Urban Agriculture + Landscape Symposium and Exhibit

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Silver bullet plan failures in New Orleans…Sounds like Detroit

 Looking for Barbie Architect and finding Andres Duany

click to see Movie

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Urban Centers Symposium and Exhibit

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Objectives and Questions for the Urban Centers Symposium

Group 1: Definition and relevance of Urban Center

What makes anUrbanCenter?

What is the definition of an Urban Center?

Are Urban Centers relevant in the age of megacities?

Group 2: Types of Urban Center

What are the regional Urban Centers and how do they relate to Detroit?

IsDetroitthe Urban Center for Southeast Michigan?

What are the existing Urban Centers in Detroit? How do we support, improve and build upon them?

AreDetroit’s more successful /viable neighborhoods existing Urban Centers?  If so, what do they have that less populated parts of the city do not?

Group 3: Connection

What is the relationship between the neighborhoods and existing or new Urban Centers in Detroit?

What is the connection between transportation and Urban Centers?  Are Detroit’s major arterial roads or major institutions factors in the location of Urban Centers?

What connects Urban Centers within the city and the region?  Are Urban Centers islands or part of a more complex network or local identity?

Group 4: Best Practice Examples and Principles

Are there examples of other post-industrial cities that have bolstered existing Urban Centers or created new ones in response to similar problems?  If so, what did they do?  What was successful, what was not?

What are the ideals should new or newly developed urban centers be designed around? (Sustainability?  Mass transit?  Adaptive reuse/innovative design solutions rather than historicism?)

Should the focus be on attracting and aiding developers for larger developments or strengthen and growth of existing stable neighborhood commercial / residential?

Group 5: Application to Detroit

What resources doesDetroithave that could be used to plan a successful new urban center around?  Are there areas with sufficient density and other amenities that could become a center of activity, new districts? (betweenCheyneParkto Joseph Campau & Franklin to the River?  Russell Industrial area?).

What are the symbolic/iconic images ofDetroitthat could be capitalized when developing urban centers?  (Abundance of factory buildings?  Riverfront?  Industry?  Labor? Design?)

How should the City ofDetroitmarket and attract developers for the following “prime parcels”?:

East Riverfront District, Uniroyal Site, Old Tiger Stadium Site, State Fair Grounds.

What role do grass roots projects in Detroit like the Heidelberg Project, The Alley Project, Power House Project, or Georgia Street Community Garden  shave in rebuilding Detroit and creating Urban Centers?  Are these bottom up projects Urban Centers?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Urban Centers Press Release

Urban Centers to be Focus of Next AIA Detroit

Urban Priorities Committee “Detroit By Design” Series

Detroit Public Library is the Site of Symposiums and Exhibits

 DETROIT – (May 5, 2011) – The American Institute of Architects Detroit’s Urban Priorities Committee (AIA-UPC) continues its “Detroit By Design” series at the Detroit Public Library, May 17-24.  Focusing on urban centers, exhibits for this month’s series open on May 17 and conclude with the symposia featuring industry experts on May 24.

From 1 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on May 24, the symposia will discuss such topics as:

  • How do we support and build existing Urban Centers inDetroit?
  • What is the relationship between the neighborhoods and Urban Centers inDetroit?
  • What impact do neighboring Urban Centers in the suburbs have on the city ofDetroit?
  • What connects Urban Centers within the city and the region?
  • What is the connection between transportation and Urban Centers?

Called “Detroit By Design” and sponsored by the AIA National office in Washington, D.C., this three-month series seeks to assist the city with its efforts to reorganize by helping with the Detroit Works Project (DWP) while bringing together architects, community and business leaders, public officials, allied professionals and other key stakeholders in the region.

The subject of urban centers is the second of three topics covered by “Detroit By Design.”  Last month, the series discussed transportation.  In June, urban agriculture will be the focus of discussion.

In each symposia, participants discuss the specific theme as it relates to theDetroit’s current status, its historic efforts, and the Detroit Works Project.  Through this collaborative public event, the UPC, a group of volunteer architects, seeks to bring design awareness to the communities and promote sustainable communities in the city and region through collaboration.

