Generator Workshop [Buford Highway]
Generator is committed to the production of ideas about cities that nobody is asking for, but that just might change the world. We are a nonprofit studio that exists solely to pursue and amplify research, propose ideas, and generate dialogue that supports the future of cities. We are driven by ideas, rather than clients, offering a platform for concept generation, provocation, experimentation, and design. Generator engages Atlanta as a microcosm for every city, employing its urban laboratory to test ideas that can re-shape our future.
The focus for the first iteration of Generator Workshop was Buford Highway, a corridor north of Atlanta celebrated for the ethnic diversity of its people and food. Popularly named the “International Corridor,” over 1,000 immigrant-owned business make Buford Highway a destination for Korean, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Central American, Somali, and Ethiopian goods and services. These conditions, however, are increasingly under pressure from rising real estate values. Like so many places, the corridor may become a victim of its own success. Through this course, Generator seeks to develop a wide range of creative ideas that can help leverage change to Buford Highway’s advantage, protecting its culture of diversity, innovation, and adaptation.
The course began with a dinner on Buford Highway, where we discussed the pertinent issues of the area, as well as the students’ personal aspirations and goals. After identifying a variety of concepts, students selected a specific idea, developing them through readings, research, analysis, and discourse. Final proposals were refined and articulated through class discussion of issues such as equity and resiliency, implementation strategies, political strategies, writing, and visualization. The final deliverable will included a draft plan for moving the idea(s) into reality. These ideas were presented at the "Ideas Fair", a gallery of the students' projects activiating an empty storefront on Buford Highway.
Services: educational programming, community engagement