The EDR Research Fellowship program seeks to push forward our understanding of key issues affecting the design and performance of buildings and urban projects, while offering gifted individuals within a few years of graduation the chance to explore issues free from day-to-day project production deadlines while embedded in an architectural practice and collaborating with design teams. Fellows have the opportunity to interact with ongoing projects within the firm in order to test and vet their research, generating feedback loops for continued learning and refinement. The Fellows are expected to share what they have learned with the firm and with the design profession.

2019  |  DEEP IMPACT: PATHS TO CARBON ZERO |  Now accepting applications

Deep Carbon: What would it take? Those who design and construct buildings are at the forefront of an exhilarating transformation: make buildings radically better places for people while making their construction and operation move towards net zero carbon emissions.  We now know more than ever before about the links between the indoor environment and the health and well-being of building occupants.  And since 2005, we’ve added 30 billion square feet of buildings in the U.S. while total carbon emissions from buildings have fallen by 20%. But it’s not enough. We need to go further, faster.  We need practical examples of what it would take to make every project truly health-supporting while moving towards net zero carbon emissions. We need practical examples of everyday projects on real budgets showing the way forward. 

This goal of this year’s Fellowship is to develop a library of 12 case studies of real-world projects—a mix of existing buildings and new construction—with a road map of what it would take to have these projects meet the Zero Net Carbon operation and 50% reduction in embodied carbon established by the Architecture2030 organization. This ‘upgrade package’ would also strive to achieve indoor environmental quality levels embodied in the science behind relevant components of the WELL, LEED, Fitwel, and the Living Building Challenge certification programs.  These will be presented to building owners (for potential implementation) and then shared with the profession through websites, social media, presentations, and publications. The project will involve collaboration with partners including leading engineering firms, contractors, subcontractors, and non-profit organizations. This work will present a snapshot of where we are today, what the real-world costs are for real-world projects, and lay out the prospects ahead in this rapidly developing field.  The stakes, and the opportunities, couldn’t be higher.

For more information, and to apply, please visit the portal on our Opportunities page.

2018  |  SOUND AND VISION |  Sam Gochman and Hannah Berryhill

The architecture of hearing and sight. Our experience of the world inside is shaped by the choices made by designers that reflect, absorb, shape, and color waves of sound and light. This sculpting of sound and light affects not just our perception of space or enjoyment of art, but also the health and productivity of those who live and work in buildings. New results in the connections between visual, acoustic, and neurobiological sciences are transforming architectural practice. We now know that good seeing is much more than a matter of mere footcandles, and good hearing is more complex than simple decibels. Sound and vision are too important to be left to the engineers.


2017  |  PUSHING THE ENVELOPE |  Liz McCormick

Pushing the envelope on building enclosures. Building envelopes, from the humble brick wall to dynamic double-skin façades, can have huge impacts on occupant comfort, health, environmental impact and energy performance. How can we make affordable envelopes that provide daylight and views while controlling glare? How can the building envelopes of historic structures be upgraded for better performance without moisture drive endangering the very buildings we’re trying to save? How best to track the carbon impact of building envelope choices?


2016  |  A CIVIL LANDSCAPE  |  Samantha Cohen and Issac Cohen

How can architectural practice orchestrate the integration of civil and landscape design from opposite ends of the development process towards the center, so that soils, hydrology, structure, social and living systems work together to make better buildings and cities?  How can the urban spaces between buildings be designed to be simultaneously socially and environmentally performative?  What new tools can empower this integration of civility, conviviality, social and ecological health?


2015  |  HEALTH IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT  |  Marina Michael

The focus of the 2015/2016 Fellowship was to conduct applied research in the field of health—informing design and materials choices to promote the health of those who live and work in buildings and communities. The focus on health offered a huge range of potential topics for research, including but not limited to indoor environments, materials, health care design, biophilia, and active design. 

The fellowship resulted in in-firm programs to improve materials choices and the Materials Petal Database, a website that collects materials lists from previous LBC projects. Other explorations and a summary of the year’s research can be found in the Health in the Built Environment book, linked above.


2014  |  COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT  |  Matt Kleinmann and Nicole Joslin

The focus of the 2014/2015 Community Engagement Fellowship was to conduct applied research to explore the breadth of tools and formats that are available to designers to conduct meaningful public outreach around architectural and urban place making projects. Nearly every design project involves some form of community engagement. Typical public outreach strategies often rely on the public meeting as a forum for decision-making. Today, in an increasingly global and digital era, more opportunities for sustained dialogue and long-term buy-in for planning and design projects are emerging. Public process participants ideally become champions of the project through implementation and ongoing governance.

This fellowship established the Day of Service, which was highlighted in Architectural Record in December 2015.


2013  |  RESILIENCE  |  Marissa Campos

The focus of the 2013/2014 Resilience Fellowship was to perform quantitative and qualitative research, documentation, and analysis related to resilience in the New Orleans region and beyond. Resilience is not only a descriptive term; it is a paradigm, requiring foresight and broad societal understanding and support. The concept of resilience has assumed greater prominence in a world more interconnected, more urbanized, and yet more fragile than ever. 

The work informed preparations for New Orleans to host Greenbuild 2014, multiple conference presentations, and finally resulted in a resiliency framework book.


2012  |  SUSTAINABILITY  |  Corey Squire and Cruz Crawford

The focus of the 2012/2013 Sustainability Fellowship was to perform quantitative research, documentation, and analysis related to environmental controls and building performance on built works within the firm’s portfolio and in the greater collection of works in the New Orleans region. This fellowship kick-started many of the sustainability initiatives within the firm, including the Sustainability Action Plan.

Among their many accomplishments, the fellows established a “Book of Fundamentals” to guide the firm’s sustainability decisions and started many post-occupancy measures that continue today.