UDM School of Architecture

Entries Tagged as 'Detroit'

Art X Detroit

April 2nd, 2011 · 1 Comment

It being the end of the term, everyone is swamped with work, however there is never a better time to take a break from the SOA and check out some great design about town. Art X Detroit, April 6-10 will be a perfect example to do just that. Just as the flowers will start blooming this spring, Detroit, too will bloom with art.

Exhibitions are already gearing up, with the earliest shows and events starting on April 1, such as the Wire Cruise Car Parking Lot, in Tech Town. The majority of programing however starts on April 6, with the opening of the Art X Detroit Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAD). The show will run through April 24th.

Music performances, live painting, sculpture unvailings, installations, poetry readings, and discussions  by artist like Cedric Tai and Tyree Guyton will take place throughout the week and the month of April.Be sure to take advantage of the situation and get out and explore art in and by Detroit.

Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience is a five-day multidisciplinary celebration that will exclusively present newly commissioned works created by the 2008-2010 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artists Fellows, from April 6-10, 2011. An exciting program of dance and musical performances, literary readings, workshops, panel discussions, public art and special exhibitions, Art X Detroit will be hosted at more than a dozen venues located throughout Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center and is free to the public. Art X Detroit is being supported by the Kresge Foundation.

Tags: Detroit

Detroit 713,777

March 26th, 2011 · No Comments

By this time I am sure you have heard the news, Detroit’s census count for 2010 is down to 713,777. That is a drop of 25% from 2000, and the cities population has not been this low since 1910. Most undoubtedly every mention of this story is bad news, however is that really the case? We all know that it is very dangerous for Detroit to continue on this path of huge losses.

The reality of the situation is that until urban policies are changed in the state of Michigan, Detroit will have a hard time stemming the tide. To clarify the type of change I am talking about is not fiscal managers, huge business tax cuts, and cutting historic tax credits. Instead, the change must bring the cost of development in green fields in line with that of working in developed areas. There must be a larger regional and state land use plan that does not allow the continued sprawling of stagnant metropolitan areas all across the state. Finally it is a plan that must take into account the harms that have been done to the urban environment over the last half a century. Without any of these actions the numbers are sad, but will not change.

In case you have been under a rock, or trapped in studio doing work, which is increasingly likely here is a round up of some other newly released census data, and opinion pieces on what 713,777 means.

Census map showing loses and growth by county in Michigan.


Editorial: A smaller, stronger Detroit.


Governor’s Response


Analysis by Crain’s Detroit


A statement from Declare Detroit


Tags: Detroit

2011 AIAS Michigan Beaux Arts Ball

February 7th, 2011 · No Comments

Saturday night was the 2nd annual Michigan Beaux Arts Ball held at the Detroit Yacht Club. The ball provides an opportunity for students, alumni, professionals, faculty, and guests from all four architecture schools in the state of Michigan to come together. The ball was a joint venture between Detroit Mercy, and Lawrence Tech, with support provided by University of Michigan, and Andrews.

Over 200 people braved the elements to attend the event, held in the spacious and glamorous ball room of the DYC. As people arrived guests mingled, and voted on center pieces created by students from UDM and LTU. Shortly thereafter dinner was served the buffet provided salad, pasta, and roast beef.

Following the meal guests listed to a short presentation by Kaitlynn Young, AIAS President UDM and Moulee Patel, AIAS President LTU, which thanked those who organized the event. Also during the presentation Dean Stephen Vogel was honored for his 18 years of service to the school, and received a standing ovation from the crowd. As a gift, he was presented with a section of the historic wooden doors that had recently been replaced.

After the presentation, students, alumni, professionals, faculty, and guests mingled, and danced the night away.

Tags: Architecture · Detroit

Land Ownership in Detroit

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

The Detroit News recently published an interesting article about land speculation in the city of Detroit. Just 10 people and their investors own over 5000 properties in Detroit.The article is interesting due to the potential barrier this could provide to the Detroit Works Project. Especially due to the history of such speculation causing huge issues once a plan is announced.


Perhaps more interesting than the article itself, is the attached mapping feature that allows you to see the spread of who and where properties are owned.


This is one article that is worth a read.

