The Dirty South

Masters' Studio with Jennifer Bonner



Dec '12 - Feb '13

  • What is the Image of Home in the Dirty South?

    Freya Schlemmer
    Feb 15, '13 1:39 PM EST

    For her project in the Dirty South Studio, Kasia Zycinska deconstructed the accommodations section of our Atlanta guidebook, exploring the idea of domestic life of the city and how Atlantans depict themselves to the world. Freya Schlemmer and Cynthia Smith interview Kasia about Atlanta's average resident and her creation of the "average" house.


    Freya Schlemmer: There are millions of houses in Atlanta. How did you choose which ones to examine?

    Kasia Zycinska: I started my investigation by exploring the city's housing through the lens of, a website that offers an alternative to hotels, by featuring posts of local residents who provide tourists with bed-and-breakfast-like accommodations. Along the way, the scope of the research grew to include other homes that have been publicized in some way: Atlanta historic homes featured in the “AIA Guidebook to Atlanta,” as well as contemporary houses that have been a part of the Modern Atlanta Home Tour.

    Cynthia Smith: So, this research led you to design the "average" Atlanta home. How did you decide to compare and compile all of the data you uncovered?

    KZ: The project utilizes methodology of various ways of averaging data: location, the client, the sense of domesticity, and the collective image of home become “averaged out” to create reinterpretation of Atlanta’s idea of domestic life.


    01_ sense of domesticity

    FS: Did the idea of the average flow through the rest of your decisions for your design, i.e. the way you determined the site and client?

    KZ: Yes, the site, located at the east entry to Piedmont Park, is an arithmetic mean of latitude and longitude of all of homes I researched. The client, Jennifer Washington, a 32-year-old African American homosexual high school English teacher, was created as a statistical mode of Atlanta’s demographics. I looked at the AIRBNB posts as a survey of Atlanta’s sense of domesticity, expressing how its residents view their homes and domestic life that, to then determine the main components of the program.

    CS: It sounds like this was a consistent methodology factor carried throughout your design process. How were you then able to use the data you collected on the average to inform the resulting architecture?

    KZ: The notion of collage became the means for “averaging out” the aesthetics of Atlanta’s residential architecture. The collages are both architectural and generative of architecture. With their transparent qualities, they became three-dimensional, creating new spaces that could be inhabited. The results were a series of sections that depict vignettes of domestic activities from the life of the client. The “average” house becomes a home of collective desires. Thus, a new residential architecture emerges in an awkwardly aggregated form with exaggerated spacial relationships and qualities.

    To learn more visit:


    02_ search for the collective image of home


    03_ study in density of solid and void


    04_ deep domesticity


    05_ farmhouse in the city


    06_ southern hospitality

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  • What Does Aldo Rossi Have To Do With Atlanta Hip-Hop?

    Freya Schlemmer
    Jan 30, '13 4:56 PM EST

    For her project in the Dirty South Studio, Liz Teston looked at the world of hip-hop in relation to city of Atlanta. Her explorations began with mapping the locations described in a number of songs from local rap legends. Freya Schlemmer and Cynthia Smith interview Liz about Atlanta's musical... View full entry

  • 2012 Fall Semester Review

    Freya Schlemmer
    Dec 26, '12 9:40 AM EST

    What takes place in Atlanta's underbelly? You might know a little bit of the dark side of our fair city, but  there are a multitude of overlooked phenomena hidden here. Beginning with the idea of a guidebook, TVSDesign Distinguished Studio Critic Jennifer Bonner mastheaded 14 graduate... View full entry

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