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Small Center case study published in design education book

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies book cover

A new book on best practices in public interest design education includes a case study written by Emilie Taylor Welty, a School of Architecture professor of practice and design/build manager at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, and Maggie Hansen, the center’s former director. The contributed chapter features a 2015 Small Center project, Sanfoka Mobile Market.

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies” (Routledge, 2018) presents the work and ideas of more than 60 thought-leaders that together are shaping a broad curriculum of public interest design. Written in a guidebook format that includes projects from across design disciplines, the publication describes the learning critical to pursuing an inclusive, informed design practice.

"We are honored to have the work of our students and faculty showcased within a book about best practices and innovative approaches to design education," said Taylor Welty.

The second book in Routledge’s Public Interest Design Guidebook series, the editors and contributors feature a range of examples and strategies where educational and community-originated goals unite.

A note from Dean Alday

Tulane School of Architecture Dean Iñaki Alday

This month, global architect Iñaki Alday joined the Tulane School of Architecture as dean.

Dear alumni and friends of the Tulane School of Architecture,

I want to start with a deep thank you for your commitment and love for the school over the years, and let you know how excited I am to be part of this special group. The task of dean is an enormous honor and responsibility, and I welcome your help. The continued progress of the school will require the collective effort of students, staff, faculty and alumni.

I also want to thank Dean Schwartz for his remarkable accomplishments during the last 10 years, which placed the school in a significant position in the academic and community realms.

My hope is to get the opportunity soon to thank you personally, and to learn about your trajectory before and after graduating, and your aspirations for the school.

We have a great group in Richardson Memorial Hall, many of whom you know already. I want to introduce you, at least through this letter, to some extraordinary additions to the tenure track faculty.

Margarita Jover joins the school as associate professor, bringing a substantial multidisciplinary practice with international awards and a new book, “Ecologies of Prosperity.” Adam Modesitt, an assistant professor coming from New Jersey Institute of Technology, is one of the young national leaders in digital fabrication. Carrie Norman, assistant professor from UPenn and Columbia, is principal of Norman Kelley, which was recently awarded a United States Artist Fellowship in Architecture and Design. And the 2018 Favrot Visiting Professor is our well-known colleague Bob Hale, FAIA of Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles.

I am excited and confident about the potential of the school. It is unique already, and it is in a very positive dynamic. I am convinced that our collective duty (and desire!) is to keep pushing for excellence without reservation. Excellence is about ideas and commitment, so I am not worried (yet) if we are not the wealthiest (yet). We will have the best ideas and the best architectural education, and we are getting ready for the challenges ahead.

Tulane School of Architecture is the heart of the Gulf Coast, in which all the challenges of human inhabitation of the planet are at stake. At our school, we have the opportunity to define the role of architecture in front of climate change, coastal and riparian crisis, the process of urbanization under these circumstances, and the challenges for social and environmental justice. This is a historic moment in the best possible place on earth to be an architect and an educator. That is why I did not hesitate to join Tulane as soon as I received the opportunity, and why I am so confident in having your support.

I look forward to working with you.


Dean and Koch Chair in Architecture

Summer fellows wade through regional water issues

Water is a defining feature of life in south Louisiana, presenting both urgent threats and unique opportunities.

This summer, five Tulane School of Architecture students explored how communities are shaped by water during the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design’s 2018 Public Interest Design Fellowship.

Fellows spent eight weeks dissecting what it means to live with water, adapt to an uncertain future and work together with a focus on balancing water’s positive and negative traits.

Their efforts centered on two project areas – graphic advocacy and tactical urbanism.

To understand water management on a local level, fellows met with numerous water-related nonprofits, government agencies, NGO’s and collaboratives working in education, infrastructure and environmental protection.

Finding this network of organizations to be extremely complex, the group took on a project to breakdown the “Who, What and Why” of water management in New Orleans. The resulting index of players will serve as the base for a future New Orleans water management web piece graphic advocacy piece.

Expanding their research further, the fellows visited 24 sites across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“It's one thing to read about or look at pictures of these places, but to get to walk around and see the physical impact of a policy or project adds a completely new level of understanding to these complex issues,” said Dana Elliot, a fellow and graduate architecture student.

Back in the studio, the fellows explored tactical urbanism, the process of using temporary, low-cost and scalable projects to test street design changes (Tactical Urbanist’s Guide).

