Academic department under which the project should be listed

CACM - Architecture

Faculty Sponsor Name

Kathryn Bedette

NA

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Thomasville heights is a displacement neighborhood for people pushed out by Atlanta’s Urban Renewal projects. Thomasville Heights remains a casualty of a system of economic segregation. Under this system of segregation these neighborhoods are left in detrimental states. It is in places like Thomasville Heights where the phrase “place matters” becomes a call to action. A town of 6000 residents and only one elementary school, Thomasville heights is bordered by multiple freight yards, a cemetery, landfills, and Atlanta’s US penitentiary, just a 5-minute walk from that one elementary school. There remains a vast difference between that of low-income urban, and suburban school facilities that has drawn little attention.

My thesis examines the role of an elementary school in a low-income community. While it is accepted practice to use school facilities for community functions; community and educational design, remain in separate fields. By creating an interdisciplinary approach to community and school design; new strategies can be implemented to use combined educational grant and community development funding. By turning elements of the school inside out and extending the reach of the school into the community, this thesis will create a new strategy for designing educational neighborhoods in low income urban communities.

This calls for planners, administrators, and architects to take an aggressive position on integrating design practices between schools and communities, especially in low-income areas, where financial and familial resources can be low, or otherwise not available. By fostering a relationship at many levels of a school’s environment, this project creates a framework for the design of a didactic neighborhood, developing tactics of designing with nature, spatial sequencing, materiality, and playfulness. Architecture can facilitate a learning experience that also happens outside of the school walls, resulting in an approach which promotes education and well-being for the students and the community.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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From Displaced to Our Place: Using an Educational Narrative to Build Community in a Displaced Community

Thomasville heights is a displacement neighborhood for people pushed out by Atlanta’s Urban Renewal projects. Thomasville Heights remains a casualty of a system of economic segregation. Under this system of segregation these neighborhoods are left in detrimental states. It is in places like Thomasville Heights where the phrase “place matters” becomes a call to action. A town of 6000 residents and only one elementary school, Thomasville heights is bordered by multiple freight yards, a cemetery, landfills, and Atlanta’s US penitentiary, just a 5-minute walk from that one elementary school. There remains a vast difference between that of low-income urban, and suburban school facilities that has drawn little attention.

My thesis examines the role of an elementary school in a low-income community. While it is accepted practice to use school facilities for community functions; community and educational design, remain in separate fields. By creating an interdisciplinary approach to community and school design; new strategies can be implemented to use combined educational grant and community development funding. By turning elements of the school inside out and extending the reach of the school into the community, this thesis will create a new strategy for designing educational neighborhoods in low income urban communities.

This calls for planners, administrators, and architects to take an aggressive position on integrating design practices between schools and communities, especially in low-income areas, where financial and familial resources can be low, or otherwise not available. By fostering a relationship at many levels of a school’s environment, this project creates a framework for the design of a didactic neighborhood, developing tactics of designing with nature, spatial sequencing, materiality, and playfulness. Architecture can facilitate a learning experience that also happens outside of the school walls, resulting in an approach which promotes education and well-being for the students and the community.