Sunday, November 28, 2010

001: Questions

I am starting this blog because I have a lot of questions: questions about design; design and the city; design, the city and how it relates to the inhabitants of that city. Questions about what design can actually do (if anything at all). Detroit, in this moment, is an exciting place for design. Along with its many problems, it has so many potentials, so many opportunities, and so few restraints. (Many local artists have said that if you have a project, just do it, no one is likely to stop you). My goal for this site is to bring together (in one place and for the first time…) design projects from around the city. Both the grassroots projects, conceived and funded by local artists, architects, and community members and the institutional projects supported by local and federal governments. My belief is that if we can look at all of these projects in one place, we can start a discussion which will help direct and situate the design and outcome of our city.

Questions I have are as follows (They are harder to think of when you have to write them down.) Please add your own:

·        How do we have a discussion between top-down and bottom-up design projects and policies for the city of Detroit? What are the projects in each area? How are they working together? Which is more effective in causing positive change for the city?

·        How do specific design projects affect the inhabitants of the city? What are their opinions of these projects? Do they know or care? Are designers delusional about the effects that their work can or will produce?

·        What are other “shrinking cities” doing that is successful or not successful? What can Detroit learn from each of these cases?

·        Who are the leaders exploring the issues of “shrinking cities”? In Detroit? In other parts of the country? What do they have to say?

·        How do we reach people across the “digital divide”? What is the best way to contact or inform the citizens of Detroit about new design proposals and opportunities? What do we gain from being informed?