Thursday, June 11, 2015

You can impact your own Design for Healthy Living

Design for Healthy Living, the latest exhibition at Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), is thought-provoking, interactive, exciting, promising, visual and tactile, and offers opportunities for visitors to provide input for making Atlanta a healthier city—and those suggestions will be shared with our city government!

Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Tristan Al-Haddad of Formations Studio is again at MODA with a spectacular, interactive installation. It's not only fun, it's thought-provoking. And it spans the depth and breadth of Gallery 3! I've seen this exhibition three times now and can't resist the allure of playing with glowing rectangular acrylic boxes inscribed with words relative to the exhibition's message.

Gallery 3 also features a number of case studies—success stories!—showcasing how various projects around the country are creating healthy places to...

WALK   BIKE   RIDE   LEARN   PLAY   WORK   LIVE

Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

As many of you know, I've been a member and fan of MODA since they were located in downtown, a number of years ago. Katie Simms, Exhibitions Manager, was one of the first people at MODA who made me feel welcome and excited to experience the museum. I'm grateful for her kind spirit and brilliant intellect.

Katie is also the curator of Design for Healthy Living and graciously answered a couple of questions for wanderlust ATLANTA readers...

wanderlust ATLANTA: What was the catalyst for the creation of Design for Healthy Living and what epiphanies are you hoping to inspire for those who experience the exhibition?

Katie Simms: "At MODA, we're passionate about the capacity for design to make the world a better place and exhibitions are a great way to explore this. Design for Healthy Living looks at how the built environment can be designed to improve health and well-being for all of us." Katie continued, "If we understand how design affects our health, we will be able to advocate designers, government agencies, and developers for designs that make healthy options available, accessible and affordable for everyone."

Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Design for Healthy Living presents a number of case studies, one of my favorite being what's happening in Little Rock, Arkansas. Wanting to turn their ghost-town-after-5pm downtown into a thriving community, they're building a "Creative Corridor", and it's working. Downtown Little Rock is beginning to thrive!


There's a lot happening to poise Atlanta as a healthier city, too. Of course, as with all projects, the effects of current initiatives will be cumulative, and while we have a long way to go, we are making some excellent progress.

For example, look at what the Atlanta Beltline has already accomplished, which has humble beginnings as a college thesis. This is the largest urban redevelopment project in Atlanta's history and the largest in the United States—a 25-year sustainable redevelopment project that will turn 22 miles of historic railroad and industrial sites into a network of parks, multi-use trails, and public transit that connects 45 neighborhoods around the city. It's pure awesomeness!

Serenbe is another magnificent example. Today it's a high-density, environmentally-friendly development—home to more than 400 residents—located 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. Its roots go back more than 15 years, originating with the now-founders taking their children on a weekend outing to introduce them to the Georgia countryside.

Serenbe is also where Les Dames d'Escoffier International-Atlanta Chapter's "Afternoon in the Country" event is held, but more on that fantastic event later.


Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Museum visitors are getting in on the act, including school field trip students. Personally, I believe its paramount that we teach our children the importance of healthy design options. They're the ones who will make the greatest impact for future healthy cities. 

wanderlust ATLANTA: How and to what degree do you hope this exhibition will influence action by Atlanta government and her citizens to design and build a city for healthier living?

Katie Simms: "I hope that the exhibition will help visitors to look closely at the spaces where they spend time and think critically about how the design of those spaces impacts their health. The exhibition provides several opportunities for visitors to share their observations and ideas, from how streets could be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists to how the Turner Field site could be redeveloped. We will share all of the visitor feedback with City of Atlanta in the hope that it will be used to make our city a healthier place to live."

Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)
Design for Healthy Living | Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Design for Healthy Living is your opportunity to explore and learn how you can impact your own city's design affecting the health and well-being of your local community, no matter where you live. 

Check out Museum of Design Atlanta's (MODA) website and Facebook page for updates on exhibition-related programming and other awesome events, like LEGOs & Local Beer!

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