Young entrepreneurs gravitate to places where they can become the founders of a revitalized culture; where land is cheap and available, and innovation is uninhibited by a status quo. Detroit, Michigan has become one of those places. The media gives us a portrayal of a wasteland, a post apocalyptic landscape of dilapidated homes and infrastructure, but there is plenty opportunity for start-ups to redefine Detroit’s future. That it why young innovators and risk-takers are needed to bring new energy and awaken new markets within the city. A recent article by Chuck Salter for Fast Company identifies six entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Detroit. They vary from grassroots campaigns to inform people of opportunities within the city to small scale enterprises that bring retail and infrastructure to the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods.
More after the break.
The TechTown District Plan by Sasaki Associates articulates an inspiring vision for the revitalization of the district. An emerging knowledge district in Midtown Detroit, this town is currently characterized by surface parking, vacant properties, and inward-facing, siloed hubs of activity. The architects’ concept, however, aims to accelerate innovation, promote entrepreneurship, and build community around the generation of ideas in a vibrant, mixed-use setting. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In an effort to generate innovative ideas for the re-use of one of the most important building sites in Detroit’s redeveloping downtown, Rock Ventures LLC has collaborated with Opportunity Detroit to launch the open ideas competition Redesigning Detroit: A New Vision for an Iconic Site. Entrants are challenged to create compelling visions for a new urban development on the famous 92,421 square foot Hudson’s site that would play a significant role in the regeneration of downtown Detroit.
Submissions should consider the significant history of the site, its physical and cultural context, and its potential for the future. Successful proposals will demonstrate optimism about revitalizing Detroit, with great architecture providing a positive, catalytic impact on the community. The deadline for submissions is April 30. More information here.
Aiming to create a riverfront like none other in the world, landscape architect Matthew Edward Getch and architect Maciej Woroniecki shared with us their proposal in the Detroit by Design 2012 competition where they received the 2nd overall prize and the first prize for the People’s Choice Award. The goals of their proposal were born from Detroit’s apparent weakness. They established linear interventions which recognized the severed parks and green networks and utilized them to reconnect the citizens of Detroit back to the riverfront through pedestrian friendly portals. More images and architects’ description after the break.
‘The Forest’ Detroit Riverfront Competition 1st Prize Winning Entry / Hyuntek Yoon, Soobum You (Team Atelier Why)
Hyuntek Yoon and Soobum You of Team Atelier Why shared with us their first prize winning proposal in the Detroit Riverfront competition. Their ‘Forest’ concept, which aims at being a fairy tale between the city and the forest by ‘filling’, is the focus of the urban development. Currently, the site is filled with voids, such as trees and the knoll, but the forest creates rich stories with the city. Providing spaces that are more secure and for smaller activities, people will have the chance to experience nature. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The main objective for the Detroit River Front proposal is to create a new image of the city, an exclusive and unique landmark that glances to a future Detroit involved in its nature that it forgot for a long time. Designed by Architetto Matteo Ascani (AMA), the project for the redevelopment of Hart Plaza is divided in major guide lines: water, nature, history. They provide a new landscape system, where water enters inside the plaza by canals that redesign the cost line, as the river comes closer to the downtown. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The ‘Your Text Here’ participatory, site-specific light installation challenges the condition of the city constantly telling us what to do, what to think, and how to act. Using explicit visual language, a multiplicity of billboards, signs, images and symbols invade our public spaces in order to tell us something. The project by Marcos Zotes/UNSTABLE aims at empowering local communities by providing a tool that transforms people voices into citizen proclamations the size of buildings. You just submit an anonymous text message in a website through your mobile phone, and in turn it is automatically projected at large scale onto the façade of a building. More images and architect’s description after the break.
