In Detroit, designers have an opportunity to realize their potential without the hindrance of legal obligation. This opportunity comes with great responsibility. We must be critical of the creative agents active in the city to determine who acts in the city's benefit and who takes advantage of its despair.
Three Danish students journeyed to our fair city last summer to make a documentary on Detroit's urban planning ideas and what they could do for our future. Don't get turned off by the academic mission -- the ambient soundtrack, glimpses inside hair salons and liquor stores and Public Pool, meditations on urban pheasants and the Michigan Central station, all add up to one arresting and thought-provoking short film from our friends at Roskilde University.
They'll highlight a city that was home to the Big Three -- Ford, Chrysler and GM and that gave the world Motown and Techno. A city that lost half of its population in just 50 years and where this year alone 3000 houses will be torn down.
A city that has the fantastic potential to be the first large city in the world to produce all of its foodstuffs within the city limits. A city that is fighting economic meltdown and brutal budget cuts. A city with a blossoming underground and art scene.
Views of Detroit was presented Feb 3 in Copenhagen, and a segment that featured a slow, hypnotic ride on the People Mover (with music by Hamtramck-based sound artist Jennifer Paull) screened last week at Public Pool.