Assistant professors of architecture Fabio Capra-Ribeiro, Irene Brisson, and Annicia Streete were awarded the LSU Provost’s Fund for Innovation in Research 2023 for their project to create a Caribbean Spatial Justice Lab to connect scholars and communities working to advance coastal protection and restoration as well as sustainable energy and food production.
The Caribbean Spatial Justice Lab (CSJL) is a transdisciplinary collaborative center for research and design focused on the greater Caribbean, a frame that joins together The Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The CSJL’s main objective is to create a transdisciplinary network of scholars, professionals, and organizations focused on coastal protection and restoration, sustainable energy, and food production, addressing three of LSU’s five key areas.
“This network will facilitate knowledge production and exchange between coastal communities and institutions adjacent to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and serve as an important resource for universities, local governments, and other organizations in the region,” said Brisson, Capra-Ribeiro, and Streete.
“As one of the first steps, the School of Architecture All-school Workshop in February 2023 will bring together architects, urbanists, and scholars of the built environment in the greater Caribbean to discuss more sustainable and just futures and initiate cross-disciplinary conversations among scholars and practitioners.”
The Caribbean Futures workshop and symposium February 8-11, 2023 will gather scholars, practitioners, and students at the LSU School of Architecture to investigate and imagine actionable ideas to meet the challenges of escalating inequality and accelerating climate change in greater Caribbean, including the Gulf Coast.
“Architecture students will represent a possible future scenario in a Caribbean site tutored by a broad panel of experts at the workshop. On Saturday, February 11th, the results will be exhibited and discussed in a symposium with the expert workshop leaders, LSU and regional faculty, and students. Throughout the workshop, a curated Caribbean resource room including books, multimedia, and digital resources will be set up in the Clark and Laura Boyce Gallery,” the workshop organizers stated.
From there, the CSJL anticipates growing to include additional colleagues and foster more international collaborations, starting with four universities that have been already contacted: University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus (Puerto Rico), Universite Quisqueya (Haiti), Universidad Central (Venezuela), and Universidad de la Costa (Colombia). The network will allow the CSJL to develop a series of targeted grant applications related with the different topics that are being focused to produce publications and exhibitions, as well as symposium and colloquiums, that will spread the knowledge generate in this international network.
“This initiative boldly advances LSU’s Scholarship First agenda,” according to the Office of Research & Economic Development.
In addition to the co-PIs, Traci Birch, assistant professor of architecture, is a contributing researcher, as well as Amirhosein Jafari, College of Engineering, Department of Construction Management; Helen A. Regis, Sarah Franzen, and Andrew Sluyter, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Anthropology.