Public Design in the Crescent City

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June 20, 2013: Public Design in the Crescent City

Maurice Cox is an urban designer, architectural educator and civic leader. Cox serves as the Associate Dean for Community Engagement at Tulane UniversitySchool of Architecture and Director of the Tulane City Center where he oversees a wide range of initiatives with Tulane architecture faculty and students throughout the New Orleans community. He joined the faculty of Tulane from the University of Virginia where he was an Associate Professor of Architecture, and served as mayor of the city of Charlottesville, Virginia from 2002-2004. Cox also served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010. In that capacity, he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the United States.

Over his 17-year career at the UVA, Cox merged architecture, politics and design education to define a new role for the designer—that of civic leader. Nationally respected for his ability to incorporate active citizen participation into the design process while achieving the highest quality of design excellence, Fast Company business magazine named him one of America’s "20 Masters of Design" in recognition of his practice of "democratic design." A founding partner of RBGC Architecture, Research and Urbanism from 1996-2006 the firm was acclaimed for its partnerships with communities traditionally underserved by architecture. Their design for a New Rural Village in Bayview, Virginia received numerous national design awards as well as being featured on CBS’s "60 Minutes" and in the documentary film "This Black Soil". A recipient of the 2009 Edmund Bacon Prize, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design 2004-05 Loeb Fellowship and the 2006 John Hejduk Award for Architecture, Cox received his architectural education from the Cooper Union School of Architecture.

At Tulane, in addition to directing the Tulane City Center, Cox works with the highly successful programs of URBANbuild, the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, the preservation program and the school’s new Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program, all which are community outreach design initiatives of the university.