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Students can get a jumpstart with Summer 2020 Courses. Offerings include design, architecture, photography, drawing, making, design thinking, historic preservation, real estate, and social innovation and social entrepreneurship. View the Tulane School of Architecture Summer 2020 Course Offerings.

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

 

‘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.

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.”

Earth Lab design-build studio wins national Architectural Education Award

Earth Lab, a design-build project completed by Tulane architecture students, faculty and staff at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, was recently awarded a national 2020 Architectural Education Award, by the Association for Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

Designed and built during the Small Center's Fall 2018 studio at the Tulane School of Architecture, the project was one of three awarded in the ACSA's Design-Build category this year. The studio integrated research on local vernacular building traditions, and involved working closely with a diverse group of local stakeholders. Throughout, the studio sought to combine, hybridize, and discover new possibilities for architecture at the intersection of advanced digital fabrication technologies and sustainable, vernacular methods.

Earth Lab is a multipurpose outdoor classroom, event space, and community facility run by the local nonprofit organization Groundwork. The project provides a new space for the nonprofit, which educates local grade school students about environmental conservation, water management, and urban agriculture. Earth Lab takes cues from the local urban fabric and simultaneously creates a distinctive, vibrant, colorful space befitting the work of the nonprofit. Anchoring the project is a 410 square foot outdoor classroom and gathering space, framed by two 16-foot concrete gable-profile walls, and paved with custom concrete tiling. The walls and pavers are dyed blue with pigment in varying proportions, to create a gradient from dark blue at the ground, to nearly white at the top of the gables. Patterned relief on the surface of the concrete walls was created through the application of a custom set of CNC (computer numerically controlled) form liner.

Earth Lab was designed, built, and constructed in a single semester by a team of 14 students, led by Assistant Professor Adam Modesitt and Nick Jenisch, Adjunct Lecturer and Project Manager at the Small Center. The architecture students on the team were: Michelle Barrett; Kay Curtis; Dana Elliot; Jacqueline Esmay; Jared Faske; Dylan Goldweit-Denton; Clayton Hakes; Emily Kanner; Bryn Koeppel; Riley Lacalli; Caroline LaFleche; Collin Moosbrugger; Margaret Swinford; and Max Warshaw.

Read more about the Earth Lab project on the Small Center website here. Read more about the ACSA 2020 Architectural Education Awards here.

Dean Iñaki Alday in ArchDaily on the Climate Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Orleans Book Fest include Tulane Architecture faculty

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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