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Continue to check the TuSA COVID-19 FAQ page, and the Tulane Return to Campus website for updates.

Historic preservation alumnus awarded National Park Service fellowship

Tulane School of Architecture alumnus Christopher Cody (MPS '14) was recently awarded an inaugural fellowship from the National Park Service, in partnership with Preservation Maryland. The Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship will support Cody’s work to reform demolition-by-neglect practices across Arizona. Cody is one of three fellows to receive the new award, which aims to promote innovation and professional growth in the field of historic preservation.

Cody graduated with a Master’s of Preservation Studies in 2014 from Tulane School of Architecture and is now Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer in Phoenix, AZ. When he began his job in Arizona, Cody traveled the state extensively and heard from preservationists and community leaders nearly everywhere that demolition of historic structures due to neglect was their biggest challenge. 

“Having studied preservation in New Orleans and worked in Charleston, SC, both communities with very strong preservation ethics, I know how important saving historic buildings is to a community's sense of place and identity,” Cody said. “And I know that my project has the potential to help Arizona's cities and towns on many levels.”

Demolition by neglect occurs when historic structures are threatened by absent owners who do not provide necessary maintenance to keep the property stable, thus requiring demolition. Many of these structures are within historic downtown areas, and Cody plans to research legal barriers and develop model ordinances for use across the state of Arizona, as well as create a legislative advocacy plan if state laws require modification. Through his fellowship, Cody will also receive expert guidance from a mentor – Will Cook, an attorney with Cultural Heritage Partners LLP and a nationally recognized expert in historic preservation law concerning demolition-by-neglect ordinances.

Read more about the inaugural Harrison Goodall Preservation Fellowship by the National Park Service, in partnership with Preservation Maryland.
 

Architecture graduate student pens Places Journal essay on historic Murs à Pêches orchards

Tulane architecture graduate student Théa Spring recently completed the inaugural Places Journal Summer Writing + Editing Workshop. Spring was one of 26 students to participate in an immersive Zoom-based course taught by Places editors this summer and included lectures, group discussions, one-on-one coaching and peer-to-peer exchange. During the session and afterwards, students worked closely with the editors to hone their writing skills in the realm of rigorous and accessible public scholarship, and each produced a brief essay on the theme of “Architecture, Urbanism, Pandemics.”

Spring's essay, titled "Coloring the Murs á Pêches," explores the history of the Murs à Pêches, a once vast peach orchard in Montreuil, Paris, France. Beginning with its origins in 1916 to present day August 2020, the orchard has had significant cultural, economic, and spatial influences on the neighborhood and city, as well as efforts to restore the area. Spring also researched the history of Fruits Défendus Association, part of the Fédération MAP, a group of organizations that joined forces in 1994 to defend the Murs à Pêches from the encroachment of concrete. Today, 30 of the orchard's 300 hectares remain, with only eight-and-a-half hectares protected as horticultural landscape heritage.

"Some of the most fascinating parts of the workshop took place during discussions on the importance of public scholarship, particularly in the realm of architecture, landscape, and urbanism," Spring said. "In contrast and complement to academic writing, public scholarship such as the works published by Places Journal are always accessible to be read by anyone, regardless of their field and budget (its entire archive is free to explore). I find this to be a very important and pertinent standard in a discipline flooded with a rather limited vocabulary that is often disconnected to human experience. The quote in my article by the French writer Georges Perec is perhaps a wink to that: he has described spaces with few words in a way most graphics never could."

Spring said two elements drove her to write this piece: the reader could be anyone and there will only be a reader, or another potential individual to discuss with if the writing inspires it.

"I hope to continue clarifying my position through writing... at least until the day I manage to build something that speaks for itself (though realistically, such an event would probably require... more writing)," Spring said. 

Below is an excerpt from "Coloring the Murs á Pêches" by Théa Spring in Places Journal.

...