All exhibits and symposiums are free and open to public (except architects’ seeking continuing education credits).  For more information, please contact the AIA UPC at UPC@aiadetroit.com or go to www.aiadetroit.com.  You also can catch up with the latest activities at https://aiadetroitbydesign.wordpress.com (UPC blog) or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/AIA-Detroit-Urban-Priorities-Committee/165747876782194

URBAN CENTERS—May 17 (Exhibits) and May 24 (Discussions)

How do we support and build existing Urban Centers inDetroit? What is the relationship between the neighborhoods and Urban Centers inDetroit? What impact do neighboring Urban Centers in the suburbs have on the city ofDetroit? What connects Urban Centers within the city and the region? What is the connection between transportation and Urban Centers? These are just some of the questions that will be asked when Detroit By Design focuses on Urban Centers in May.

Exhibit Opening Tues., May 17 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., at the Detroit Public Library exhibit hall (Adam Strohm Hall), the public is invited to view the exhibits focusing on this theme.  Projects displayed were selected projects from almost 90 submissions by teams and individual designers from several countries andU.S. cities.  They will be on display through June.

The discussion sessions will take place in the conference room (Explorer’s Room) and auditorium on Tues., May 24 and feature a distinguished group of panelists, UPC members, local residents, community leaders, public officials, local architects, allied professionals, and area school faculty and students, who will conduct a community workshop.

1 p.m.-4 p.m.: Marja Winters, deputy director for the City ofDetroit and co-project director for the Detroit Works Project, and UPC members will co-moderate the opening discussions on the exhibit projects and how they pertain to Urban Centers in the city ofDetroit. The roundtable discussion will also explore how the projects can influence  the  Detroit Works Project, and have an open dialog with the local architecture community and other attendees.

Other panelists include: David Dixon, FAIA of Goody Clancy – the architect of New Orleans post Katrina plan; SOM Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning Philip Enquist, FAIA; SOM Director of Urban Design Doug Voigt, AIA; Detroit Works Project Team Member and Hamilton Anderson Associates Studio Leader Dan Kinkead, AIA; Cranbrook Academy of Art Director Reed Kroloff; McKenna Associates President Philip McKenna, PCP, AICP; Design 99 and Power House Productions Co-Director Gina Reichert; and Artist and Detroit SOUP Founder Kate Daughdrill.

5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.:  David Dixon, FAIA, of Goody Clancy, headlines this discussion on his post Katrina 2030 master plan for New Orleans, and other US cities and what can be learned to benefit the city of Detroit. For more than five decades, the firm’s work has been characterized by an unwavering dedication to social responsibility and design excellence.

Combining humanitarian purpose with visual distinction, the Goody Clancy planned and designed buildings, neighborhoods and open spaces, which combine the firm’s strong skills in new building design, preservation and research. This experience is coupled with the firm’s interest in energizing the public and encouraging them to stake a claim in their future. The resulting practice is inclusive, collaborative and participatory.

The varied nature of the firm’s work recomposes and revitalizes existing campuses and communities for the people who live and work in them. Goody Clancy is a firm of 100 architects, preservationists, planners and urban designers based inBostonand working nationally. From the firm’s inception to present day, it has integrated energy and resource conservation into its work. The firm’s work has been published extensively and has won numerous accolades for design excellence

6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.:  Moderated by Marja Winters, the last discussion of the evening focusing on the outcomes of the community workshop and the keynote presentations.  The discussion will explore how the city and the Detroit Works Project can benefit from the ideas and proposals generated from the afternoon sessions, make recommendations for urban centers in Detroit, and wrap up the Urban Centers symposium.  Panelists include Kate Daughdrill, David Dixon, FAIA, Philip Enquist, FAIA, Dan Kinkead, AIA, Reed Kroloff, Phillip McKenna, PCP, AICP, Gina Reichert, and Doug Voigt, AIA.

The goal of the American Institute of Architects Detroit’s Urban Priorities Committee (AIA-UPC) is to bring awareness to the design community, and encourage involvement in the planning and design of the city and region toward a sustainable future. Through such activities as interaction with local community stakeholders and city officials, and creation of seminars and other educational events, the AIA-UPC is available to assist the city of Detroit in the historic process of planning and altering the city to achieve a sustainable community design.  For more information or to join the UPC committee and volunteer for events, visit www.aiadetroit.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transportation Symposium

Transportation Symposium Objectives

What precedents are appropriate models for a local and regional public transportation system in Detroit and the surrounding cities?

