August 31, 2008

[Connecting Bits] Hurricane Katrina’s Inciting Design: Byron, Brad and Bansky

“Hurricane Katrina is actually giving us a chance to deal with pre-Katrina situations. … we watch the strengths of all the students emerge. Sometimes it’s not the ones who design well in the studio who do best in the building process. They start to appreciate how many kinds of talent it takes to get buildings made, and they learn to deal with imperfections,” says Byron Mouton, a faculty member of the Tulane School of Architecture. The School’s URBANbuild program compels students to engage in challenges to foster affordable housing and neighborhood redevelopment. The television series Architecture School covers the year-long journey of the program’s students as they design and build a home in New Orleans. Actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation also focuses on affordable housing with an emphasis on green technologies. Design is part of Pitt’s background: he was studying graphic design before becoming a Hollywood star. Byron and Brad share the same drive of design for the public good, too. Then there’s the environmental artist Bansky who has lent his take on architectural design, literally.