Tags: Detroit

Detroit Works

February 1st, 2011 · No Comments

On Thursday, Jan. 26, the university hosted a Detroit Works Project community forum. The meeting was part of the second wave of meetings that stretch through February. The focus of this round is on “Why Change?”, and dissects the issues and challenges facing the city of Detroit, while discussing the assets and opportunities. Continuation of the process will feature neighborhood analysis, 6 feedback forums on draft scenarios, and plan and public review sessions, over the course of the next year and a half. Meanwhile, some policy work on governmental and program reform based on resident needs will be taking place this year.

The forum was set up, around interactive voting, where each seat had a ‘clicker’. After a brief presentation of facts and figures a series of questions would be asked, and participants would vote using their clicker. Post voting on a question the results would be presented on the screen, providing a quick relay of information. Following the presentation and voting question could be asked by writing them on a card. The Q and A was probably the least successful part of the evening.

Aside from the presence of some members of BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) the evening was rather straight forward.

Interestingly, some of the most captivating moments came from responses to questions during the session. Constantly, there is a perception that Detroit is for Detroiters however, at the forum 93% of respondents want to attract new residents as well as retain current ones. The process, however, imperfect is a beginning of an open dialogue over the issues and realities and future of Detroit, so it is important to be involved.

Future meetings for this phase are:

Today: Feb 1. 6-8PM Focus Hope 1400 Oakman Blvd.

Feb 2. 6-8PM Gleaners Food Bank 2131 Beaufait St.

Feb 3. 6-8PM Brenda Scott Middle School 18440 Hoover St.

Feb 5. 10AM-Noon American Serbian Hall 19940 Van Dyke St.

Feb 14. 6-8PM Leland Baptist Church 22420 Fenkell St.

Feb 15. 6-8PM Greater Grace Temple 23500 W Seven Mile Rd.

Feb 16. 6-8PM NFL/YET -Boys and Girls Club, Dick and Sandy Dauch Campus 16500 Tireman St.

For more information www.detroitworksproject.com

questions can be emailed to detroitplan2010@detroitmi.gov

Tags: Detroit

Out and About

January 24th, 2011 · No Comments

One of the greatest assets in going to a University in a large city, like UDM, is the ability and access that one has to ‘big city’ amenities. These are events and activities like, museums, sporting events, festivals, and expositions, but also in this category are small scale more intimate events such as art openings, networking events, and parties. The city is a world of opportunity and really is an opportunity to enhance your education, as well as have some fun along the way. As a result I thought this would be a great opprotunity to highlight some past and future events that should be on all architecture students radar.

MOCAD openings and parties.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has been a super star since appearing on the scene in 2006. Well know for the art, what sets MOCAD apart is its young professionals committee known as New Wave, which throws some of the hippest parties around, including an annual Halloween costume party, as well as other events for Valentine’s Day and various other events. MOCAD has also hosted exhibitions of UDM students work in the past. Exhibition openings are also quite frequently a big deal as well. So take some time and check out MOCAD. http://www.mocadetroit.org/

Drinks x Design

A Partnership between the Metro Times and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Drinks x Design, is a new monthly happy hour focused on Detroit area designers. The event travels to different unique bars each month and the kick off was located at Centaur in Downtown Detroit on Jan 20th. Events like Drinks x Design offer great opportunities to check out the city and meet new and interesting folks.

Open City

Flipping back to our conversation on about the State of the State (Thrus. Jan. 20) perhaps your entrepreneurial interest has been spiked. In that case Open City a project for small business in Detroit, started by Claire Nelson of Bureau of Urban Living and Liz Blondie of Canine to Five, provides resource sharing and great discussion on starting a new business in the city of Detroit. Open City is now headed up by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, but is still a powerhouse of great discussions on Detroit, starting a business, and making networking connections. Meetings are the third Tuesday of each month at Cliff Bell’s in Downtown Detroit. http://www.opencitydetroit.com/

So get Out and About and explore Detroit.

Tags: Detroit

State of the State.

