Changing the Narrative:
Engaging and Empowering the Next Generation  

Hosted in partnership with the American Institute of Architects Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community.

Session Description

After a popular makeshift skatepark in New Orleans was demolished, Transitional Spaces, a volunteer-based group of young skaters, approached Tulane University’s Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design for help with developing a new one on city-owned land beneath a highway overpass. Ann Yoachim shares the story of how the university-based community design center engaged neighborhood residents, skaters, students, design professionals, and public agencies in a collaborative design/build process that created Parisite Skatepark, a 2019 Rudy Bruner Award Silver Medalist. She and Anne-Marie Lubenau discuss the park’s impact and the power of community-engaged design to affect change.

Learning Objectives 

• Understand and describe how investment in recreational amenities can address community welfare and affect economic, environmental, and social change.
• Discuss the value of engaging in collaborative partnerships in the planning, design, and development of inclusive, community-driven projects.
• Describe community-engaged design approaches and practices and how they empower and build the capacity of people and communities and improve quality of life.
• Discuss how university-based design centers are resources for cities, educate the next generation of designers, and influence the future of practice.

This program was recorded on Monday, May 2, 2022 at 12:00 pm-1:00 pm (ET).
Click here to access the webinar through the host organization.

Watch the Webinar


Ann Yoachim, Director, Small Center and Professor of Practice, Tulane School of Architecture brings experience in building partnerships across campus-community boundaries as well as supporting meaningful change through research and interdisciplinary collaboration.  She is focused on facilitating this collaboration to shape built, natural and social environments that impact health and wellness. Ann’s wordy titles include Professor of Practice at the Tulane School of Architecture and Director of the Small Center, but she prefers to think of herself as a constant brainstorm-er who fosters collaboration in everything that she does. In her role as Director, Ann will steward the close collaborations the Center has enjoyed with other Tulane departments, local and national peer institutions, government agencies, community-based organizations, local design practitioners, as well as local and national funders and donors.

Anne-Marie Lubenau, Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
Anne-Marie Lubenau, FAIA is an architect, educator, and writer dedicated to increasing understanding of design of the built environment and its impact on our lives. She has more than three decades of experience leading projects and programs that engage people and communities in design to foster more beautiful, inclusive, and resilient cities. Anne-Marie regularly contributes to national and international forums on design and cities including Metropolis Magazine. She is a Design Critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design and serves on the Boston Civic Design Commission and Association of Architecture Organizations board of directors. Anne-Marie holds a BArch from Carnegie Mellon and was a 2012 Harvard Loeb Fellow.


Parisite Skatepark Case Study (2019 RBA Silver Medalist)

Courtesy of Michael Wong on behalf of The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design
  • For more information about Parisite Skatepark check out the Rudy Bruner Award case study to learn about the project’s urban context and history, leadership and vision, collaborative partnerships, design and development, financing, operations and programming, and impact.

Inspiring Design – Engaging and Empowering the Next Generation

Courtesy of Jose Cotto on behalf of The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design

In Engaging and Empowering the Next Generation, as part of the Inspiring Design series, Small Center Director Ann Yoachim and Transitional Spaces’ Jullian Wellisz discussed how community-engaged design approaches empower and build capacity of people and communities, influence the next generation of designers and practice, and shape the future of cities. Demonstrating a collaborative design-build process that created Parisite Skatepark (2019 RBA Silver Medalist).

Albert & Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design

Courtesy of The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design
  • The Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design brings together creative makers and doers working for a better city. The Small Center works to advance community-driven ideas through collaboration, design education and scrappy problem-solving. The organization collaborated with Tulane School of Architecture faculty and students, nonprofit Transitional Spaces, and local skaters to design and build Parisite Skatepark (2019 RBA Silver Medalist).