New Orleans: Historical Memory and Urban Design 

How can a city's past become a meaningful platform for its future? How can city planners and community organizations work to answer this question in historic neighborhoods destabilized by environmental catastrophe, gentrification, multi-scaled development and the privatization of schools and social services?


For our Global Urban Humanities research studio course, we investigated answers to this question for New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods by creating “paper monuments,” posters or similar mediums, proposing a public monument to a particular person, event or movement from the city’s rich history – examining specific historic sites such as  North Claiborne Avenue.



Soundscapes of NOLA

With an interactive puzzle + soundtrack, we recreated the soundscape of time before the I-10 overpass destroyed the thriving black commercial district that served the Treme neighborhood. While the visual experience of solving the puzzle visually reveals the change of Claiborne over time, a library of site-specific sounds will be used to guide the participating audience simultaneously as they complete the puzzle – unraveling both time and space details of the respective stills/ photographs.

Front puzzle graphic

Back puzzle graphic



Building the Soundscape

Created + designed by Cherry Wu and Regina Madanguit!