LSU Architecture and Landscape Architecture Faculty Co-Chair EDRA45: Building for Change Conference in New Orleans

Note: The submission deadline for abstracts, full papers, and EDRAShorts has been extended to 9 a.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2013.


Two LSU College of Art + Design faculty are co-chairs of the Environmental Design Research Association’s 45th annual conference: Jeffrey Carney, associate professor at the School of Architecture and director of the Coastal Sustainability Studio, and Kristi Cheramie, Susan Turner Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. EDRA45: Building with Change will be held in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, May 28–31, 2014.

The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) is an international, interdisciplinary organization founded in 1968 by design professionals, social scientists, students, educators, and facility managers. EDRA exists to advance and disseminate environmental design research in an effort to improve understanding of the interrelationships of people with their built and natural surroundings and encourage the creation of environments responsive to human needs.

It is timely and fitting that the 2014 conference will be held in a city that continually faces the environmental risks of flood and storm. An overview of the conference on EDRA’s website,, states that: “Prior to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was widely touted as an epic story of triumph over nature: taming the mighty Mississippi, draining mosquito-infested swamps, and tempering overwhelming humidity allowed a vibrant, diverse society to exist in this unlikely location. The city of New Orleans along with communities across the Gulf Coast have now stepped forward as the harbingers of a new era, trading the forceful control of natural systems for strategic resilience, designed flexibility, and increased awareness of change.”

EDRA45 will focus on new research methods and design strategies for the human habitation of dynamic environments. Louisiana State University’s location in the midst of a region that must continually adapt and adjust to environmental changes offers prime opportunities for students and professionals interested in addressing the limitations of control and the environmental costs of stability.

At EDRA45 in New Orleans, 12 conference tracks—three chaired by LSU College of Art + Design faculty—will engage diverse approaches to building with change, from resisting dynamic environmental forces to accepting and accommodating them.

LSU School of Architecture A. Hays Town Professor Ursula Emery McClure and her partner, Michael McClure, are co-chairs of Track 5: Delicate Adjustments of the Local and the Global. This track will consider the paradoxical interdependence of local knowledge and global practice, focusing on practices, projects, methods, and designs that effectively engage both.

LSU School of Architecture Assistant Professor Catherine Bonier is chair of Track 9: Sacrifice and Resilience, Designing for Loss, which will explore the potential for increased resilience in the face of failure, uncertainty, and ongoing sacrifice.

Carney and Cheramie, co-chairs of the conference, are also co-chairs of Track 12, an open track that will examine change as catalyst and the opportunities change presents designers, as well as how research can enable designers, policymakers, artists, theoreticians, philosophers, writers, scientists, activists, and others to develop innovative ways of accepting, absorbing, and reacting to change in the build environment.

“It is a great honor that EDRA45 will be hosted in New Orleans and organized collaboratively between landscape architecture and architecture colleagues. The conference’s theme, focusing on change, has always been a lens through which the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has viewed landscape, and it is great to see so much dialogue generated around this topic,” said Bradley Cantrell, associate professor and director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.

Submissions for abstracts, full papers, and EDRAShorts are due by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 2013; posters and professional development workshops should be submitted before November 22, 2013. More information about EDRA and the EDRA45: Building for Change conference and submission deadlines is available at