Led by professor Jeff carney while at the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, Shifting Foundations is an exhibition intended to bridge the complexities of science with the richness of place. As Louisiana embarks on a tremendous 50-year/ $50 billion effort to protect and restore its coast, it remains fundamental that this landscape is home to millions of people. Restoration – first and foremost – is for them.
As a research center dedicated to connecting state, federal, and university partners, the design process behind Shifting Foundations reinforces these partnerships. A diverse team of faculty researchers and graduate students working within the [University Research Center] were assembled to work with the client as well as the center leadership to develop an impressive welcoming space of exploration, reflection, education, and inspiration. The interior architecture, exhibit messaging, graphics layout, and interactive displays were developed to tell the story of the Mississippi River Delta, the challenges it faces, and the exciting ongoing research dedicating to preserving this region.
Shifting Foundations offers visitors to the Center for River Studies an introduction to the history of coastal land-loss, a deep dive into the scientific research needed to respond effectively, and inspiration for people to get involved in the protection and restoration of our coast. The exhibition is a “gateway” for visitors to the center’s primary attraction, a large working hydrological model of the Lower Mississippi River. Visitors including school children, professional researchers, even elected officials are enticed to learn more through a range of thematic exhibition walls, interactive data displays, areas for individual research, and spaces for public gatherings.