The City, The Institute, The Studio. Georgia Tech School of Architecture draws energy and inspiration from a dynamic set of contexts that help define a unique culture of speculation, innovation, and inquiry. Atlanta, a dynamic city within a sprawling region, is both home to and laboratory for Georgia Tech, a premiere technological university devoted to “designing the future.” In the studio, these contexts converge in visions and ambitious designs that balance local and global concerns.
“South of the North, yet north of the South, lies the City of a Hundred Hills, peering out from the shadows of the past into the promise of the future.”
Thus W.E.B. Dubois wrote in 1903 “Of the Wings of Atlanta” and the role that education must play in the social transformation of city, region, and nation. Since its establishment at Georgia Tech in 1908, the School of Architecture has contributed to that vision. Its alumni, students, and faculty have helped give physical shape and substance to the buildings and landscapes that comprise a vast urban domain now stretching far beyond those hundred hills. In our school, Atlanta is both subject and object of study because its problems yield lessons that pertain both here and far beyond.
Atlanta is a city of neighborhoods in a region struggling to become a neighborhood of cities with common cause. It is a city in a forest grappling with deforestation and degradation of fragile riparian zones; a historic city challenged to preserve a contentious past. It is a commercial city in which “Southern hospitality” has been transformed by urban conventions into a burgeoning hospitality trade. Atlanta has been a transportation city since Day One, from native paths to zero mileposts and beyond; now we re-imagine its once abandoned inner-city infrastructure, the Atlanta Beltline, as the genetic model of a revitalized civic realm.
Georgia Tech was established by an act of the Georgia legislature in 1885 and first admitted students in 1888. The creation of the university signaled the beginning of the transformation of the agrarian South to an industrial economy. Today, Georgia Tech is one of 31 public institutions comprising the University System of Georgia and one of four major research universities in the state. Georgia Tech offers educational opportunities in over 150 degree-granting programs from 30 schools within six academic colleges: the College of Design, the College of Computing, the College of Engineering, the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, the Scheller College of Business, and the College of Sciences.
Georgia Tech’s mission as a technological university and as a major research institution supports the School of Architecture in exploring how new technologies and organizational arrangements can serve human values through design. The School of Architecture embraces Georgia Tech’s strategic vision of “Designing the Future” by joining with those across the Institute in multi-disciplinary research and instructional efforts. Our common aim and purpose is to shape and support built environments both enabling and enriching of human experience, ones expressive of the present and responsive to future needs.