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Community Outreach - School of Architecture

zoyesDesign Center Focuses on Community

Detroit Collaborative Design Center was the first University-based design center in metropolitan Detroit to provide design services to non-profit community and civic organizations. Over the past two years, as part of the engagement strategy for the Detroit Works Long Term Planning for the City of Detroit, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center convened discussion groups of over 75,000 community members at venues throughout Detroit. The collected input has greatly influenced the new planning document for the city, Detroit Future City.

Program Introduces Students to Architecture

High school students attended a month-long series of classes at the SOA through the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP). This summer, 14 high school students participated in the weeklong architecture summer camp that exposed them to architecture, engineering, digital media and urban design. 

Students Generate Community Development Plans

In Fall 2013, a student design studio under the direction of three faculty members from the Detroit Collaborative Design Center developed plans for a neighborhood in Southwest Detroit. This project is a continuation of our previous collaborations with "The Alley Project", a youth mentoring and community arts program.

Students Teach Design Classes

During Winter Term 2013, Assistant Professor Claudia Bernasconi’s seminar class of Architecture master’s students taught design to approximately 15 high school students at Detroit Community Schools in the Brightmoor neighborhood.

SOA Works with Neighborhoods

A group of students completing their capstone project for the Master of Community Development Program worked extensively with neighborhood groups in the Fitzgerald neighborhood between UDM and Marygrove College. During this past summer, a group of more than a dozen alumni and current SOA students collaborated to both design and build several storefront renovations on Jefferson East Business Association. These renovations allowed a number of entrepreneurs to take over vacant properties in conjunction with the 10th annual Jazzin' on Jefferson festival.

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center, in partnership with Revolve Detroit and Challenge Detroit, spearheaded the activation of a community storefront on Livernois. The project took over a vacant storfront and created a community hub showcasing small businesses and local culture. Various events have taken place in the space including Light-Up Livernois, a festive community event, and the Detroit Design Festival.

Students Reach Out

Architecture students participated in a number of community outreach initiatives, including a Livernois Avenue cleanup day in November in association with the University Commons, the Safety Street Halloween event for area children at UDM, and CANSTRUCTION at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is a national food collection event.