The New Republic, a magazine that provides commentary and strategy as it relates to politics, foreign policy and culture, just published The Detroit Project. It shapes up very similarly to a lot of the critical looks at Detroit, stating the downfalls, the disparities, but then lays out some ideas for Detroit based on what has been done in other European cities– mostly based on (surprise!) leadership and land-use. This method of comparison is by no means a new concept– after all, it seems HAA’s lecture series is doing this once a month– but it is perhaps interesting to see multiple case examples that similar re-invention has happened in another corner of the universe. We ain’t alone. Hey, we can do this! MLive’s Jonathan Oosting posted a response and reaction to the project which helps to really get down to the nitty gritty of the whole thing. Now, it’s just a matter of taking part and contributing to that transformation.
Just a reminder about the lecture at Charles Johanson Gallery near Eastern Market tomorrow night at 6:30pm. Delivering the lecture is Lars GrÃ¤bner who practices architecture in the city of Detroit after four years as head designer at Studio Libeskind in Berlin, Germany, and then teaching at the ETH in ZÃ¼rich. He is a professor at the University of Michigan, teaching architectural design, construction and urbanism. Intrigued by Detroit, he has decided to contribute to the development of the city and will talk about a city rich with possibility tomorrow. All details regarding the event are located here.
Jim Griffioen, the fellow behind the wheel at Sweet Juniper, a local blog about being a stay-at-home Dad, Detroit and contemporary social issues, will be giving a lecture at The Johanson Charles Gallery in Eastern Market (map) on the regeneration of urbanism in Detroit. According to his website, he’ll be talking about “Detroit’s ruins, urban farming, Henry Ford, historic preservation, blogging, photography, tourism, the suburbs, the picturesque, Rosa Parks, Greenfield Village, and the aesthetics of abandoned places.” Check it out tomorrow evening, 6 to 7pm.
Update (8/18/09): The lecture went off well, with a casual Jim Griffioen leading the discussion. The general thematic delivery was aimed at encouraging local Detroiters to embrace and take ownership of the “ruins” around town. Instead of seeing them as indications of peril and demise, we should embrace the beauty that is contained within the social and historical compenents of the site. Ruins can be intriguing to some extent because at some point everything dissolves. So, watching and understanding the natural process unfold can be enthralling. The talk lasted about an hour and was well attended by people of all ages.