In this interview, presented in collaboration with PLANE—SITE, Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon—curators of the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale—explain why the United States' contribution to the 2016 Venice Biennale has brought together "visionary" American architectural practices to speculatively address the future of the city of Detroit. They argue that these projects have "far-reaching applications for cities around the world."
As the home of the automobile industry, the free-span concrete factory, Motown, and techno, Detroit was once a center of American imagination, not only for the products it made but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle, which captivated audiences worldwide.
Today, like many post-industrial cities, it is coping with the effects of a declining population and an urban landscape pockmarked with blight. Nonetheless, having emerged from bankruptcy, there is new excitement in Detroit to imagine the city's possible futures, both in the downtown core and in its many neighborhoods.