We’ve been fortunate enough to chronicle the growth and evolution of the Green Garage over the last couple years in Detroit and have put together a piece looking at their work in the city for the Urban Innovation Exchange. The Green Garage is primarily a co-working office space Midtown, but the building itself is pretty amazing– specifically the fashion in which it was renovated. In 1920 it was a Model T showroom, but beginning in 2008 Peggy and Tom Brennan started its rebirth as a fixture in the community. Over the next three years they conducted a zero waste renovation project which implies that essentially nothing was put in the dumpster in the renovation. Old drain pipes are now rails for the staircase, flooring was re-planed and made in to decorative shelving, shingle and tar materials were sold to the state to go in to paving roads, etc. Pretty incredible. Listen to Peggy talk about the building and the community that is formulating around it, giving Detroit’s entrepreneurial community a nice spark.
Urban Innovation Exchange: Peggy Brennan, Green Garage from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.
The latest in the series of short films we’ve been doing for the Urban Innovation Exchange was released today. The piece looks at Soh Suzuki and his work with DAY Project, an organization focused on mentoring Asian American youth.
For more of the work we’ve done with UIX, head over to their website.
The Urban Innovation Exchange: Soh Suzuki, DAY Project from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.
We’ve been enjoying doing work for Issue Media Group and their latest effort the Urban Innovation Exchange– a multimedia storytelling hub that underscores the importance and value of social innovation. We’ve been lucky enough to do film pieces on some pretty inspiring and enterprising folks that are doing a lot to redefine the landscape of the city and beyond.
Our latest piece is on Charlie Cavell and the work he is doing with his organization, the Pay it Forward Initiative. They take young adults from Detroit, place them in a job and give them access to a series of workshops and mentoring opportunities to help them grow and develop. Learn more about Charlie and his work via this piece we just completed. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the pieces we’ve done at UIXDetroit.com.
Check out a piece released today for the Urban Innovation Exchange. The short film looks at the work of Yusef Shakur in his neighborhood of Zone. Probably should just watch it below, he’s a pretty incredible dude.
Issue Media Group, the parent company for media outlets like Model D and Metromode, is initiating the Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX) with funding from the Knight Foundation.
It’s clear that Detroiters are re-imagining themselves and their city in very unique ways. Sure, there are traditional developments that are occuring that are rather easy to value– ie, a neighborhood development project that costs 1M and a return of 2M is expected, with X amount of resources coming on the heels of such development. But such a large part of Detroit’s allure right now is tucked in the efforts that are harder to value. How do you economically value a community garden that gives kids in the neighborhood a new sense of purpose? This gets tougher. And my hope is that the Urban Innovation Exchange will begin to disseminate some of the many factors that are propelling this new form of social capital forward and really making a difference in the identity and movements of the city.
What’s exciting is that I think the idea in and of itself is good, but it seems as though the muscle needed to make this happen is there. There are lots of players moving this effort forward, including DL!. We are very excited about being a part of this exchange in a variety of ways– creating original content and also playing an editorial role. Other media partners include the Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post Detroit, Model D, New Michigan Media, Thrive Detroit and I Am Young Detroit. Data Driven Detroit is playing a part handling some of the analysis and codifying the information in to valuable data sets and models that are scalable.
It’s funny, I just had a visitor over the weekend from out of town, and just like everyone else that visits, he said there is something special going on in the city. Something real. My hope is that efforts like UIX begin to put some sensible data sets and analysis around the realized factors and efforts that are moving the city forward. Instead of all this meta-Detroit talk that can sometimes be more emotional than tangible, I hope we begin to put in to place models that disseminate the nature of our innovation in Detroit. And then, from there, we scale it up and really have a hand in writing the rule book for next generation cities.
Claire Nelson closing up shop at Bureau was a shock to many, but a sure sign that bigger things were in the works. That news was made public today– Claire Nelson will join Model D as their new publisher. Big news. Read some words from her over at Model D.
Claire’s baby, Open City, the small business-centric event she started years ago with Liz Blondy, ought to be interesting tonight. It discusses local business, ways to support it and raise it up. Or just getting something a movement going. What’s needed now? Larry John, the Woodbridge landlord-visionary will be on the panel– the fellow that also commissioned this DL! mural. 630-8pm at Cliff Bells.
Finally, you should probably read the mega-news article that has been spreading wings all over the country via the LA Times. Author Andrew Bender discusses movements in the city, cool stuff taking foot and why it’s a special place. Good narrative indeed to be spreading from coast to coast. Check it here.
I had the chance to attend the PSFK Salon today held at the DIA. It was a mini-conference of sorts, 4 hours in length, under the premise of fueling imagination through creative and inspiring discussions about Detroit. Scott Monty spoke. He is man behind the wheel with social media at Ford. Catie Newell discussed her architectural project called Five Fellows that is shaping up to be an ongoing arts installation– and home– in the same neighborhood as the PowerHouse Project. Jeremy Eckhous talked about his company Advanced Energy Group and their use of geothermal energy as a renewable source of energy for affordable heating and cooling in the region. The panel discussion followed with Jerry Paffendorf of Loveland, Terry Parris from Model D and Rebecca Powers at Hour Detroit. Here’s some random snippets that people were heard saying throughout the course of the afternoon– all painting a picture for growth and change in the region.
“I think there is a dynamic happening right now to make us believe that change is really happening this time for Detroit.” Rebecca Powers
“We produced one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time in Henry Ford, and we will continue to do that.” Terry Parris
“It’s in our blood to make things here in Detroit” Terry Parris
“If you have an idea or story and you want to do it, there’s nothing stopping you in Detroit.” Terry Parris
A fine morning indeed.
Been real busy this week prepping for Maker Faire– building the giant easel for the user-generated mural that will be part of the setup and printing some brand new posters and tees that will be for sale– and running suicide drills up and down Woodward prepping for the Copa Detroit this weekend. You should probably come out for both events.
In the meantime, check out this article from the Free Press with all kinds of goodness in it about Detroit. If reading isn’t your thing, then check out this video that Model D did about the Detroit City Futbol League and, well, you guessed it, the approaching COPA.
Shorpy threw up another photo. Are these still interesting? Christ, I think so.
Toby Barlow, the ace who was featured in The Farmer and the Philosopher, put together a real nice article for Under the Influence’s Detroit Issue. You can read it on Toby and Phil Cooley’s (Owner of Slow’s BBQ) blog site “Remains of the D.” They are doing some cool projects over there in the media-verse– some photography work and an upcoming fundraiser for Dai Hughes’ Astro Coffee project to go in to the Slow’s MegaMall on Michigan Avenue (the building with the star and the army’esque looking gal pointing a rifle).
They linked to a cool article from Model D about a distinguished French gentleman that thinks it is OH-SO-WISE to be investing greenbacks in Detroit. Beautiful.
Tonight! TONIGHT! TONIGHT! Ahhh, geez. Genesis always gets the best of me. But. What I was trying to say is that MOCAD is hosting a fantastic (FREE!) film screening tonight– a look at some rare arhival footage of Detroit from the Prelinger archives. The deets, my friends, are best located here.