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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.

 

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.

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.

Tulane hosts national architecture education conference

The Tulane School of Architecture recently served as the host for 2019's Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Administrators Conference, titled "UNCERTAINTY." Featuring keynote speakers such as Yale climate scientist Karen Seto, former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, and Tulane Architecture visiting faculty Pankaj Vir Gupta, the three-day event addressed the increasing uncertainty brought by climate change and how the field of architecture is navigating this.

Below are excerpts from the keynotes:

Pankaj Vir Gupta: Welcome Keynote, Thursday Nov. 7

“These are fractured times in which much of what passes for architecture, exhibits at best, uncertain principles and dubious conceptual origin. Despite an urgent and rapidly accelerating urbanity, the fissures in contemporary Indian professional practice, expose limitations of historical oblivion, imperfect ethics, and insensitivity for social and environmental inequity. The results are physically manifest in our broken cities.”

“For vir.mueller architects, the act of architecture is also an act of resistance, a refusal to cater to the accepted praxis of design and construction as perceived across the vast landscape of India today. The idea of citizen architects, who make themselves visible to the public as an educated and informed voice of design-related issues, remains critical to our identity as an architectural design studio.”

“It is an essential element of active citizenship: the process of negotiating the rights and resources one is due in a given political society. By limiting the “Capacity to Aspire”, impoverished urban enclaves erode the basic tenets of democratic society.”

“Schools of Architecture are uniquely poised to lead multi-disciplinary research collaborators to address urban issues of water, infrastructure, health, sanitation, environment, and urban design. Situated in the service of a global community, the role of the School may be enlarged, imagined as one that would engender collaborations between teaching, research and governance.”

Mitch Landrieu: Evening Keynote, Friday Nov. 8

“There’s a very unique and distinct sense of place here in New Orleans. ...This is a deep, rich historic city.”

“When people are in trauma and when everything in their life is destroyed, the only thing they want is to put it back just like it was and hold on to the only thing that they know. ... After Katrina what the people of New Orleans wanted was desperately just to get back in their homes, to get back in their schools, to get back in their businesses, to go back to their churches, and act like nothing ever happened.”

“What the city did next is what I think is miraculous. ... I asked them [people of New Orleans] to join with me and not build the city back the way it was, to actually take a minute and stay in pain and agony. ... [I asked them] to do a gut check on whether or not the night before the storm the city was really as good as she was supposed to be.”

“When we think about climate change and the impact it’s going to have, you have to get ready for that and you have to build for that. ... One of the things we realized after Katrina, we weren’t really preparing ourselves for what was coming our way.”

“You [architects] are really the ones who have to work with elected officials and business leaders to start thinking about how you’re going to create and adapt your environment to what it is we know is coming our way.”

“You’re not building in isolation, you’re part of a much deeper organism. One piece of it affects every piece of it. ... And at the end of the day, it really has to be beautiful. Because beauty really does lift up communities. ... I hope you don’t see yourselves as just designers of one building.”

Karen Seto: Closing Keynote, Saturday Nov. 9

“Urban areas are major producers of CO2 emissions from energy use, which means that there’s quite a bit of opportunity for us to mitigate climate change through the built environment. ... If we look into the future, a significant amount of urban areas will need to be built going out to 2030. So if we were to aggregate all the new urban lands globally, it equals an area that is the combined area of France, Germany, Spain and Italy.”

“If we look at just the building sector, the building sector contributes to about a third of the final energy use in 2010. And the expectation is that emissions from the building sector are going to continue to increase anywhere from 50% to 100% going out to the middle of the century. We also found that deep retrofits can significantly reduce heating and cooling, but that these only occur in Europe or north America but most of the urban development is going to happen in Africa and also in Asia. And so one of the big questions is what kind of leap-frog technologies or policies can be implemented in these places that need these policies and technologies the most.”

“If we look at the emissions from buildings, the indirect emissions are greater than the direct emissions. The direct emission come the energy used in the building, so turning lights, heaters, computers. The indirect emissions come from all the energy that’s embodied in the materials to build the built environment, as well as to mine the materials to generate the energy. One of the things that we really need to focus on is not only the direct emissions, making buildings more efficient, but it’s also all the supply chain and downstream effects as well.”

“We cannot continue to think about mitigating climate change through the lens of individual sectors. In fact, we must take a cross-sectoral approach and that cities and the built environment are the natural place to do it. ... The buildings people, the transport people, the planning folks, and the scientists we all speak very different languages and we think about the solutions differently. So I think one of the big challenges from the education perspective is how do we train students, not just students but decision makers, to understand what the solutions maybe and what the constraints are. How do the folks in one sector actually interact and talk with people in another sector.”

“We’re adding 1.5 million people into urban areas every single week. We are converting an area equal to 20,000 American football fields into urban areas every single day and this is going to continue for the next 20 years. And urban areas are going to continue to use about 75 percent of the global energy. And so I think this presents a significant opportunity to better design, implement, plan, operate the built environment."

“We have a lot of the science to know how to build buildings efficiently and we have enough of the science to know how we should not design cities. So the question is I think both a science question and a practical one about limitations: How do we bring the science around buildings, transport, and land use together to design and shape the built environment so they are low-carbon? ... It’s not sufficient to have individual buildings that are low carbon. We need all activities to be low carbon. So it is the confluence of the building, the land use and the transport working together. To me that is the big challenge going forward.”

Faculty work selected for exhibition and publication by Association of German Architects Berlin

The BDA Berlin (Association of German Architects Berlin) has selected the urban design scenario “Reißverschluß” for Berlin-Hohenschönhausen by Irene Keil, a Senior Professor of Practice in Architecture at Tulane School of Architecture, and Jörg Pampe, ARGE Keil Pampe, to be included in an exhibition and the subsequent publication “BERLIN-ATLAS - Architektur als Kritik an dem, was da ist” (Berlin Atlas, architecture as a tool of criticism on the status quo). The exhibition was at the BDA gallery in Berlin from September 24 - October 24, 2019.

From the curators Andrew Alberts and Urs Füssler: "When architecture works within the context, it critiques the existing. It transforms, changes, integrates, re-conceptualizes, adds, amputates, juxtaposes, defamiliarizes, mis-interprets, elevates, exaggerates or refines, densifies and liberates. It offers an affirmative critique - by showing possibilities."

From the architects Irene Keil and Jörg Pampe: "The scenario “Reißverschluß” (zipper) is part of a series of proposals/scenarios for Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, a bedroom community of communist era housing slabs to the east of the city, established around the crossing station of several major infrastructure lines: commuter rail, regional rail, tram, and bus. In this underused zone lies the highest potential for connectivity and for the development of jobs, services, commerce and additional housing. The various scenarios explore and test the compatibility of new architectural figures with the existing buildings. The scenario “zipper” is based on the concept of interlocking - the spatial organization of the existing housing quarters and the new figure complement and complete each other; individual slab or object buildings become part of space defining edges or spatial terminations. New spaces are inserted into the vastness of the voids created by the configuration of 11-story housing slabs."

The curators were looking for representations of un-built projects for specific places in or around Berlin. The Berlin Atlas is an on-going project aiming to produce an alternative Stadtkarte (urban map) conceived by a multitude of authors and their ideas for the city. Preceding the atlas, a brochure with the selected proposals is being published yearly.

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.

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.

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