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"Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect" draws alumni for day of conversation

Professor John Klingman speaks at "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect"

Photo: Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman presents during "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect. Photo by Philip A. Alperson.

Preparing future architects to design spaces that are compelling and community centered was a focus of conversation at "Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect," a symposium held at the Tulane School of Architecture on April 7.

Hosted by Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman, the event brought together more than 150 alumni, faculty, students and friends to discuss the evolution and future of architectural education at Tulane and beyond.

Alumni, traveling from as far as Shanghai, shared ways their education succeeded and was less relevant in the real world during two open forums. Klingman structured the event to be alumni-focused, drawing generations of graduates back to their alma mater.

During the keynote speech, Klingman stressed that for the sometimes-insular architecture profession to remain viable, architects must find ways to engage with the public.

“It is just as important for us to be outside the building as it is for us to be inside the building,” said Klingman. “Even though a project can be architecturally significant, if it doesn’t have a living program and people are not actively using it, it’s just not good.”

“The practice of architecture fundamentally changes every few years,” said Dan Maginn, a 1989 architecture graduate from Kansas City, Missouri, who spoke during a forum. “Regular dialogue between practitioners, faculty and students encourages an awareness of this ever changing dynamic, and energizes the experience of practicing, teaching and learning about architecture.”

Special guests including former Tulane School of Architecture faculty members Ben Ledbetter and Mark Shapiro, former dean Donna Robertson, FAIA and Deborah Gans, FAIA, a Pratt Institute professor and a longtime friend of the school, stimulated the discussion with insight from successful careers in education and practice.

"Talk About Architecture" marked Professor Klingman’s retirement at the end of this academic year. Many alumni attended to celebrate and share stories of his impact over 35 years of teaching and mentorship.

Members of the graduating classes of 1986 and 1987 used the event as a reunion opportunity to reconnect while honoring Klingman. “As a thesis advisor, John Klingman influenced the individual thinking of hundreds of students and also created an open, engaged conversation that continues to tie us together years after our time at Tulane,” said Elizabeth Martin (A ’86).

View photos from the symposium here.

Studio founded by Tulane alumni celebrates 20th anniversary

Todd Erlandson and Sherry Hoffman

Photo: LJ Roxas

March Studio, founded by Tulane graduates Todd Erlandson (A ’87) and Sherry Hoffman (NC ’84), is celebrating 20 years of telling brand stories through architecture.

The husband and wife team formed the California-based studio in 1998, combining the principles of design and marketing to create “branded architecture with purpose.” Their process is grounded in listening and collaboration with the client to create environments that authentically reflect and meet the needs of an organization.

In addition to finding success in the design field with clients like HBO Films and Vice Media, Erlandson and Hoffman have remained active in the academic community. The pair served as visiting faculty at the Tulane University School of Architecture from 2004-05 and regularly return to the school to participate in design reviews. Hoffman is also currently a faculty member at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Erlandson sited their time teaching at Tulane as a highlight from the past 20 years in recent blog post. “It was a significant moment when we were asked to teach at Tulane University as visiting faculty for a year in 2004. It helped us refine our thinking about branded architecture through seminars and design studios. It also clarified the role of teaching within our office, which keeps us rigorous in pushing ourselves, finding the cutting edge and participating in innovative discussions happening in the academic world, then testing them in our practice.”

Learn more about March Studio here.

Professor John Klingman’s annual “Best New Architecture” list

House by Studio WTA

Photo: Jeffery Johnston

Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman’s annual round up of New Orleans’ best new architecture projects was featured in the March issue of New Orleans Magazine.

Read the article here.

Congratulations to the Tulane School of Architecture alumni who contributed to the highlighted projects:

  • Jose Alvarez (A ‘97)
  • Robert Baddour (A ‘10)
  • Robert Boyd (A ‘91)
  • Ray Croft (A ‘14)
  • David Demsey (A ‘07)
  • Cynthia Dubberley (A ‘97)
  • Trenton Gauthier (A ‘14)
  • Lauren Hickman (A ‘06)
  • Patrick Horigan (A ‘05)
  • Ross Karsen (A ‘06)
  • Alissa Kingsley (A ‘11)
  • Emile Lejeune (A ‘13)
  • Noah Marble (A '05)
  • Daniel McDonald (A ‘13)
  • Byron Mouton (A ‘89)
  • Jessica O’Dell (A *14)
  • Steve Ritten (A ‘07)
  • Alex Sirko (A ‘94)
  • Wayne Troyer (A ‘83)
  • Seth Welty (A ‘08)

Tulane School of Architecture alumni and faculty elevated to American Institute of Architects College of Fellows

Four Tulane School of Architecture alumni and two faculty members are among the 152 American Institute of Architects members elevated to the organization's prestigious College of Fellows for 2018.

Fellowship is awarded to architects who have made significant contributions to the profession and society on a national level. The distinction is competitive, with only three percent of the AIA’s more than 91,000 members currently recognized as fellows.

Tulane School of Architecture community members in the 2018 cohort include:

  • Christopher Cooper FAIA (A '91)
  • J.R. Coleman Davis-Pagan FAIA (A ’75)
  • Clemens Schaub FAIA (A '76)
  • Wayne Troyer FAIA (A '83)
  • Lee Ledbetter FAIA, adjunct lecturer
  • Z. Smith FAIA, adjunct assistant professor
  • Donald Gatzke FAIA, former dean

For more information on the College of Fellows and to view a complete list of honorees, click here.

