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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.

Designer, historian, and architect Dr. Edson Cabalfin joins Tulane School of Architecture

Designer, historian, and architect Dr. Edson Cabalfin joins Tulane School of Architecture

 

Internationally recognized designer, historian, architect, researcher and author Edson Cabalfin, PhD, has been appointed to the Tulane School of Architecture as Director of the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (SISE) program and Professor of Practice in Design Thinking. He will start on Aug. 15, 2020.

 

“The position is a great opportunity to be able to create and shape the program to have a bigger impact,” said Cabalfin, whose work, research and teaching interests focus on the power of design in contributing to social change.

 

A licensed and registered architect in the Philippines, Cabalfin also runs his design consultancy Talyer Kayumanggi/Brown Workshop, based in Cincinnati and Manila, with projects in architecture, interior design, set design, costume design, fashion design, exhibition design, graphic design, and design strategy in North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East in the last 25 years.  Cabalfin said his design studio, which in Filipino means “Brown Workshop,” celebrates his brown-ness and says “Here I am. I’m Filipino and I have a voice.” Filipino history, he said, is connected to what is being expressed in the world now. The Philippines was colonized by Spain from the 17thto 19thcenturies and then by the United States from 1898 to 1946.

 

Among his accomplishments, Cabalfin was the Curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018. The exhibition “The City Who Had Two Navels” shines light on the history and trauma of colonialism and neoliberalism in the country and the impacts it has had on the urban landscape and the persistence of economic and social disparities. Cabalfin also wrote the book “What Kids Should Know About Filipino Architecture” (Adarna Books, 2015).

 

Before coming to Tulane, Cabalfin was Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Interior Design Program in the School of Architecture and Interior Design in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. He has also previously taught in various capacities at Cornell University, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, and De la Salle – College of Saint Benilde.

 

As the head of the Tulane School of Architecture’s SISE program, Cabalfin said his role is being both a visionary and a facilitator. He said he hopes to provide a clear vision and direction for the program, helping leverage the research agenda of the program and bring it to an international level. As a facilitator for the program, he said he will employ a participatory and democratic process in bringing this vision to reality. 

 

“It needs to be a shared vision. It cannot be only my vision,” Cabalfin said.

 

Tulane’s commitment and ethos towards civic engagement and social responsibility attracted Cabalfin to the university.

 

“Looking at the different programs around the country, Tulane and Tulane School of Architecture impressed me with its commitment in creating and contributing to social impact,” he said.

 

Cabalfin’s research in the last two decades has focused on the interdisciplinary and transnational intersections of architecture history and theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial theory, Southeast Asian studies, spatial justice, public interest design, and heritage conservation. One of his accomplishments while at the University of Cincinnati, he organized an international-study program in Southeast Asia with a design studio focusing on the 2013 typhoon Haiyan disaster recovery in Leyte, Philippines. The project connected design to issues of power structures, community engagement, and participatory research in addressing problems facing a resettlement site that lacked support systems to provide people with livelihood, water, education, and sense of community. The studio produced a book, recommendations for government officials and stakeholders, and held an exhibition in Cincinnati to share the project.

Prof. Marianne Desmarais solo work on exhibit

gather, a solo show of new work by Marianne Desmarais, Professor of Practice and Director of Undergraduate Architecture, will be on display Summer 2020. Desmarais' work will be on display July 11-Aug. 2 with an opening from 6-9 p.m. on July 11 at Staple Goods, 1340 St. Roch Avenue, in New Orleans. The show is created with support from the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York, and Tulane School of Architecture.

Artist statement:

My work engages material and structural behavior to explore the relationships between parts in a system or an assemblage. In response to a curiosity, I develop a rule-set that leads through process to patterns, complexity, and the emergence of new formal properties. This evolution of operations reveals a shifting space between the flat and the dimensional, between liquid and solid states, and between layered moments in time.

In recent work, air-filled packing materials and plastic containers are the starting point for an examination of the logics and breakdown of material culture. Familiar and ubiquitous, these discards have pillowed the objects of our desire in protective isolation and then are expected to simply disappear. Designed for specific function and single use, these anti-forms are proliferating, their accumulation littering the ground and filling the sea. Fabricated of ever thinner plastic, they are paradoxical empty space-fillers engineered to be full yet weightless.