What public transportation infrastructure does Detroit currently have?  What works about it?  What does not work?

What public transportation systems are currently being planned for the city and the region?  How will what is being planned affect the city and region?

What modes of public transportation would be appropriate for Detroit?

In order to have a truly effective system, how far would the system reach and what form should the transit system take in connecting suburban communities to the city center?

What obstacles would need to be addressed in order to make the system popular with users that do not currently consider using public transportation in Detroit?

How would a public transportation system designed to encourage development in the city be designed?  What are the critical factors that need to be considered to promote growth?

According to the American Public Transportation Association, over the last five years, “public transportation use has risen 21 percent-faster than vehicle miles traveled on our roadways and airline passenger miles logged over the same period.”  How does Detroit compete with cities that currently have established public transportation systems or cities that are rehabilitating and expanding underutilized transit systems?

How would a comprehensive regional public transportation system affect the city of Detroit?

What role would architects and designers play in the development of a public transportation system in Detroit?

What are the minimum levels of public transportation infrastructure required in order to affect a real change in the city/region?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First up: Transportation

2011 Key Dates

Transportation • Exhibit opening: Tue., April 5th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Mon., Mar. 21st: proposal deadline) • Symposium*: Wed., April 13th ******************************************************

Urban Centers • Exhibit opening: Tue., May 17th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Mon., April 25th: proposal deadline) • Symposium*: Tues., May 24th ******************************************************

Urban Agriculture • Exhibit opening: Tue., June 14th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM (Mon., May 30th: proposal deadline) • Symposium*: Wed., June 22nd ******************************************************

Closing event: Wed., June 29th, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM ******************************************************

*Symposium Day Event:

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Community Workshop

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Keynote address

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Panel Discussion

All events will take place at the Detroit Public Library

For more information, please visit our website at www.aiadetroit.com or send email to UPC@aiadetroit.com

Also, Save the date for our partner organizations and panelists April event:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Registration Deadline: 3/21/11

Detroit By Design Call for Proposal (for Exhibits)

Submission Requirements and Deadline

To submit your work, please choose one of the following two methods.

Option 1:

  • Required Items:

(1).   Drawings to be mounted on three (maximum) boards (20” x 30” /board)

(2).   Include a short 200 word maximum description of the project on the submission boards

(3).   JPEG of each board (8 MB max, 150 dpi)

Submission location:

AIA Detroit, 553 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48226

(attention: UPC Detroit By Design)

Submission Deadline for Option 1:

  • Transportation: March 21, 2011
  • Urban Centers: April 25, 2011
  • Urban Agriculture: May 30, 2011


Option 2:

If you would like to have your boards printed and mounted in Detroit for your convenience, please choose this option. Please send your digital files and your inquiries (re: submission method, services, fee information) to Dunn Blue/ARC (submission location/contact info. provided below).

  • Required Items:

(1).   Drawings to be mounted on three (maximum) boards (20” x 30” /board)

(2).   Include a short 200 word maximum description of the project on the submission boards

(3).   JPEG of each board (8 MB max: 150 dpi)

  • Submission location:


  • Contact information:

Paula Donnell

Dunn Blue/ARC | Administrative Assistant

direct 248-288-5600 | fax 248.288.1198


  • Additional information from Dunn Blue/ARC:

To AIA participants: All of the AIA boards are produced on 3/16″ black gator with a matte laminate finish. We have been sending all of the borders with our local trucks down to the Detroit AIA house, so we will handle the delivery issues. If you could upload your files to our FTP site at http://www.dunnblue.com/services/connect_to_FTP. Please label the file and navigate to our Troy Location Upload folder. A short email with the file name and Company Contact information can be sent to michigan.color@e-arc.com. We will need to secure a credit-card to process this order, however we do not encourage sending credit card information via internet. Our billing department can be contacted directly at 248.288.5600 (You may ask for Dora or Denise they are both our in-house AIA event specialists). The boards are approximately $78.15 plus tax. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly.

