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Ken Schwartz by Sally Asher

Kenneth Schwartz is the first Michael Sacks Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship and founding director of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. He assumed these roles in 2014 in addition to his position as dean of the Tulane School of Architecture (2008-2018). Schwartz has worked collaboratively across Tulane University evolving and developing ideas and initiatives tied to positive social change.

Under Schwartz’s leadership, the School of Architecture became one of the nation’s leading programs focusing on engagement, applied research and tangible contributions to community well-being. The school also became the academic home for the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (SISE).

The Tulane School of Architecture is one of the most visible units of Tulane University in creating a national model of innovative and empathetic pedagogy, working in close partnership with neighborhood and nonprofit organizations throughout New Orleans and beyond. As dean, Schwartz guided the growth of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the School of Architecture’s applied urban research and outreach program that provides design services to communities who are consistently underserved in the field.

Previously, Schwartz was on the faculty at the University of Virginia for 24 years where he served as the architecture department chair and School of Architecture associate dean for academics. In 2003, he won the UVA Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award – considered one of the highest honors bestowed upon faculty at that institution, with only one awarded university-wide each year.

As a founding principal of CP+D (Community Planning + Design) and Schwartz-Kinnard, Architects, he won four national design competitions exploring the constructive force that progressive urbanism and architecture can play in rebuilding cities. His own practice has focused on community design for public sector clients, with emphasis on the integration of land use and transportation planning to create more livable and pedestrian-friendly development. He has won four national design competitions or awards for projects in Cincinnati, Baltimore, Charlottesville and Chattanooga.

In addition to his design work, Schwartz served as a planning commissioner and member of the Board of Architectural Review for the City of Charlottesville, focusing on design and preservation issues in the community. Schwartz also served on the University of Virginia Master Planning Committee, as chairman of the Faculty Senate and on the Art and Architecture Review Board for the Commonwealth of Virginia (gubernatorial appointment). He is a past president of the National Architecture Accrediting Board and board member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

In 2001, he was elected to Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects. He holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree as well as a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. Schwartz was recognized twice by the national journal, Design Intelligence, as one of the top 25 architectural educators in the United States (once while at the University of Virginia and once at Tulane University).

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