From above, long rectangular lots striate the landscape. Their origins date to the mid 17th century, when the use of walls as an agricultural tool was first developed.1 Their materials were available on site: rock, clay, and gypsum, more commonly known as plaster of Paris. Built up to an elevation of three meters, the longer edges of the lot were positioned north to south and spaced about twelve meters apart to receive maximum sun exposure. By shielding winds and stocking heat, the plots between these walls enjoyed a microclimate eight to ten degrees Celsius warmer than the surrounding area. First used to grow grapes, they soon welcomed an exotic fruit adored in royal courts and until then only cultivated in the south of France: "la pêche," the peach.

The land was productive, but also experimental. As Parisian demand for fruits and vegetables increased, a complex system was developed by the Montreuillois combining horticulture, viticulture, and arboriculture. By selling their goods directly in central markets, producers were able to use buying trends to inform the development of new methods and varieties. Peaches, sold profitably to the bourgeoisie, often became the subject of and fuel for such inventions. Their high maintenance was anthropomorphized; trees were “dressed” and “refreshed,” fruits were “cleaned” of their fuzz with a novel rotating brush, and even protected with revolvers set to detonate against garden intruders through a system of strings. Like secret lovers, new varieties were given erotic names such as "Le Téton de Vénus," the Nipple of Venus, or "La Grosse Mignonne," the Fat Cutie. By the end of the 18th century, the area of the Murs à Pêches reached its apogee with over 300 hectares of walled lots — one-third of Montreuil.

...

Read more about the inaugural Places Journal Summer Writing + Editing Workshop.

Colorado magazine features Kaci Taylor (A '13)

Kaci Taylor (M.Arch '13) was recently featured in a profile in 5280 Magazine and a related piece in Colorado's News 9 station. Below is an excerpt from the piece, titled "Colorado’s Only Black, Female Architect on Designing an Inclusive World," published July 30, 2020. Taylor believes in the power of asking questions and listening closely. She's made it the foundation of her Denver architectural firm, THE5WH.

Kaci Taylor was always attuned to space, even as a child growing up in Los Angeles. She noticed when a room soothed her, for example, or when an entrance seemed to welcome her. “I was a very shy kid,” she says, “so finding spaces that felt supportive was really important in helping me feel comfortable engaging with people and getting out of my shell.”

But at times, finding such environments proved difficult. Taylor, like many Black Americans, often encountered disquieting reminders of her country’s racist history. Such signposts seemed to be entangled in the nation’s very infrastructure: Some were overt, like statues honoring enslavers or buildings, roads, and towns named for openly racist politicians. Others were more subtle, like the looming columns endemic to antebellum-style architecture. “A lot of spaces have elements that allude to the past, that remind people of color that they were once the property of someone else,” Taylor says.

For Taylor, a career in architecture was a way to address the gulf between some of the thoughtless design she saw in the United States, and the comforting spaces she knew people craved. Prioritizing humans, not history or profit, is the keystone of the two-year-old architecture and consulting firm she founded and runs by herself in Denver, called THE5WH. Through her work on single and multifamily residences, along with mid-sized commercial and mixed-use projects, she hopes to build a more inclusive city.

Of course, even getting to this point was a challenge. Taylor is one of just 18 Black architects currently working in Colorado, and the only woman of that bunch, according to the Directory of African American Architects.  According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), 7,804 architects registered for licenses allowing them to practice in Colorado in 2018, and in 2019, fewer than one in five new architects identified as a racial minority. “It has everything to do with systematic racism,” Taylor says. “Those who can afford to get an architecture degree in the first place often face a very discouraging, microaggression-filled environment. It can be mentally draining.”

Taylor recalls often being the only Black, female architect in the room, and says she often experienced gaslighting while working in the industry: She would point out a problem early in the design process and be ignored, only to have construction go wrong and be reprimanded for the mistake. When she stood up for her ideas, she was accused of being combative and confrontational. She did receive praise for her work, but promotions rarely accompanied the plaudits.

