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Studio Excultura (with Sasha Topolnytska)

Design Jury Finalist, Passageways II Competition

Chattanooga, TN

“Street Profiles” seeks to reimagine the alleyway as a site of collective memory and storytelling. In our research about the history of Chattanooga, we were captivated by old photographs of the bustling Market St., circa the 1930s. The main street is a longheld image of urban activity and social exchange. Spatial qualities and textures such as the layering of local business signages, the overlay of streetcar wires overhead, and the lively character of the storefronts and passersby themselves became the inspiration for our design proposal. Amidst ongoing large scale construction and development projects that offer new opportunities for urban growth and yet also contribute to an erasure of local histories, we have identified the need to highlight the unique and authentic aspects of Chattanooga city. “Street Profiles” intends to create an experiential collage of past and present, with a focus on the unique local histories and present grassroots initiatives. 

“Street Profiles” is a project situated between architectural design, urban intervention, and cultural storytelling. It seeks to reinterpret and reimagine the interaction between people, place, and event through a language of architectural objects. The proposed intervention is a collection of 3d profiles drawn from the historic image of Chattanooga’s Market St. Our intention is to evoke the layered, dynamic character of the bustling urban street through a installation that is graphic and playful, easily constructible and durable, and flexible for many kinds of activities and uses. The colorful language of the objects invites visitors into the alley, and leads them through a layered, spatial collage of curious yet familiar forms which function as storytelling devices, sharing the cultural “profiles” of the local community.