This project proposes a city in the sky for Detroit, MI. The new city is conceived as a vertical suburban neighborhood equipped with recreational and commercial areas where three main grids (streets, pedestrian pathways, and structure) are intertwined to create a box-shaped wireframe. Traditional and contemporary houses and other diverse programs plug in the structure to create a rich vertical urban fabric.
My partner and I have been awake all morning, our faces aglow in front of brightly burning screens, our fingers feverishly clicking to keep pace with our racing thoughts. Frantically driven by decades of fear, themselves perpetuated by an avalanche of numbers and an onslaught of “better world” fantasies born of an endless stream of technological innovation, our mission is clear: rescue Detroit from being rescued. In a world whose only acceptable path is the immediate betterment of our own existence, my partner and I demand the discipline to let it die and live another day. Sweating and panting with the knowledge that our current society’s insatiable and nearsighted appetite for growth, innovation and development is strangling the whispers of life out of the very future it hopes to serve, my partner and I can no longer stand idly by and watch our cities consume themselves with an anxious need for expansion. Our society has been poisoned by the belief that a city in decline is a city in need of resurrection.
1. Revolt! Let us use the efficient machines inefficiently, for pleasure and not production. Loops where once there were straight lines. Dead-ends where before there were connections.
2. Why not rebel in the punishment of a relentless technology? Like a fighter leaning into an opponent’s blow, let us incite, provoke, and encourage our own urban desertion. From rust to silicon, from silicon to…
3. We shall weep for the dark ages, in the presence of the gleaming Renaissance Tower before us. Our royal Detroit we shall serve the rightful king. Long live the king. The king is dead. Long live the king.
4. Throw off the shackles of the endless sprawl ever encroaching on the lakes, streams and fields of this country! Revive the American landscape of boundless freedom and the pleasures of the open road!
5. Commute has become a dirty word. Why? I say commute your decaying suburb for a city in the sky!