Alumna awarded national prize for ‘creative promise’

Photo: © The Vilcek Foundation

Jing Liu (A ’04) was selected as a winner of the 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Architecture for her innovative interdisciplinary work and new approaches to urban housing. The prize is awarded by the Vilcek Foundation to immigrants who demonstrate “outstanding achievement during the early stages of their careers.”

Liu founded New York-based architecture and design firm SO-IL with partner Florian Idenburg in 2008. SO-IL is internationally recognized for exceptional creative work across the globe.

Liu also teaches architecture at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Read more on her work here.

Danielle Del Sol named director of Preservation Resource Center

Following a six-month national search, the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans has selected Danielle Del Sol to lead the historic preservation and economic development organization.

Del Sol is an alumna of the Tulane School of Architecture Master of Preservation Studies program and currently teaches as an adjunct lecturer.

Before her selection, Del Sol was editor of the PRC’s acclaimed and award-winning Preservation in Print magazine. She joined the publication as an intern in 2010 while pursuing her master’s degree at Tulane School of Architecture.

She assumes her new duties now as only the fourth executive director in the nonprofit’s 44-year history, succeeding Patricia Gay, who retired last summer after nearly four decades leading the organization.

PRC Board President Graham M. Ralston said the PRC’s reputation attracted the interest of many strong candidates nationally, but “Del Sol’s ‘vision and passion’ for both the PRC and New Orleans were ultimately key deciding factors in her selection.”

Del Sol said she recognizes that her new duties begin at an auspicious time. “As we celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary, we have the opportunity to explain the changing roles in which historic preservation will help address vital community needs such as affordable housing, quality of life and disaster resilience – and we will work hard to encourage and sponsor dialogue amongst diverse groups of the city’s residents.

“Preservation offers distinctive approaches to these problems that can help our city leaders find the best, most well-rounded and holistic answers,” said Del Sol. “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead PRC at this milestone juncture in the city’s history.”

Alumnus' photo featured on U.S. Postal Service Forever® stamp

Photo provided by Alan Karchmer.

The artwork for a commemorative Forever® stamp from the U.S. Postal Service is based on photograph by architectural photographer and Tulane School of Architecture graduate Alan Karchmer (A ‘78).

The stamp recognizes the important role of African American history with a tribute to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

“Black history is inseparable from American history, and the black experience represents a profound and unique strand of the American story,” reads a statement from the Postal Service. “This stamp issuance recognizes the richness of that experience by celebrating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.”

The photo selected for the stamp depicts the northwest corner of the museum’s three-tiered exterior. Commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to document the project, Karchmer is well acquainted with the building’s unique angles, textures and light.

“The quality of light in the photograph – at dusk with the glow emanating from within the building – presents the building in a poetic way,” said Karchmer. “[The photo selected] needed to be an iconic image that represented the building in a simple way and would resonate at such a small scale.”

An internationally published and exhibited photographer, Karchmer discovered his career path while pursuing a master’s degree in architecture at Tulane.

“Photography came naturally to me, and design was a more of a struggle,” said Karchmer. “I realized that architectural photography could be a career that I would be better suited for.”

Karchmer uses his architectural education to read buildings and tell their story through photographs that capture the architect’s vision.

Later this month, Karchmer will be at his alma mater to co-present with Zena Howard, AIA, managing director of Perkins+Will North Carolina practice and senior project manager for the NMAAHC. Paired up by Dean Kenneth Schwartz, the duo will use the NMAAHC as a case study to examine how photography serves the practice and study of architecture.

Karchmer will also lead an all-day workshop for Tulane School of Architecture students providing an overview of the practice and workflow of architectural photography, including technical, business and creative considerations.

For more information on the Jan. 29 lecture, click here. To learn more and register for the architecture photography workshop, click here.

Professor of Practice Marianne Desmarais opens new exhibit, samples + patches

The latest exhibition from Tulane University School of Architecture Professor of Practice Marianne Desmarais (A '95), samples + patches, reveals balance is a state between equal and opposing forces. The collection of wall sculptures opens Jan. 11 at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

Techniques from architectural practice are applied in composite textiles made of linen and wood that attempt to alter space through the manipulation of form, optics and surface. Utilizing manual and digital modes of production, resistance and collapse are explored as themes of structural response. Her work moves off the surface of the gallery walls to approach the viewer physically, to push and pull space.

Where one material is rigid, the other is soft. In combination, these qualities result in emergent forms and fluid composition. Desmarais continually pairs these contrasts to express the stillness present when tension is produced by gravity and resisted or encouraged by inscribed hinge points.

samples + patches is open from Jan. 11-April 1, with an opening event on Jan. 11 from 6-9 p.m.

Janice Barnes (A '95) responds to Metropolis article on resiliency

Janice Barnes, global resiliency director at Perkins+Will and Tulane School of Architecture alumna, recently authored a response to the Metropolis Magazine article “'Resiliency' Has Lost Its Meaning: Why We Need a More Radical Approach.”

“Resilience is truly the greatest design challenge that we have ever faced and addressing it will take lifetimes and thousands of designers,” Barnes writes. “Let’s focus our messages on how we can do more together.” Read the piece, “Metropolis Article on Resiliency is ‘a Polemic and Counter to Collective Experience in Practice,’” here.

Alumnus to serve on national AIA advisory group

Photo: Lake Flato

Corey Squire (A ’12) was selected to serve on the AIA Committee on the Environment Advisory Group. During his three-year term, Squire will work with the group of AIA members on advocacy and research. Learn more.