January 20th, 2011 · No Comments

Last night Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his first State of the State address, much of which was a continuation of campaign promises. There are, however, some very interesting notes from the Republican Governor, that may indicate some changing attitudes towards entrepreneurs and the creative class. Specifically in his mention of the Hudson Webber Foundations 15 x 15 initiative which seeks to attract 15,000 young professionals to Midtown Detroit by 2015. The program is in collaboration with Anchor institutions (Wayne State, Henry Ford Health System, and the Detroit Medical Center) and includes a variety of programs including the ‘Live Midtown’ program which provides assistance to employees of these institutions to live in midtown. Snyder’s mention of these programs marks a significant shift in the attitude and feeling about Detroit and urban areas in Michigan by those in leadership roles. These innovative programs as well as Snyders support for ‘economic gardening’ or the support of businesses which are developing in Michigan rather than importing new businesses shine a bright light for entrepreneurship in Michigan and Detroit.

At this point you may be saying, “yeah that is great and all but what does this have to do with me?” Well, quite frankly it has a considerable amount to do with many of the students in the School of Architecture, especially the ones who plan to stay in Detroit. It is no longer enough for those trained in architecture to simply walk into a firm and proclaim that they know CAD or whatever software. For the last few years the jobs market has been particularly harsh for those just out of architecture school. However, with the broad based education and skills gained through the program there are multiple paths to a career.And a large part of alternative career paths is using ones creativity and skills in other organizations or creating ones own. And with the promise of a more vibrate environment for self starters, and urban areas including Detroit, there may be a bright future for many in the School of Architecture.

Just think about the possibilities.

Tags: Architecture · Detroit

Friday’s @ 5 Recap – Claudia Bernisconi

November 21st, 2010 · No Comments

Claudia who teaches at UDM presented “The Image of Transit: Urban Perceptions” which sought to detail how to conduct scholarly research. In this case the examples focused heavily on environmental psychology and perceptions.

Some of the interesting points to take from this lecture included, taking something you have an interest in and exploring it in multiple realms. For Bernisconi this included transit. Early examples of research in transit for Claudia included videos made in Rome that studied the view from the transit of the city, this included trams, trains, and cars. Perceptions and different views were very important in this work, for example the car view looked out the passenger window but also gathered the view of the side mirror. Claudia’s work then transitioned in the United States first in West Virginia and then in Detroit to the view of transit from the city, this was due to the inversion of the figure ground, in Rome the buildings dominate the figure, but in the U.S. for the most part the ground is the dominate figure. Work in this realm looked at creating photo surveys that gathered individuals perceptions of transit systems specifically people movers. Using the Personal Rapid Transit System in WV, and the Detroit People Mover in Detroit. Each case was different and studied different aspects of the system due to context. The lecture also revealed some interesting points from each case.

The next Friday’s @ 5 is on December 3.

Tags: Detroit · Friday's @ 5 · Lectures

Halloween and Architecture, Match Made in Hevean?

October 30th, 2010 · No Comments

If there is any holiday that is an architect’s holiday, it is Halloween.

Halloween allows individuals to alter their perceived form through visual manipulation (i.e. costumes, props, and sets). This means fun projects! There are few things that architecture students like more than the ability to get fun and crafty. The possibilities are limitless, only hampered by your ability to construct your costume. You can even converge your architecture and Halloween skills to become a building.

A perfect example of the architecture-Halloween relationship is the University of Detroit Mercy Safety Street, conceived by architecture students 21-years ago. Each Halloween students from various student organizations make facades and sets, that local school and neighborhood kids can trick-or-treat from in a safe environment. This years Safety Street was yesterday and of course the school of Architecture always has the most elaborate facades, what else would you expect. Case in point the photo below:

Safety Street

In, closing get out there and celebrate the architect’s holiday!

Tags: Architecture · Detroit

Detroit Must Shrink to Grow- Forbes

October 26th, 2010 · No Comments

Mayor Dave Bing was interviewed for a articles with Forbes Magazine in which he argues that Detroit must shrink in order to grow. The article provides some interesting insight to continued plans for the Detroit Works Project (Strategic Framework, rightsizing, etc). The most interesting quote was about the specter of relocation:

“…But that means trying to entice the remaining residents of the failed neighborhoods to relocate. The carrot? He’s fixing up some of the 50,000 foreclosed homes owned by the city in more stable areas–and offering each for a nominal sum to those willing to relocate there.”

Interesting idea? One wonders what does that mean for the design profession and how is this work going to be financed? Read the whole article by following the link.


Tags: Architecture · Detroit · Urban Planning