David is the founding principal of Waggonner & Ball, an internationally active architecture and environment practice based in New Orleans. David was raised in Plain Dealing, Louisiana and spent time in Washington, DC, where his father was a U.S. Congressman. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, and in 2010 was elevated to the position of Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). In 2016, David was awarded the AIA Louisiana Medal of Honor. From preservation to modern architecture to urban design, locally and internationally, quality and innovation are hallmarks of his work. His maxim, “know where you are,” imparts both an understanding of place and a critical awareness of time.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, David saw an opportunity for New Orleans to reinvent itself as a sustainable city that embraces its lifeblood: water. He championed a process that examines history, soils, biodiversity, infrastructure networks, urban space and habitation, along with the forces of water. This combination serves as a holistic foundation for design, initiated during the Dutch Dialogues, developed through the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, and now being implemented in multiple projects including the city’s winning National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) entry. Related processes and efforts have produced Rebuild by Design and other NDRC awards for Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the States of Louisiana, Connecticut, and Virginia.