans

Since 2001 Bell Architecture of New Orleans has partnered with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) to provide decent, safe and affordable homes for hard-working, low-income families. Bell has created 15 different designs and donated the drawings for 500 new homes, including those in the now iconic Musicians’ Village. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Spring 2019 magazine ranked Musician’s Village 3rd in its list of the 40 most important, most interesting, and quirkiest American places less than 40 years old. Bell Architecture and NOAHH celebrate the 500th home born of their collaboration at the dedication of the home at 6170 S. Hermes Street in New Orleans on Thursday, August 15 at 11:30 AM.

“Not only has Bell Architecture’s contribution been critical to our success, but their designs have been the inspiration for the designs of several other Habitat affiliates,” says Jim Pate, Former Executive Director of NOAHH.

"NOAHH’s work truly transforms lives, and we are humbled to help them fulfill their mission,” says Michael J. Bell, FAIA (A '83).

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