Such barriers and frustrations often push people of color out of the industry, Taylor says. African American architects are 14 percent more likely than their white peers to say they’ve faced discrimination at work, and two thirds of African Americans said they can’t identify people in leadership roles that look like them, according to a joint survey conducted this year by NCARB and National Organization of Minority Architects. These problems contribute to a lack of diversity that hinders good design. “I think we can all get stuck in our own little bubble,” Taylor says. “In an inclusive atmosphere, ideas are generated that can then spark other, amazing innovations.”

She experienced that inventive energy while getting her masters degree at Tulane University in New Orleans (while there, she worked on homes for folks displaced by Hurricane Katrina) and during her time in San Francisco, where she designed affordable housing. Taylor is especially proud of her work on the Mercantile Hotel in Missoula, Montana, helping revamp a historic building into a full-service hotel. Mentors helped her along the way. “I’ve met some great co-workers and great bosses,” Taylor says. “But people need to learn and address their internal biases and become educated on how other people experience things.”

To read the full story, click here.

Tulane awarded funding to bring patient perspective to COVID-19 research

Tulane University has been awarded $150,000 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to use equity-focused design to improve community participation in public health research against COVID-19.

The Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award will fund an equity focused, human centered design process to understand the needs and values of underrepresented stakeholders around patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and produce an equity-centered design thinking toolkit for communities to improve engagement in research. 

“It’s critically important that we hear from people experiencing the impacts of COVID19 in the community setting, and that we use those voices to inform our research priorities going forward,” said award recipient Alessandra Bazzano, PhD, associate professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Carnegie Corporation of New York professor of social entrepreneurship at Tulane’s Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

Bazzano will lead the project with Lesley-Ann Noel, PhD, professor of practice at Tulane University School of Architecture and associate director for design thinking for social impact at the Taylor Center. 

Racial disparities and social determinants shape health inequality in the United States. The COVID19 pandemic disproportionately impacts vulnerable groups, particularly minority populations, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and those unable to practice physical distancing. People most likely to be impacted by the pandemic are excluded or underrepresented in much research, both as participants and researchers, Bazzano said.

“Input from community members has too often been left out of research in the past and is at risk of being sidelined in health emergencies like this, but this input is crucial to making research beneficial for our hardest hit populations and improving responsiveness to day-to-day needs,” Bazzano said. “Health research in this pandemic isn’t just for scientific journals and academics. It is for everyone, and likewise should include all voices for improving health equity.”

Design thinking is a human-centered approach that draws from the designer's toolkit to put people at the heart of understanding, experimenting and acting when addressing challenges.

 “I’m really excited to see how we can leverage the best elements of the way we think, work and do research as designers to support people in medicine and public health to create research agendas around COVID-19,” Noel said. “I’m certain that the human-centeredness and participatory nature of our approaches can contribute to adding the patient voice to medical research agendas.”

The project will build an advisory core of patient community members, drawn from groups underrepresented in research, who will engage in equity-centered design thinking activities and a research prioritization process. 

Partners include the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and the Louisiana Public Health Institute as well as patient partners committed to the project.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

Original story by Keith Brannon, Tulane Public Relations.

Tulane School of Architecture launches Instagram competition for students

To keep students engaged and their creativity going over the summer, Tulane School of Architecture is launching a new Instagram competition, starting June 10. The TuSA Summer Instagram Contest will cover six categories of representation styles, design, and art. Six juries of school faculty will vote each week for the top five winners, and prizes will be awarded. 

The competition is open to incoming, current, and newly graduated students (Class of 2020). This includes students who are minoring in programs at the school and who have taken courses via programs run by the school. 

To submit an entry, students must post their single image/animation entry on their Instagram account, indicate the competition category they are entering, and tag @tulanearch and #TulaneDesignCompetition. The entry post must be made during the week of the competition. The competition is limited to one entry per student, per category. The entry must be work created by the student. This could be new work or previous work produced in the last year. Finalists will be asked (via private message on Instagram) to verify their student status by providing their full name, Tulane ID number, and Tulane email address.

