Living in a Materials World

What we’re making our buildings out of may be killing us. The choice of materials that designers make impacts the health of building occupants, factory workers, and residents of communities adjacent to those factories. The manufacturing and transport of construction materials is responsible for 11% of global CO₂ emissions. Disposal methods of some materials add a significant strain on landfills and add microplastics to our waterways.

Image credit to ©UNDP Climate Promise

On the other hand, some are working to advance a new model for materials and buildings, where materials sequester carbon, support health, and are part of a circular economy modeled on flows in nature. A model where nothing is wasted.


This year’s EskewDumezRipple Research Fellowship provides current students and recent graduates the opportunity to take a deep dive into these questions while embedded in a national award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm with offices in New Orleans and Washington, DC. Fellows are expected to investigate published academic and industry research and initiatives, select a focus area for original research and action, and plug into ongoing firm projects while challenging them to go further than they might otherwise go. Most importantly, Fellows are expected to give back to the profession by sharing their work within the firm, within the community, and through conferences or publications. We offer a 3-month fellowship (typically Summer) for those in the middle of their academic program or a 12-month fellowship for recent graduates. The Fellowship offers competitive salaries, the opportunity to learn, and the chance to make an impact.

Program Overview

Previous years have focused on topics of

Environmental justice
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


Applicants to the EskewDumezRipple Research Fellowship program typically have completed or are near the completion of their programs in architecture or design. We also welcome applications from those who bring training in fields relevant to that year’s theme; we would be interested in applications from those who also bring training or experience in such fields as biology, ecology, forestry, or health impacts on fence-line communities.

Applicants submit:

A letter of interest indicating:

• which term they are interested in (3-month, 12-month, or either)

• preferred location (New Orleans, Washington, DC, or either)

• contact information for 3 references.

• A resume or CV

• A link to a portfolio of work (design or research work)

The fellowship is not accepting applications at this time.