Client: Detroit by Design, Detroit Riverfront Competition
Urban Design Team:: Jessica Leete, Claire Ji Kim, Julie Lucier, Xioaxioa Lu
Year Designed: 2012

Rather than trying to figure out how to “save Detroit,” our approach is to let Detroit do what it is good at, mass produce things that matter most today. In this mobile global society, democracy is about access to power whether it is food, information, or energy. With technological advances, production can mean mass customization to address the specific needs of a climate, a culture, and a locale. The riverfront site is used as an Expo of what is made in Detroit and transported to market through a global water network. As major ports globally face rising sea levels and we all are confronted with the prospect of disastrous changes in weather patterns, a Detroit that is linked though its industrial waterfront can set a precedent in multi-modal forms of transportation through the use of water, alternative fuels, and rail, truly reviving itself as the Capital of Transportation.

All of the container plug-ins are mobile meeting-places that offer access to amenities and foster social interaction. This innovative infrastructure accommodates mobile production rather than just transporting products. Customized for a particular site, the plug-ins are adaptive, which increases the capacity for resilience. They are intended to serve Detroit and act as a model of response for our ‘global risk society’.