Voice and agency refer to the ways in which we seek out and engage with local expertise and experience. The primary concern here is that community partners’ voice is present—possible amplified—in collaborative projects and that those same partners have the ability to direct their involvement and research/project outcomes.
In the past decade Atlanta has undergone phenomenal changes in infrastructure, and food culture because of two things: being a beta-hub in the tech industry, and tax credits that have cultivated a thriving film industry. This influx of people, money, and innovation, restaurant culture has seen tremendous growth. This Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) course encourages students to learn the story of Atlanta through its food history.
Building on the multimedia strategies of composition and process students begin to develop in ENGL 1101, this course in multimedia rhetoric examines the influence of sound on experiences of belonging and access in the spaces we occupy and travel through, from the immediate environs of Georgia Tech to public spaces and sites of development throughout Atlanta. An initial unit builds a vocabulary for recognizing and analyzing sounds in what R.
This course asks students to examine what we talk about when we talk about “dirt,” and how do the things we communicate about dirt change its presence in our lives. The major assignments facilitate learning goals through four units: dirt vs. soil, earthworks, dirt stories, and trendy dirt. The primary texts in this course will largely deal with a North American perspective on dirt. We will engage with American film (ex: Grapes of Wrath, Waterworld, Noma, Interstellar, The Martian, the Mad Max megaverse), and contemporary American literature.
In partnership with The Pride School Atlanta, this course explores advocacy through the design of space at three scales of architecture (in this case, as the design of building): interior space, the building, and the landscape. Can architects re-imagine the future of educational spaces and social equity by placing attention to the bidirectional relationships of space and behavior within the context of gender equality and human rights? Can advocacy become a mainstream practice, a political voice, for architects?
Semester in the City: Engaging Westside Communities
“Semester in the City” seeks to familiarize students with nearby Westside communities that have historically faced, and continue to face serious sustainability challenges – even as they continue to develop significant strategies for positive change. Students learn how ecological, social, and economic systems have operated in these neighborhoods and explore how policy and community mobilization approaches might be re-envisioned to improve liveability.
My course encourages students to think about how they might study or design technologies with a focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals objectives, paying special attention to the needs of underserved, under-resourced, and under-represented communities across the world.
SLS approaches sustainability as an integrated system, linking environment, economy, and society. As an initiative focused on “creating sustainable communities,” we especially emphasize the role that SOCIETY plays in sustainability – and particularly issues of social equity and community voice. You can see a visual outline of SLS’ approach to sustainable communities here. The purpose of this tool is to help students begin to understand the SOCIETY part of sustainability. It includes two exercises and resources for learning more.