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Alumni, faculty, school friends win big at AIA New Orleans Awards 2019

The New Orleans chapter of the American Institute of Architects named dozens of Tulane School of Architecture alumni among the team awardees during the annual Design Awards program on March 21, 2019, celebrating the best architecture from local architects. The evening included a panel discussion led by Casius Pealer, Director of the Sustainable Real Estate Development Program at Tulane School of Architecture. Each year the Design Awards program accomplishes three goals: celebrate the best of this region’s architecture, recognize achievement in a broad range of architectural work, and inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice. Below is a listing of the awarded buildings, homes, and projects, including the alumni

Dear Rampart

Robert Riccardi (A '91 & Board Member ). Lexi Tengco (A '11.)

Aurora Event Center

Charles Weimer (A '15).

Resilient Bridgeport

F. Macnaughton Ball, Jr., FAIA ( Former Parent& Former Board Member). Ramiro Diaz (A '00)

2513 Metairie Road

Terri Dreyer (A '01). Ian Dreyer (A '01). Kristine Kobila (A '01).

Teatro Santander

Jose Alvarez, AIA, LEED AP (A '97). David Demsey, AIA (A '07). Noah Marble, AIA, LEED AP (A '05).

Chapelle Street House

Nicholas Marshall, AIA (A '92). Irene Keil (Current Faculty). Robert Bouchon (E '83).

Camp Place Residence

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Tracie Ashe (A '02). Ross Karsen (A '06). Daniel Kautz (A '09). Natan Diacon-Furtado (A '14).

1824 Sophie Wright Place

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Tracie Ashe (A '02). Natan Diacon-Furtado (A '14).

St. Stephen Catholic Church

Peter Trapolin, FAIA (A '77).

Crescent Care Community Health Center

Robert Riccardi (A '91 & Board Member) Curtis Laub (A '06). Jenny Renn Key (A '15). Brian Webber (A '15). Elaine Damico (A '18).

Tulane University - Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex

Dominic Willard, Principal (A '03). Michelle Carrol-Barr (A '14).

Oscar J. Tolmas Center New Orleans City Park

Mac Ball (Former Parent & Former Board Member). Steve Scollo (A '97). Charles Sterkx (A '88).

St. Mary’s Dominican High School Gayle and Tom Benson Science and Technology Complex

Kenyon Zimmerman (A '02). Timothy Dunford (Current Parent)

Palmisano Headquarters

Jose Alvarez (A '97). Ian O’Cain (A '13).

Mussafer Hall

Wayne Troyer, FAIA (A '83). Julie Babin (A '06). Toni DiMaggio (A '03). Ray Croft (A '14). Trent Gauthier (A '14).

Photos by Michael Mantese Photography

School convenes water, design, and social sciences experts

Academic and practice professionals from a wide range of backgrounds - water management, design, architecture, engineering, planning, law, natural and social sciences - came together at Tulane School of Architecture on March 12, 2019, to discuss their work, addressing grand challenges at the intersection of urbanization and river and coastal dynamics.

The afternoon event was structured in two sessions, each with six short presentations and panel discussions wth the audience afterward. The dialogue was part of a process to build a pan-university research initiative at Tulane University around river-coastal urbanism issues. From New Delhi, India, to the Gulf Coast of the United States, the panelists and audience members shared experiences working with communities facing sea level rise, land loss, climate change and extreme weather events, water contamination, and other serious threats. As a result, the group began to inform new methods of inquiry in different disciplines, creating potential opportunities for important new cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaborations.

In addition to faculty from Tulane School of Architecture, the attendees represented the University of Virginia, Tulane School of Science and Engineering, Tulane ByWater Institute, Tulane School of Liberal Arts, Tulane School of Professional Advancement, Tulane Law School, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Chicago, and private engineering firm BuroHappold.

To view a slideshow of images, visit our photo album on Flickr here. View clips from some presentations here.

Alumni (M.Arch '98) win international award for Confluence Park

Tulane School of Architecture alumni Tenna Florian (M.Arch ‘98) of Lake|Flato Architects in San Antonio, Texas, and Andrew Kudless (M.Arch ‘98) of Matsys Design in Oakland, California, were both on the design team for Confluence Park, which was recently awarded a 2019 Institute Honor Award for Architecture by AIA International. Additionally, Kudless who is an associate professor at California College of the Arts, was awarded the 2019 Faculty Design Award for Confluence Park by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

As described by the architects, “Along the bank of the San Antonio River, Confluence Park is a living laboratory designed to broaden its visitors’ understanding of south Texas ecotypes and the impact of urban development on local watersheds. A destination for learning and recreation, the park is a piece of the country’s largest environmental restoration project and an accessible gateway to outdoor activity.

"To better serve San Antonio’s most economically challenged communities, the San Antonio River Foundation tasked the design team with transforming a former construction storage yard into a unique outdoor education center. The design reflects the idea of confluence—the park is situated at the junction of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek—throughout. Grand gestures such as the park’s shaped lands represent the convergence of ecotypes, while the central pavilion’s concrete petal structures draw inspiration from plants that funnel rainwater to their roots. The petals, of which the pavilion boasts 22, stand 26 feet high and form a network of vaults that provide shade from the Texas sun and flow rainwater directly to an underground cistern.