AIA Detroit Chapter’s Urban Priorities Committee just launched their Detroit by Design 2012: Detroit Riverfront Competition, which is open to students and professionals world-wide. The project site consists of the area between Cobo Hall and the Renaissance Center and between Jefferson Avenue and the Detroit River. A distinguished group has been put together to judge the competition including Daniel Libeskind, Walter Hood, Reed Kroloff, Faye Alexander Nelson, and Lola Sheppard. With a prize of $8500, the winner will also win a trip to Detroit and a lecture at an AIA sponsored event. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on November 30. An accompanying symposium is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2012. To register and for more information, please visit here.
No architectural gem is safe from Detroit’s foreclosure crisis – not even two of Mies Van der Rohe’s very own creations. The Lafayette Towers, two 22-story towers of 584 units, originally part of a major urban redevelopment project in the late 50s early 60s, are up for auction July 18th.
But be warned, there is a catch…
Find out the fine print, after the break.
The AIA recently published a reprint from the National Associates Committee journal Forward by author Wellington Reiter, FAIA. The hot topic essay goes into great detail discussing how three U.S. cities – Detroit, Phoenix, and New Orleans – are serving as examples of the impacts of adverse planning and general continuation of unsustainable behavior. While in times past these cities have flourished, and grew on the assumption that the trend would continue inevitably, they are sharp reminders of the consequences of naivety in regards to long term sustainability. More after the break.
From October 26-30, 2011, the community is invited to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Great Hall to explore the 2011 Detroit Canstruction® Design/Build exhibit. Giant sculptures made completely of canned food will be on display highlighting the event’s theme – “You can’t spell food without the D.”
Thousands of vegetable, soup and other canned goods will be used to create unique works of art built by teams of local architects, designers, engineers, contractors and students. Detroit Canstructionâ will help raise awareness about hunger issues while nourishing families in need. All cans used in the exhibits will be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Gleaners). More information on the event after the break.
USA Today has put together a list of city neighborhoods which are satiated with activity, areas which offer a “great slice of urban life.” These districts trend from the urban vicinity to its very core, each in itself exemplifying the revitalization of the American city. The list includes regions which have been influenced by deliberate urban revitalization projects, such as High Line Park in Chelsea; while other neighborhoods have experienced an influx of a younger populace which has contributed to its growth, such as Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh.
See the 10 Up and Coming Urban Neighborhoods after the break.
The recession that began in 2007 technically ended in 2009, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting Detroit. The capital of U.S. auto manufacturing has been hit particularly hard, and stories of its plight during the economic downturn abound. Less reported, though, are the ideas and proposals put forth to return this city to its former glory. The urban renewal projects proposed are some of the latest in a long line of design projects that attempt to bring renewed prosperity and well being to the downtrodden sections of cities throughout the world. More on urban renewal and Detroit after the break.
RecoveryPark is a collaborative effort of neighborhoods, policymakers and designers that will include urban farming, education, commercial and housing development in Detroit, Michigan. SHAR, Inc. (Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation) teamed up with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture to create a community design process to develop land-use proposals and speculate on what a resuscitated urban environment might look like.
Read on for more after the break.
‘Detroit by Design’, a symposium and exhibition hosted by the AIA Detroit Urban Priorities Committee, will welcome the architecture and design community to study the unique and challenged urban infrastructure of Detroit through three key issues: urban centers, transportation, urban agriculture over the next three months. This month ‘Detroit by Design’ will address the topic of transportation with an exhibit on April 5th and discussions on April 13th. All exhibits and symposiums will be held at the Detroit Public Library and are free and open to public. Further details of ‘Detroit by Design’ following the break.
When Dale Morgan and Norman Silk spotted a “For Sale” sign in front of a contemporary home in the Palmer Woods neighborhood of Detroit it was just what they were looking for, so they snatched it up. Little did they know that they had just stumbled into buying a true Frank Lloyd Wright designed home, known as the Turkel House.
To answer the question you are all asking yourselves, how could they not have known, it turns out that 25 years of disrepair, long periods of vacancy and changing owners hands combined with years of deferred maintenance and overgrown vegetation can hide a FLW design quite well.
More following the break.