Eco-Commons Art Installation

Help Create a Site-specific Sculpture with World-renowned Artist Patrick Dougherty

As part of Georgia Tech’s commitment to sustainability, the Institute has established the Eco-Commons, 80-acres of greenspace that will preserve the natural topography and link smart infrastructure across campus. The first section to open, on Ferst Drive NW between Hemphill Avenue and State Street, will be the home to a new natural-material installation, and this is your opportunity to take part in the process by assisting with the weaving process, cleaning up the site, and moving scaffolding. Volunteers must be able to work outdoors and undertake physical activities including lifting, bending, reaching, and walking on uneven surfaces, and you must be at least 18 years of age to participate.

All slots are now full to help with the installation process, but we will announce any cancellations here. Please consider joining us on January 14 at 11 a.m. for a fascinating discussion with Patrick about sustainable and regenerative design, streamed on our Facebook Live page. Learn more and register through the link below.


About Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty creates unique, large-scale installations using locally sourced saplings in a process that is community-driven from design through construction. The materials for this project will be collected from Serenbe, a new urbanism-styled community located in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia.

Patrick began by visiting the site in late 2020, making a series of word associations and developing a group of jottings and doodles to dramatize the ideas generated during the visit. These impressions will be further developed during the early days of the construction when the exact nature of the material, skill of the volunteers, and other factors become known. The saplings that will be used in the Georgia Tech sculpture will be harvested at Serenbe and delivered to the Eco-Commons, ready to be molded to Patrick’s design. The fabrication process begins with Patrick building a woven substructure that is then fleshed out using more sticks as lines to weave a kind of three-dimensional drawing. Finally, he works to “erase” all the flaws by using finer, small branches to mask various inconsistencies.

About the Eco-Commons

The site for this work will be the first section to open of the new Eco-Commons on the Georgia Tech campus. A remarkable reclamation project, the overarching vision of the Eco-Commons is to create 80 acres of green space that will follow what were the original naturally occurring stream paths of this region before being urbanized. The area of the Eco-Commons where the sculpture will be installed is eight acres of green space that aims to mimic a traditional piedmont woodland.

Safety on Campus

As a reminder, all campus safety protocols will be in effect. You should conduct a wellness check before coming to campus. You are required to wear a face covering at all times (both indoors and outdoors) and follow the instructions of Georgia Tech Arts staff regarding safety and physical distancing. Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to participate in free on-campus surveillance testing 72-hours in advance. We ask that any registered volunteers reschedule or cancel their shift(s) if they test positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of their scheduled shift(s), have contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of their shift(s), feel unwell, or exhibit Covid-19 symptoms within 10 days of their scheduled shift(s). We appreciate everyone following these safety guidelines while on campus.


Image credit: "Sortie de cave/Free at Last," 2008, Jardin des Arts, Châteauborg, France. Photo by Charles Crie.