Through a strategy of encapsulation, I am shifting attention to these anti-forms by altering relationships to gravity, time, and perception. Reversing their solid/void relationship renders a shape that is both specific and indistinct. We know the primary object, it can be seen and touched, but the slippery forms of its packaging are curious, exaggerated, liminal. I am interested in this perceptual whole that oscillates between closeness and flows to expansiveness.

Using a synthetic rubber coating I am sequestering plastic detritus before it accumulates in trash heaps and waterways. Working with a material that changes state, from viscous liquid to flexible solid, produces a fluidity in the work that yields expansive surface and open forms.

As each sculpture is produced, its leavings and traces are collected and pushed forward into the next piece; nothing is discarded. Marks catalog the reality of each physical transformation then transfer subliminal characteristics to the intervening surface.

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.

Architecture students among groups selected for COVID-19 design/funding competition

Two Tulane School of Architecture graduate students - Casey Last (M.Arch) and Brandon Surtain (M.Arch/MSRED) - are part of a group recently selected for Tulane's new Sprinting to the Front Lines design competition. Their group was one of only six selected.

Sprinting to the Front Lines is a rapid funding mechanism for Tulane students to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teams of current Tulane students were invited to submit a proposal that would directly impact the health and wellbeing of the New Orleans community during the COVID-19 outbreak. Projects were selected by a panel of three faculty at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the six were selected from 50 applications submitted. Funding for Sprinting to the Front Lines was made possible by a generous donor.

The awarded students, their faculty mentor, and their project’s description are listed below. Work is set to begin by April 20, 2020.

Pass Dat Joy: A project in pursuit of creativity, joy, and community support in the wake of the COVID-19 global crisis

To create “Pass Dat Joy” a family art toolkit with resource packets, which will be distributed to resource-insecure families via a school feeding site and pantry delivery service operated by our community partner, Homer A. Plessy School in New Orleans. These toolkits will be designed to alleviate some of the stress facing families by pairing creative materials for children alongside informational materials for parents. The artwork created by the students is to be exhibited and shared online via social media #passdatjoy.

Student Team Members: Shaymaa Abdalal, PhD student in TRMD, Johanna Nice, PhD student in TRMD and Program Manager of Highly Vulnerable Children Research Center, School of Social Work, Casey Last, master's student in Architecture, Abi Mbaye, master’s student in English, and Brandon Surtain, master’s student in Architecture
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lesley-An Noel, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation & Design Thinking and School of Architecture

For more information about Sprinting to the Front Lines, click here.

Tulane School of Architecture appoints Dr. Jesse M. Keenan, Associate Professor of Real Estate

NEW ORLEANS, LA — Dr. Jesse M. Keenan, one of the nation’s leading scholars on climate change and the built environment, has been appointed to Tulane School of Architecture as an Associate Professor of Real Estate.

“I look forward to working hard to contribute to a hopeful vision for our role in making our world a better place—not to mention the top university in the country for studying sustainable real estate and the built environment,” Keenan said.

Keenan is author or editor of numerous books, including NYC 2040: Housing the Next One Million New Yorkers (Columbia University Press); Blue Dunes: Climate Change By Design (Columbia University Press); North American Climate Adaptation (Springer) and Climate Adaptation Finance and Investment in California (Routledge), which was awarded Amazon's 'Best Of' Award for "The Best Business and Leadership Books of 2018." Keenan’s research has been covered in numerous global media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, PBS, BBC, CBS, CNN, among many others. Keenan’s work has been the focus of several documentary films and he regularly appears as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV where he covers technology, business and climate change.

Keenan is widely regarded in the academy for pioneering the study of real estate and climate change. His research focuses on the intersection of climate change adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, regulation, planning and financing. In applying this research, Keenan has served various presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral administrations and he is currently a member of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His expertise on climate-risk and financial systems currently defines his role as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and as a Special Government Employee Advisor to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“I am thrilled to be carrying-forward Tulane’s legacy as a leader in sustainable real estate education, as well as the opportunity to participate in a broader university community known for their high-impact interdisciplinary environmental research,” Keenan said.

