Just | Change: Design for Climate & Environmental Justice

The burdens and risks of climate change are not falling equally on everyone. The poor and communities of color—who have typically contributed the least towards climate change—are shouldering a disproportionate share of the impacts of extreme heat, severe storms, flooding, and wildfires. This imbalance between who benefits and who suffers is similar to the patterns observed by those concerned with issues of environmental justice, where these same communities are often those with highest exposure to environmental hazards—air pollution, contaminated soils, toxic wastes.

As designers, we make choices every day that can have an impact on both environmental justice and climate justice. These choices should be informed by evolving research about planetary health, ecosystem services and the life cycle of materials with a focus on the disproportionate burden that their extraction and manufacturing poses to the communities and places that produce them.

• We can specify materials that are produced in ways that are healthier for people who help produce them and are exposed to them in buildings, and those who live in ‘fence-line communities’ where the materials are produced
• We can help transform housing, workplaces, and schools in ways that make them more resilient to climate change while lowering their contribution to that change—with a special attention on helping those in the worst conditions to access transformational funding now available.
• We can work as design professionals and members of our communities to design and advocate for streetscapes, parks, and places for play that help make civic life outdoors available to all and adapt to a changing climate.
• How can we become more knowledgeable about the life cycle of materials?
• How can we integrate research on ecosystem services into the built environment, we can strive to be net-zero energy and carbon neutral, but can we strive to be Ecosystem Positive?
• How can we encourage evidence-based policies to promote human health and prosperity while preserving the environment that allows us to thrive?

The Research Fellows selected for this year’s program will have the opportunity to explore these questions in conversation with teams working on projects already ongoing at EskewDumezRipple, and with organizations near our offices in New Orleans and Washington DC area already working on issues of housing insecurity, equitable access to play, and environmental justice. If you are interested in how issues of decarbonization, resilience, climate adaptation and mitigation, and design come together with a goal of a more equitable and beautiful world, we want to hear from you.


The EDR Research Fellowship program allows talented individuals—typically recent graduates of design professional educational programs—to explore fundamental questions around the development of better buildings and cities while embedded in a firm committed to excellence in design and performance.Each year, EDR Research Fellows are challenged to focus on a particular area of inquiry, unconstrained by day-to-day project deliverables, but with the opportunity to interact with and affect the course of ongoing work. They also share what they have learned with the firm and with the profession nationally through publications and conferences.

Program Overview

Previous years have focused on topics of

Building performance
Community engagement
Health in the built environment
Performative landscapes as urban spaces
Building envelopes
The impact of visual and auditory perception on architecture
Paths to carbon neutrality in building construction & operation
Wood: Past and future

See https://www.eskewdumezripple.com/innovation/#research-fellowship

Who Should Apply

We are looking for soon-to-graduate students or recent graduates of professional programs in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, mechanical engineering, or building science. Applications from dual majors or those with undergraduate degrees in one discipline and master’s degrees in another discipline are encouraged.

Fellowships are open to recent graduates or candidates currently pursuing professional degrees who have completed at least six semesters of academic coursework.


Applications are being accepted for 3-month and 12-month positions, both commencing June 1, 2023. Candidates seeking either are encouraged to apply.


Research Fellows are fully compensated full-time fixed-term employees at industry-competitive salaries and benefits.


Applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents need to possess valid visas for the period of their proposed fellowship.

Application Guidelines

Candidates are asked to submit the following, as one PDF (<5MB), in the following order:

• Cover letter

• indicate whether applying for the 3-month position, the 12-month position, or either

• tell us what matters to you most

• provide contact information for two personal references

• Curriculum Vitae or Resume, 5 pages max

• Design portfolio, 10 pages max, if applicable to candidate’s background (via attachment or link to online portfolio).

Submittals must be transmitted via e-mail, sent to jobsEDR@eskewdumezripple.com

Key Dates

February 8, 2023: Fellowship Announcement

March 13, 2023: Applications due by 9pm CT

April 15, 2023: Selection announcement

June 1, 2023: Fellowship Begins