The first place winners of each category will receiving a $100 prize. The four additional finalists of each category will receive $50 prizes. Prizes will be given in the form of direct payments to current students and honoraria to newly graduated students. 

The faculty jurors include: Marianne Desmarais, Ammar Eloueini, Ruben Garcia Rubio, Bruce Goodwin, Margarita Jover, Irene Keil, Judith Kinnard, Tiffany Lin, Carol McMichael Reese, Wendy Redfield, Cordula Roser Gray, Ken Schwartz, and Ann Yoachim. The juries will not receive student names, only the work submitted. 

Winners will be announced with a post on the school's Instagram account and Instagram Story every Wednesday, starting June 17, and will follow the schedule below.

  • Week 1: Drawing/Painting/Sketching by Hand. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 10. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 14. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, June 17.
  • Week 2: 2D Drawing/Elevation/Section. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 17. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 21. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, June 24.
  • Week 3: Digital Rendering/Perspective. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, June 24. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, June 28. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 1.
  • Week 4: Animation. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 1. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 5. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 8.
  • Week 5: Physical Model. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 8. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 12. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 15. 
  • Week 6: Collage. Opening date to post entries is Wednesday, July 15. Deadline to enter is 5pm Sunday, July 19. Winner and finalists announced Wednesday, July 22. 

This page will be updated each week with winning entries as the winners are announced.

Week 1 Winning Entry: Bay Area Perspectives by James Poche

Week 2 Winning Entry: section / elevation through a city in a sphere by Seth Laskin

Week 3 Winning Entry: “Interactive Investigation and Recreation Center of Lake Peigneur” by Leah Bohatch.

Week 4 Winning Entry: Marble Madness by Natalie Rendleman

Week 5 Winning Entry: T-House model by Jacob Silbermann

Week 6 Winning Entry: "Oasis" by Ian Shaw

For questions about the competition, contact Naomi King Englar at nking2@tulane.edu

ArchDaily features Alumna Zarith Pineda (A '15)

Zarith Pineda (A '15) was recently interviewed by the global architecture platform ArchDaily. Pineda is an architectural and urban designer, as well as the founder of Territorial Empathy, a research laboratory that specializes in mitigating urban conflict through architectural interventions. The nonprofit’s work includes architectural projects, as well as mapping and data visualization projects related to redlining, public school funding, air quality, access to healthy foods – and most recently providing assistance to service agencies and organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis nationally and internationally – focusing on domestic violence and racial disparities in the pandemic response efforts.

Specifically, Territorial Empathy recently launched a grant program, COVID-19 Empathy Grants, to donate pro-bono services to organizations or communities that could benefit from the nonprofit's work. Organizations and individuals can submit information through a form on the COVID-19 Empathy Grant webpage.

“At Territorial Empathy we believe that empathy is the key to solving the pressing urban issues of our time. Now more than ever, design thinking, projects, and teams have a responsibility to inspire inclusion and connectivity. Our mission is to bring together urbanists, architects, and data scientists to work on behalf of the people in places that are often overlooked. By shedding a light on their perspectives and aspirations, we aim to support their fight for equity,” Pineda told ArchDaily.

Pineda graduated from Tulane School of Architecture in 2015 after earning her 5-year M.Arch. In 2017 she received an M.AUD from Columbia University, where her research on water diplomacy, spatial justice, and conflict urbanism awarded her the prestigious Lowenfish Memorial Prize. She has also taught Digital Design Techniques, Urban Theory, and Data Visualization as Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia. Zarith has practiced at a number of national/international architectural and urban design firms where she was involved in a broad range of institutional, residential, and planning projects. Zarith’s work has been published and exhibited in New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Paris, Brussels, Venice, Amman and Tel Aviv.

To read the full interview on ArchDaily, click here.

Summer 2020 Courses open to all Tulane, plus visiting students

Tulane School of Architecture has launched a new set of Summer 2020 courses. Students can get a jumpstart on their studies with a special set of more than 20 courses at Tulane School of Architecture. Students can use this time to explore a new interest or just keep creative energy going. 

