The College of Environment and Design’s Circle Gallery is hosting an exhibition entitled The Art of Unbuilding: Material Reuse in the Crescent City until Sept. 16.
Artist Christopher McDowell is a second-year master of landscape architecture student in the environment and design college who spent several years in New Orleans working with neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina, which dramatically re-defined this historic American city.
Materials that likely would have ended up in the landfill became practical, well-designed items that created a “new” architectural history. McDowell explores the process of demolition—what it means for the buildings as well as the culture that created them.
After working in a preservation nonprofit firm in New Orleans that rebuilt homes for elderly and low-income residents who lost their homes in the hurricane, McDowell served as a construction and deconstruction/salvage manager.
His fascination with building out of reclaimed materials has informed his design work in landscape architecture as well as deepened his understanding of the history of the built environment.
The Circle Gallery, located in the Owens Library in Caldwell Hall, is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m