Former MythBuster Adam Savage is an expert at taking concepts and putting them into practice within the real world as an industrial designer and special effects creator. During a recent episode of his “Tested” web series, Savage toured the Tulane School of Architecture's Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design and discovered how architecture students are stepping outside the classroom to develop solutions to real world problems.
“The collaboration with Adam Savage’s team started through an introduction from our colleagues at the Arts Council, who know our work well through our past collaborations,” said Small Center director Maggie Hansen.
The Small Center was recommended as an example of an impactful makerspace in New Orleans.
“We are proud to be presented alongside an impressive group of programs from across the country and so excited to have a fellow maker, Adam Savage, share our work with his national audience,” said Hansen. “Much of architecture school is learning to think through making — at Small Center, our students put this skill into action while working in close conversation with the communities impacted by the design.”
During the inside look of the community design facility, Savage interviewed Emilie Taylor Welty, the Small Center’s design and build manager, and discussed how the program allows Tulane students to gain invaluable hands-on building experience while constructing projects for the New Orleans community organizations in just 16 weeks.
These projects included a collaboration with nonprofit Big Class to redesign their “writer’s room” classroom space at Sylvanie Williams College Prep and an opportunity to revamp an outdoor seating area at Ozanam Inn, a local homeless shelter.
While viewing the completed Ozanam Inn project, Savage discussed how the space’s design was impacted by the everyday needs of the staff and clientele with Nick Jenisch, project manager for the Small Center, graduate students Jonathan House and Sara Harper and adjunct professor of architecture Doug Harmon.
“This is a situation in which every participant wins, and it’s super inspiring,” said Savage.