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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Charity Cullom paints a portion of sidewalk in front of the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library in downtown Chattanooga on Friday Nov. 20, 2020. The project, called "The Porch," was implemented by the Chattanooga Design Studio and included areas around Patten Towers, Georgia Ave. and Market St. The project was funded through a grant from Blue Zones and Degree Deodorant.

* Location: 850 Market Street, Miller Plaza, Suite 206

* History: In 1981, the Urban Design Studio began in a renovated drugstore to give architecture students hands-on experience in urban design. Led by Stroud Watson, the studio guided critical community conversations and helped shape local landmarks like Miller Plaza and the 21st Century Waterfront. That studio closed in 2005, and in 2015, the late Christian Rushing started the Chattanooga Design Studio. Today's studio builds on the legacy and philosophy of the city's first urban design center.

* Services: The Chattanooga Design Studio is an urban design resource for the community. It's an independent, non-profit organization that promotes excellence in Chattanooga's urban design through education, facilitation and advocacy. Year-long internships give college students and young professionals new insights and hands-on experience in urban planning, and university collaborations allow students to develop programming and projects for Chattanooga sites. Last fall, those collaborations produced two 2020 AIA Middle Tennessee Design Awards.

Programs like the quarterly CIVIQ speaker series bring together people and groups who share a collective vision for the city. Projects like the Patten Parkway redesign and My Chatt House, an online guide to help homeowners, builders, and community organizations make decisions about house and yard design, highlight the ways in which the studio helps the community preserve its character and collaboratively plan for better shared spaces.

* Mission: The mission of the Chattanooga Design Studio is to enhance Chattanooga's quality of life by educating the community about, advocating for, and facilitating excellent urban design.

 

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