In partnership with Bike Easy NOLA and the Urban Conservancy, the students designed a demonstration rain garden as part of a pop-up installation to slow traffic at the intersection of Mirabeau and Elysian Fields avenues. Their garden site proposal integrated a bike lane and coordinated with new road paint at cross walks to promote traffic safety, green infrastructure and urban place-making.

Small Center staff Sue Mobley and Rashidah Williams, and School of Architecture professor Marianne Desmarais guided the fellowship. The work was made possible through support from Morris Adjmi and Associates, the Sizeler Family and Eskew+Dumez+ Ripple.

More than the ‘pretty police’

Article via Tulane's New Wave publication/Faith Dawson. Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.

Note: Danielle Del Sol is an adjunct lecturer in the Tulane School of Architecture Preservation Studies program.

As a journalist, Danielle Del Sol (MPS '11) learned about the importance of historic preservation from working a real estate news beat and seeing how preservation fits into a scheme of affordable housing and neighborhood quality of life.

Del Sol eventually turned that beat into a career change: In February, she was named executive director of the Preservation Resource Center in New Orleans, leading the city’s premier organization devoted to preserving and restoring local architecture and neighborhoods.

New Orleans has plenty of historic housing stock, but some of the city’s problems aren’t unique, Del Sol said. Other places struggle with excessive blight, a lack of affordable housing and water-management issues. As executive director, she intends to lead the 44-year-old organization in addressing these issues, working with other cities to find solutions.

“Saving as much of what we have is a huge deal to us,” she said. “When it comes to tear-downs, people kind of have a mindset: ‘We have plenty. We can get rid of a few and it doesn’t matter.’ But the reality is that enough people say that, and we end up losing an incredible amount of historic structures,” said Del Sol, who in 2011 earned a Master of Preservation Studies in the School of Architecture and who also serves as an adjunct lecturer there.

In the meantime, Del Sol wants New Orleanians to know that the Preservation Resource Center is ready to help tackle issues that people face every day, such as renovations that require less maintenance and increase energy savings—all while staying true to the historic nature of the city’s well-known and -loved architecture.

“People think we’re the ‘pretty police’ … but it’s not just about that. A historic property is an investment that everyone shares in,” she said.

To that end, Del Sol is working with local agencies to incentivize New Orleanians to maintain their properties along preservation guidelines, especially since cheaper construction alternatives can be attractive to renovators.

“If it’s been there for 100 years, there’s a reason it’s been there 100 years,” she said. “It’s solid.”

Richard Campanella awarded interdisciplinary collaboration fellowship

Richard Campanella, a senior professor of practice in the Tulane School of Architecture, is among the recipients of the Tulane ByWater Institute Faculty Fellowships in Interdisciplinary Collaboration announced last month.

Fellows are chosen by application and selected based on intellectual merit, potential for funding, and interdisciplinary methodology and/or theoretical framework. The recipients will use funds for preliminary data collection and refining methodologies in order to prepare and submit proposals to grant funding.

Campanella was awarded a fellowship with Kevin Gotham, a professor of sociology in the School of Liberal Arts. Their fellowship will support a grant proposal to be submitted to the National Science Foundation. The proposed two-year project will focus on the determinants of business owner support for coastal resilience measures. The project aims to understand how local business owners perceive environmental risk and how they make decisions regarding hurricane and flooding threats.

Read more in the New Wave story, “Tulane ByWater Institute awards faculty fellowships.”

A. Hays Town exhibit curated by Professor Carol Reese opens at Hilliard Museum

Professor Carol Reese in the A. Hays Town exhibit.

Photo: T. F. Reese

A new exhibit curated by Tulane School of Architecture professor Carol McMichael Reese honoring the legacy of Louisiana architect and Tulane alumnus A. Hays Town (A ’26) opened last month at the Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana.

“A. Hays Town and the Architectural Image of Louisiana” marks the 50th anniversary of the museum’s opening in its original building, designed by Town. The exhibit focuses on the architect’s well-known residential architecture, the evolution of his work over 70 years of practice and his close relationships with clients.

The exhibition introduces visitors to Town’s design process and career through drawings, furnishings, photographs, architectural models and archival records. It also features a documentary film that draws on reminiscences from Town’s family members, original clients, second-generation homeowners and architects who have been inspired by his work.

