Atlanta, GA is a testament to the debunking of this notion that all urban centers are “concrete jungles.” Every year, the city takes this point to the next step with PARK[ing] Day. On this day, in cities around the world, parallel parking spots are sectioned-off from automotive use and become occupied by various installations created by numerous organizations and companies. This was the first year the Georgia Tech AIAS participated.
One of the poetic sentiments of PARK[ing] Day is the expression of re-purposing utilitarian real estate for more pedestrian-friendly activity. This day is essentially an excuse to prove that urban sprawls should facilitate more engaging activities at the pedestrian scale. Our AIAS Chapter decided to create a folding chalkboard wall, where passersby could casually stimulate their imaginations through drawing. We decided to flank the walls with wooden planters of our own design, and also borrowed a few chairs that the industrial design majors created to add to the leisurely, quaint atmosphere of our space. The drawing prompt we displayed for PARK[ing] Day was “Draw Your Dream House,” because we figured everyone had some conception of what their dream house might look like.
This event was also meant to mark the launch of the Georgia Tech Freedom By Design chapter. We had planned that if our AIAS installation was popular enough, our FBD chapter would consider building multiple chalkboard walls for different neighborhoods around Atlanta. Our intention is to motivate people to leave their spaces of comfort and enjoy the company of others partaking in a beautifully whimsical activity.
We, as future architects, envision the city as a conglomeration of diverse groups that should be knitted into a singular entity. These chalkboard walls are our way of getting the city to recognize its potential for communal, pedestrian activity.