The Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry was initiated in 2004 by Oscar Harris, FAIA, CEO of Turner Associates/Architects & Planners, Inc., one of Atlanta’s leading architectural firms, and a Carnegie Mellon alumnus and trustee, in partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology and Benjamin E. Mays High School. Envisioned as a demonstration project to introduce minority high school students to architecture and design, it was modeled after the Sustainable Landscape and Architecture Project, hosted in the STUDIO in 2000-2003 and created by S.K. Woodall.
ACCI continued to run its mentoring program in Atlanta under Carnegie Mellon’s umbrella until 2009, when the Center formally incorporated itself as a totally independent non-profit Georgia corporation. To date, ACCI has mentored hundreds of students living in metropolitan Atlanta and surrounding areas.
ACCI’s founder, Oscar Harris, was inspired to begin mentoring the youth of metro-Atlanta in creative design due to several influences, including the shockingly low numbers of minorities and women attending college and working professionally in architecture, his work as a Studio for Creative Inquiry Fellow at Carnegie Mellon, and his experience as a African-American-owned business owner, professional architect and active community member.