Georgia Institute of Technology School of Architecture
critic: Jennifer BONNER (TVS Ventulett Critic)
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Annie McCARTHY: “Bu-Hi Gift Shop: A Collection of Curious Propinquities.” Atlanta’s Neo-Suburban strip and cultural mecca, Buford Highway, serves as the inspiration and logic for the world’s largest gift shop. Buford Highway is a suburban palimpsest of burger joints and Chinese restaurants; fast food and Korean jewelry stores; single family homes and hotel staffing agencies. The patterns of use and culture are not at all homogeneous along this stretch of seven lane roadway, and it is the lack of similitude that defines curious propinquities. Propinquities are most distinctly manifested in the iconic strip mall.
This project reasserts the grammars inherent in strip mall formal logic to reorganize and reassemble found propinquities and in doing so creates new spatial, tectonic, and cultural relationships—curious propinquities.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AM: Suburbia, strip malls, chop sticks, Postmodernism, the immigrant, souvenirs, snow globes, tacos, shape grammars, Thanos Economou, car culture, Buford Highway, dumplings, commemorative plates, and Jennifer Bonner.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
AM: Reading Learning from Las Vegas, On Longing; listening to Goodie Mob, Ludacris, Ying Yang Twins.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
AM: Neil Denari, Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam, Preston Scott Cohen.
Additional credits and links:
Georgia Tech School of Architecture, Dirty South Studio.