Studio Celebrates Annual Day of Service in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Studio Celebrates Annual Day of Service in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Press Release

Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR) the New Orleans-based architecture, interior design and urban planning practice participated in a firm-wide Day of Service on Monday January 19, 2015.

Recognizing that creating better communities requires more than simply designing good buildings, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple implemented a skills-based service program to benefit local community organizations. Structured in the same vein as the 1%—a pro-bono design oriented program established in 2005 by Los Angeles-based Public Architecture—the Day of Service united design and civic leadership to analyze and address social and urban inequality with the power of good design.

This year the firm was joined by two additional members of the A/E/C industry: Harmon Engineering, LLC and Dading, Marques & Associates of Metairie, LA. Both firms generously donated their own time and professional engineering and surveying services to assist in one particular effort in Mid-City.

“As architects committed to the civic realm and a sustainable future, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple donates its time and talent to numerous initiatives that advocate for quality in the design of our built environment, says Director of Design and firm Partner, Steve Dumez, FAIA. Adding: “this is a tradition we have proudly committed ourselves to for the last 25 years and we’re thrilled to be joined by such outstanding local partners.”

This year the studio worked with the following organizations to support community health, youth, education, and the arts. They include:

  • The ReFresh Coalition
  • The Live Oak Wilderness Camp
  • Youth Rebuilding New Orleans
  • The Arts Council of New Orleans

Through intensive, day-long charrettes, each team—comprising representation from Marketing to Administration; Designer to New Hire—participated in the collaborative event tailored to each organization’s particular challenge.

“If every architecture professional in the U.S. committed 1% of their time to pro bono service, it would add up to 5,000,000 hours annually—the equivalent of a 2,500-person firm, working full-time for the public good,” says event organizer and 2015 Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Research Fellow, Nicole Joslin. She adds: “this is a great opportunity to work with our friends and neighbors to improve and positively impact the lives of so many living in New Orleans.”

About Harmon Engineering

Harmon Engineering, LLC was established in 2006 by principal owner and senior structural engineer Matthew R. Harmon, P.E. Since its inception the firm has grown from a single man operation to a firm capable of producing multi-million dollar projects for local and regional architects. The baseline for their success is the formation of continued long term relationships with architectural clients formed by providing technically sound, environmentally friendly, responsive, on-time service from a fully licensed and insured structural engineering office. Offering the most technically advanced tools for the practice as well as a highly educated staff of professional individuals are equipped with the technical skills necessary to solve the most advanced structural engineering challenges and provide practical, cost-effective solutions to the challenges which occur in the field.    For more information, visit:

About Dading, Marques & Associates

Formed by Richard T. Dading and Joseph M. Marques in 1987, Dading, Marques & Associates combines the expertise of two firms: Richard T. Dading, Inc. and Universal Land Surveyors, Inc. forging a land surveying firm with a combined service record of 49 years in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Along with the support of qualified field and office personnel they are able to provide many types of land surveying services including: boundary, topographical, mortgage, flood, rural, route and right of way surveys to mention a few. For more information, visit:

About The ReFresh Coalition

The ReFresh NOLA Coalition was developed to strengthen the collaborative nature of the project, and constitutes one of The ReFresh Project’s most innovative aspects. The collaborative group of health-, wellness-, and food access-focused organizations provides space for project and community partners to develop and manage the ReFresh Project’s health and community programming, use data to monitor and evaluate the project and manage its impact, and share lessons learned and best practices. Community-centered programming includes health and wellness education, training and activities focused on gardening, nutrition, cooking, active living, and economic well-being. For more information, visit:

About The Live Oak Wilderness Camp

Live Oak Wilderness camp is an innovative summer camp and youth leadership development program that connects and empowers diverse cohorts of New Orleans’ most outstanding kids. We select student leaders ages 10-12 who have been nominated by teachers and principals from schools across New Orleans to participate in a year-long leadership development cohort that kicks off with 10 days at summer camp, together alongside other amazing kids from across New Orleans’ public, private, parochial, and independent school systems. We believe that a summer camp packed with fun, adventure, and leadership development experiences alongside great coaches – many of whom are current teachers from across New Orleans – is the ideal new way to build connections and networks amongst our community’s future leaders. For more information, visit:

About Youth Rebuilding New Orleans

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans is a one of a kind among non-profit volunteer organizations. New Orleans youth created us, we’re organized by youth, and our efforts are directed at bettering the lives of our city’s youth. Many young people who wanted to volunteer to help rebuild New Orleans were turned away by other non-profits because of the liability associated with reconstruction work. Instead of accepting this rejection, a committed group of teenagers decided they would find a way to help the New Orleans community recover. For more information, visit:

About The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council New Orleans’ mission is to support and expand opportunities for diverse artistic expression and bring the community together in celebration of our rich, multicultural heritage.

The organization operates in three conceptual areas and measures our accomplishments as follows:

People: Inspiring and Connecting: Supporting participatory arts, youth arts education, and events that inspire and connect

Place: Transforming Landscape: Emphasizing design solutions and a heightened awareness of the built environment

Investing in our Cultural Assets: Professionalizing the capabilities of local artists and organizations while seeking markets and exchange opportunities. For more information, visit: