25 Years Ago This Month: Now, Imagined Then - Flash Back - Atlanta Magazine

Flash Back: Pivotal events from the past five decades

25 Years Ago This Month: Now, Imagined Then

A vision of our future from 1986

Twenty-five years ago, our future was a floating bubble in the sky. Inside that bubble, a futuristic man would direct futuristic Atlanta traffic from above, and pedestrians would shop at the outside mall and walk along the river that would replace Freedom Parkway. Shimmery, Oz-like buildings would dwarf the Peachtree Plaza and Georgia Pacific Tower in the skyline. Rapid transit trains, pedestrian bridges . . . This was going to be 2011. The perspective should look familiar: Robert Fowler and four designers from Tipton Masterson Associates took a picture in 1986 from the same vantage point made famous last year by the apocalyptic poster for The Walking Dead. They traced the picture onto paper and colored it in with Magic Marker, pastels, and a felt-tip pen. “It’s a very playful drawing,” says Fowler, who was commissioned by Atlanta magazine to do the rendering. “We sat down and considered what we could make 2011 look like and decided we couldn’t do anything adequate, inspiring, or engaging enough with our serious thoughts. So we decided, okay, let’s just have some fun. And now looking at this drawing is fun, but yet not at all what I’d try to make a city look like.”

1986 artwork by artists and architectural staff of Tipton Masterson Associates Ltd., currently known as Fowler Design Association Inc., Architecture, Interior Design, Land & Town Planning; photograph of artwork by Patrick Heagney

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