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Archive for September, 2009

Today is the start of the 4th week of the Fall semester and my 3rd here at Milano. This time last year I was having anxiety about how I would¬† ever finish all of my readings for Making a Difference and if I could even understand Economics. Man, am I glad that is all over! There are many things I know now as a Second Year student, that I wish I knew last year, but this post won’t be about those things. It won’t be about advice for where to find study spots in the 13th St. building or how students can navigate the¬† stacks of reading assignments. Today, I’m writing about New Orleans.

My favorite class this semester (and possibly all of grad school so far) is the Chase Community Development Practicum. This class is a joint venture between architecture and design students from Parsons and 6 Milano students. Our client this fall is the Neighborhood Empowerment Network Association (NENA), which serves the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, LA. NENA’s mission is to empower residents to return to their community and transform the neighborhood.

Starting from Day One, we have been going at full speed. Not only are we working with an actual client in a real-world setting, but we only have until the end of October to prepare a 25 page proposal for a real estate development. This has been my first client-based class, and I’m taking in all that I can. In early September we spent a weekend in New Orleans researching the community, talking with local development leaders and our clients. For more info on this project, and to see our progress throughout the semester, check out the great blog that our Parsons teammates have created: http://www.nena-newschool.com/

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