Home Community Atlanta’s First Pop-Up Design Studio Draws Talent to Enhance Urbanism

Atlanta’s First Pop-Up Design Studio Draws Talent to Enhance Urbanism

by Muriel Vega + Kristyn Back

Here today, gone tomorrow, is more than just an idiom, it’s the latest inspiration behind the city’s first urban design pop-up workspace. The Atlanta City Studio, now open on Ponce City Market’s second floor, will play part incubator, workspace, and meeting place for local designers and urban planners. The space will be staffed by a team of city planners and architects to encourage discussion and regularly host lectures, open forums, urban art presentations and other neighborhood and design components.

If you’re as eager as we are to visit, make sure to put in your two cents on the future of the city’s planning — like where folks should live as the city grows or new places residents want to see in the city. Your insights could help shape the future of Atlanta, as the studio aims to collect our feedback and directly address issues that currently plague the city.

While the studio currently cozies up in Ponce City Market, don’t count on it being there for long. The uniqueness of this pop-up concept is that it will travel and change locations every six months. While it’s next stop hasn’t been revealed, the move will allow residents in other neighborhoods to connect with like-minded individuals.

Hypepotamus recently spoke with Commissioner Tim Keane who talks about attracting new talent to our city, goals for the new space, and why the studio isn’t slated to sit still.

ACS ribbon cutting

How did the project come about? What inspired it?

Urban design studios are not a new concept, but this is new to our city.  The inspiration for the Atlanta City Studio was Atlanta itself.  As the region is projected to grow by 2.5 million people over the next 25 years, we are responsible for the public realm of our city.  The thought and prospect of the projected growth of this great city was certainly a catalytic energizer that offered a spark for us to shift towards high-quality urbanism.  We need to be in a position to intentionally design a city that can accommodate this level of growth, and we are hopeful to connect people and places with innovation and design elements in a way that will open dialogue and tell our story.

What are the goals for this space? What do you hope will transpire from it?

The goals for the urban design studio space are to:

  •  through a shared vision for vibrant urbanism, raise awareness about urban design and plan for a better Atlanta…one that will continue to advance Atlanta’s people and places;
  •  create urban design policies and enhance design sustainability and livability for the city;
  •  direct urban design services on projects throughout the city;
  • spark urban interaction amongst people who visit our city and those who live here;
  • engage residents and stakeholders in identifying goals for the City of Atlanta and create a new narrative;
  • enhance the socioeconomic, ecological and sustainable urban design form for the city.


Why is the design studio moving every six months? 

The City Studio is for everyone. So, the design studio will have a community-based planning effort that will move every six months to break down barriers and give all Atlantans in every quadrant of the city — access to the studio and its programs and allow them to be a part of the future planning process for the City of Atlanta in creating the Atlanta we want to be for generations to come.

Atlanta City Studio-visitors

Will there be future partnerships with other businesses around town to foster more talent?

We will always benefit from new talent.  The Atlanta City Studio will collaborate with the community, local businesses, partnering agencies and even schools — to explore design trends, and talk about citywide design issues and opportunities in a way that will generate new life and capture new collaboration initiatives for all of us to build, grow and thrive here.

Photos courtesy of the City of Atlanta and Atlanta City Studio

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