Monthly Archives: June 2009


On June 23rd, the first lecture in a series of HAA sponsored events occurred in a small Eastern Market art studio, The Johanson Charles Gallery.  During the lecture, Design 99’s co-founders Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert presented a sampling of their past and current work.  As their projects flashed over the make-shift projection screen, the sound system petered in an out of existence.  These underground conditions seemed perfectly analogous to Design 99’s daily challenges and each of their project’s specific circumstances.  Despite the late start and the subsequent technical difficulties, the 40+ Detroit locals were enraptured, appreciative, and focused on the discussion at hand:

–       Current urban issues require change

–       Context specific design catalysts operate as community focal points

–       Focal points spark community discussions

–       Community discussions initiate resolution of urban issues

Each of Design 99’s projects followed this framework with varying physical, social, ecological, and economical results.  One such example is their highly publicized project, Power House Project. Continue reading

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POSITION.  As architects, landscape architects and interior designers, there is an inherent distance between the product of our daily work (drawings and representations) and the eventual product produced from our work (buildings and spaces).  Put simply, we don’t build airports and parks, we draw them.  We represent for a living.  Accordingly, we must intensely consider the most effective ways to produce our product; to see all that drawings can do, from construction documents to conceptual renderings and parti diagrams to program matrices.  The example below shows the process HAA used to apply this realization beyond the design of buildings and spaces to the analysis and demonstration of data.

QUESTIONS.  What is the most effective method for presenting the analysis of statistical information to a variety of audiences?  Should different methodologies be employed to analyze qualitative versus quantitative information?  Can the use of multiple methodologies result in a cohesive, comprehensive presentation with clear direction? The Woodward Avenue Action Association provided Hamilton Anderson an opportunity to investigate these questions using Woodward Avenue as a laboratory. Continue reading

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QUESTIONS.  We began with questions that were simple, physical, and topographic.  How do we get down to the River?  Can we redefine the City’s relationship with its River?  Could water be here, between our toes, as well as headed toward our taps?  Can we create joy and utility in the same place?

PROJECT.  The project’s landscape, where the Grand River meets downtown Lansing, has been most valued in the city’s history by reserving it for industrial uses.  The River has been held away by walls, taken in, distributed, harnessed for power, and measured when necessary to keep us dry. 

In a shift of collective thinking mirroring a global trend, Lansing has reevaluated its River-City interface, now reserving it for immediate and intimate public use.  As part of that reassessment of values, the City has charged HAA’s team with the task of creating a new public riverfront along both sides of the Grand River between the Shiawassee Street Bridge and Ottawa Street.  To the west, the project meets the Accident Fund’s new corporate headquarters.  To the east, it interacts with the relocation of Lansing’s City Market.  On both sides, it connects to Lansing’s River Trail.

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“CHALLENGING DETROIT: (RE)generating Urbanism” Lectures Announcement

lecturesHAAis dedicated to creating a broader creative discourse through open and collaborative dialogue. The program includes lectures and discussions throughout the year that will consider important contemporary design issues associated with the urban environment.

The initial program for 2009 will be “Challenging Detroit: (Re)generating Urbanism.” This program will provide an important platform for consideration of innovative, multidisciplinary strategies designed to help the city not only create reinvestment and redevelopment, but also begin to regenerate the social, economic and environmental attributes that define it. Now, more than ever, we need to come together to understand how we can effectively participate in the thoughtful, creative regeneration of Detroit.

While it is relatively unconventional for a professional design firm such as Hamilton Anderson Associates to create and coordinate a lecture program such as this, we feel that by leveraging our resources and interests in design, we may more fully establish a fertile exchange of ideas that helps to bridge the gap between the creative community and the community at-large.

The public is encouraged to attend these free events. Please return to rogueHAA for future dates and topics. Continue reading

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