 

The summer courses are open to all Tulane students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from other universities, colleges and schools. 

 

Offerings include design, architecture, photography, drawing, making, design thinking, historic preservation, real estate, and social innovation and social entrepreneurship. View all the courses here. Registration deadlines vary, depending on the term of the courses. 

 

Registration Instructions:

 

  • Current Tulane students should register through the Gibson portal Schedule of Classes.

 

  • Undergraduate Visiting Students should register for summer courses at Tulane School of Architecture through the Newcomb-Tulane College system: NTC 2020 Visiting Student Application. All visiting students are required to have earned at least a high school diploma, or its equivalent, by the start of the summer session. Students are expected to have completed the stated course prerequisites by the start of the session. Enrollment is for Summer only.

 

  • Graduate Visiting Students (and incoming graduate students) should register for summer courses at Tulane School of Architecture directly through the school by contacting William Wildman, Assistant Director of Admissions, at wwildman@tulane.edu.

 

Kinnard featured in Madame Architect as trailblazer and admired educator

Judith Kinnard, FAIA, Tulane School of Architecture Professor of Architecture and Harvey-Wadsworth Chair of Landscape Urbanism, was recently interviewed by Julia Gamolina for Madame Architect. Below is an excerpt from the piece, titled "Designing the Future: Judith Kinnard on Academia, the Profession, and Expanding Boundaries," published April 30, 2020.

Given some of the sexism that still exists today despite so much awareness of it, I can’t imagine what it was like at a time when the same awareness wasn’t there. Was it at UVA that you became the first tenured design professor that was a woman?

Yes. There was one tenured history professor and one planning professor who were women, but none in design. I was at UVA for about twenty years, and it was a great place to teach and to practice. During that period we won four national design competitions with our practice, and this helped us develop a series of ideas involving architecture, urbanism and the landscape. Because we established a degree of national recognition, this led to my successful tenure case.

Then, I became Chair at UVA for five years, between ‘98 and 2003, working with Bill McDonough as the dean and three other wonderful chairs in landscape architecture, history of architecture, and planning. We introduced some themes that hadn’t been advanced in the past - design build and also studios that weren’t directly focused on buildings. I worked very hard to advance the dual-degree path with landscape architecture, facilitating a number of students to get both their Master of Architecture degree and their Master of Landscape Architecture degree. Thomas Woltz and Serena Nelson are great examples of this period in the school's history.

That’s fantastic. What did you do after UVA?

After a few years, my husband became the Dean at Tulane, in 2008. They offered me a full professor position with a generous endowed chair called the Harvey Wadsworth Chair in Landscape Urbanism, so we moved to New Orleans three years after Hurricane Katrina. We both felt compelled to contribute to the rebuilding of New Orleans in a more just and sustainable way. Some refer to “opportunity” in the post-Katrina setting, but we have avoided that word for obvious reasons. We felt that it was a responsibility.

The transition was a little bit tricky - I’ll say that being the wife of the dean was not my preferred role [laughs]. We’ve been very careful in our careers to maintain individual identities, so that aspect of it was a bit challenging. However, I had been asked to run for President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and a few years later, I was also elected as president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). So I had my own leadership identity, independent of the school, while maintaining and advancing strong teaching goals at Tulane. That was important for me - the leadership roles I’ve had outside of academia were highly visible opportunities to show how one can combine teaching, research, creative work and national service to the profession. I hope that I have served as a good role model.

To read the full interview in Madame Architect, click here.

Clara Wineberg (A '90) featured in Madame Architect

The publication Madame Architect featured Tulane School of Architecture alumna and Advisory Board member Clara Wineberg (A '90), Principal at Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects (SCB).

Clara is a leader of SCB’s Residential Research and Development Group, working to constantly expand the firm’s market knowledge and vision for the future of the urban residential experience. Her focus on urban mixed-use projects is driven by design and performance, providing counsel to clients with an understanding of risk and the ability to provide guidance in difficult design and technical scenarios. Clara has also been actively engaged in the firm’s expanding practice on the east coast and in Texas.