| Robert Walters| Color Specialist | I.T. Specialist | Senior Web Dev

ARC Michigan

1009 W Maple Road

Clawson, MI 48017

office 248.288.5600 | direct 248.506.2009 | fax 248.288.1198

email: Robert.Walters@e-arc.com


Submission Deadline for Option 2:

  • Transportation: March 14, 2011
  • Urban Centers: April 18, 2011
  • Urban Agriculture: May 23, 2011

    Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    [Design] Saves: A Brief History – Part 1

    Can design save? It’s a loaded question, but the one we must ask.  Even if we don’t set the parameters for what we are trying to save.  In Detroit, the parameters aren’t the same as in other metropolitan areas.  In some regards, we are light years behind the curve.  In others, we have reached the pinnacles of advancement to the point that evolution is required if survival is in order.  This is both a blessing and a curse.

    If you are an Urban Planner, Architect or Urban Designer you have probably had flights of fancy for Utopian city designs.  19th and 2oth century innovators have been theorizing the ideal city for over a hundred years.  Stemming from sources such as Tony Garnier’s Une Cite Industrielle to Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrowLe Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine even Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, our modern built environment has become a constant experimentation in space and form.  As with Detroit’s current state, this experimentation has been both a blessing and a curse.

    From segregated uses in zoning codes and mass suburbanization to crime ridden housing projects, the curse of implementing Utopian ideologies are often horrific as the realities of chaotic socio-economic factors undermine the best laid plans of mice and men.

    The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History – Film Trailer from the Pruitt-Igoe Myth on Vimeo.

    The resultant fields of architectural criticism and theory however offers us the blessing. Lessons learned, so to speak. From Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs to Aldo Rossi, Kenneth Frampton and even Rem Koolhaus, they offer the tools of being able to document and analyse the built environment.  More importantly to the current efforts being addressed in Detroit, they offer us the insight to massive reorganization or rebuilding initiatives led by men such as Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, Daniel Burnham and Robert Moses.

    Moving forward, not only are fresh ideas needed for the design of Detroit, but a complete understanding of the history, successes and failures of the built environment.  Humankind has over 10,000 years of precedent of how cities are organized and how they operate.  Even though the Industrial Revolution changed everything and we have since been experimenting with the futures of our children, some things don’t change.

    If you are interested in sharing your ideas for cities, the AIA Detroit is accepting applications for design proposals focusing on any or all of the following three themes:

    • Urban Agriculture
    • Urban Centers
    • Transportation

    If you are interested in submitting your work and ideas, don’t miss the February 14th registration deadline.


    Posted in Call for Entries; 2011 AIA Detroit Symposium | Leave a comment

    Welcome to AIA Detroit: by Design

    First, let us welcome you to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Detroit Chapter Urban Priority Committee’s (UPC) weblog for the 2011 Detroit: by Design symposium.

    Please join our forum and begin the conversation.

    The goal of The UPC of the American Institute of Architects Detroit chapter is to bring awareness to the design community and to promote its involvement in the planning and design of our city and region.  We have a role in the design of our communities.  We offer our participation and expertise in assisting our city in the historic process of re-shaping the City to achieve a sustainable community design. The proposed 2011 event is to help achieve this common goal, which we hope would assist the City in its historic efforts.

    Second, we would like to invite students, faculty, and professionals to submit design projects focusing on three themes – transportation, urban centers and urban agriculture – to address Detroit’s shrinkage and in re-organizing the City. We invite design or planning proposals that draw attention to the four month long symposia planned in Spring 2011; promote the importance of design when planning transportation, urban centers and urban agriculture in a leaner and greener Detroit; educate the design profession and the public about the importance of civic engagement in re-shaping Detroit; and raise awareness of issues that matter to a broad range of stakeholders who may be affected by the City’s new strategic framework planning.

    Registration Deadline: February 14, 2011

    If you are interested in submitting your proposal, please download the registration form (click here), fill it out and send the completed form to  UPC@aiadetroit.com.

    Posted in Call for Entries; 2011 AIA Detroit Symposium | Leave a comment