Author Archives: mdittmer

POP-UP RETAIL: Cafe con Leche del Este

During the month of October, rogueHAA began work on our latest tactical urbanism strategy, the pop-up initiative – Cafe con Leche del Este.  Cafe con Leche de Este is a community led pop-up coffee shop and event space located within a vacant storefront within the Lafayette Park strip mall. Working with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the owners of the Lafayette Shopping Plaza,  the Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA), the Lafayette Park community, and the cafe owners of Cafe con Leche, rogueHAA designed, managed, and constructed the pop-up retail in under four weeks.  The budget was $4000 and included all construction materials, furniture rental, labor, artwork, ceiling and lighting treatments, signage, and interior accessories.  The pop-up cafe and community event space occurred during the entire month of November, hosting multiple movie screenings, lecture events, and gatherings.  In total, over 2,000 people walked through the doors, making this pop-up space the most successful rogueHAA regeneration strategy to date.

More specifically, rogueHAA would like to thank the DEGC and JEBA for helping facilitate the funding, permits, and additional management required to make this project come to fruition. We’d like to thank Franklin Furniture for their generous lending of furniture. Thank you to Patty at Lafayette Foods for brokering the use of the Mies Storefront. Most importantly, we’d like to thank ALL of the community volunteers who either donated materials money or put in countless hours constructing or detailing this community space. And lastly, we have a few individuals who went above and beyond the call of volunteer duty: Cal Navin, Betty Steehler, Jim Griffioen, Sara Woodward, Karen Barney, Jill-Morgan Aubert, Vasco Roma, and Noah Resnick.

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Dlectricity Installation: Light Terrain

 

RogueHAA’s DLECTRICITY submission, Light Terrain, was one of the 35 installations chosen of 225 global submissions.  Light Terrain was installed on the southwest corner of Woodward and Warren, across from the Wayne State University Welcome Center.

Terrain Vague.  Ignasi de Solà-Morales defines terrain vague as land in a “potentially exploitable state but already possessing some definition to which we are external,” or “strange places” that “exist outside the city’s effective circuits and productive structures.” Detroit is an often cited characterization of Sola-Morales’ concept, yet these “strange places” are typically understood as either unacceptable results of economic decay, or as sites of optimistically unrealistic potential divorced from the realities that created them. Our installation sought to bring a more nuanced approach to Terrain Vague that both recognizes the realities of urban vacancy while maintaining the possibility inherent within. By creating a space for interaction and conversation, our installation attempts to both literally and conceptually establish a provisional ‘ground’ for interaction among DLECTRICITY viewers that strikes a balance between planned and spontaneous, solid and void, architectural surface and landscape

Light Terrain.  Comprised of an articulated landscape of varying light sticks, the installation catalyzed interaction through the application of a responsive architectural skin (membrane/layer/field) to the existing building and ground conditions. Like an luminous synthetic ivy, the installation expanded across the site in an organic field both defining new spatial potential and enhancing the existing context – literally and conceptually tying architecture to landscape.

 

 

THANKS FOR THE VIEW, MR MIES: LAFAYETTE PARK DETROIT

Placement is pleased to announce that “THANKS FOR THE VIEW, MR. MIES” is finally available in print.  “Thanks For the View Mr Mies” is authored by Danielle Aubert, Lana Carver, and Natasha Chandani.  As previously displayed within the MIES Storefront space during the INSIDE LAFAYETTE PARK exhibition, the book includes photos, essays, and ephemera that look inside the lives of the current Lafayette Park residents.  The book is published by Metropolis Books, distributed by D.A.P., and will soon be available in all major bookstores around USA and Europe. Pre-orders on Amazon.

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the ArchiCULTURAL SHIFT – Panel Discussion, SPACEBUSTER by Raumlabor Installation, and Exhibition for Detroit Design Festival

rogueHAA is pleased to announce their next event, The archiCULTURAL SHIFT.  As an integral component to the Detroit Design Festival, this event is comprised of an exhibition, panel discussion, and SPACEBUSTER by Raumlabor installation.  All components seek to address the following issues and aim to foster creative relationships between the architectural and informational technology design communities.

Historically, architecture has been understood, practiced, and theorized as the discipline of space – the designed manipulation and configuration of form, material and structure.  Evolving throughout the millennia, architecture has also been employed to identify and solve social conditions through the use of materials and spatial arrangements. 

