Sustainable Mobile Learning Lab for Westside Neighborhood – English Avenue

Spring 2023 HIVE: Housing Innovation – a Vehicle for Education

The work from this class supports a funded design/research effort for an applied design and fabrication project that builds on current community momentum in Westside Neighborhood – English Avenue. We will establish a positive neighborhood-based living exhibition and learning space that fosters and supports citizen-centric social impact and equity through technology and the culture of a place. The sustainable mobile field station will build capacity and support efforts towards achieving the shared aims for more permanent solutions stated in the 2017 Land Use Framework Plan for the Westside Neighborhood. We will connect technology, design-thinking, and education expanding the capacity technology offers as a tool to address socio-technical and economic challenges, specifically for disadvantaged communities. 

Process and Method:

HIVE seeks to celebrate aspects of the diverse neighborhood identity by offering a platform for the community for shared experiences, open engagement, and exchange. This proposal builds on our discovery of specific social, technological, and cultural needs in this underserved community – and will focus on social infrastructure needs, offering a proposal for a mobile exhibition and learning space for the community. The exhibitions will include ongoing work created in partnership with the community. The space will foster and support an open participatory environment where the neighborhood residents can join in the conversation about proposals to strengthen the community’s identity.

Project Activities: (activities specific to this class bolded) 

  1. We will evaluate advancements in technology and production, specifically opportunities for innovative fabrication/assembly initiatives for the mobile learning lab. 
  1. We will review the energy performance, resiliency, and sustainability of proposed constructions by integrating actionable energy-saving strategies for the mobile learning lab. 
  1. The learning lab will share outputs on topics in architecture, technology, planning, and historic preservation via a community-based urban design build in a historically underserved and resource-depleted neighborhood. 


Faculty Partners:

  • Tarek Rakha, Ph.D., Director, High-Performance Building Lab 
  • Danielle S. Willkens, Ph.D., School of Architecture 
  • Frank Wickstead, School of Building Construction 

Professional Consultants:

  • Leslie Ellsworth RA LEED BD+C, Studio SOGO 
  • Brian Rivers, PM&A Engineers 
  • Lee Harrop, Westside Future Fund 
  • Matt Maxwell, OaksATL 

Graduate Research Assistants:

  • Surabhi Maheshwari 
  • Yichao Shi 


  • Julie Ju-Youn Kim AIA NCARB


  • Kyle Barber 
  • Kailey Brown 
  • Juyoung Cho 
  • Sarah Griffith 
  • Rohan Jaitpal 
  • Tae-Hoon Jang 
  • Rohan Joshi 
  • Charles Kim 
  • Chien-Hai Lan 
  • Cara Marchesani 
  • Madeleine Mason 
  • Chris McCarthy 
  • Kailey O’Connor 
  • Phong Tran 
  • Joel White