Students from three universities, Tulane University, Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, contributed to the project. Architecture students from LSU and Tulane produced the models of Town’s houses included in the exhibition, interior design students from ULL collaborated on the exhibition design, and students in Tulane’s City, Culture, and Community Ph.D. program conducted extensive archival research and designed the interviews for the documentary film.

“Architects practicing today who know the full arc of Town’s practice most often admire his early work for its simplicity of lines, geometric clarity, and absence of architectural ornament; those design characteristics speak forcefully to contemporary professional design aesthetics,” said Reese. “However, Town’s popular—and perhaps abiding—legacy is as a regionalist who sought to create an indelible image of home in Louisiana and to implant his clear vision in its native soil that he so cherished. This is the A. Hays Town legacy that the Hilliard Museum’s exhibition shares with the public.”

The Tulane School of Architecture Dean’s Fund for Excellence contributed financial support for Reese’s work. The exhibit is on display at the Hilliard Museum through Dec. 29, 2018.

“Talk About Architecture” symposium videos available online

In April, Tulane School of Architecture alumni, students, faculty and friends gathered in Richardson Memorial Hall for “Talk About Architecture: Retrospect & Prospect,” a symposium organized by Favrot Professor of Architecture John P. Klingman.

Videos of the day’s sessions, including alumni forums, keynote by Professor Klingman and talks from special guests, are now available online. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

Ann Masson receives Louisiana Landmarks Society award for lifetime preservation contributions

Ann Masson receiving the 2018 Harnett T. Kane Award

Photo: Ann Masson (center) receives the 2018 Harnett T. Kane Award from Louisiana Landmarks Society board officers Sandra Stokes (left) and Michael Duplantier (right).

Ann Masson, an adjunct lecturer in the Tulane School of Architecture Master of Preservation Studies program, was honored by the Louisiana Landmarks Society in May with the 2018 Harnett T. Kane Award. The award recognizes individuals for distinguished, lifelong contributions to preservation.

“A respected and renowned preservationist, historian, teacher, author and museum consultant, Ann Masson has made the protection of the French Quarter’s residential qualities her personal and professional mission,” noted the Louisiana Landmarks Society in an announcement of the award.

Masson is Tulane University alumna and former assistant director of the Preservation Studies program. She recently established the Ann and Frank Masson Graduate Research Travel Endowed Fund to support independent student research and travel opportunities.

Read more on Masson’s dedicated work preserving the French Quarter and Louisiana history and culture here.

Cordula Roser Gray participates in group "Data & Matter" exhibit at Venice Biennale 2018

“DATAField,” a project by Professor of Practice Cordula Roser Gray, AIA and Marcella Del Signore, is currently on display at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale as part the “Data & Matter” exhibition. The collection showcases work from leading international designers that transforms data into spatial and experiential configurations.

“DATAField” is an installation drawing New Orleans community members to engage with water-related issues through a 3-D visualization of the city's water management network.

Watch a video introducing the exhibit participants here.

Architecture professor and graduate student help local organization provide a safe space for LGBTQ youth

Through an innovative use of the Tulane School of Architecture’s graduate research fellowship, Professor of Practice Andrew Liles and graduate architecture student Lucy Satzewich employed a design approach to help local LGBTQ youth organization BreakOUT! create a functional, welcoming space at their new headquarters.

BreakOUT! works to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth of color and build a safer future for queer people in New Orleans. The group hosts organizing, healing justice and leadership programs, and operates an open drop-in space.

When the project began in the fall of 2017, BreakOUT! was in the midst of relocating to a larger building. Satzewich and Liles worked with the organization to identify the property conditions, organizational needs and goals to develop a program analysis and branding strategy.

To meet the need of a structured area for staff members, Satzewich used her carpentry background to design and build seven custom desks. The pieces incorporate BreakOUT! brand elements, including its logo and signature bright pink, to bring a cohesive visual identity to the room.

Working with BreakOUT! allowed Satzewich to explore her interest in how queer people make space within cities on an architectural level.

“Assisting BreakOUT! with their move to a larger space really pointed out how relatively minor changes could have a huge impact in their new layout and functionality,” said Satzewich. “Spaces like BreakOUT! provide so many services and have so much program it allowed me to experience the nuance and complication of how these spaces are created, which was really exciting to me.”

The project was also a launching point for Satzewich to establish a broader research effort looking at the spatial and architectural needs of LGBTQ youth of color. She received funding from the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking’s Changemaker Catalyst Award to develop a foundation for the research by traveling and meeting with national allied organizations this summer.