"The park is located beside Mission Reach, an eight-mile stretch of the San Antonio River with a riparian woodland ecosystem that connects—via a network of pedestrian trails—the downtown San Antonio River Walk to several south side communities and five UNESCO World Heritage Spanish mission sites. Surrounding homeowners concerned about safety initially balked at the idea of the project and asked that adjacent dead-end streets remain fenced off. Throughout construction, foundation representatives canvased entire neighborhoods to provide updates on the park. These interpersonal connections created a groundswell of enthusiasm, and fences were eventually replaced with gates, providing easier access to a new neighborhood amenity.

"Early in the design process, the foundation realized it was creating a venue that could easily surpass its intended program. Evolving the design, the team and client trended toward the aspirational to maximize the efforts of local organizations striving to make a positive impact on San Antonio. Since the park opened, in March 2018, the collaborative ethos evident in the foundation’s directives has already made a positive impact on the community. In just a few short months, the park hosted nearly 140 educational events presented by 24 nonprofits which were attended by more than 9,000 registrants."

Read the official announcement from the AIA International here.

Read the ACSA Faculty Design Award announcement here.

Photo Credit: Casey Dunn

Professor Cordula Roser Gray publishes essay on social resilience

Architecture and Resilience. Essay by Cordular Roser Gray, Tulane School of Architecture

Professor of Practice Cordula Roser Gray’s new essay on social resilience, titled "Learning from New Orleans: Social Resilience for Urban Ecosystems" and coauthored with Marcella Del Signore, is featured in the new Routledge publication Architecture and Resilience - Interdisciplinary Dialogues

This volume takes resilience as a transformative concept to ask where and what architecture might contribute. Bringing together cross-disciplinary perspectives from architecture, urban design, art, geography, building science and psychoanalysis, it aims to open up multiple perspectives of research, spatial strategies and projects that are testing how we can build local resilience in preparation for major societal challenges, defining the position of architecture in urban resilience discourse.

To read more about the essay click here.

Tulane faculty prepare for ACSA Annual Meeting

The Tulane School of Architecture will be represented by a large delegation of professors at the 2019 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Annual Meeting. The conference, titled “BLACK BOX: Articulating Architecture's Core in the Post-Digital Era,” runs March 28-30 in Pittsburgh, PA. Read below for the list of Tulane Architecture faculty who will be in attendance, receiving awards and presenting their work.

  • Judith Kinnard is attending as part of the College of Distinguished Professors and participating in a workshop on accreditation.
  • Adam Modesitt will give a presentation titled "Unscripted: A Cenotaph for Richard Feynman."
  • Carrie Norman will present a paper to the "Draw(in)g to a (W)hole" panel, entitled "A Drawing Forged in Two and Three Dimensions."
  • Kenneth Schwartz will present a paper, co-written with Byron Mouton titled, "Agency and Immersion: Design Build & Social Entrepreneurship."
  • Ben Smith will present a paper titled “Looking Longer: The Thickening of Time Amidst Second-wave Digital Culture.”
  • Kentaro Tsubaki is attending on behalf of the ACSA Research and Scholarship committee. The committee will be running a Special Focus Session on Saturday for member feedback.
  • Ann Yoachim is attending to receive an ACSA Collaborative Practice Award, on behalf of the Tulane School of Architecture and the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design.

For more information about the ACSA Annual Meeting, click here.

Small Center project named finalist for 2019 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) selected Parasite Skatepark, a project of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture, as one of five finalists for its 2019 Gold and Silver medal prizes.

Parasite Skatepark is New Orleans' first official skatepark. Previously, the city had no official skateparks and few places for kids to exercise outside of team sports leagues. With that in mind, a group of skaters got together and started a Do-It-Yourself skatepark. Small Center faculty and architecture students provided technical assistance to the group, which ultimately evolved into the nonprofit Transitional Spaces. Through time, strategic partnerships, and a series of state and local approvals, the grassroots public park officially opened in 2015.

“The range of issues addressed in this year’s submissions reflect the evolution of our understanding of placemaking in cities,” said RBA founder Simeon Bruner in a press release. “The five finalists illustrate the shifting role of design in response to the imperatives of social inclusivity and environmental resilience.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, RBA is a biennial design award recognizing transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. Seventy-eight projects in 27 states have been honored since its founding. The Gold Medalist will receive $50,000 and four Silver Medalists will each receive $10,000 to enhance their projects.

RBA entries comprise completed projects across the contiguous United States. Finalists and medalists are chosen by a nationwide committee of urban experts through an in-depth evaluation process involving input from the award application, site visits, interviews with project participants and community members, and committee discussions.

For more information, read the RBA blog post.

