Shaw Contract Group recently announced the five winners of its 2013 Design Is… Awards competition. The designers behind the winning projects, featured in Contract‘s September issue, were honored by Shaw this past weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Shaw’s manufacturing facilities are located nearby in Northern Georgia). I was honored to attend this celebration, meet the winners, and explore a new city.
It was my first chance to visit Chattanooga, despite having grown up in a bordering state. I didn’t have many preconceived notions, but I left feeling that this city is truly a special place. I’m told it wasn’t always so; in 1969, Chattanooga was dubbed the “dirtiest city in America.” This formerly grimy, industrial city is now a model of sustainable urban development. Beginning in the early 1990s, the government and private investors undertook several projects that would revitalize the city and enhance its natural landscape.
Chattanooga continues to innovate, and can now make the claim to be the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer one-gigabit-per-second fiber internet speeds to all residents. I didn’t test that out much as I was too busy taking in all the amazing views. I can’t wait to return to this beautiful city again someday!
I wasn’t the only Contract editor on the road this weekend. Associate Editor Cody Calamaio attended IIDEX in Toronto and toured some interesting new projects in the city. She’ll share her experiences on the blog later this week.