Monthly Archives: December 2009

chinaHAA : Design, China, and Details 02

One month ago, two of our employees trekked 24 travel hours across the globe to Hefei, China. Upon arrival, HAA commenced an innovative cross-cultural, cross-professional exchange. For the next two weeks, these employees will be working directly for the Hefei University of Technology within their architecture/design department. During this time, they will be posting illustrative photos that speak to Design, China, and all of the discovered Details. Continue reading

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CIRCUMSTANCE.  Since the 1950’s Detroit’s population has been on the decline.  As the city expanded outward and fulfilled mid-century aspirations for suburban life and unencumbered industrial development, the overall population began dropping from its 1,850,000 peak.  Exacerbated by the combination of seemingly benevolent post-war policies such as the 1944 Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (GI Bill) which guaranteed low interest mortgages to returning veterans, Title One of the 1949 Federal Housing Act and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, those who were not fully incentivized to leave the city were in some cases dispossessed or ghettoized. 

Vital communities broke down, functional public transportation fell into disrepair and ignorant, racially motivated segregation beseeched the city, making day to day life in Detroit quite inhospitable, promoting a sharp increase in migration to the suburbs.  At the same time, larger structural economic problems, such as an abiding faith in a Fordist economic model and a dominant one-dimensional industry, took their toll.  By the late 1960’s the population had fallen to 1,500,000 (while the 7-county region had grown to nearly 4,500,000) and in the late summer of 1967, the infamous riots engulfed parts of the city.  With this, many who had not yet left the city did so – if they had the means and opportunity.  (link to time line flash)

Over the final three decades of the 20th century Detroit maintained a steady population and employment decline as disinvestment, poor quality of life and limited services made a significant impact.  Now, with the economic recession that has come to define the early years of the 21st century, Detroit’s population loss and disinvestment have accelerated (along with several other communities in southeast Michigan, highlighting the regional dimension to these pernicious problems). Continue reading

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CRAIG WILKINS — EVENT 04 “Challenging Detroit: (Re)generating Urbanism”

lecturesHAA is 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.


Dr. Craig L. Wilkins has worked nationally and internationally as a designer, project architect and urban designer. He currently serves as the director of the Detroit Community Design Center at the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Dr. Wilkins has written and lectured widely on a variety of topics, from hip hop architecture to the prospects of globalization on African spaces. Dr. Wilkins’s work has culminated in his most recent publication, “The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on race, space, architecture and music” which has been recognized with numerous awards, including the prestigious 2008 Montaigne Medal for Best New Writing. Continue reading

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