How do you take Tulane students on more than 160 miles and 14 hours of field trips when everyone is studying remotely? Tulane School of Architecture Professor Richard Campanella recently found a way to share New Orleans’ streetscapes, geography, ecology, and infrastructure with students in his spring courses through video field trips.
“New Orleans’ geography is experiential,” said Campanella, who’s a historical geographer and author. “You need to immerse yourself in the urban landscape to see how we created it, how it works, and how we've altered natural systems in the process, oftentimes dangerously.”
Using a rented SUV, a face mask, an atlas, and an iPad, Campanella drove throughout the metropolitan area for two days. Catherine Restrepo, the visual design coordinator at Tulane School of Architecture, assisted by video recording from a safe distance in the rear of the vehicle and compiling the hours of film into four videos.
“I was impressed how quickly Richard pivoted to make these field trips happen for our students, and we are so lucky to have skilled staff at the school who were willing to jump into this video project with him,” said Iñaki Alday, Dean of Tulane School of Architecture.
The tours covered vast terrain and topics, spanning from Chef Menteur Pass to the Bonnet Carre Spillway, and from the Lake Pontchartrain shore to the Barataria Basin.
Campanella originally scheduled multiple days of field trips for his courses, which aim to develop students’ spatial awareness and understanding of how physical and historical geographies inform the modern-day built environment and its inhabitants.
But the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those field trip plans – momentarily – after the university announced all classes would move online for safe social distancing for the rest of the spring semester.
“I immediately started thinking about how I could translate these field trips for a remote audience,” Campanella said. “Though it’s not the same as showing students New Orleans in person and I miss that interaction with them, the virtual experience has been a decent substitute, and I've gotten very positive responses from my students.”
Jackie Gouris, a senior in Environmental Studies and Political Science, wrote an email to Campanella expressing her thanks.
"I was so devastated when I realized that among all this chaos we would be missing those field trips I had looked forward to so much," Gouris said. "It [video field trip] has made leaving the city I love so much a little bit easier."
Click below to watch a short video with some clips from Campanella’s field trips. Or watch on YouTube here.
Faculty at the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design recently published the article "Public Interest Design, Pragmatism, and Potentials in a Postdiluvian City" in the Journal of Architectural Education. Below is an excerpt of the abstract of the paper, authored by Ann Yoachim, Emilie Taylor Welty, and Nick Jenisch.
Abstract: In this paper, we explore the roles and responsibilities of the architect and architectural education in addressing complex water issues. The scholarship highlights the importance of collaborative design efforts and small-scale interventions to address values, understanding, and function in the face of urban complexity and the effects of climate change in New Orleans. Design-build projects of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, serve as a vehicle to reflect on both the evolution of public interest design practice and definitions of pragmatism. Our intent is to underscore architecture's relevancy and the potentials of incremental action in responding to New Orleans's uncertain future.
To view the full article on JAE, click here. To view the full article on Taylor & Francis Online, click here.
Alumni of Tulane School of Architecture were recently honored in the annual New Orleans "Best of Architecture" article, authored by Professor Emeritus John Klingman for New Orleans Magazine.
As Klingman writes: "Rarely have so many works of contemporary architecture come online in New Orleans in a single year as they did in 2019. The new airport terminal, the great enlargement of Historic New Orleans Collection gallery spaces, the new Children’s Museum and the Pavilion in the greatly expanded New Oreans Museum of Art Besthoff Sculpture Garden are all projects that significantly enhance the community. They are, coupled with several others of note, with a variety of uses, that also extend our tradition of architectural excellence."
Below is a list of alumni and affiliates who are named in the 2020 New Orleans "Best of Architecture":
Cordula Roser Gray (design for the Claret bar and restaurant within Framework), Faculty
Byron Mouton, Faculty and A '89
Daniel McDonald, A '16
Louisiana Children's Museum
Mac Ball, Former Board Member
Charles Sterkx, A '88
David Demsey, A '07
Dennis Horchoff, E '75
Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibition Center
Brian Swanner, A '92
Mac Ball, Former Board Member
Charles Sterkx, A '88
Dennis Horchoff, E '75
Jerry Blanchard, A '06
Kate Bertheaud, A '11
Emily Hayden Palumbo, A '16
Steve Scollo, A '97
St. Michael Special School Chapel
Robert Boyd, A '91
Sculpture Pavilion, Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art
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.
“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, 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.
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.
Since 2002, teams of graduate students from top-ranked business schools have congregated in Austin, Texas, to participate in a case-based real estate competition.
The invitation-only National Real Estate Challenge requires participants to analyze a recent real estate transaction completed by a leading global real estate firm. Participants represent some of the most talented real estate students, while judge panels consist of executives from leading real estate firms across the country.
This past year, the competition welcomed a team featuring students from two Tulane programs: the Freeman School’s MBA program and the School of Architecture’s Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program. This year, the Freeman School and the School of Architecture teamed up to launch a new master’s program for students interested in combining business and sustainable real estate development.
The new Tulane MBA/MSRED, the only program of its kind in the nation, awards students both an MBA and a master’s degree in Sustainable Real Estate Development. Through the real-world application of theory to current real estate development projects, graduates are well-prepared for the ever-changing real estate industry. Graduates are armed with skills to successfully work in all areas of real estate development, including: finance, analytics, design, management and consulting.
“We are disrupting how real estate has been taught to drive change in the educational landscape of this field,” says Casius Pealer, director of Sustainable Real Estate Development and Shane Professor of Practice at the Tulane School of Architecture. “We want students to analyze the implications of technology, environmental changes and urbanization to better understand how political, ecological and cultural forces impact real estate development. By creating an interdisciplinary program, our alumni can anticipate the long-term social and financial effects of development.”
The MBA/MSRED is an accelerated two-year, full-time program. Students benefit from Freeman’s small cohorts, active learning environment and direct engagement with industry leaders.
This story was originally posted by Freeman News at the Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business.
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.
A project by four Tulane School of Architecture students is featured in the recent 2019 Emerging Professionals Exhibit by AIA. The theme for this year’s AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit is “Designing for Equity," and it's based on the Guides for Equitable Practice and the AIA value “We believe in the power of design." The 15 digitally exhibited projects are a representation of best practices for a more just and equitable profession.
The Tulane project team includes students and alumni from the Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program Keristen Edwards, Lina Alfieri Stern, Muhanad Alfardan, and Veronika Suarez. Their proposed project, Hotel Inspire, is an accommodation for travelers centering the experiences and needs of people experiencing disabilities.
The vision for this hotel project was inspired by the experiences and vision of all avid travelers, no matter their physical circumstances. Every hotel operation is unique but one aspect shared by all hotels - if they are to operate profitably - is to retain the loyalty of existing satisfied customers and to attract new ones. If this is true, there is a market of 26 million people traveling with disabilities in the U.S. every year that like any other traveler, would simply wish traveling to be accessible and memorable. Not all hotel guests are the same or have the same abilities, at Hotel Inspire, upon arrival to the in-room experience the guest is given ownership to accommodate their environment according to their needs and preferences while also providing the expected practicalities. Guest rooms offer ample space to move freely, shower and sleep safely and feel luxurious and comforted no matter their support needs. The highlight feature of this hotel is the ramp, no longer should guests fear to wait at the top of the stair in the event of an emergency. Hotel Inspire is a place where there are no barriers but more options for enjoyment, safety, and comfort.
For more images of this project and more information about the 2019 AIA Emerging Professionals Exhibit, click here.