In this paper, we explore the roles and responsibilities of the architect and architectural education in addressing complex water issues. The scholarship highlights the importance of collaborative design efforts and small-scale interventions to address values, understanding, and function in the face of urban complexity and the effects of climate change in New Orleans. Design-build projects of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture, serve as a vehicle to reflect on both the evolution of public interest design practice and definitions of pragmatism. Our intent is to underscore architecture’s relevancy and the potentials of incremental action in responding to New Orleans’s uncertain future.
Keywords: built, architecture, design-build.