In the last few decades, numerous design and architectural critics and theorists have identified cultural shifts within technological societies – from space-centered institutions to time-centered institutions, from material-based economies to information-based economies.

The expansion of publicly available information and the compression of time have affected all design practices, but none more so than the architectural profession.  Compared with other design fields, the prevalent architectural process – project creation, conceptual design, design development, construction documentation, permitting, construction coordination – appears extremely sluggish.  As practicing professionals, we have taken notice.  More importantly, the public and our clients have taken notice.  Our society continues to desire results in shorter amounts of time, often to the detriment of the design process and final product.  As our technological culture continues to shift toward accelerated means of production, will The Architect, one who practices a traditional space-based profession, become increasingly minimized?  Has the Architecture-of-Space become temporal, immaterial, and marginalized?  How can Architecture infiltrate the current information-driven social conditions prevalent within today’s society?  Are we on the precipice of an archiCULTURAL SHIFT?

All events will occur at The MIES Storefront,  1565 East Lafayette, Detroit.
A breakdown of the three day event is as follows: Continue reading

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rogueHAA HOSTS “ART AND DEVELOPMENT IN DETROIT” – A PANEL DISCUSSION FOR MICROFEST DETROIT

 rogueHAA is pleased to announce the next event in its 2011-2012 panel discussion series: “Provocations: Challenging Detroit’s Design Discourse”

“ART, THE AVANT GARDE, AND THE REALITIES OF RESURRECTING AN AMERICAN CITY”
August 17, 2012
Panel Discussion: 7pm-9pm
Reception to follow
Art Effect Gallery
1420 E Fisher Freeway, Eastern Market, Detroit

ART, THE AVANT GARDE, AND THE REALITIES.  Historically, the role of art within the development of revitalization of cities can be seen cynically as one of unwitting accomplice to gentrification and complicit partner to the exploitation of creative capacity.  In this interpretation, art exists only for a moment as a noble avant garde, free of encumbrances before becoming instrumentalized by the very elements it sought to move beyond.  From past examples such as the South of Houston district in Manhattan (SOHO) and Southwark in London, to contemporary illustrations in places like Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, a leading edge of artists and other creative types begins to give way to something potentially more banal than the squalor and disinvestment that had previously existed.  This is a story we all know very well.

But what if art and other creative forces in Detroit could overcome this seemingly predetermined path?  Could the enormity of Detroit’s challenges, its collective resolve to address them, and its uniquely integrated blend of artists, designers, and allied professionals bridge a gulf that has contributed to the “punch line” results that emerged previously.  How might these groups actually leverage the knowledge base of one another to effect change, retain the integrity of their intellectual projects, and create a new model for collaboration that contradicts the implicit Darwinistic growth regime model so many attribute to “revitalization” in a capitalist economy?

To discuss these issues within the relationship between art, culture, design, and the revitalization of Detroit, we have convened a panel with diverse backgrounds and perspectives:

Philip Lauri – Detroit Lives!
Mike Han – Street Culture Mash
Jela Ellefson – Eastern Market
Oya Amakisi – Film, US Social Forum
Dan Kinkead – Moderator, rogueHAA Continue reading

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THE VERTICAL URBAN FACTORY: A REVIEW

The Vertical Urban Factory.  Currently on display at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The Vertical Urban Factory is an independent research project and exhibition curated by architectural historian and critic Nina Rappaport. This traveling display explores historic and modern concepts for the design, structure, mechanization, and socioeconomics of multi-storied factories that are both urban—integrated into cities—and vertical—integrated floor by floor according to programmed manufacturing processes. Divided into three separate zones, the exhibition investigates significant architectural precedents, both built and unbuilt; makes a geo-spatial comparison between Detroit and New York’s (post) industrial inventory; and displays alternative contemporary models that demonstrate the potential environmental, social, and economic benefits from the reintegration of well-programmed vertical factories. Rappaport further suggests that industrialists and urban planners should reconsider the potential for building vertically in cities: “This, in turn, would reinforce and reinvest in the cycles of making, consuming, and recycling as a part of a natural feedback loop in a new sustainable urban spatial paradigm.”

Rappaport’s paradigm combines the desired altruistic 21st century industrial traits: clean, green, light, networked industry spatialized within different vertical, sustainable forms.  The thesis is clear, the research is powerful, and the selected contemporary projects are beautiful, suggesting a myriad of innovative architectural approaches to the vertical manufacturing process. However, one must still question whether verticality is an appropriate industrial paradigm for all urban fabrics. Continue reading

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