Below is an excert from her profile in Madam Architect, titled "Urban Dynamics: Clara Wineberg on Designing for Chicago, Pioneering on the East Coast, and Speaking Up."

Starting from the very beginning, tell me how your interest in architecture first developed.

I grew up in Colombia, South America - born and raised. It’s a beautiful country. One of the great things about Colombia is that the architecture is unique to the natural and temperate climate. I remember being on a family farm where the living space wasn’t defined by walls but it was very much a defined space.

When we moved to the States, we moved to Miami. The physical transition of moving and observing a different city and culture came together for me in architecture - how buildings are very much a manifestation of people and their character.

What did you learn about yourself while you were in architecture school? What was your main takeaway? 

Architecture school was my passion. I wanted to be the uber-architect. Capital A. I was driven and excited by being good and the top of my class. That energized me and eventually became me.

Whether it was my interest in history, politics, culture - and certainly art history was part of my focus during architecture school - I learned about the passion I had within myself and the drive that I had to work things out. 

What have been some of the previous challenges, throughout your career?

Trusting myself enough and waiting to feel like I know enough to speak up. I got to a certain point though where I finally thought, “I know this. Why am I not speaking up?” Now that I'm older, I’m not going to pull back - I’m just going for it! Maybe that’s why I am being charged, or am charging myself, to pioneer the East coast. That’s where I’m headed.

Click here to read the full interview in Madame Architect.

Real Estate major launches, expanding program to prepare students for growing industry

Tulane undergraduate students now have a new path to careers in real estate, including investing, financial analysis, project design, urban planning and policy. 

 

The Tulane School of Architecture officially launched its new Bachelor Science in Real Estate (BSRE) major on Thursday, Feb. 6, as part of the Urban Land Institute Louisiana annual conference in New Orleans.

 

“The major builds on the success and popularity of the Real Estate Summer Minor, which was started in 2015,” said John Huppi, adjunct faculty and Assistant Director of Real Estate Development at the Tulane School of Architecture. 

 

The major focuses on being both multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial, teaching traditional core concepts including real estate finance and project management, while integrating other design and environmental concerns, Huppi said.

 

“One thing that is unique about this program is the curriculum includes a Design + Development Studio, which enhances student’s ability to think spatially which is an important and undervalued skillset in the industry,” Huppi said.

 

The announcement of the new major came during the Urban Land Institute’s annual Louisiana conference, held at Tulane’s Lavin-Bernick Center and co-sponsored by the Real Estate Development program at the school of architecture. The gathering brought together roughly 150 professionals from across the state to discuss the latest trends in the real estate industry.

 

Anne Teague Landis, ULI Louisiana Chair and CEO of Landis Construction, said the new BSRE major is a great idea because of its emphasis on preparing students to collaborate with a range of professionals in the various sectors of the real estate business. 

 

“The best development projects are the ones where people are really collaborative and able to work together for the good of project,” said Landis, whose firm has also hosted Tulane graduate students from the school of architecture’s Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program.

 

Development is also a complex undertaking, Landis said, and it’s important for young people who are beginning to explore careers in real estate to understand all the aspects that go into it – from financing and community engagement to design and construction. 

 

“It’s hard sometimes without any basic foundational knowledge of what someone else’s piece of the puzzle is,” Landis said. “The nomenclature is different, and you’re creating a fluency that allows for better collaboration that’s maybe missing if there isn’t some of that insight being built early on.”

 

And students are eager to broaden their education. Getting as much out of his time in college as possible is why Tulane junior Jacob Levanthal is interested in pursuing the BSRE. He already completed the Real Estate Summer Minor, which covers much of the major’s course load. But now he’s interested in rounding that out. 

 

“The design aspect is really interesting,” Levanthal said. “It’s an expansion of your mind in a way.”

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