Tulane School of Architecture's community design center nationally recognized for collaborative approach

Thirteen years of working hand-in-hand with partners, students, and faculty has led the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design at the Tulane School of Architecture to be recognized with a national architecture award this week.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture named the Small Center, which is housed within the Tulane School of Architecture, as one of only four Collaborative Practice Award recipients for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In particular, the award highlights the Parasite Skatepark project, a New Orleans park that officially opened in 2015 following years of efforts by local skaters to establish a recreation space. The Small Center provided various types of technical assistance, such as convening stakeholders and designing the park’s masterplan. Ultimately, collaboration between a nonprofit of local skaters, city and state agencies, professional architects, and Tulane students led to the designation of the city’s first official skatepark.

The project shows that the design process can serve as a capacity and coalition builder, said Ann Yoachim, Small Center director and professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture. And the award is a reflection of the center’s belief that engagement is a core part of any successful design effort, she said.

“Teaching students to recognize the value of partner expertise, the necessity of a multitude of voices to produce high-quality responsive design projects, and the power of design to address larger societal issues is at a core of the Center’s mandate. We are honored to be recognized by our peers for this commitment,” Yoachim said. “Together, we will continue to work to create a city that is shaped by all.”

“This award is a recognition of the Tulane School of Architecture’s leadership, through the Small Center, in architecture and social engagement. We are committed to supporting our community through high quality design and beauty, which are essential to develop pride and care for neighborhoods,” said Iñaki Alday, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture and Koch Chair in Architecture. “Each project is also an innovative exploration, advancing the field of design and of community engagement processes through multidisciplinary modes, all in the real life.”

Since 1997, the ACSA’s Collaborative Practice Award honors best practices in university-based and community-engaged programs. This award was proposed by Thomas Dutton and Anthony Schuman as a means to recognize ACSA’s commitment to community partnerships in which faculty, students and neighborhood citizens are valued equally and that aim to address issues of social injustice through design.

Tiffany Lin work selected for exhibition at University of Massachusetts

Tiffany Lin, Associate Professor of Architecture at Tulane, will have her work on exhibit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, running Feb. 4-28, 2019. The exhibit, Datum Drawing explores the use of datum in drawing as an architectural or spatial point of reference.

"I am thrilled to be a part of an exhibition that showcases speculative drawing and painting as integral to the architectural design process," Lin said.

A datum line is a line to which dimensions are referred on engineering drawings, and from which measurements are calculated. The term datum refers to a piece of information or a fixed point of scale that serves as a reference in defining geometry of a composition and in measuring aspects of that geometry to assess its relations to another value in space.

The exhibit features two architects and two artists that employ the use of datum lines in their work. Along with Lin's architectural art, the exhibit will also include Aaron Collier, Assistant Professor of Art at Tulane University; Perry Kulper, Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan; and Derek Lerner, an artist based in New York City.

"It is an honor to be in a group show with Perry Kulper as we often reference his work in core studio teaching and I look forward to meeting him," Lin said.

Click here for more information about the exhibit and its related events.

Associate Professor Graham Owen publishes in Architecture Philosophy

Associate Professor Graham Owen has published an article titled “The Anthropology of a Smoke-filled Room” in Architecture Philosophy. The essay is a critical assessment of participant-observation studies of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) undertaken from the perspective of Actor Network Theory (ANT), an approach developed by philosopher and anthropologist Bruno Latour.

Owen’s paper contrasts the relative absence of discussion of issues of studio labour and working conditions with their prominence in recent work by activist observers of architectural education and practice, and examines the reasons that ANT might have a “blind spot” to such issues. Owen also spoke on OMA, on the topic of the post-political, at the “Building as Service” conference held in July 2018 at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

To read the full article in Architecture Philosophy, click here.

Marianne Desmarais named Joan Mitchell Center 2019 Artist-in-Residence

Tulane Architecture faculty Marianne Desmarais has been named an Artist-in-Residence by the Joan Mitchell Foundation for 2019. Desmarais, who also serves as Director of Undergraduate Architecture programs, is one of thirty-two artists who have been awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in the historic Faubourg Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. All of the artists will be provided with private studio space, a stipend, food, lodging, and opportunities to participate in programs that engage with other creatives and the local community.

Desmarais said she's honored and looking forward to the Joan Mitchell Center residency because of the connections it will bring to the art community in New Orleans and a larger network across the country. "I relish the connections and conversations that come with immersive experiences," Desmarais said.

A residency, she said, changes not only an artist's work but the artist themselves. "The experience of an art residency feels simultaneously like time sped up and time slowed down," Desmarais said. "Ideas form rapidly in response to focus and duration, and this intensity leads to making, outside of typical distractions and pressures."

Before the center opened in 2015, the foundation first began hosting artists in temporary residency spaces in New Orleans in 2013. Over the years, nearly two hundred artists have been invited to participate in the program.

"The Artist-in-Residence program is a beautiful melding of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to the New Orleans community and artist Joan Mitchell’s own history of opening her home in Vétheuil, France to artists," said the foundation’s CEO, Christa Blatchford. “It brings her life and vision into the present, in a community that is so incredibly rich with history and creative energy. At the same time, the center serves as a physical manifestation of one of the core values that drive our grant-giving and resource-oriented programs: to support artists in the process of making.”

Read more about the announcement here.

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