Travel sketches

I’ve uploaded some sketches I did in France and Greece about a year and a half ago, in December 2013 and January 2014. Check them out here!

UB10 rolls toward completion

Although much of the spring has been dedicated to my thesis project, I’ve also been participating in the URBANbuild 10 construction process. URBANbuild is a great program, one of the real strengths of the Tulane School of Architecture. I feel very fortunate to have participated in the design last semester and to now be working with the great team building this house. The progress since the start of the semester has been excellent. Despite some significant rain, as well as design changes, Mardi Gras, and all the other issues that crop up on a New Orleans construction site, we have a house with a finished …

Moss Point Sidewalk Seals

I was looking back through some of my work from the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, and came across these designs that I worked on for the City of Moss Point, Mississippi. The intent was to apply these seals on the sidewalks somewhere in downtown Moss Point, as a kind of civic branding. As far as I know, these designs have never been used. The four seals represent elements of symbolic importance to the City of Moss Point, including the city seal, the ecological and recreational importance of the river, and two local school mascots. I worked on these with the very talented Jessie …

Latest project: Dew Drop Inn

Early this semester, I was recruited by the Tulane City Center to lead the construction of a temporary facade installation at the Dew Drop Inn, a landmark in Central City, New Orleans. In its prime the Dew Drop Inn contained a hotel, a barbershop, and a prominent nightclub where icons like Ray Charles once played. Its owners are raising money for its renovation, but for now this historic building is dilapidated and vacant. To beautify the facade and generate awareness and interest during the fundraising period, the Tulane City Center designed a large temporary art installation for the facade of the Dew Drop. …

Living Small Part 4: California

This is Part 4 of a series based on my lecture last week at the Tulane School of Architecture. You can catch up with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here. Our journey continues in California, as we head through the redwoods and along Highway 1 for the final part of this trip. California could be considered the home of the modern tiny house movement, and it’s home to perhaps the best-known proponent of tiny houses: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Tumbleweed was founded by a man named Jay Shafer, a very charismatic advocate for tiny houses who has since moved on to start a new company called Four …

Living Small Part 3: Oregon

This is Part 3 of a series based on my lecture last week at the Tulane School of Architecture. You can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 here. The tiny house journey continues as we leave Washington for the state of Oregon. This leg of the trip featured a lot of camping and hiking, including a side trip to Crater Lake National Park, shown above. It was late May and the park, still partially snowed in, was beautiful. It was in Oregon that I began to visit tiny houses on wheels. Their popularity has taken off in the past few years via the Internet. …

Living Small Part 2: Washington

This is Part 2 of a series based on my lecture last week at the Tulane School of Architecture. You can catch up with Part 1 here. Our journey begins in Seattle, Washington, where the first person I interviewed was Mike Podowski. Mike is the Land Use Policy Manager for the City of Seattle, a job he described to me as covering everything from helicopter safety to the number of goats that people can own. I wanted to talk to Mike about the Backyard Cottage program, which was launched as a pilot program in 2006 and expanded citywide in 2009. The City of Seattle had in fact …

Living Small in the PNW: Part 1

This past Monday I had the opportunity to lecture at the Tulane School of Architecture about the research trip I took in May. Many thanks to Professor Errol Barron for the kind introduction, and to the School of Architecture and specifically the John William Lawrence Travel Research Fellowship for making the trip possible in the first place. Not quite two years ago, around December 2012, I bought an 18’-long flatbed utility trailer and decided to build a tiny house on wheels. Working in a driveway in Virginia, I framed the floor using pressure-treated 2×6 joists salvaged from the wooden trailer deck, and insulated it using 1″ and …