Before coming to Tulane, Keenan previously served on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School for Design, as the Area Head for Real Estate and Built Environment, and served as the Research Director of the Center for Urban Real Estate on the faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Keenan holds degrees in the law (J.D., LL.M.) and science (M.Sc.) of real estate and the built environment, including a Ph.D. from the Delft University of Technology.

For Keenan, the reasons are clear why he chose to join the faculty at Tulane and move to New Orleans—a city long defined by its environmental exposure and precarious infrastructure. “Tulane’s leadership in engaging communities and nurturing environmental stewardship among its students and faculty has long inspired me.” Keenan says that New Orleans’ appeal is its capacity to retain its identity and social vitality. “As a native of the Gulf Coast, it is not only a homecoming after a lifetime away, it is an opportunity to engage research and service in places at the center of my own life experience.”

Tulane School of Architecture Dean Iñaki Alday said Keenan was an ideal appointment for providing thought leadership in sustainable real estate because of his drive to advance interdisciplinary teaching and research across the school and the university. Keenan’s arrival also marks the launch of the school’s new undergraduate degree program in real estate, where Keenan will be teaching core components of the curriculum.

“Dr. Keenan reinforces the leadership of Tulane School of Architecture in reformulating the way we are occupying the territory and building our cities,” Alday said. “As the climate and health crises are showing, it is extremely urgent to design new building typologies, public spaces and development practices, a mission to which we are fully committed.”

Professor Norman featured in Madame Architect

Carrie Norman, Tulane School of Architecture Assistant Professor of Architecture and co-founder of Norman Kelley, was recently interviewed by Madame Architect. Below is an excerpt from the piece, titled "Opening Credits: Carrie Norman on Getting Her Start and Topics That Need to be Foregrounded," published April 8, 2020.

How did your interest in architecture first develop?

Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, I remember the dinner table was constantly over-crowded with floor plans, material swatches, and architects’ scales. My mom was and still is an amazing interior designer, and as a single mom supporting three kids, her work would often come home with her and she loved walking me through the projects she was working on. These were my bedtime stories. On occasions I could pick up a slight antagonism towards the architect. “They create problems I have to fix,” she’d say, and then we’d go on a sort of Where’s Waldo tour through the drawings and she’d point them all out. For a long time I thought architects only made problems that other people had to fix [laughs]. 

I would also frequently join her on work sites. I’d study the floor plan and try to memorize a route through all of the rooms of the project. Then I’d try to reenact the route in the real building. To be honest, I still kind of do this, and it still amazes me that buildings start out as mini versions on paper. Throughout my youth, architecture was both a comforting bedtime subject and a wild adventure.

Where are you in your career today?

In the opening credits [laughs]. Professionally, Norman Kelley is a young architecture practice, and we’re scaling up, patiently. Academically, I am a junior faculty at the beginning of my career as an educator.

Up until recently, my career and teaching was based in New York, where I’d been living and practicing for over a decade. The past ten years has included a number of important milestones for me, professionally, including getting licensed, co-founding my own practice, and beginning a career in teaching. Now, in New Orleans, I hope the next decade is filled with as much personal and professional growth. In particular, I hope to develop as a teacher, and simultaneously expand our office into new contexts.

Looking back at it all, what have been the biggest challenges?

Scaling up is a challenge. Right now the range of our work spans XXS to S. Without experience with larger scale projects, it’s difficult for a client to stomach the risk of hiring us. It’s funny, at SHoP, I never worked on a project less than a million square feet. Now, our largest completed project is 5,000 square feet. We’ve come close to receiving work for larger projects on a few occasions, but each time we’ve come up short.

We’re not in a rush for the big projects but we also don’t want to get pigeon-holed into doing the same kind of work over and over again. To grow as architects, we need that diversity of project types. For now we try to do our very best to translate big ideas into small projects, be it furniture-scaled objects, or rehabilitated interiors.

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

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